Honda CX 500 build - I am new to bikes so dont hold back.
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Honda CX 500 build - I am new to bikes so dont hold back.

This is a discussion on Honda CX 500 build - I am new to bikes so dont hold back. within the Project Builds forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; Hello all. I am going to use this thread to document my 1981 CX 500 build. I know the CX 500 does not exactly get ...

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  1. #1
    Junior Member grfiter_500's Avatar
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    Honda CX 500 build - I am new to bikes so dont hold back.

    Hello all. I am going to use this thread to document my 1981 CX 500 build. I know the CX 500 does not exactly get a lot of love but through searching I have come across several really cool looking builds. Of course then again I am pretty new to bikes so what do I know. All that really matters is that I like it but I do value others opinions and greatly appreciate others knowledge.

    Here is the rundown on the bike.

    1981 Honda CX 500
    Has some unknown exhaust - sounds good.
    Carbs are suppose to have been jetted. - We shall see.
    Runs very well, supposedly motor was recently rebuilt. - We shall see.
    Paint is rough and will have to be redone.
    Has a custom plastic piece for the rear that was suppose to be custom made.

    Bike runs strong, shifts good, and in general just seems solid.

    Here are a few pics.

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    My initial thoughts are to get the paint and body work one on the bike right away and hope to be able to get it decent looking to ride before warm weather gets here ( I am in Indiana). Then I will start trying to decide what parts need to be changed out / added. I am pretty sure a new seat is going to be in order right away as well. I have always liked the look of the 1/4 fairing so may try to find something along those lines.

    Well everyone, let me know your thoughts, directions I should go, or heck tell me I am a idiot for wanting to do anything with this bike. All knowledge is appreciated.

  2. #2
    Member hearse's Avatar
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    i personally love CX's - it was my learner bike and dad had multiple for over 20 years so it will always be a favourite with me

    but that seat is but ugly :-D it looks like a home joby? surely?

    I am not 100% sure i like that exhaust either?

    what colours you looking at repainting the bike in dude?

    best of luck - its a learning curve you will be going through, and unlike others, i reckon you will love this curve!
    Project n'gagi begins 07-11-2012 -- Get involved!!
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  3. #3
    Junior Member grfiter_500's Avatar
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    I am sure the seat is a homemade deal as well. I have only had the bike since today and have not had chance to do much with it yet. I plan to use the plastic rear piece in the one pic which will mean a new seat anyway.

    The exhaust is rubbing some also so I am pretty sure I am going to want to change that in some way. maybe something more simple.

    As far as colors I have a couple ideas:

    Championship White with some black accents and black wheels
    Gunmetal or some kind of dark grey with some red accents and black wheels

    I agree I think it will be a curve that I will greatly enjoy.
    Remember to always keep the rubber side down!

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  5. #4
    Junior Member smurfy91's Avatar
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    Measure your trail, looks to be too little. RB Racing Rake and Trail Calculator i would consider less than 2.5 inch trail dangerous

  6. #5
    Senior Member goldy's Avatar
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    These bikes have their little 'issues', but can be a remarkably reliable/ road worthy machine. Hard to do a good looking cafe job on these, but not impossible. Don't be in a rush, given careful forethought and sketches you could come up with something stunning in terms of handling, reliability and looks...get some good photos of what you are trying to go for, use your imagination and weigh all suggestions carefully. Don't pull the trigger on anything unless you are sure it will give you what you want. Remember the KISS principal above all. The tail section you slipped in place could make a huge difference. A different choice of wheel diameters and tire widths would change the handling characteristics...but I suppose I'm going too far now.
    Best of luck, I'm sure you'll come up with something that puts a smile on your face.
    “And this you can know – fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.”
    John Steinbeck

  7. #6
    Junior Member grfiter_500's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info on the trail. I'll have to get out and measure and see. As I said, this is all new to me.

    I did pull the seat off and sit the rear plastic on it to "mock up" what will need to be done to get it put on. Here is a better pic with it.

    Anyone have any ideas on seats, I am thinking of trying to make my own since the plastic is suppose to be a custom made piece.

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    Remember to always keep the rubber side down!

  8. #7
    Senior Member dirkchecken's Avatar
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    doesnt go w/ the gas tank. is the gas tank one of the "C" model honda's? maybe one from a "standard" model
    I like my shocks like I like my women. Cheap and Chinese.

  9. #8
    Junior Member grfiter_500's Avatar
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    According to the vin its a Honda CX500C. I think it is the original tank but not 100% sure.
    Remember to always keep the rubber side down!

  10. #9
    Senior Member goldy's Avatar
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    Yep. I know I'm only a junior member here, but I've been building cafe bikes for about 35 years now and for what it's worth, I agree with dirkchecken. I'm pretty sure what you have there is the 'custom model'...maybe the breadbox tank form a std model would indeed suit the build better and you wouldn't have to fiddle around to get it to fit. I think the tail section will work, but you need to fabricate a sub frame to get it up higher and more on the level...right now the lines from the tank to the tail fairing sort of flow, but it looks kinda dropped down like a bobber gone wrong...look at most cafe builds and you will see that the tail section tends to be pretty much level with the tank or even slightly higher, this tends to give the bike a more aggressive look, rather than the laid back cruiser style. The forks do appear a little steep looking, but if nobody has fiddled with the rake of the frame, or the triple clamps you should be alright.
    “And this you can know – fear the time when Manself will not suffer and die for a concept, for this one quality is the foundation of Manself, and this one quality is man, distinctive in the universe.”
    John Steinbeck

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