Saturday, 20 February 2016

Honda CX500 Custom

Nice bike. Relatively powerful (especially for a 500), and good torque, but really buzzy beyond 55mph. Swapping the clutch basket and crank gear from a grenaded CX650 engine dropped the revs substantially in every gear. Now 70mph feels like 55 used to, and she'll still do the ton with ease. The only problems I had with this bike was the dreaded water pump seal, but I replaced it with a similar Yamaha seal for half the cost of the Honda part, and no leaks so far after 8000 miles.

Eventually, I got tired of the dated looks, nasty paint, and corroded aluminium, so I turned the bike into a chopper! It's probably one of the few CX500 choppers in existence. I still use this bike as my daily ride, and it gets a lot of looks at the local watering hole. With the extended front forks I went to longer spacers to stiffen the stock springs, and then put some 15wt fork oil in there. At the same time I installed eleven inch aftermarket shocks.

Even with the rake and the long forks, the bike handles better now than it ever did before. No more fork- bottoming, and no more pogo-stick fun down the road or wallowing out of corners. Though switching from the two-pot '82 brake caliper to the earlier '78 single-pot caliper, along with that narrow wheel and tire, seriously degraded braking capacity.

Originally I didn't like the CX, but she's grown on me a lot, especially since changing the gearing and switching to Z-bars instead of those horribly uncomfortable apes that came stock. I don't think I'll ever sell her now.

Charles S


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