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Hello everyone, I've been lurking here for a few months and absorbing as much as I can find about these bikes. I saw the engine style and knew this was the bike for me. I've been working on it for about 8 weeks now and plan to have it complete in time for spring. Its currently about -10 here so its the best time to do so. I've got a backlog of pics to share so I'll work on posting every few days until I'm caught back up.

Here is my ’81 CX500 Deluxe that I picked up in late last year. Great condition, 25k miles on the clock, little bit of rust on the frame and corrosion on the aluminum but that’ll all be taken care off as I strip it down and refurb it. Seems to run pretty well but it does die while idleing if I dont give it a little throttle. May need to make some adjustments to the idle screw.

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I'll be working on the bike at a Makerspace in Minneapolis that I joined where I am doing all of the work over this winter. Moving the bike was a real PITA as the front caliper decided to lock up while rolling it onto the trailer. Had to drain the brakes to get it release so I could get it moved in. Think it may be due to reattaching the front wheel in the wrong order after I took it off.
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In the Makerspace. Built this rolling workstation so that it could be stored out of the way while not working on it as well as providing a lifted surface to work on and additional storage underneath.
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Starting the teardown. The plan generally is to update and rebuild the bike, new gauges, rebuild carbs, rebuild front suspension, new rear suspension, handlebars (installed in this pic), LED lights, tires (The front was from 2011 and the rear from 1990!!! The seller claimed it “still has some life in it” I don’t think so…). Fabricate a few new parts, radiator grill, headlight brackets, electronics tray under the seat, lower profile seat and seat pan. Additionally I will strip and repaint/powdercoat just about everything (except the rims, they’re in good condition and it’d be a pain to get prepped without a larger blast cabinet than I have).

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Beginning the fork rebuild. Next is to blast the sliders and send them for powdercoat with the upper and lower triple tree and fuse box.
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Next up is to replace the old headset ball bearings for tapered roller bearings, cut down the front fender and rebuild the front end so that I can drop the engine
 

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Found this on the starter. It looks the the rubber grommet has melted/charred? I was able to find an oem replacement but I wonder if there is any risk to this happening again? Could it be melting due to arcing from the starter motor post?



Also found this on the stator grommet. Wasn’t able to find a replacement for this so I think the next best is a dollop of RTV and wrap it up with some silicone tape.



Sandblasted the triple tee and the fork sliders for powder coating.








New tires installed. What an absolute PITA to use the clamps to break the bead. Ended up with blisters on my hand and then I found the arbor press in the shop. The next one took about ten minutes....
 

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Yeah, even the most rudimentary press makes a huge difference. My bead breaker is made from parts from an old bed frame bolted to a door frame in the shop and I can tell you it makes tire changes almost enjoyable.

As for those boots on the starter motor and the stator wires, it isn't surprising that 39 year old rubber pieces that have been exposed to who knows how much weather and how many heat/cool cycles would be deteriorated like that. I would also recommend replacing the rad hoses (& any other hoses for that matter). It looks like it still has the original rubber brake line (supposed to be replaced every 2-3 fluid changed = 5-6 years) so I'd shop for a stainless braided one (should last the life of the bike and doubles fluid life). I would also examine the boot between the engine and swingarm very carefully and replace it if there is any sign of cracking/checking (I'm not sure if originals are still available for the twin shock models but there's a VW CV boot that works for Pro-Link models).

BTW: Welcome to the forum. If you haven't already done so go to the CX WIki (link in my signature) and get a copy of the Factory Shop Manual and colour wiring drawing for your bike plus the Honda Wire Color Code chart, the Honda Common Service Manual and anything else you think may be useful.
 

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Hello everyone, I've been lurking here for a few months and absorbing as much as I can find about these bikes. I saw the engine style and knew this was the bike for me. I've been working on it for about 8 weeks now and plan to have it complete in time for spring. Its currently about -10 here so its the best time to do so. I've got a backlog of pics to share so I'll work on posting every few days until I'm caught back up.

Here is my ’81 CX500 Deluxe that I picked up in late last year. Great condition, 25k miles on the clock, little bit of rust on the frame and corrosion on the aluminum but that’ll all be taken care off as I strip it down and refurb it. Seems to run pretty well but it does die while idleing if I dont give it a little throttle. May need to make some adjustments to the idle screw.

View attachment 198755

View attachment 198756
I'll be working on the bike at a Makerspace in Minneapolis that I joined where I am doing all of the work over this winter. Moving the bike was a real PITA as the front caliper decided to lock up while rolling it onto the trailer. Had to drain the brakes to get it release so I could get it moved in. Think it may be due to reattaching the front wheel in the wrong order after I took it off.
View attachment 198757
View attachment 198758
View attachment 198759
In the Makerspace. Built this rolling workstation so that it could be stored out of the way while not working on it as well as providing a lifted surface to work on and additional storage underneath.
View attachment 198760
View attachment 198761
View attachment 198762

Starting the teardown. The plan generally is to update and rebuild the bike, new gauges, rebuild carbs, rebuild front suspension, new rear suspension, handlebars (installed in this pic), LED lights, tires (The front was from 2011 and the rear from 1990!!! The seller claimed it “still has some life in it” I don’t think so…). Fabricate a few new parts, radiator grill, headlight brackets, electronics tray under the seat, lower profile seat and seat pan. Additionally I will strip and repaint/powdercoat just about everything (except the rims, they’re in good condition and it’d be a pain to get prepped without a larger blast cabinet than I have).

