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What's wrong with Honda CB500T?!?!

11953 Views 25 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Geeto67
Hi gang-

This was the best forum I could find on good discussions/tips on vintage motorcycles. Previously owning a SV650 and riding a Monster for quite some time, I decided to sell and look for mid-70's Japanese bikes. I like the cafe racer style of bikes along with the "culture" that goes along with it. Seattle has a few vintage Japanese shops and neighborhoods/bars/etc that have adopted the "lifestyle" with it. Quite honestly, I just like the way these bikes look. Streamlined, simple, and some can be quite beautiful.

My question is, though, that I found what seems to be a 1975 Honda CB500T in very, very good condition. 70's Japanese bikes in Seattle are extremely hit and miss to find. It has just over 3K miles, no leaks (as of now), literally no rust, started with the kick start cold first time, etc for 2K. It could be done cheaper as a project but that's not what I want. Now, why does the internet and even places in this forum "hate" CB500Ts?? Are they truly mechanically terrible or do people just think they are ugly? I'll put some lower bars on it and call it good. Will I race? Never. It's a city bike for me. I have a feeling that the answer will be just buy what I want but I'm just double checking that I'm not getting a lemon of a bike.

Of course, all info is appreciated. Thanks!
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quote:Originally posted by Wanker

quote:Originally posted by CB550 Matt

the bikes ar egreat until 79 when they started to get a bit complicated imo, I ride a 74 cb550 and it is a sweet sweet ride, enough get up and go but not big enough to take long trips on, since you are sporting around seattle ( I live in seattle as well ) it should not be a huge issue.

once the bikes are dialed in on the carbs and points if you are running them instead of the solid state ignition they are a dream to ride.
Woops , meant 79 and up. :D
+1 on the model years with 97 and up getting stupidly complex . A 75 500T is pretty cool . Can be a bitch to get parts for them but if you look you'll find them . There is a bit of NOS for the 450-500 twins out there . If the bike is a bit of a rat caffe it up and do it right . If it's in really good shape do minimal stuff since they are somewhat rare . Grab it and go !
Well, it looks like the purchase will be fine. Thanks for the info, all!
There is nothing wrong with the CB500t. It has one of the best looking tanks around too.

ross??? is that you?? holy crap. things must be slow!

todd used to convert his torsion valve heads on his 450's to run in 500.

they had notorius oiling issues though.

the big issue and why people prefer the 450 to the 500 is weight. Going from 450 to 500t the bike gained like 50 lbs. The 450 also has a stock hp rating of 45hp to the cb500t's 42hp. most of this hp loss is due to the compression drop in the 500 from 9:1 to 8.5:1 (the lower compression to help with emissions and also the crappy fuel found in other countries Honda was expanding into, plus less internal stress, well there are a lot of reasons).

Despite the comp drop, the 500t was made larger by making the stroke longer (64.8mm vs the 450's 57.8mm). The carbs are also different.

Anyway, the stock suspension was also pretty soft as compared with the 450, presumably to make it more accommodating to passengers.

Overall the bikes are good bikes. I used to despise them because they were one of the more common unwanted motorcycles kicking around NY in the 1990s (along with the CX500), but in recent years I have grown a little fond of them. A lot of that had to do with the fact that the 450 looks a little cooler and was actually slightly faster. If DiamondJ ever got off his really clean one I would consider owning one.

most of what works for the 450 will work for the 500, really only the bodywork and some electrical, and the carb bits are what is scarce. Used to be you couldn't get parts for them anywhere but the resergence in 70's jap bike has changed all of that.
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this is a good site where I got most of my specs and info on it:

check out the supercharged 500t dragbike...I double dog dare anybody to build a street version
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