Honda CX 500 Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks:



Charles-thanks for hosting this forum. I have been lurking off and on for a couple of years. Lots of great info and discussion here!



I used to have a Stella scooter (Vespa P200 copy) a few years ago, and sold it because we were moving and it had contributed to some back issues (not so great suspension).



I have wanted to get a "real" motorcycle for several years, and the Silverwing appeals to me (comfortable position & suspension, small enough for a relative newby to handle, capable of extended touring but still handles well in town, reliable and fairly low-maintenance, pretty inexpensive). My main use would likely be toodling around town, maybe a bit of commuting, an occasional tour out in the country.



There are two main reasons I have not purchased a bike yet: limited discretionary funds, and a reluctant spouse. My wife is not totally opposed to me getting a bike, in fact she has expressed interest in getting a Harley herself. We are trying to save money to move to a bigger house though, and that is getting in the way a bit. So, I am trying to find a way to get a decent bike for the smallest investment. I have read lots of postings here where people got a nice CX or GL500 for cheap (<$500). If I can find one cheap enough I can probably convince my wife that now is not too bad a time to get a bike.



So, I have been cruising Craigslist. I live in Minneapolis, and there are quite a few Silverwings posted near here. Most are Interstate models, and list for about $800-$1600. I like the Interstate, but I wonder if the naked version might be easier to handle for a relative beginner. Thoughts?



There is one bike listed that the owner says he would take $400 for: 81 GL500, ~30K miles, newer tires & battery, fresh oil, "runs great", black with silver fairing, saddle-bags included. Have not seen pics yet. Does that sound like a good deal? Seems like it to me, but I am sure the condition can vary quite a bit. I have read some buying advice from a while back. I know there is long list of things to check.



Thanks for any advice you guys can provide. I know there are a bunch of Minnesota residents on the forum. I would look forward to joining the local group of owners.



Regards,

Brian
 

·
Registered
1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
Joined
·
11,450 Posts
Welcome, Brian.



Were you on the old version of this board, or did you just find us? There are quite a few members in the Twin Cities, though we don't get together often enough. Keep your eyes open here, in case a local event happens to pop up.



R
 

·
Registered
1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
Joined
·
11,450 Posts
Brian,



If you like the naked Silverwing, look at the CX500s, too. They're 90% identical, though the various models each ride a little differently.



What part of Minnepolis? I'm in NE. If you want a close look at the Standard sometime, let me know.



R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
382 Posts
So, I have been cruising Craigslist. I live in Minneapolis, and there are quite a few Silverwings posted near here. Most are Interstate models, and list for about $800-$1600. I like the Interstate, but I wonder if the naked version might be easier to handle for a relative beginner. Thoughts?






I went fresh out of MSF class to a naked GL500 and I think it was just about perfect as a bike for newbies. Everybody warned me not to buy a Rebel or anything similar because I would be bored with it within the month. OTOH, I didn't want to buy something that would scare the hell out of me because then I'd end up not riding with a million and one excuses. Well, it's been two years now and I'm still not bored.



Owning an older bike can be a challenge at times (parts) but it's not insurmountable. So far, I've been able to find everything I needed in one place or another. Our friends here are a super source on who to go to for parts or information.



Personally, I've dropped my bike three times: each time at zero or almost zero MPH. I'm pleased to say I did them all in the first six months or so and have stopped doing it. But the point is that I believe you're most at risk in your own driveway rather than out on the road. The Silverwing is a little top heavy compared to more modern machines and once it starts going over, if you don't catch it almost instantly, it's going to go over no matter what you do. I won't even sit on mine without a helmet.



OTOH, this bike has enough oomph to cruise effortlessly down the highway at 70 MPH all day long. I've found it has two personalities: the "sedate old fart" one that shifts gears between 3k and 4k and the "ride with your hair on fire" one that shifts gears between 7k and 8k. This bike likes to rev high and can do it steadily hour after hour without a hiccup.



So, welcome to the light side of the force.
 

