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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
New to the whole forum thing, but I recently bought a '79 CX500 and plan do slowly do a few changes/mods to it. I got it for $700, it runs & drives, needs a new battery, the choke is froze, and a fuse. The previous owner gave me a few other goodies which I can post later. I have the NJ title for the bike and the previous owner had it registered and everything, but somehow the VIN does not match the ID number on the title (I'll post that later too), so fingers crossed that when I transfer it to a PA title, we have no issues. I've included a few photos of the bike, questions/comments/advice/concerns all welcome, this is my first motorcycle, got my permit last week, haha.
Enjoy!
-Josh

IMG_1373.JPG IMG_1375.JPG IMG_1374.JPG IMG_1376.JPG IMG_1377.JPG IMG_1378.JPG
 

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Start by downloading the FSM [link below] and then do the "High Mileage Checkup".
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Start by downloading the FSM [link below] and then do the "High Mileage Checkup".
@OCR, thanks for the tip, will do. I got a new battery and fuse and the bike started right up, but until the title gets sorted out, I am going to wait to do the Checkup. I don't want to dump money into it if there is the potential that the title doesn't work out

With regards to the title, I went to the PA title place and since the VIN and the ID number do not match, they said that the previous owner (whom I am still in contact with) has to get the NJ DMV to fix the title and reissue it. Then it can be transferred to me. I went on the DMV website and it looks like as long as there is proof that the VIN is wrong (which I have), then he should be able to either get it done for free or pay $60. So I'll keep you posted on that, which I hope to have cleared up either this week or next.

What mods are you thinking of doing on this bike?
@Kris, what mods don't I have planned, assuming the title stuff works out? haha. I would first like to upgrade the seat since it is basically a POS piece of vinyl semi stapled to the seat pan. From here I am just going to list everything to make it easier:
-New grips/mirrors
-License plate mount
-Motogadget M-unit and other wiring...the current wiring gets the job done, but I'd like to redo it with this awesome unit (money permitting).
-I have a "halo" headlamp that I would like to install as a DRL
-Repaint the gas tank. The inside is really clean, but I'd like to install one of those fuel-sight gauges along with a fresh powder coat.

Eventually, I would like to do a front end swap, depending on how I like the current ride quality for like a GSX-R or like a smaller CBR (600rr-ish). I would also like to do a BBCR exhaust and possibly their mono-shock kit since they look pretty cool, but not a huge fan on the bobber seat. I am a bigger fan of the flat-tracker style ones, but we will see.

Anything that you guys would recommend or ideas?

Thats all I have for now, but as always questions/comments/concerns are welcome since this is my first MC, that I will learn how to ride on.
-Josh
 

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Discussion Starter #5
First update!

I know it's been like 2 weeks since I added anything to this, but I didn't want to touch the bike until I got the title stuff sorted out. Turns out, the person the previous owner bought the bike from had 2 CX500s and somehow gave him the wrong title and NJ never checked. So that is all worked out and we found the correct title and it is being processed currently in PA!

With that being said, I have gone ahead and ordered a new oil filter plus the 2 o-rings. I also just ordered a new brake lever control switch; when I got the bike, 1/2 of the switch was dangling off the handlebar by the 2 leads.

Before I go ahead and start 'restoring' the bike, I would like to make sure all of the systems work, especially the electrical. When I received the bike, the rear brake light worked, but not the turn signals. So I went about the past few hours trying to follow the wiring diagram and figure out why I couldn't get the turn signals on the new brake/turn signal unit to work (its one of those cheap units that is attached to the license plate, but I got it for free). I think that the flasher relay is bad, since I went through the wires with a multimeter and tried to test for voltage spikes/drops when I flicked the switch and the only cable of the 7 exposed was a brown one (seen below). Then when I tried to wire everything up, the lights won't turn on. Some help here would really be appreciated.

--Josh

PS. Any ideas on a good way to do a URL for images? I feel like its not good etiquette to post giant pictures and I'm not sure how to edit them down.

IMG_1465.JPG

IMG_1462.JPG
 

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Looks like its going to be a fun project.

Have just installed a Halo headlight myself - really hoping its going to acceptable when it gets to MOT/testing time.

