Honda CX 500 Forum banner
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all …

So I decided to scrap the initial plan to strip down and rebuild the 1983 CX650C. I was reading one of the threads on here and someone posted something along the lines of, "best things to do when you get a CX: buy a second to work on so you have one to drive and another to play with." It inspired me, I browsed craigslist, and as if it were pure luck, found a dismantled '78 sitting in a garage south of Boston. Bought it for pennies, brought it home, and spent the first night cleaning and scrubbing and polishing the engine as best as I could.

That said, probably going to leave the 650 as my rideable bike, and this is now the project!

Keeping this here so I can bounce ideas off of everyone and learn as I go. I'm somewhat mechanically inclined–my father drag races and I grew up with cars my whole life–but not a motorcycle family, aside from dirt bikes growing up. I have a working understanding of some things, but I have to learn a ton about these bikes. I've been reading non-stop.

So far I've stripped down the frame, removed the air box, stripped the paint and gave it a fresh coat of gloss black paint. Disassembled the front forks, cleaned them and currently waiting on deciding what's my next move with them. Engine is rather clean, needs some tidying up and new throttle cables. Carbs look good, and the previous owner said he turned the engine over and didn't see any issues. Probably need new brakes, but the wheels look good.

Essentially aiming for a bike halfway between the Motomucci and the Wrenchmonkees – possibly more similar in aesthetics/color combinations to the Motomucci (tan color of the seat, but chopped rear frame and seat design similar to the Wrenchmonkees'.)

-Leaving it stock for the most part. (Engine is in great shape, no need to open it up until I see a leak I figure).
-Removed the air box, going with K&N 54mm pods.
-Rejetted the carbs to 90/120.

-Front Forks - Rebuild, progressive springs, 20w fork oil (filled to 155mL). Would consider a front-end swap but for the time being, would rather invest that money/time elsewhere.
-Rear Shocks - Progressive 12"/305mm Heavy Duty shocks (Dime City Cycles).

-Rebuilt front caliper. New piston, EBC pads.
-Rebuilt rear drum, new EBC shoes.
-Braided stainless steel brake lines (Wezmoto / eBay).
-Planning on drilling the front rotor.
-Pirelli Route MT66 tires, 90/90-19 front and 130/90-16 rear.

-Cut off the gas tank tab on the frame and moved up 2 inches to accommodate a 500C gas tank (the '78 deluxe tank was dented and junked beyond belief).
-New petcock.
-Mac 2-into-1 pipe, black. Maybe/maybe not the tan exhaust wrap.
-8" cherry bomb with a turnout tip.
-Planning to cut and bend the pipe so it follows the lines of the frame, similar to the Wrenchmonkees CX500.
-Need new throttle cables.

-Mini white/chrome Dime City Cycles' analog speedo/tach.
-Battery box from Café Racer parts (UK).
-Ignitech CDI unit conversion.
-7" clubman style headlight in satin black (Dime City Cycles).

-Solid black frame. (Painted with VHT satin black chassis paint).
-Chopped rear frame, welded it closed and added a piece of steel bar as a mount point for a rear fender/seat mount.
-Duplicolor Toyota "Phantom Grey Pearl" tank, fenders, accent pieces.
-Hoping to find someone to help me make a seat pan/seat similar to the Wrenchmonkees' / mheckroth build (, but with the light tan used on the Motomucci café build.

19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
^Nice. I might go with the ones on Dime City Cycles, since I'm already ordering a bunch of parts from them.

