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Discussion Starter #1
1980 CX500 Café Racer

I just picked up a 80 CX500 with 10,112 mile on the clock, it is a pretty clean bike one owner, 82 year old could/would no longer ride it. Did not have the heart to tell him I was going to chop it and make it a Café Racer. That said riding it home today it had a knocking in the engine and the oil seals need replacing.

I am from the vintage scootering scene and am new to the Café Racer one. This will be my first motorcycle build.















 

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First on the list is to get rid of the mag wheels.
Here are the two wheel centers, the stock one and one off a 1977 GL1000 they have the same drive gear spline.

 

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Before you do anything else to it, check out the knocking noise. Those things were bad about eating the cam and lifters. If that is the problem you will be tearing down the entire engine and throwing some money at it. The good news is that chopping up a CX500C is no loss to the world in any sense, even if it just gets torn apart and never put back together. There are very few (less than 5 in the whole world) nicely done CX500 custom CX500's and even fewer that started as CX500C's. There is a reason for that. You are very limited to find any wheels other than OEM CX500 wheels that fit so you are stuck with crappy comstars in very few, but almost all, crappy diameter and widths. Therefore you are stuck with limited tire sizes and brands. The forks are crap. The frame is ugly crap, especially the loop that goes from the swingarm pivot to the upper shock mount. It should be straight. The motor is kind of cool. Too bad it isn't chain drive so you could do something about the final gearing and rear wheel.

Good luck, you'll need it with this lump.
 

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Welcome.

How are you looking to improve your bike? Any inspiration?

Never really liked the CX but I don't really see them as a basis for a race bike either... over here (UK) they sell kits with bolt on pieces to turn your CX into something 'special' (i wanna be special daddy, just like eeeeveryone else!)

isn't that the 'custom' version?

UK CX Kits.. http://www.caferacerkits.co.uk/the-cafe-racer-kit/cx-500-doner-bike/
 

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While taking apart the bike, I have run into many mis matched bolts, standard bolts forced into metric threads!! The left head had 4 destroyed threads found it was cheaper to just buy a used head off eBay than to repair them.



One of the worst ones.



Replacement
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Before you do anything else to it, check out the knocking noise. Those things were bad about eating the cam and lifters. If that is the problem you will be tearing down the entire engine and throwing some money at it. The good news is that chopping up a CX500C is no loss to the world in any sense, even if it just gets torn apart and never put back together. There are very few (less than 5 in the whole world) nicely done CX500 custom CX500's and even fewer that started as CX500C's. There is a reason for that. You are very limited to find any wheels other than OEM CX500 wheels that fit so you are stuck with crappy comstars in very few, but almost all, crappy diameter and widths. Therefore you are stuck with limited tire sizes and brands. The forks are crap. The frame is ugly crap, especially the loop that goes from the swingarm pivot to the upper shock mount. It should be straight. The motor is kind of cool. Too bad it isn't chain drive so you could do something about the final gearing and rear wheel.

Good luck, you'll need it with this lump.
(Spoiler Alert) I have 8 months work on her and I did end up rebuilding the whole engine. I have GL1000 spoked wheels running on her now.

Cheers
Mike
 

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Started to remove the front end and wanted to label the wires, I know I could always look at the diagram but this is easier.







Stock Frontend, Need anything hit me up.



Removed.



Decided to go with the All Balls fork conversion. went in very easily. Except the old crown race that took a bit of time.



With the help of my Dermel™ and a chisel it came off.



I used the wrong spacer, they sent two with the kit. I used the thicker one but now want to use the thinner one for a better fit. UGH! Anybody have any ideas in how to get this off without destroying it?



It fits!



If you lock close the top lock nut does not thread on as much as I would like. Thus I need to remove the thick spacer for the thinner one.



The stock ignition switch will fit. Keeping the wiring that much simpler. Need to see if a locksmith can re-key my CBR600 gas cap to the stock key.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Dropped the engine to have a look inside.



UGH the sludge was not a happy sight



Still wondering how it even ran?



More Slime



The Stator looked slime/sludge free.



After cleaning the Pulse Stator





But the flywheel does not look so good.

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Diving deeper into the engine. Slowly taking a lot of photos to remember how it all goes back together.







- - - Updated - - -

The clutch plates and body were BLACK.



The clutch housing after a deep cleaning



The Pulser area deep cleaned



The top end deep cleaned and both now are leveled.

 

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More deep cleaning. Before and After.



- - - Updated - - -

This is what I found in the bottom of my cases, the oil pump filter was clogged with this plastic muck.

 

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The old stretched cam chain it really was super worn.



So much better.