With regards to image hosting, I use Imgur (Imgur: The most awesome images on the Internet) which is quite simple to use. A lot of others use Photobucket (Photo and image hosting, free photo galleries, photo editing).

I have a full build thread album on Imgur - then just link "some" of the pictures here using the insert picture, using URL option.
 

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When using LED lights as turn signals, you need to change the flasher unit to one that will run with a lower load on it.
The originals is designed to run with two 23w bulbs and the LEDs use way less than that and will not make it flash.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
@Brooktini86, my buddy out in Cali was actually messing around with the halo light last summer and since then it has been sitting in his storage locker, haha. I just took a quick look at your build and from the first page, its pretty cool. I eventually want to have the frame powder coated, how hard is it to remove everything from the frame and put it back on? As for Imgur, I'm posting an image below with today's progress.

@OCR, thanks for the info, I just ordered a new flasher off of amazon for like $8 that should work with the LEDs.

As for today, since the relay I had was not compatible with the taillights, I went ahead and started working on the seat. The original base plate was pretty rusted, so I actually duck-taped my frame and coated 2 layers of fiber glass to start a new pan. I was wondering if anyone has used fiberglass for the seat/seat pan? Is it strong enough?

Fiberglass seat - Day 1 - Imgur

I plan to do the oil change this week along with the brake lever switch, I also finally ordered a Clymer manual, so that should be helpful!

-Josh

PS. Stupid question, there is a big box that has a ton of wires coming from it and is right behind the factory airbox, under the seat, I was wondering if anyone could enlighten me as to what this is?
 

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As for today, since the relay I had was not compatible with the taillights, I went ahead and started working on the seat. The original base plate was pretty rusted, so I actually duck-taped my frame and coated 2 layers of fiber glass to start a new pan. I was wondering if anyone has used fiberglass for the seat/seat pan? Is it strong enough?
Yes, it can be. This is a common way of building a custom seat pan as it contours exactly to the frame. Use many layers of mat. There are plenty of fiberglass tutorials on the 'net.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
@JC, it is indeed the CDI box, thanks for the clarification.

@Woodeye, that is exactly what I read, but when I showed my dad the pan he immediately said, "Josh, make sure its strong enough because you won't want to loose your crotch to some fiberglass" haha. So I think I will be adding some kind of reinforcement, probably another 2 layers of fiber glass.

@JC & @brooktini86, I think I am going to redo most of the wiring, I don't have the budget for the M-unit, but I have like $400-$500 to put into it, any ideas on what should be upgraded? I eventually plan to use the m-unit, but just not at the moment. I would prefer to spend like $200ish but I am not sure as to what is usually done, so help would be appreciated.

On a side note, going to pick up paint to hopefully start working on the tank and side covers this upcoming weekend. You guys will just have to wait and see for the colors.

-Josh
 

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@JC & @brooktini86, I think I am going to redo most of the wiring, I don't have the budget for the M-unit, but I have like $400-$500 to put into it, any ideas on what should be upgraded? I eventually plan to use the m-unit, but just not at the moment. I would prefer to spend like $200ish but I am not sure as to what is usually done, so help would be appreciated.

-Josh
I personally went for a lithium battery, as was small enough to hide and yet still powerful. Does mean you need to replace the standard R/R with the MOSFET replacement.
(lot of people on this forum are against lithium batteries, because of horror stories of bikes burning down, batteries melting etc, but this is majorly due to not replacing the standard R/R).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I personally went for a lithium battery, as was small enough to hide and yet still powerful. Does mean you need to replace the standard R/R with the MOSFET replacement.
(lot of people on this forum are against lithium batteries, because of horror stories of bikes burning down, batteries melting etc, but this is majorly due to not replacing the standard R/R).
I would prefer to stick with the battery I have and not mess to much with the ignition since the bike actually runs pretty well, but I would upgrade somethings if certain parts have a tendency to fail.

I was also wondering where you guys get wiring from? I know Dime City sells OEM colors, any other places?

