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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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Canvas tarps are usually waterproof, or at least water resistant. I was told many years ago that you should never cover a bike with a tarp unless you have no other choice than to store it outside (& should uncover it as soon as you can) and that it is better to cover a bike with an old bed sheet than a tarp if it is stored inside.

It is also possible that chemicals given off by animal waste or agricultural products in the barn contributed.
 

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Having used a vented waterproof bike cover when I had no garage while working in Tasmania, can tell you things rust quickly under there (especially chrome)...........even after taking precautions to allow "airflow" such as ensuring the cover is off wet pavement.
 

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Uncovered bikes in sheds get dusty. The micro environment under covers can cause rust. Damp tends to stay near the ground and hang around under covers.

It is best to remove the cover periodically.
 

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1983 cx650E
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I would pull the plugs and shoot some marvel mystery oil or ATF in the cylinder and then put the plugs back on. Don't fill the cylinders just enough to coat the cylinder walls so if there's any real light surface rust in there it won't scratch with the rotation of the engine. Any major rust in the cylinder will likely make the engine unusable but a very light surface coating can be taken off by the rotation of the engine in piston rings.

Another poster had mentioned the 17 mm plug in 17 mm bolt on the front of the crank. I wouldn't mess with a battery and starter as the starter clutch might have a tendency to be dried out too. I would just crank it over to see if the engine tightened up or not. If it hasn't tightened up there's no reason that can't be brought back to usable condition.

Most likely you'll have to pull the brake caliper to move the bike as they usually tighten up while sitting. Same with the front master cylinder. You will need to flush the line anyhow so I wouldn't even bother pumping it to see if the brake works. That would have the single cylinder brake caliper on the front so it might be a simpler rebuild.

The major rust I see is on the coolant pipe on the side of the engine. I'm sure someone has a good one laying around.
 

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1983 cx650E
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I've used chrome polish and 0000 steel wool to remove surface rust from chrome. Some people will maybe clear coat it or use aluminum foil to put some silver color back into the spots. I never bothered as the chrome polish usually added a little protective coating. Looks like the front fender and maybe the right exhaust would benefit from something like that.

When you take the engine out to do the stator replacement, it would be a good time to get the exhaust balance box sandblasted and repainted with some high heat paint assuming that it is strong enough to be sandblasted.

Other items like the thin long bolts on the starter motor and the throttle cable ends on The handlebar can be cleaned up with the same steel wool and either painted with zinc paint or re-chromed if someone's doing a restoration.

I'd be concerned about the inside of the tank. That should knock it down a couple hundred if it's not and usable condition.
 

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I have a couple bikes under a tarp under my deck that never get rained on but atmospheric humidity has done a number on the raw aluminum. They have been out there 2 or 3 years and when put out there had all shiny bright polished aluminum.
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Look at these engine covers, very unfortunate. I should probably pull the engines and paint them gloss or satin black, never was a fan of raw aluminum anyway.
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It's best of course to keep them indoors over the winter. This is where the rest go that I am not working on in the garage during the winter. I'm taking the CX500C out today after posting this. The VF500F needs front fork seals done. There's a little puddle on the floor that is not brake or clutch fluid so by process of elimination has to be the left front fork. Will confirm that when I get busy on it.
207736
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", '83 GL650, '82 GL500 Project "AdventureWing", '79 CX500C, '78 CX500 Scrambler
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Under a tarp, it's humidity from the ground that does all that damage. I ruined a pallet of bagged concrete that way.
 

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I have a couple bikes under a tarp under my deck that never get rained on but atmospheric humidity has done a number on the raw aluminum. They have been out there 2 or 3 years and when put out there had all shiny bright polished aluminum.
View attachment 207732
Look at these engine covers, very unfortunate. I should probably pull the engines and paint them gloss or satin black, never was a fan of raw aluminum anyway.
View attachment 207733
View attachment 207734
View attachment 207735
It's best of course to keep them indoors over the winter. This is where the rest go that I am not working on in the garage during the winter. I'm taking the CX500C out today after posting this. The VF500F needs front fork seals done. There's a little puddle on the floor that is not brake or clutch fluid so by process of elimination has to be the left front fork. Will confirm that when I get busy on it.
View attachment 207736
So going to start on the CB750K? (?Anniversary edition) soon....I have the spoked wheel-model that is the current project.
 

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The concrete slab was expected to keep the rising damp away and maybe it did, and the tarp kept water off them with plenty of air circulating, but the upper midwest has enough rainy humid days that I had to learn a hard lesson here. I put a lot of work into both bikes mechanically and someday when I get to it need to do a whole lot more on cosmetics. I have a typical attached 2 car garage and no problems with this issue there, having a garage door etc... is enough to keep humidity at bay. I don't normally post this much info but gladly share my mistakes so others don't repeat them.
 

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I was a professional motorcycle mechanic for 15 years--I have owned only Hondas for the street for 50 years. I roadraced Hondas, traveled on them--and still currently own my CX500 turbo. So my recommendation to you--don't even think about buying this--maybe you could make a small donation to help him deliver it to a landfill. The engine will be seized-up beyond repair--probably you couldn't even pry it apart!
 

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It's best of course to keep them indoors over the winter. This is where the rest go that I am not working on in the garage during the winter. I'm taking the CX500C out today after posting this. The VF500F needs front fork seals done. There's a little puddle on the floor that is not brake or clutch fluid so by process of elimination has to be the left front fork. Will confirm that when I get busy on it.
The VF500 is one of my favorites, would love one some day. An old Army buddy had one 20+ years ago, I rode it once and fell in love.
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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I was a professional motorcycle mechanic for 15 years--I have owned only Hondas for the street for 50 years. I roadraced Hondas, traveled on them--and still currently own my CX500 turbo. So my recommendation to you--don't even think about buying this--maybe you could make a small donation to help him deliver it to a landfill. The engine will be seized-up beyond repair--probably you couldn't even pry it apart!
Speaking as someone who has been active on forums for these bikes for more than 2 decades, bikes that looked a lot worse have been brought back to good condition many times. If the engine can be turned with a wrench and water wasn't allowed into the crankcase it is a good candidate for customizing.
 

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Thanks! I'll look up this 'triple bypass.' I've seen it mentioned already. I'll charge battery, change oil and see if it turns over.
I just finished a triple bypass on my 81 cx500. It’s a bit of a job but not terrible. I put the heavy Stator in it and Ignitec ignition system. Runs great. I also ended up putting an electric fan in mine as the oem plastic one blew up and damaged my radiator. Had to ride about 60 miles with almost zero coolant. Didn’t seem to hurt the engine but the extra heat wiped the Stator....thus the triple bypass 🤨
 
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