View attachment 198763

Beginning the fork rebuild. Next is to blast the sliders and send them for powdercoat with the upper and lower triple tree and fuse box.
View attachment 198764

Next up is to replace the old headset ball bearings for tapered roller bearings, cut down the front fender and rebuild the front end so that I can drop the engine
Welcome to the forum. Although we here in area are hibernating there is a pretty good group of twisted twins nearby. Keep your eye on Midwest riders spring ride. Even if you
can't make the ride it is fine if you come to BBQ.. Good guys & good food.
You seem to be making good progress so we would like to see final results.
Which Makerspace you at?
Paul
 

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That's a nice little bench, did you make that for this project ?
I was glad to see that you have made a stain or two on the plywood, work benches are not supposed to look like new.
 

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Welcome aboard! As Paul says, we are well represented here by owners in the Twin Cities. I started with a naked '82 GL500 a year and a half ago and will add a naked '83 GL650 (Thanks to DavidInWisconsin) in the spring. As mentioned, watch for the annual local spring ride! I've been busy at a new job, but hope to make it to the Antique Japanese Motorcycle Club that meets at Diamond's Cafe every month. I get a break after the elections on March 3rd as Early Election Deputy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@Sidecar Bob Yeah I felt like a dolt once I found the press and popped the bead. This was the first time I've changed a tire with a proper bead and I was wondering how anyone could do it with the clamps without cursing up a storm (years of bicycle riding and maintenance made me think it may be somewhat easy). I've already got new brake line from JDA waiting to go on as well as a new MC as the original had some UV rot that I was not a fan of.

There is one small crack on the final drive boot in one of the underside creases that does not go all the way through. I may just give it a wipe of silicone and call it good for now. Does not seem to be difficult to replace in the future. I've seen some threads on using car rad hoses to chop the pieces required for the CX. Is there definitive model that I should pickup to do so?

@april2007 Thanks april, work has been going steady since November or so. I've got a backlog of photos to share and questions to ask so I'm working to get there. I'm at Twin Cities Maker on 26th in Minneapolis. Great place to work and lots of good people to talk to and bounce ideas off of. Most of the older guys are there for woodworking but they all like to stop by and take a look and tell me about the bikes they used to own.

@Thumper This is just for this project. I needed it to be portable so that it could be stored neatly away while I was not working on it since this is a shared space with a couple hundred members. I am able to pull it out to the loading dock area when I work on it which is nice because there is plenty of room and not many people there unless they are moving something in or out. I've even got my own air drop right next to where I setup.

@LittleWing I'm excited for the Spring Ride. Just was that it is scheduled for May 30th which gives me enough time (I think/hope) to get this completed.
 

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I'd replace the boot now. If/when it cracks all the way through you probably won't notice but dirt will get in. Replacing it now will be really easy but to replace it later you will have to either remove the swingarm (& rear wheel) or nearly remove the engine.

IIRC, which car heater hose you need depends on which model you have (the rad inlet is centred on some models and near the side on others and it has been a while since my rad was in the standard location.) What I did the first time was take the old hoses to a friendly auto parts guy and ask him if e had a heater hose they could be cut from.
 

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Discussion Starter #9


This was a pretty big mental hurdle to make the first cuts on the frame but I knew I was going to be placing a seat hoop to replace the rear end. Came off pretty easy with just a dreamer and cutoff wheel.



Starting to sketch out what I want the hoop to look like. I know I didn’t want just a standard U but something a little tapered. 5 degrees on each side.





Tools to do a few prototypes in PVC before commissioning the actual fabrication (btw if anyone knows someone with a tube bender that can handle 1” DOM please let me know. I’d like to talk to them to do the bending) I would try to do it myself using the hot sand method but I’m concerned about messing with the metallurgy of the tubing due to the temps required.



Each pipe is filled with salt in order to help preserve the cross section of the pipe while it is heated and bent around the die. Same method as doing hot sand bending that alot of guys use. Used salt because I didn’t want 50 pounds of sand and the salt was 50¢.



I think this was 3/4 PVC. I had to make a few dies for each of the PVC sizes that I tried in order to keep the center line on the correct separation distance.



Test mounting. I still need to cut the rear end to accept the bent tube but this was a decent fit to get an idea of how far back it needs to be mounted in order to clear the tire when the shocks are bottomed out.

Does anyone know if a piece like this could be done in .065” wall thickness DOM or should it be .120”? Someone will end up sitting there as a passenger...
 
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