Lastly, I found this on Craigslist and have wanted to do a front end swap, thoughts?
1999 Cbr 600f4 Rolling frame with title
 

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@Woodeye, that is exactly what I read, but when I showed my dad the pan he immediately said, "Josh, make sure its strong enough because you won't want to loose your crotch to some fiberglass" haha. So I think I will be adding some kind of reinforcement, probably another 2 layers of fiber glass.



-Josh
Hey Josh -

You old man is right; you should lay a bunch of layers and criss-cross them. The finished pan needs to be able to hold its shape on its own. When you are done mark the edges where you want it to be and whizz wheel it to shape.

Woody
 

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I would prefer to stick with the battery I have and not mess to much with the ignition since the bike actually runs pretty well, but I would upgrade somethings if certain parts have a tendency to fail.

I was also wondering where you guys get wiring from? I know Dime City sells OEM colors, any other places?

Lastly, I found this on Craigslist and have wanted to do a front end swap, thoughts?
1999 Cbr 600f4 Rolling frame with title
I think the majority of people use CX wiring looms - seems the easiest way of doing it.

I had 2 (butchered) looms which was helpful, as used one to patch up the other. Was helpful to have around as spare wires in the same colours!

If you are looking at electrics which fail, the first would be a CDI replacement, look into Ignitech or Ray San - lot of the forum is using either one of those, not too pricey and simple plug and play!
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I think the majority of people use CX wiring looms - seems the easiest way of doing it.

I had 2 (butchered) looms which was helpful, as used one to patch up the other. Was helpful to have around as spare wires in the same colours!

If you are looking at electrics which fail, the first would be a CDI replacement, look into Ignitech or Ray San - lot of the forum is using either one of those, not too pricey and simple plug and play!
Thanks for the info, I think Ima try and find another loom and go about it that way, I think I am fine leaving the ignition for now, but definitely putting the Ignitech on the list.

@Wood Eye, thanks for the tip, I assume I just keep layering up the fiberglass? As in there is no need to put some kind of metal dowel in for rigidity?

Also, what do you guys think about the front end swap with a '99 CBR600 F4, as much as I love the inverted forks of the later models, I would be getting the front end for like $120 and as much as the dual disks kill the 'retro' look, the normal forks almost keep it in a sense. Also, with the All Balls Conversion kit, are they the only parts that go on the new stem or do you still need the race's and other parts?

-Josh
 

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Discussion Starter #17
So today was one of the more productive days! I was finally able to do the oil change, which was actually quite simple. Quick question though; in my OEM baggie with the filter came an o-ring for the bolt another circular one for the filter housing and then one, semi-rectangular one. I have no idea what the rectangular one is for, any ideas?

7/17/16 - Album on Imgur

I also went ahead and bought the front end of a 1999 CBR600F4 from a guy for $130 off of Craigslist since it should be a nice upgrade over stock and looks awesome. I also bought All Balls Racing conversion bearing set to go with it. Hopefully I will get a chance next weekend to install it.

I bought a book off Amazon to help with my wiring struggles, so hopefully with that I can either diagnose whats-what with my rear lights or redo/undo parts of the electrical system. I also plan on painting the tank and 2 side covers possibly next weekend since I have all the paint and the air gun, just need to get another fitting for my compressor.

As always, questions/comments/concerns are always welcome!

-Josh
 

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Discussion Starter #19
@Kris, I am actually using 2 books. The first is the Clymer Manual which is an absolute must. It explains how to do most maintenance and rebuild procedures at least I need. The other is the electrical book which had great reviews on Amazon and so far I have just read through it, it actually makes everything A LOT clearer. If you are trying to understand the electrical stuff I would totally recommend this book, but it also does a decent-to-good job explaining how to conquer the electrical wiring. Hope this helps.

-Josh

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/0892872950/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/0760345368/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

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@Wood Eye, thanks for the tip, I assume I just keep layering up the fiberglass? As in there is no need to put some kind of metal dowel in for rigidity?

-Josh
Sorry for the late reply. It is not required for you to add a reinforcement to the seat pan. You just want enough layers criss-crossed that it will hold you. Because the seat sits on the frame rails with plenty of contact and is not really carrying that much weight, you will be good to go. Some folks 'glass in wood or metal where the attachment bolts will be - not a bad idea to prevent a washer/bolt from someday pulling through.
 
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