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Opinions, experiences, comments? The search revealed nothing to chew oon and I can't find too much online. I recently found a clean, low mileage, "runs great" candidate for what appears to be a good price, but as all short run productions go, i'm wondering if they harbor insufferable gremlins or other deep rooted not-fuggin-worth-it genes. I'm not planning on doing anyting but tuning, maintaining, and riding it stock.
 

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the evolution of the cb450. Nice bike, a bit heavier and a little slower than it's predecessor but still a good all around-er. Really they don't have anything that the 450s don't have as a problem. The one thing I always worry about on either of these bikes is the torsion bar valve springs, cam, cam follower, cam chain. Look for cracks around the cam follower face - a sign that regular oil changes were not performed. Also be wary of the e-starter clutch as it tends to work loose.

Back when 450s were still cheap, I considered these throw away bikes since they were heavier and underpowered, but as the 450s climb the value ladder the 500t is a bargan by comparison. Plus they have one of the cooler stock honda accessories - A brown seat. I have always secretly lusted for one with a brown seat that I could paint british racing green (stock color was a red and I think black (although the black had a black seat). The brakes are completely unspectualar, as in "oh my god I can't stop" un-spectacular

here is a good site for typical mechaincal problems and what to check:
http://www.thefang.co.uk/cb500tips.htm
http://www.thefang.co.uk/cb500faq.htm
 

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thanks, broseph! i'm doing my homework on the torsion bar springs as we speak. i'm hoping the picture i'm expecting confirms a brown seat!
 

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Like Geeto said - cam chains, followers etc need looked at. A CB450 motor is a drop-in replacement. Most CB/CL450 parts are drop-in replacements. If the fork tubes are pitted you'll pay a shitload for new ones - I ended up using a CB750 front end. This also solved my $75 brake piston problem.

If the carbs are dirty, even a little tiny bit, the CV slides stick and it runs like shit.

The resonator box on the 500T rusts out easily. Your options for new exhausts are:

* Get lucky finding a set at a reasonable price on ebay
* Omar's makes an exhaust (omarsdtr.com)
* Toad Town Racing makes an exhaust (just search for it)

Other than that, I got no gotchas.
 

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Okay Geet,

I gotta call you out on this one. Every CB500T I have ever seen came with a brown seat regardless of the bodywork color. Stock color was metallic brown and then in '76 they added "Candy Antares Red". My '76 is red BTW. I've always thought the 500T would look sweet painted that metallic blue color Triumph used in the 50's and 60's with the stock gold tank stripes and the brown seat.

The brake piston is prone to stick. Be prepared to rebuild the brake system as the water the brake fluid absorbs will rapidly corrode the caliper piston. I changed to a braided brake line and that helps some. Use stabil each fall or be prepared to clean the carbs each spring. Mine didn't want to run for a while and I traced the problem to the plug wire caps - they were shorting out although they tested okay when I checked the resistance. Mine has the starter clutch bolts starting to work loose - it makes a wheezing noise when you crank it and I'll have to open it up sometime soon and lock-tite them.

I managed to buy a Hooker 2 into 1 exhaust when they were selling off all their bike stuff. It makes the bike lighter but it seems to have killed off the sweet spot between 5-7 thousand RPM on the engine so I may go back to a set of 2 into 2's.

Honda changed the steering geometry on the 500 to make it a little more cruiserish. Many will tell you it killed the handling but mine is okay. The stock rear shocks go to crap pretty quickly although progressive make a decent replacement set for $200 or so. The front forks are soft and most CB500T's out there will benefit from a set of roller bearings in the steering head and bronze bushings in the swing-arm pivots.

Otherwise it's not a bad motorcycle all in all....

Jim
 

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Jim,

every stock one I have seen has had a brown seat as well, but there are honda brochures that show the bike with a black seat and black tank. Maybe it was pre-production or maybe the black on black did not make it to this market - I am not an expert on these bikes so I can't say. I forgot about the brown color, you really don't see many of those. That blue you are talking about would look killer also. So...jim...you ever going to sell me yours? how about a partial trade plus cash (like you need another T500)?

The brake caliper issue is problem for just about all hondas not just the cb500 - good point mentioning it though.
 

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The old single piston calipers will work ok if they are maintained. If they are not they feel like you are trying to stop with a couple pieces of 2x4 clamping on the rim. Read the FAQ and get the stock brakes working.
Ken
 
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