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My latest project - a 1980 CX500. Well, actually, it's my dad's, but I'm helping him out. It runs, but not great - needs carb OH, I think. Plus, some sticky front brake hydraulics and some cosmetic detailing.

I sure do like these, though. Smooth, plenty strong, and comfy... Not exactly 'vintage' though. Still, 29 years ago isn't exactly 'recent' either... :)

 

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Yes it IS!! ;) AND..very nice mid size bikes that have earned my respect.

My son bought one 2 years ago for a pittance (its a Standard CX not the Deluxe like yours) I think it was $275 that had been sitting according to the PO for 3 years.

We hauled it , and about 75% of another bike in pieces all home on a cold Oct. day and after we cleaned the carbs had her running pretty good within about 2 hours.
I think the only other thing we had to do was we ended up replacing the master cyl. ,brk.hose and caliper with a spare off a wrecked CB750F I have for parts (they bolt right up and work PERFECTLY BTW), and (I cant recall for sure it was this bike) replace a coil that was firing intermittantly.

Other than new plugs, cleaning things up and out, change the oil, etc. its been trouble free

That bike is pretty much bulletproof and really runs forever with minimal maintenance. Their good and reliable and fairly cheap. My sons has really gained my respect as it rides nicely is, easy to maintain and ride, and has given him just ZERO problems after we got things all up to par and repainted (it had the worst brush on John Deere green paint on it when we got it) :shock: after the first few 2-3 weeks.

Get those carbs cleaned, brakes working right and do the normal maintenance, and just enjoy riding the heck out of her. You'll be pleasantly surprised and ill bet she'll grow on you too!! ;) :cool: Nice bikes! And YOU have a BEAUTY there !! :cool:
 

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Yep, real nice machines, to be sure. I owned an '81 Custom about 15 years ago. That was a really nice one. One of the best-looking non-vintage machines, to me. My Dad owned a '79 standard a few years earlier than that, too. I'm looking forward to chugging around on it.

As soon as it cools off a tad around here, and stops storming every single afternoon right at quittin' time... :lol:

Kirk

Here's a shot of the '81 from back then...

 

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I never really paid much attention to these bikes until my son got his.
I gotta say... the more I see it, and the more he rides his the more impressed I am with them. REALLY radical departure in engine design for Honda thats kinda overlooked by many IMHO.

Interesting story on why the heads are "twisted " on the CX's too. ;) Ever heard that?
 

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Always liked the looks of these bikes but I've heard they're a little top-heavy.

How did you like the way they rode/handled?
 

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IMHO they are a little top heavy but you only notice it at slow speed.
Its not like its horrible top heavy, its justa little different compared to say a 450 IMO.

Takes about a ride or 2 around the block to get used too, and honestly these dudes handle really good in corners as you can really throw em around with ease. Actually..they are so quick to respond to leaning in curves (you can cut more or before you want too) that you've gotta be a little careful at first, but it really is easy to get used to. That slight top heaviness kinda aids in that quick response in corners I think.

The ONLY downside Ive seen is that if you get one the VERY first thing Id buy are case savers, or crash bars. They mount up high to protect those heads which are the frst thing to hit if she goes down.OUCH!!

I forgot this, my sons bike had a very noisy (rattly) cooling fan from the moment we started it,(pretty common occurance from what I hear) and it was sooo scary rattly (is THAT a word??LOL) I think that it scared the PO so bad that thats why he quit riding it.
When we took it apart the fan was basically falling apart and the shaft was really messed up. Ended up replacing it with an electric cooling fan (7" or 9" as I recall) that came mounted on a shroud that mounts on the frt of the radiator and looks like it came from the factory that way.
I got it off Ebay (actually it was a pair of them) for I think $20 brand new. Like I said, it fits perfectly and with that shroud youd think it was a factory fan. We could have wired it in so that it worked by temp but instead just mounted an on/off switch on the handlebars that you can flip on when going slow, or in town. It doesnt even need to be on when youre going down the road even when its pretty hot out.
IF you ever need one let me know and Ill get ya the info for em.
 

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HerrDeacon said:
trublu said:
Interesting story on why the heads are "twisted " on the CX's too. ;) Ever heard that?
Inquiring minds want to know.

kept the carbs out of the riders legs, and something about improved airflow with less restriction?
 

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BINGO Jay! ;)

The first CX's had heads that were inline with the bike and bottom end of the engine, but there was a problem.
The engine was extremely wide, (a transverse mounted liquid cooled 48hp V-Twin w/ shaft drive) and when they mounted the carbs, as usual ,on the back side of the cylinder heads the riders legs were splayed so wide to clear the carbs and airbox that the rider had real problems reaching the brake pedal or shifter, and was just in an extremely uncomfortable position. :shock: :oops:
Honda engineers(Notably Soichiro Irimajiri, designer of the GL1000 and the CBX) were extremely proud of this new design and had spent a great deal of time and $$ putting it into production. They were pretty darn nervous :oops: about making any changes BUT the bike was impossible to ride in the current configuration.
Soo... Honda's answer to that was to "twist" the cylinder heads(I think 18 degrees CORRECTION: It was 22 degrees)inward at the rear which would allow the carbs to then be closer together, thus ,narrower which allowed the needed leg clearanceto ride the bike comfortably. ;)