- - - Updated - - -



Cam chain guide found and installed.



Installed

 

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New flywheel installed, This is where all the melted plastic came form in there bottom of the case. Must have got very hot at some point to melt.

- - - Updated - - -



Newer pulser in stalled, So much better than the snot covered one.



Water pump wheel, Pulser cover and showing the new wiring harness installed
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Next thing accomplished was the mechanical fan delete.



First step was to make three L shaped brackets the fit snug against the fan and the housing



Then drilled holes in the bottom brackets that match the holes in the fan tabs.



Followed by drilling the holes in the side of the housing. I made two holes so it would not twist and it also has one hole in the single layer and one in the double layer of the housing.



I laid it flat on the face and then had a piece of cardboard to space the front of the fan just inset of the housing edge. I am going to put a small rubber hose that is cut down the middle to create a gasket that is snug against the radiator.

- - - Updated - - -



Here it is all bolted in.



Testing to make sure the spacing is right.



Next was to cut off the fan shaft. I cut it off 1/8 of an inch from the threads for the rpms.





Installed the Crank shaft cover/Plug that covers the cut off part.


When it was all bolted down I have 1/4" room to spare. I used a Ducati 966 fan.
 

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Installing the engine back into the frame to see if it starts. After hooking up the carbs and filling the oil and radiator, reconnecting all electrical wires I tried to start it up. It popped once or twice even back fired once but never started, I tried until the battery was dead.

Oh snap where to start, it ran before I took it apart, Here is what I replaced:
Cam Chain, Adjusted the timing according to the official shop settings
Cam Chain Adjuster
New stator (David Sliver Spares), Had to rewire it back into the harness
New Flywheel
New Pluser unit
New stator (David Sliver Spares) Spark Plug Caps
New Spark Plugs Honda brand
New gaskets and o rings

Followed the official shop manual in doing all the repairs.




Retuned this evening and started by checking all my wiring connections old and the new.



Then dropped the engine to do a recheck



After the double checking of the cam chain settings and this time did the right-hand chain push test. All stayed in place so time to bolt it all back up. Blue loctite added for good measure.



Then to satisfy my OCD side used my laser level to triple check the alignment.





After I took this photo to show the new stator I saw the blazing problem! The stator pick ups are on backwards! I was so happy to finally find something that was truly wrong.


With the pick ups now in the correct spots it was time to put it all back together and see it will start.




Cleaned both sides if the mechanical seal.



Installed a new copper washer.



Ready to instal it back into the frame.

http://i1302.photobucket.com/albums/ag125/cx500deluxe/Cafe Racer CX500/69FAF38E-FD69-4CFA-B332-58F588FBFD61-9450-000004C01431AB0C_zps52e081a6.mp4

Moment of truth... Drum roll. Bam she roars to life. It is 2 am so tomorrow I will give it a few revs.

Dang I am so pleased that was all it was.

Now that the engine is running great, I can work on the wiring harness, and moving the electronics to be under the seat. Next will be to wire up the newer CBR controls.
 

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All connections crimped using the very helpful diagram Noah posted, yes I did do a test run before soldering and heat shrinking it all up.



It all worked, time to solder



First layer of heat shrink tubing



Second and third layers of heat shrink tubing installed.

- - - Updated - - -



Today I had two new blank keys cut. And asked the lock smith if the original key could be made to fit the newer CBR600 gas cap. She agreed it could if one could get inside to the tumblers. After I left I googled it and sure enough a site showing how to disable it for painting. This even I was able to achieve my goal. To adjust the tumblers to make the older original ignition key work in this new gas cap.



Used the original key to get the lock assembly out. Next to see how close my keys are and how much grinding will be needed. If one has access to new tumblers one could choose the correct one. But I do not and luck would have it only minor grinding was needed.



Removed one at a time grinding them down until they no longer stuck out beyond the center assembly.



After a few adjustments I achieved the desired result. The original key making the tumblers flush.



Put it all back together and it now works perfect. I am going to have this cap welded into the Deluxe tank. And having one key is the best part.



 

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Following these simple but needed tasks I started studying both wiring diagrams to rewire the left handlebar controls.



Made some progress labeling as I went. This is going to take awhile.
 

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ugh, another cx500.

well...at least you seem competent working on engine internals which is more than I can say for most of the cx500 people that show up here. Still, if you are looking for someone to say "wow, what a great platform" or "wow, what great work" prepare to be underwhelmed. I honestly can't fathom putting that much time into the maggot at all (yes the nickname for the cx500 is the maggot - ask any englishman).

So what are your plans for this bike? where is this heading? what are you going to do to actually make the cx500 something interesting?
 
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