·
Registered
1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
Joined
·
11,450 Posts
There is one bike listed that the owner says he would take $400 for: 81 GL500, ~30K miles, newer tires & battery, fresh oil, "runs great", black with silver fairing, saddle-bags included. Have not seen pics yet. Does that sound like a good deal? Seems like it to me, but I am sure the condition can vary quite a bit. I have read some buying advice from a while back. I know there is long list of things to check.
Good deals do come up, but they're usually low mileage bikes that have been in storage, and so are unknown until after the sale and a little work.



This one sounds like a possible Frankenstein. That doesn't mean it's a bad deal. It could be a really good deal, especially if the price is low. For $400, if you were forced to give up and part it out, you'd probably recoup the purchase price.



Just check it very closely, and understand that you're buying a project. And if you like playing in the garage, that's a good thing!




R



P.S. Be sure the title is included.



P.P.S. If you're willing to spend for a runner, this one looks decent (in the ad, at least.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
Hi Folks:



Charles-thanks for hosting this forum. I have been lurking off and on for a couple of years. Lots of great info and discussion here!



I used to have a Stella scooter (Vespa P200 copy) a few years ago, and sold it because we were moving and it had contributed to some back issues (not so great suspension).



I have wanted to get a "real" motorcycle for several years, and the Silverwing appeals to me (comfortable position & suspension, small enough for a relative newby to handle, capable of extended touring but still handles well in town, reliable and fairly low-maintenance, pretty inexpensive). My main use would likely be toodling around town, maybe a bit of commuting, an occasional tour out in the country.



There are two main reasons I have not purchased a bike yet: limited discretionary funds, and a reluctant spouse. My wife is not totally opposed to me getting a bike, in fact she has expressed interest in getting a Harley herself. We are trying to save money to move to a bigger house though, and that is getting in the way a bit. So, I am trying to find a way to get a decent bike for the smallest investment. I have read lots of postings here where people got a nice CX or GL500 for cheap (<$500). If I can find one cheap enough I can probably convince my wife that now is not too bad a time to get a bike.



So, I have been cruising Craigslist. I live in Minneapolis, and there are quite a few Silverwings posted near here. Most are Interstate models, and list for about $800-$1600. I like the Interstate, but I wonder if the naked version might be easier to handle for a relative beginner. Thoughts?



There is one bike listed that the owner says he would take $400 for: 81 GL500, ~30K miles, newer tires & battery, fresh oil, "runs great", black with silver fairing, saddle-bags included. Have not seen pics yet. Does that sound like a good deal? Seems like it to me, but I am sure the condition can vary quite a bit. I have read some buying advice from a while back. I know there is long list of things to check.



Thanks for any advice you guys can provide. I know there are a bunch of Minnesota residents on the forum. I would look forward to joining the local group of owners.



Regards,

Brian
Hi Brian

There are members more qualified than I to advise you, but as long as the machine is basically sound there are not so many things to be aware of. As with buying any 2nd hand bike check as much as you can. Try to insist the machine is stone cold when you get there so you can check starting from cold and look for tell tale signs of impending trouble, ie check for oil or water leakages, no matter how small on the top parts of the rear engine case (checking camshaft oil seal and mechanical water pump seal). dont worry so much if the front forks need seals as this is not a big issue, but be more concerned about rear shock and/or linkage problems as these can be a major headache. If you can, take a volt meter and check charging output as again this can mean major work
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
106 Posts
All I can say is "You get what you pay for". I love my fully dressed GL650I. I paid $1000 and had to do a little work. For $400 I'd expect to have to turn a wrench as well. Save up and get a nice $1500 (Real value) GL and you'll be glad you did.



Buy a $500 rat bike and just be ready to do some work and buy some new parts before it's a daily driver.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Welcome, Brian.



Were you on the old version of this board, or did you just find us? There are quite a few members in the Twin Cities, though we don't get together often enough. Keep your eyes open here, in case a local event happens to pop up.



R


Hi Randall:



Thanks for the welcome. I was on the old version a bit. I have lived in the Twin Cities for the majority of my life, but was in Des Moines from about 2006-2009.



Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone for your messages. I may end up saving for a while and buying a bike in better condition. For now it might be a question of a junker or nothing.



Regards,

Brian
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,414 Posts
I got a free bike and probably spent $2000 building it up to a good bike. In the process I bought a lot of stuff I didn't need to or didn't like so I sold it of.



A second bike I bought for $150 and a case of beer and I spent $75 for a low mileage engine and was given a backrest and it's a complete nice looking bike.



A third bike I bought for $400 and probably put $200 into it and got a pretty good bike.



These are all odd events where somehow I won out.



There was a fourth bike that I bought for $200 and was given a lot of parts and bought a lot of parts and it turned into a turd.



If I had to do it again I would probably look to spend at least $1000 and get one in good condition that doesn't need work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,871 Posts
I think it really depends on how confident you are in your own mechanical skills, and/or how much you want to ride vs fix before you ride.  If you buy a very inexpensive bike, chances are you'll have to put at least a little time and money into making it reliable.  If you save up some you might be able to get something that is already fixed up, but then again maybe you'd still need to put work into it.  My bike was given to me for free and ran but had the very loud cam chain knock and had no front brakes.  My wife actually told me later she didn't have any problem with me taking the bike because she didn't think I'd ever get it running.  Now it's my daily transport, although I've no idea how much money and time I've put into it to make it run well.  I know I'll never get out of it what I put into it, which is why I'm never going to sell it.  If you can find a very cheap, decent looking and running GL or CX, and if you're an ok DIY type person, this forum has enough experts that you'd be able to rebuild pretty much anything that might go wrong.  If you can find a cheap extra motor to go with it, that will make things even easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,771 Posts
Brian,



Here is a bike pretty close to you. I am sure you can talk the guy down. At least he says it is a good runner and it looks excellent and is super low miles.



Even at full price with the condition and the mileage it should be a real bargain.

http://eauclaire.craigslist.org/mcy/1847284807.html

My link
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
382 Posts
Brian,



Here is a bike pretty close to you. I am sure you can talk the guy down. At least he says it is a good runner and it looks excellent and is super low miles.



Even at full price with the condition and the mileage it should be a real bargain.

http://eauclaire.craigslist.org/mcy/1847284807.html

My link




That's a nice looking bike. I think I'd jump on it. Find out how old the tires are; you may have to replace them if they're old... even with the low miles.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Hi,



I would get a bike that is full dress, it is by far cheaper and easier to merely remove the stuff you

don't want on the bike initially then to hunt and shop for what you want like I did. Just like

Stitches (hey Don, it's me Mike I just changed my handle from mrcuiser to Cruiser) I bought a GL650

without all the stuff and spent the last year getting the bike dressed out. Also if you are going

to ride with your wife, it's real nice to have a place to put stuff.



One of the nice things about our bikes is just make sure it's clean, don't leak, everything works and

start the bike cold, after you pull out the oil stick to check the oil on the stick to make sure the

level is all right and the oil is cold. Plenty of great people here to help you make the right decision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,601 Posts
In all honesty I think it's worth a look, if it runs as well as he says it does $400 would be a good price but I'd plan on having about $200 saved up for little things you may find that need tweaked after you get it.



A good sign is if it's been ridden on a regular or semi-regular basis recently, if so I'd say it's a winning price. If the seller just had it sitting around for years then did a minimum to get it running there's bound to be a bit more project work left.



I paid $800 for my CX500C and while rideable it was a project and I knew it but working on cars and bikes is nothing new to me so, at the time, it didn't bother me a bit. Rode it a bit last year, winterized it and planned to start restoration this spring when my illness hit me. Luckily, through the kindness of a nearby owner of several of these, most of the work is now done and I'll only have some minor things to work out before it's time for paint.



I'm going to get some miles in on that thing one way or the other this year, even if I have to wait on the paint until winter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,378 Posts
So, I have been cruising Craigslist. I live in Minneapolis, and there are quite a few Silverwings posted near here. Most are Interstate models, and list for about $800-$1600. I like the Interstate, but I wonder if the naked version might be easier to handle for a relative beginner. Thoughts?







