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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all. I just joined the "twins" forum, and have been a member of a sort-of-parallel forum for the CX500 family for several years, under the same userID. I've spotted a couple familiar names from that forum here. Back in April, I decided to sell my much-loved 1979 CX500 Custom (shown in my avatar) for a number of reasons, none of which had to do with any deficiencies on the part of the bike, but primarily because I'm starting to disintegrate with age. Since I gave it up, I've had some second thoughts about abandoning the sport entirely and am now on the lookout for a smaller, lighter, simpler bike for chugging around town or taking little country jaunts when the weather's OK. The first bike that caught my attention when I was in graduate school in Ann Arbor in 1968 was the CB/CL175, and that's pretty much my target now. There might be one in my sights, depending on what I hear from a friend, so this post may be academic, but if it works out, I'll be back for words of wisdom on maintenance, parts sources, etc.

I'd be interested in hooking up with other members from the SE or central Virginia and NE North Carolina area.
 

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Welcome to the group and good luck on your quest. Sounds kinda like getting out of the Cadillac and into the MG. Different but fun!:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't mean to be a noodge, but when I try to add a signature to my profile, I get a mild nastygram that says, sorry, you aren't permitted to have a signature. Apparently it requires admin intervention. No big deal, but I was fixing to list all my previous bikes, among other things. :confused:
 

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Welcome
 

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I think you need to have 10 posts before you can add a signature, something to do with spammers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I think you need to have 10 posts before you can add a signature, something to do with spammers.
Thanks, J-T. That makes sense - we ran into a flurry of spammers on the CX500 forum a couple years ago and the admins did something to cure it, maybe a similar trick. And to respond to your welcome note, yes, it's very much like switching from a Cadillac to an MG. Actually, my first car was an MG Midget. Never had a Caddy. First bike was a Ducati Monza 250 that weighed something like 275 pounds dry, as I recall. It was a hoot, wish I still had it, because now I'm smart enough to know how to fix its electrical problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just by way of background, here's a list of the bikes I've owned over the years, in the order that I had them:

1. 1965 Ducati Monza 250
2. 1973 Kawasaki H1 500CC three-cylinder two stroke
3. 1968 Honda CL450
4. 1984 Kawasaki KZ700A, only bike I ever bought new
5. 1979 Honda CX500 Custom

I had reason to tear each of those bikes completely down except for the KZ700A, which was so reliable it was almost boring. The only thing that ever broke on it was a speedometer cable.
I still have the original piston and wrist pin from the Ducati. Before I owned it, the top ring had broken and butterflied and eventually hammered its way through the top land of the piston and flew up into the combustion chamber & killed the spark plug. Happened on my way home to lunch one day in St. Louis, fortunately right at the top of the hill leading down a couple blocks to my driveway, so I got to coast home.

Timing chain broke on the CL450 while I was riding it home from work a few years later, and I had to push it something like four miles to a friend's garage where I could work on it. Took out one of the valve spring torsion bars when it happened. That was about 1982 or 83.

Two years ago the stator in my CX500 failed while I was parked at a lookout area on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Marion, North Carolina. Couldn't get any spark, had to leave the bike on the mountain overnight and come back in the morning with a UHaul truck to collect it. Major PITA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Hi again, everybody. It's been several months since my last post, and there have been some developments in the interim. In particular, I've found a bike, currently in the hands of a friend from the CX500 group, one of the best Honda bike mechanics on the planet. I won't mention his name here to respect his privacy, but I suspect he's well known to many of you. He's in the process of rebuilding a CL350 (1973 I believe) that was decomposed, shall we say, by the previous owner, and has rebuilt the engine basically from the ground up. I'm expecting we'll get together in a couple months for the handoff.

In preparation for the new/old bike, I'm curious to mine the community wisdom about the CL350, in particular, if there are any chronic weaknesses that need to be anticipated. For example, in the CX500 family, the universal bugaboo was the slightly trick ignition system, involving a proprietary CDI unit along with a stator and pickups buried in the guts of the motor, requiring an engine-out chore to service or replace. Not to mention that due to its age, some of those parts are no longer available from Honda, and that situation has resulted in a fairly active international cottage industry of creative workarounds. I'm curious if there is any sort of parallel activity focused on the CB/CL350 family.

My friend advises that when I get the bike, it will have basically an as-new engine and will be complete, legal, and roadworthy, so my concern will mainly be what spares I need to look for if there are any bits prone to chronic failure. My intention will be to keep it in stock condition as far as possible.

Thanks in advance for any words of wisdom.
 

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The CX500 forum is where I got the idea of using the Ignitech ignition module on the SOHC's to solve the CDI availability issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The CX500 forum is where I got the idea of using the Ignitech ignition module on the SOHC's to solve the CDI availability issue.
Jim,
That's really interesting. For what it's worth, during the space of a few months in 2015, I had every known alternate ignition system available for the CX500 installed on my bike, including two copies of the original equipment CDI (one gold box and one black box, for those who understand the distinction), one hand-made modern substitute we called the Finnbox, made with uncanny build quality by a guru in Finland, the Ignitech, and the most recent variation, made in Australia using a Hall effect transducer in place of the pickups along with some modern circuitry to take care of the advance issues. They all worked very well for the bike. I'm happy to hear the Ignitech is applicable to the SOHCs, as I'm well-acquainted with a guy in Boston who imports them from
the Czech republic, in fact I'll be spending time with him at the annual Twisted Twin Amish rally in Pennsylvania this August. Some of us in the CX500 (Twisted Twin) group have gotten sufficiently long of tooth that we prefer to cage it to the rally and enjoy the time gossiping and telling harmless lies to the younger members. If things work out, I'll drag the CL350 up there on a trailer just to heckle the others and be a thorn among the roses.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Friends,
I hope to have some exciting news by this time tomorrow. I chanced upon an irresistible offer in our local Craigslist yesterday and went to have a look-see today. SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) has approved the purchase of the beauty shown in the attached picture, assuming it hasn't been sniped between now and then. Bike in question is a 1972 CB450, ~12000 miles on the clock, restored as you can see, and the good news is that it lives about 10 miles from my house.