Things I've finally gotten around to do:
1) Cleaned the engine for hours and hours. It's not 100% where I want it to be, but it's way better than the mud and grease-caked thing it was before…
2) Swapped the original 1978 clunker tank with a 1980 custom tank I got on eBay locally for $40. The tank I got in the mail was rusted and beat up, so I stripped it, sanded it, bondo-ed whatever dents I could see, and used muriatic acid to wash clean the inside from rust. Coated it with POR-15 today and now I'm waiting for it to dry.
3) Stripped the frame to metal, as well as the drivetrain and the swingarm. I'm not sure if I really want to take them off of the frame, so I just taped up anything important before paint.
4) Used a cut-off wheel and cut the gas tank mount. Moved it up the frame two or so inches (so that the threading lines up with the gas tank), grinded it down to fit, and welded it into place.
5) Cut the rear frame behind the shock mounts off. Welded steel caps on both sides of the frame.
6) Welded a piece of 2.5" flat steel bar between the shock mounts to use as a fender mount.
7) Sanded the frame, washed it down, wiped it with Prepsall and shot it with a coat of SEM gray etching primer last night. Felt dry enough today to hit it with a light first coat of VHT satin black chassis paint.
8) Rebuilt the front forks with progressive springs and 20w fork oil. Filled to 155mL for a little stiffer ride.
9) Sanded and SEM/VHT painted the fork legs, also satin black.
10) Rebuilt the front brake caliper. Replaced the piston and all new gaskets with EBC pads.
11) Scored a cheap 16" comstar wheel on eBay. Planning to swap the 18" rear with the 16".

1) Order new tires. Pirelli MT66 Routes. Either a 90/90-19 or 100/90-19 for the front and the 130/90-16 for the rear.
2) I want the bike to have a bit of a lower stance, so I'm looking at the Dime City Cycles' 11" Shorty eye-to-eye rear shocks . How much will this impact the handling/geometry of the bike, if I were to keep the 90 size tire the front? Would it be too drastic of a change to make the front tire a 100? Is a 2" drop in the rear shocks going to cause significant rubbing/issues with the rear wheel?
3) New EBC shoes for the drum brake. The two and a half buckets of mismatched parts and bolts didn't have a rear brake line/assembly thing, so I found one on eBay.
4) Paint the rear wheel a satin black to match the front (the guy before me repainted the wheels).
5) Get the tires mounted (or DIY it), start piecing this baby together!
6) Jet the carbs to a 90 and 120. I'm planning to do pods and the Mac 2-1 exhaust, so while the engine is sitting I might as well tackle the carbs.
7) I need to come up with some kind of a battery box, since I want the open space in the back. The Shorai battery I saw recommended is large - I made a box that'd fit it out of cardboard and wasn't sure where I'd place it. What are my options for the smallest battery that I can position without worry of it leaking, that will comfortably charge the bike?
8) I need to come up with a way to hide my electronics - under the seat seems the most logical, so I think I'm going to have to make some kind of a box for those as well, and weld it in later.
9) What rotor options are there for the CX500, out of the box? Any at all? Not sure if this is something I want to go with, but I do like the aesthetic and it seems like it adds a bit extra on the performance side of the brakes. Leaving the rear a drum (the conversion looks like it'd cost too much), and I'd like to improve as much as I can on the stock setup.

19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
^ @murrayf Thank you, good to know! I saw Motomucci used the 12" Progressive shocks (412-4049B) - if I'm trying to achieve a slightly lower stance. Sorry if these are stupid questions…I just want to make sure the bike functions well, without letting aesthetic things cause problems...

Swapped out the old shoes with EBC ones today. Got the carb off, cleaned it and rejetted it. Found a premade battery box on . Recommending a YT9B-4 size battery which seems wrong but would that work?

19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, I fell off the face of the earth for some months. Here's where it was left off. Stupid question, but where does this damn wiring harness go to get from the rear of the bike (by the R/R and other electrical junk) to the handlebars? Under the tank? I stupidly spent a solid hour trying to feed the wiring between the engine hangers and the triple tree area, which, at the time, seemed like the most logical place to put it,…aside from the fact that it now crowds the area and the throttle cables are all bunched up. That, and, well, I have no idea what I'm doing and going off of pictures on the internet… haha.

It runs, though! Not bad for coming from a bucket of parts and a frame…

Land vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle Motor vehicle Automotive tire
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.