And THAT is why we see the heads in an unusual angle compared to the rest of the bike. ;)

Kinda neat little tidbit of a Honda goofup and fix.Now you know the rest of the story :cool:
 

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ok i ride a gl500i (interstate model) and i love it. in fact i sold my 2000 moto guzzi because i put less than 400 miles on it one year and the silver wing gets ridden all the time. i can scrap the kick stand in a corner. the bike handles great and the seating position is very comfortable. in fact this is the ONLY bike i have actually fallen asleep riding (yes you read that right). it has almost 53000 miles on it. it does have its problems but dont we all. the rear mono shock is impossible to replace w/o spending mega bucks, stators fail, gotta watch the cam chain, and mecanical water seals leak. I just put a shark radio on mine and now i REALLY love it. I for the life of me dont know why honda does not come out with another bike like this. 500cc is big enough to do long hauls and still get 50MPG on a carb. bike that is 30 years old.
 

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roundman72 said:
this is the ONLY bike i have actually fallen asleep riding (yes you read that right).
:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:

I bet you woke up in a hurry though....
 

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I dont know eiither Eric.
Just nice all around bikes , not too big/small, pretty trouble free, easy to ride, will cruise at hwy speeds all day, and great MPG....whats not to like?? :?:
 

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I've HUGE respect for CX's.. I rode a '80 CX500C for 6 years! i "improved" mine with progressive fork springs, progressive rear shocks, clubmans, and silverwing seat. damn good dependable runners. things to watch are cracking carb rubbers, valve un-adjustment problems, coolant leak at rear pump, and stator failure. the "top heaviness" is really not a problem but i do have permenant dents in my shins for the cylinder heads! those cylinders definitely kept my toes warm on fall rides. godo memories, i hope your bike is even better fun! danWI
 

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Why did Honda cease production of such an innovative bike design? Did these models pre-date Guzzis? I've always heard fond tellings of these bikes and yet the design was abandoned...
 

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i dont know much about the CX history, but the CX seemed to be regulated as the "little brother" of the Silverwing and Goldwing. i am curious what others may know about the history here. Chime in please! danWI
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The CX's (and GL) last year was 1983, by which year it had grown into the 650. First year for the CX500 was 1978.

They were discontinued along with a zillion other Honda models (and other OEM's models) due to the severe recession in the US at that time and overall dramatic contraction in the US market. Recall the stories of unsold new models piling up in warehouses, and being able to buy a brand new 1982 or 83 model in 1985 or 86...

In 1982, for example, Honda had nearly 50 different street bike models for sale. By 1985, that number had been SIGNIFICANTLY reduced. The market itself was distilling into the forerunners what we see today: sportbikes, cruisers, dual-sports and precious little outside of those. Although, in recent years, new marketing niches have opened up again. And, many displacement categories vanished then, too - no more 50s, 250s, 400s, etc.

Why was the CX discontinued? Well, Honda had the Shadow series for cruisers with it's 'Harleyesque' V-twin layout and the V4 Interceptor series for the sportbikes (which were later pretty much abandoned for the inline-4 CBR/Hurricane models). There just wasn't enough room in the tightened market for the oddballs...
 

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They also have a very well earned reputation for being hard on stators & the engine must come out to fix that problem. That glitch did not help sales either.
 

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Rampage1967 said:
They also have a very well earned reputation for being hard on stators & the engine must come out to fix that problem. That glitch did not help sales either.

No offense intended, but I really think any stator/ charging system issues were waaaay overblown.

In fact I know of several with 100K or close that have never had a case cracked open.
Grented,some CX's had problems at low miles, but... all models did back then (F models were awful in that dept. back then) and CX's were just as good ,or better in that dept. than any other Honda of that era IMHO. ;)

They may be better now, but,Honda just had a bad habit of using barely adequate charging systems back then and we even run into it on the twins as well.
My point is that its no worse than any other model of that era.
 

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Oh, my, yes. They ALL had marginal charging systems. Especially a few years earlier, say, the mid-70s, when cycles didn't have to be 'lights-on' all the time.

I'm used to it now. :lol:


So, I started work on the carburetors yesterday. They have what I call "sit-around-itis" :) Nothing that disassembly, dip 'n clean and reassembly won't cure. These carbs have a lot of 'add-ons'. Both carbs have anti-backfire circuits/diaphragms and the left carb has an accelerator pump. Crossover tubes feed fuel (and accel. pump output) from left to right carb. Fortunately, the carbs have slide pistons rather than diaphragms. Much nicer, IMHO. And, soft-part kits are readily available. Randakk's Cycle has a really thorough kit with all soft bits. Prolly gonna order one up.

Carbs came out pretty easy. Remove an easy motor mount and both manifolds, and they pop right out.

 

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ok just in my dealings with the carbs, they are very picky on these bikes. clean good. but for parts i wouldn't buy any unless needed. i have 3 sets of carbs and they have all cleaned up without needing parts. Do check the air cut-off diaphrams closely as these will give you problems if they have pin holes (can be bypassed).
 
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