Marty Ishmael comes from a Texas family of lifelong dirt bike racers. His son, Cameron, is the 2011 TCCRA Champion and the defending TORO Champion. They know a thing or two about riding dirt bikes and what it takes to have their bikes performing at the highest levels. So when they decided to take on a KX500AF project, there was no doubt they could do it right and make it look good.
Their project started after seeing a KX500 project in MX Action. Marty thought it would be cool to do and to possibly relive his past memories of riding a ‘real’ Open Class bike. There was mention of one of his past 500s being able to go 110 mph within a ½ mile. Fact or fiction, that’s fast!
The engine for this project started out by being attached to a 1999 KX 500. Marty and Cameron bought the entire bike at 11pm on a Sunday evening after the Archer City TCCRA. The chassis is a 2008 KX 250F that they purchased while at the Bonita TORO. Having the essentials to get started, they began dismantling and demoing the aluminum frame to fit the 500 engine.
They found a lot of their information on the KXRiders.com website that Destry Abbott runs. It’s surprising how much information there was for those wishing to take on a KX500AF project. There were options of using a CR500 engine versus a KX500 engine or using a 450F frame versus using a 250F frame. Once those decisions are made, the site offers a plethora of threads and picture tutorials on new frame mounts, welding techniques and grip color combinations.
Marty did have some help from Dale Dawson at M4 with welding on the new frame mounts. Smart move, because that 500 engine could certainly shake a bad weld job loose with disastrous results.
As the pictures of their project illustrate, they did a great job on their KX500AF. The sticker kit they created for the bike really helps to put the finishing touch on such a clean build. Marty does plan to race the beast this winter at the TORO events, so be on the outlook for him. He will be running 616 in the Over 45 Intermediate class. He would probably enjoy hearing praises on how great his bike looks!
I would love to do one of these conversions I'd be curious what type of budget would be required. Although I wish Suzuki still had a more recent 500 motor to use. But alas, the CR or KX would be plenty for anyone!
That is awsome. A slick conversion.