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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright, I've been stalking around on this forum (and the old one too) since I bought my '82 CX500C last spring and I finally decided to become a member and post because I have a whole bunch of questions and I didn't really realize what kind of jem I have.



First, what kind of maintenance issues will I run unto on a 38,000 mile bike that I won't see coming. I've been changing the oil and what not and I really can't complain about the way the bike has run for the last 3,000 miles or so but I don't want to ruin something that I can't get because I didn't know to check it. I read about the timing chain issues but I don't know what to check for or if that will be a problem on my bike. I have also put new plugs in it at the start of the 2010 season. I think the carb insulators are going to wear out before long as they have cracks in them but I don't know how much time I have left.



Second, how do you guys get your bikes so clean? I've seen some of your pics and the shine is astounding on 30 year old bikes. Are those all replacement parts that take a fierce shine or do you spend 15 hours a week shining your chrome?



Third, I'm looking for a set of crash bars and luggage racks. I'm not too particular what kind, I just want something to keep the head covers and exhaust from getting scratched up if I lay it over (again). (Before you think I'm some kind of hot rodder, know it was only at about 10 mph and there was virtually no real damage, also that was about 300 miles after I started riding.)



Fourth, I need new tires (hence the poll) and was wondering what kind you guys run. I plan on riding as long into the winter as I can so I am looking for something that works well all year around. I've read good things about the Pirelli MT66 tires and am currently leaning towards them but If you guys have any suggestions, I'm open to them.



Finally, (sorry for the long post) I was wondering if anyone lived anywhere near Harrisburg/Central PA? I've seen a pair of transverse twins on the road in the area and was wondering if they it was any of you guys (so far I think I've seen 5 other than mine).



Alright I think that's all for now, If you want to post links to older posts or other web pages that is fine. I have read a number of the basics type pages, but there is a lot I still feel like I don't know. Thanks!
 

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I'll address a couple of your questions: first, it helps if the bike is in good shape when you acquire it. Then it's just a matter of keeping it up. Mine was in great shape though hardly perfect. I got out the chrome polish, washed and waxed it, then garaged it. I try not to ride in the rain simply because it means my bike will need to be washed shortly afterwards. To tell you the truth, I really only wash mine maybe twice a year. Always wax afterwards. But it's the garage which seems to help the most in preserving the bike.



As for tires, I run Cheng Shins which are dirt cheap but they came on the bike and I haven't worn them out yet. I'm leaning towards Metzler 880s when it comes time to replace them but I've read many folks say nice things here about Bridgestone Spitfire S11s too. The S11 tires are cheaper than the Metzlers too.
 

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I'm one of the "guilty" parties with a "polishing fetish"......YES I do spend hours upon hours polishing my aluminum over and over, waxing my tank and side covers etc. LMAO



The parts you asked about ie the chrome, the radiator cover etc are all original, at least on my bike. My aluminum parts were as ugly, faded, oxidized, had ugly tattered stickers on them when I got the bike....it just took some time, sandpaper, steel wool and A LOT of Mothers Mag polishing cream but the aluminum CAN look good again. As far as the chrome goes you DO gotta get lucky and hope there isn't a bunch of scratches etc in the fenders and on the pipes when you get the bike, I was lucky there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Haha, that explains quite a lot. I actually have one of your pics as my desktop back round right now! I use it as inspiration to go clean polish and wax my bike. I guess I spent to much time shining my brass in the VTCC to want to shine anything anymore.
 

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Alright, I've been stalking around on this forum (and the old one too) since I bought my '82 CX500C last spring and I finally decided to become a member and post because I have a whole bunch of questions and I didn't really realize what kind of jem I have.



First, what kind of maintenance issues will I run unto on a 38,000 mile bike that I won't see coming. I've been changing the oil and what not and I really can't complain about the way the bike has run for the last 3,000 miles or so but I don't want to ruin something that I can't get because I didn't know to check it. I read about the timing chain issues but I don't know what to check for or if that will be a problem on my bike. I have also put new plugs in it at the start of the 2010 season. I think the carb insulators are going to wear out before long as they have cracks in them but I don't know how much time I have left.