Regards,

Brian






Brian, I am a COMPLETE newbie- I took the safety class last May and didn't touch another bike until this end of May/ start of June, when I found my Silverwing on Craigslist. Here's some of what I've learned so far. A) It's certainly not the biggest bike out there, but when close to 600 lbs leans too far over- it still sucks to wrestle with that much weight! I don't want to scare you off- just be aware that it's a little more to handle then the little NightHawks (or whatever) you have in class, so be prepared. I'm simply referring to when you're standing- I don't trust myself to walk the bike around the garage/ driveway.... if it leans too far over on accident... I don't wanna think about dropping the bike with new paint.. LOL. Driving on the other hand- I LOVE it!!! It's big enough and small enough at the same time! Good for a short, quick jaunt around town, or if you just want to take it out on a longer ride it's still just as comfortable (I think) and has the oomph to get you there! Even us noobs can handle this bike- and so far mine has been GREAT to learn/ practice on.
naked vs fairing. The bike I was on in my class didn't have a windshield/ fairing, etc so I didn't give it much thought and never thought it would make such a difference in the ride. That, and taking a class at 30-40 mph in a parking lot is wayyyyy different than going 55mph on the ROAD. My GL500 has a fairing and after going for a few rides WITH it, I was in the process of starting the new paintjob and decided to take it out WITHOUT the fairing. When the paint is all done and it's put together for the final time- that's the last time I'll take the fairing off without it being absolutely necessary. For me the fairing cuts through the air enough that I don't feel so pushed around as I do without it. I have a full face helmet so bugs hitting me wasn't so much of an issue as the feeling of just being bullied by gusts of wind. C) It's addicting. Like, more than coffee..... ok, well, close! I never quite understood it until I got the bike myself, and it allllll makes sense now. Why there are pillows and blankets that say things like "You never see a motorcycle parked at the therapist's office", etc



When I went on KBB and typed in the info on my bike, it said that in pristine condition- everything redone and new, the bike was worth $1250.00- the guy we bought mine from wanted $900 but he took $675, and I completely think I got a great deal! Remember, if you find one you like that has a fairing, you could always make a few changes and take it off- it's more of a personal preference thing than anything else. Glad to have you here and look forward to seeing you on more often/ hearing about your new bike!!





~MK

p.s. go take a look @ the "post your ride" topic- there's some reaaaaalllly great bikes over there and I'm sure you can get some ideas of what you'd like better
 

·
Registered
1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
Joined
·
11,450 Posts
So, Brian, have you gone to look at that GL in Anoka?



"Black with a silver fairing" suggests to me that it's a non-Interstate with a Vetter added. Or it could be an Interstate with a stock replacement from a silver GL.



For the price, you should certainly go look. It may be the case that it's a really solid bike, and the seller is just motivated (or is being motivated
) to make space in the garage. Or it could be a rat built out of spares. (That's what I meant by "a Frankenstein.") But that's the chance we take in looking for a low-cost gem.



My apologies if it seemed I was trying to dissuade you. I just wanted to make sure you know what you're getting into. With the cost of shop time, if you don't like to turn a wrench, an old bike probably isn't for you. But if you do decide to jump in, there's not much this group can't help you though. Especially here in the Twin Cities, there's a lot of help available.



R
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
I got mine for $550. It's not a beauty queen, but it had been ridden enough but not too much, and was mostly OK when I got it. I did a water pump seal on it and have been riding it whenever I had a chance ever since.



A sharp eye and the right time of year are worth more than spending more money. Bikes are cheapest in fall and winter, although they're also less plentiful in the market then. Honestly, though, there are always people who think their no-title almost parts bike is worth $1k. There are other people who need to get out from under that one extra decent bike for cheap. The only way you'll find out which is which is to go look at it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,601 Posts
There are also a lot of people that don't know what they have, to them it's just a 30 year old motorcycle.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top