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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, Purchased a 1980 CX500 Custom recently as my first bike and have decided to start a cafe racer build project with my GF's Father. We have done some brainstorming and decided the first steps are to swap out the stock seat in favor of a more lower profile; cafe racer style seat. After some exhaustive searching, we have found some options on Motorcycle Seats Direct but upon some forum searching it doesn't appear that they received rave reviews from the community here. So just wondering anyone has better suggestions in this department?

For reference, here is the style/profile we're aiming for.

1979 - 1982 Honda CX500 Custom cafe racer complete seat with metal seat pan - Brown #4179


Thanks in advance for any feedback!!!!!
 

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Hey Jayweislogel,

I bought a seat from Texavina and its great. Truong is based in Texas but the seats are made in Vietnam. They are good quality and it arrived quite quickly.
There is some modification work to be done to your cross piece at the rear of the frame but Truong explains this quite well with the addition of pictures to help.

There are some pictures in my build thread if you're interested.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the initial feedback guys. It would seem that both seat option will require modification to the frame of some type? Any ideas on complexity or difficulty to make the fit perfectly?
 

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Thanks for the initial feedback guys. It would seem that both seat option will require modification to the frame of some type? Any ideas on complexity or difficulty to make the fit perfectly?
Depends on how you want to do it really, some cut the top mounting bar (which at first I did):

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Ended up not using this frame, next time round I had a loop welded in and the cross bar welded back on to provide both a bracket for the seat and for additional support:

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Discussion Starter #6

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Just had a thought. If you're going to be making substantial changes to the frame can you just grab a seat from one of these websites that fit the style you're looking for and model the frame to accept that seat?

I was looking to imitate the frame design from this Eastern Spirit CX500 and I had thought I'd have to custom produce the whole seat pan and leatherwork myself. If I can just buy the any old seat that fits the asthetic and form the frame to accept that, it makes my job so so much easier. I say that because I know how to make metal forms and weld much better than I know how to stitch leather or create seat pans.
 

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Lack, I've done it both ways. They way you suggest has been the fastest/easiest, but you really have to be satisfied with the seat setup that you buy as it dictates so much of the way the back end will look and function. Building the frame first allows you create the exact lines you want and the make a seat to fit it rather than the other way around.
 

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Lack, I've done it both ways. They way you suggest has been the fastest/easiest, but you really have to be satisfied with the seat setup that you buy as it dictates so much of the way the back end will look and function. Building the frame first allows you create the exact lines you want and the make a seat to fit it rather than the other way around.
Fair point. I don't intend to sacrifice on the shape on I'm looking for, I was thinking in terms of mounting, but you're right, the frame itself would have to follow that as well, which defeats the purpose of modifying it in the first place.
 

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On this one, I bought a Vietnamese seat and built a rear hoop to fit the seat.



On this one I built the frame and a seat pan and had a friend of a friend upholster it for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Right, I should have clarified! The bike made by Relic was more of a "color-scheme" inspiration with the aggressive matte black color scheme rather than the profile of the seat shape itself. Ideally the goal is to have the seal be as "flat" or as low profile as possible, (much like the brooktini86 seat shows) and once its fitted to our liking; then comes the decision to keep the original tank or to go with something like photos from Brian Sams etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Seat/New Handlebars aren't in yet; but strip down begins. Had a coolant/overheating problem, water pump seemed to be ok, suspected thermostat issue as the reason for coolant flowing throughout the system. See picture for the old vs. new. We'll see if the new t-stat fixes cooling issue.


IMG_5406.JPG

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From the look of the old t-stat, someone used very hard water to fill the radiator at some point.
You might want to have the radiator cleaned as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yep; All flushed and cleaned before putting in the new t-stat. Will know whether replacing it fixes the overheating issue soon. we'll keep ya posted!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
A Few weeks later while we waited for seat to arrive...

Air Box Removal Close Up 4-24-16.jpg Air Box Removal Right Side 4-24-16.jpg

Started removal of the Air Box & Potential Relocation of the battery. Need to research a smaller/sealed/lithium battery option to hopefully relocate batter behind/underneath engine. Waiting on 53 mm pod filters.

Seat eventually came and looks pretty solid compared to the previous big bulky seat.

New Seat Before & After 4-24-16.jpg Side Profile of seat (close up) 4-24-16.jpg Side Profile with new seat & bars 4-24-16.jpg

Clubmans have been added as well; however we have run into an issue with the throttle cables being too long. Working on trying to measure and order a custom length from Barnett Tool & Engineering Any advice there?

These are the blinkers and taillight that we'll add once our welder contact finishes the welding of a few pieces onto the frame to secure the seat, create a bracket for mounting of the tail light/license plate holder.

Blinkers; Tail Light; Handlebar end Mirros.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Here are the blinkers I believe; just ebay'd 'em. (This won't fit on the "stock location" of the 1980 cx500; we are mounting them using the two existing holes at the end of the frame)

Black Aluminum Smoke Amber LED Bullet Blinker Turn Signal Light Lamp Set 4pcs | eBay

Here are the mirrors I think; Ebay as well. They will go on the end of 7/8" clubmans we added instead of the stock bars. There are a ton of different spots for those.

Black Motorcycle 3"Round 7 8"Handle Bar End Rearview Mirrors for Honda Harley | eBay
 
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