Second, how do you guys get your bikes so clean? I've seen some of your pics and the shine is astounding on 30 year old bikes. Are those all replacement parts that take a fierce shine or do you spend 15 hours a week shining your chrome?



Third, I'm looking for a set of crash bars and luggage racks. I'm not too particular what kind, I just want something to keep the head covers and exhaust from getting scratched up if I lay it over (again). (Before you think I'm some kind of hot rodder, know it was only at about 10 mph and there was virtually no real damage, also that was about 300 miles after I started riding.)



Fourth, I need new tires (hence the poll) and was wondering what kind you guys run. I plan on riding as long into the winter as I can so I am looking for something that works well all year around. I've read good things about the Pirelli MT66 tires and am currently leaning towards them but If you guys have any suggestions, I'm open to them.



Finally, (sorry for the long post) I was wondering if anyone lived anywhere near Harrisburg/Central PA? I've seen a pair of transverse twins on the road in the area and was wondering if they it was any of you guys (so far I think I've seen 5 other than mine).



Alright I think that's all for now, If you want to post links to older posts or other web pages that is fine. I have read a number of the basics type pages, but there is a lot I still feel like I don't know. Thanks!


For the unseen maintenance issues, chances are you won't know about the chain until you hear it start to go bad.  At 38,000 miles, it might be a good idea to plan on some winter maintenance and drop the engine after riding season's over and check it thoroughly inside.  Have you changed ALL the fluids?  Coolant?  Rear gear oil?  And the fork oil? (I need to do that to mine soon...)





2nd: like rick said, its all time and effort to make it shiny.  I haven't gone to the extremes some have, Rick and Larry come to mind for obscene amounts of bling.



3rd: keep checking ebay for crash bars, definitely a MUST HAVE for these bikes.



4th: I have bridgestone spitfires, others have dunlops, chen shins, avons.... any good quality tire will be better than the OEM one's from way back.
 

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Now that Kingston mentions it I guess I do kind of go overboard on the "bling"...when I first got the bike I just HAD to replace the old choke cable not because the one already there didn't work but simply because the word "choke" was rubbed off and it didn't look right.......I couldn't stand it.
 

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I've been on this forum for several years and the consensus regarding the cam chain is that it gives you plenty of warning that it's time for a new one. I've replaced one so far and two cam chain guides. It's a motor out job but definitely do it yourself-able. A major issue that'll be coming up on your bike will be mechanical seal failure. That will cause oil and water to mix and then your crankcase oil will look like a chocolate milk shake. But don't worry, we on this forum will talk you through that repair.



Cheng Shin tires are cheap -- I use them on my dirt bikes but for the road.... I'm skeptical. I have Dunlops on my Goldwing (like them a lot), Continentals on my Moto Guzzi (like them a lot), and Bridgestones on both my GL500's (they're okay but not great).



Regarding the shine, I bought a bench buffer -- it's like a bench grinder but with a longer shaft -- and mounted cotton wheels on it. Just take any ugly part and some buffing compound and wow, instant shine. Okay not instant, but pretty quick. Do this and next thing you know, you'll be buffing your silverware too because its so easy.



Crash bars are pretty easy to find here on this forum and ebay. There are several different styles. My favorites curve nicely around the jugs. The most common model I see however are a bit bigger but they get in the way of my knees. Here's my '82 GL500 with the crash bars I like:

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks dash, I'm glad to hear that I'll know before the cam chain goes. I've read about shep's mechanical seal repair around here but I haven't looked at it closely yet. I will know where to look when the time comes. Thanks for the input!
 

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All the info you need to know is buried in the quick reference and drop Io here. I recommend looking through it.



As for the cam chain there is a way to know. Look for the dental mirror inspection in the quick reference. It's easy to do and will show you how much adjustment you have left. Cam chains usually get around 50,000 miles. But if a tensioner breaks it will show as dead. Normally when this happens aluminum shavings can be found in the engine oil. And yes some bikes make sounds that the chain needs to be replaced but some don't make a single sound till it's to late.



Bridgestone spitfires for the tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Stitch, I'll see what I can glean from from that.
 
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