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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, New to this forum but not new to the love of motorcycles. I have a legit barn find as you will see from the attached pics, still sitting in the barn currently because it will be a chore to get it out. Wanted to get a consensus from the group if its worth rescuing, seems to be a lot missing and the rat nest wire harness does leave a lot to be desired. Can anyone help identify the year, 1978 500? From the plate looks like it last ran in 1982, Yikes! I was thinking it might be fun to see if I can get it running and just tool around town on it, maybe make an hybrid on/off road ride out of it. So what do you guys think?
Thanks
Dave (Milwaukee, WI)
 

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81 Gl500i 83 CX650E
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Tough call, money wise probably not, if the motor hasn't siezed up from sitting for 40 years would be a good project bike if you are into restoring bikes. It will be a lot of hours to bring it back to life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tough call, money wise probably not, if the motor hasn't siezed up from sitting for 40 years would be a good project bike if you are into restoring bikes. It will be a lot of hours to bring it back to life.
Thanks for the reply, ya i assumed this would be the case. The bike would be free but while I know my way around tools this may more than I care to undertake.
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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Welcome to the forum. Please add your location and your bike's model and model year (should be on the VIN plate attached to the left side of the steering head but that doesn't look right in your pics) to your profile so that you don't have to remember to tell us every time and we don't have to keep asking when you forget (see Forum Settings link in my signature).

And welcome to the world of antique vehicle ownership (they own us, not the other way around). Your bike is over 4 decades old and aside from the effects of long time "storage" may or may not have had all of the maintenance necessary to keep it safe & reliable so it is highly recommended to download the Factory Shop Manual for your model (available through the CX Wiki - link in my signature) and go through all of the service procedures, regardless of whether your bike has reached the specified mileage.
I also recommend looking on all rubber parts with suspicion because rubber does not age gracefully. You don't need to check the date codes on your tires to know they are over 5 years old so they should be replaced no matter how good they look & feel (old rubber simply cannot flow around the irregularities in the asphalt well enough to grip, especially if it is cool or wet). It looks like your bike still has the original rubber brake line, which should have been replaced every 2 or 3 fluid changes (= 5 or 6 years) so I recommend shopping for modern stainless braided ones (they last practically forever and double the life of the fluid). And don't forget things like the rad hoses and the boot between the engine and swingarm (they can crack on the bottom where you don't see it).

The best advice anyone can give you about customizing any vehicle is to get it safe & reliable in more or less original condition and use it for a while before you start making any changes so it can tell you what changes it needs to make it do what you want/need better. That approach (especially when combined with thoroughly researching how each change will affect the way it works) almost always results in something you actually want to keep and use but making changes based on style or on what someone else (who may or may not really understand how the changes affect the way it works) has done often results in a piece of expensive yard art that you can't stand sitting on for more than a few minutes and might even be dangerous.
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
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1978 CX500. It previously had a Vetter fairing installed. The mount is still there, covering the VIN plate.
If the crank is free, it should be restorable. The missing body parts aren't hard to find.
Go for it. It will be a great learning opportunity.
 

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I picked up some correct color (for my bike) side covers at the mid ohio swap meet for $10 a couple of years ago. If its free it's only your time until you start buying parts. You can start checking all the vital stuff and if you get into it and realize its too much, pass it on to someone else. Good luck!
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update: Just learned that the bike would come with no title so I would have to do the bond/title process in WI, looks like it could be a few hundred $ to get this done. Seems the effort would not be worth the reward, saw one of these on facebook for $400 in considerably better condition. Hate to see a bike rot away...
 

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I picked up this for $25 a while back. Sat in someone's back yard under pine trees for multiple years. No title, so VT registration to the rescue.
Before
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Plant Vehicle


after
Tire Wheel Fuel tank Plant Vehicle
 
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How does a bike with less than 10k miles simply get put away in (pretty much) one piece and never ridden again? It happens an awful lot it seems.
 
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To me the bike in the original post looks like it either came outta a creek or was in the chicken coup....either not good for the engine..
If the tanks reasonable...might be worth a small offer for that alone...
 

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81 Gl500i 83 CX650E
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How does a bike with less than 10k miles simply get put away in (pretty much) one piece and never ridden again? It happens an awful lot it seems.
Probably had a accident with it ,the left turn signal is missing, clutch lever looks out of position . Rider might have gotten hurt as well and decided to give up riding, my guess.
 
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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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I can think of a number of reasons for this sort of thing.

I've heard of people getting scared, parking them and never touching them again for decades and a few cases where the owner died for one reason or another (rarely bike related) and their family never got around to selling the bike, often because someone in the family had expressed an interest in it but never came to get it.

One bike I had came to me with about 20,000 Km (12,500 miles) because the owner bought a bigger bike and got his own place and basically forgot about it so it sat in the underground parking at his Dad's apartment for about a decade growing a coating of exhaust soot. He finally decided to do something when his Dad told him that parts had started to disappear and since I had a similar model he gave it to me.

My GoldWing's PO broke both ankles in an industrial accident and couldn't ride his 2 year old bike again. 4 years later he was having his garage floor cemented and rolled it outside and it was still there 6 years later when someone who lived near me was delivering something to him. It was 2 years old and had about 22,000 Km (13,700 mi) on it when he put it into storage (fortunately he had drained the tank).

Heck, my GS400 had a lot more Km on it than those but it sat in the shed for 7 years before I decided that with 2 Hondas I was never likely to to ride the Suzuki again and none of our kids were either so I finally sold it.
 

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I picked up this for $25 a while back. Sat in someone's back yard under pine trees for multiple years. No title, so VT registration to the rescue.
Before
View attachment 214546

after
View attachment 214547
So you have done the infamous VT title scheme and it worked out for you? Do you care to elaborate what you had to do? I've always been curious about that. I've read some positive stories about that but have always been leery it might not work out.
 
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