Will confirm tomorrow if all goes well.

CB450.jpg
 

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Looks great that bike!

Talking about the CX500... You probably know this 80s cartoon from the German Cartoonist Brösel. This was so popular in Germany that tho this day everybody knows you’re talking about a CX when you say Güllepumpe (sewage pump).

IMG_0811.jpg IMG_0812.jpg IMG_0813.jpg IMG_0814.jpg

The translation is not as good as the German slang but it’ll do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, happy day! At 2:00 this morning, the owner emailed me that another looker showed up last night and made a low-ball offer that was refused, so the bike is mine.

Note to FrisianWheel: Two years ago one of the members of the German CX500 community, whom I had met at our annual Amish rally, sent me two of the very cool Gullepumpe patches many of them wear. They're still sitting on my dresser, as I never got around to sewing them on any of my jackets, and now I guess it would be inappropriate for me to wear them. I'll take them to the Amish rally this year and hand them off to someone who might be interested.

And yes, I'm quite familiar with that cartoon (in both English and German forms.)
 
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The translation is not as good as the German slang but it’ll do it.
So that's how you get large F-bombs past the admins and mods at this site... I joined here because they don't engage in bashing others about their work, excessive and unnecessary potty mouth and other kinds of BS. Don't mind the occasional light reference when feeling strongly about something, but by all accounts there are members here who are well under adult age and it has been often repeated that this site is to be conducted in a PG manner
 

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Timing chain broke on the CL450 while I was riding it home from work a few years later, and I had to push it something like four miles to a friend's garage where I could work on it. Took out one of the valve spring torsion bars when it happened.
Interesting... we were just talking about the reliability of cam chains on the 450 and I've never seen one break, nor have most here. I'm guessing there was more to the torsion bar failure than the chain, I'm sure at least one valve was bent in the process

Friends,
I hope to have some exciting news by this time tomorrow. I chanced upon an irresistible offer in our local Craigslist yesterday and went to have a look-see today. SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) has approved the purchase of the beauty shown in the attached picture, assuming it hasn't been sniped between now and then. Bike in question is a 1972 CB450, ~12000 miles on the clock, restored as you can see, and the good news is that it lives about 10 miles from my house.
bike looks nice in the pictures - congrats on finding one, and for raising the bar from a 175 back to the bigger twin from Honda
 

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So that's how you get large F-bombs past the admins and mods at this site... I joined here because they don't engage in bashing others about their work, excessive and unnecessary potty mouth and other kinds of BS. Don't mind the occasional light reference when feeling strongly about something, but by all accounts there are members here who are well under adult age and it has been often repeated that this site is to be conducted in a PG manner
Tom

It is certainly not my intention to offend anyone here. I like this site for the same reasons as you. OK, we don’t have PG in Germany (and surely not in a motorcycle forum) but I get it and have changed it. That was my mistake.

The the cartoon itself is not mend to be offensive either. The nickname of the CX „Güllepumpe" is just as common as widow maker, water buffalo or Gummikuh (rubber cow for early BMW R models) in Germany. So I was just curious if the nick name is that well known in the US by pointing to it’s origin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, folks, it followed me home today. So far I've got it insured, and tomorrow I hope to get all the other legalities taken care of so that I can RIDE IT!

bike.jpg
 
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Congrats on that bike Chilimac! I hope you can enjoy a ride quite soon. I’m curious how you compare your new 450 to a CX cause from what I’ve heard the CX rides also very nice.
 

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Tom

It is certainly not my intention to offend anyone here. I like this site for the same reasons as you. OK, we don’t have PG in Germany (and surely not in a motorcycle forum) but I get it and have changed it. That was my mistake.

The the cartoon itself is not mend to be offensive either. The nickname of the CX „Güllepumpe" is just as common as widow maker, water buffalo or Gummikuh (rubber cow for early BMW R models) in Germany. So I was just curious if the nick name is that well known in the US by pointing to it’s origin.
I always follow the "when in Rome, do as the Romans do" thought process... if you don't see others dropping F-bombs, then you don't drop F-bombs. I have been to many forums here in the US, and actually I'm a member of one of them as well, where the members are rude, condescending, openly critical and use the language of the internet openly (the internet has completely changed the rules of language and behavior, since it's easy to be rude and foul when you hide behind the anonymity of a username and an IP address, and it no longer has to do with freedom of speech at that point). While we all offer our opinions and commentary here at HT, we try to be civilized about it and if a strong disagreement occurs, we agree to disagree... and yes, that is the reason I, and many others I'm sure, are still here. I have no doubt that you did not intend to offend to anyone, but the floodgates can open easily.

As for the nickname, over the decades I've been involved in bikes there have been many nicknames applied to certain bikes and for many reasons - none are offensive to me and likely not to others unless they own a Suzuki 750 three cylinder and they hate their bike being called a "water buffalo"... in my garage, I've called my bike many names out of frustration and I wouldn't openly share them here. I have never heard a CX500 called a "sewage pump" and though he isn't a member here, I have a friend who owns a CX650 and he would probably be amused at that... but I think the decorum that has been established here is the important thing to keep in mind.
 
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