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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for some advice for a novice motorcycle enthusiast. I inherited a 1981 Honda CX500c from my father in approx 2007. I would really like to turn the bike into a Cafe Racer. My next step is to get rid of the air box and replace it with some conical air filter pods. How difficult would it be for this to be done? I've heard that the performance decreases unless the jet needle gets modified, has anyone else personally experienced this after the conversion? Any help will be great, and glad to be a part of this community.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good to know about the 90/120 jets. I don't want to suffer any performance loss, am I going to get bogged down at all if install these?
 

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Have you modified the exhaust yet? If you are just switching to pods, you may not have to mess with it until you open up the exhaust. Mine runs pretty strong, with stock jets, pods and the stock Hbox still installed, that said I went to see Murray last week and came back with pipes, pods, jets, and a few other parts to upgrade my fuel inlet and exhaust outlet. Report to follow after I get everything installed. Oh do yourself a favor, if you haven't replaced the clutch springs with new EBC replacements, get them now. It will most likely save you from burning up the clutch as you start making more power. Another Murray recommendation.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
As of now, I figured I would just clean up the rear end of the bike by adding the pods. Then, if I liked the results, which I probably will, I'd delve deeper into replacing the exhaust. I'm kind of taking the "gateway drug" approach to this whole thing. Since I lack experience in he world of mechanics, I would like to avoid as much blind tinkering as possible, but I am not afraid to give it a try.

Eventually, I would like to upgrade my exhaust system, get rid of the Hbox, and do something else with some new pipes. I just want to make sure I'm not in over my head upon undertaking this project, and many more to follow.
 

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I first removed the stock air box and remounted my battery in a cradle that I made from mild steel and welded to the frame. I added pods and removed the stock mufflers and just put 8 inch long automotive turn outs on the Hbox. Cleaned the carbs and it runs great. No poping or hard starts. Now mine might be a freak and completely out of the norm. But that's where I'm at. Never touched the needles. Where are you located?
 

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When I removed the airbox, made a removable tray for the magnetic starter switch, regulator/rectifier, battery, and installed flat side panels, too. Some guys don't install anything where the air box is located giving a neat looking clear view under the seat. There's lots of folks here with plenty of experience/knowledge to help, if you decide to make further modifications.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm living in Mesa, AZ. I like the look of the without the side panels, but I have no idea where to hide the components currently located within, especially the battery. I'll post some pictures of what I'm going for. As far as the aesthetics go, my main concern was the tank. The pseudo Harley tank was driving me nuts until I found these photos.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
All in all my bike is in great condition. My father dumped it a couple times in Minnesota when he had it, but then he married my mother and she put the kibosh on the motorcycle because she didn't want us to be influenced by such dangerous activities, so it sat in storage for a few decades.

Luckily my dad persevered and he got me back on the bike. Then sparked my interest with a trip from Boise, ID to the Tail of the Dragon. That is around y'all's neck o' the woods, right? I loved it.
 

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Yep, been on the Dragon several times. Met a group of Vstrom riders there last year.
My normal ride area is riding twistys in the Morganton & Marion NC areas over to Tennessee & back.


You posted some beautiful build examples. There's several folks here that can show you how they opened up the area under
the seat by relocating and using different components. You have come to the right place for modification ideas!
 

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Both of those examples (you can see if you look closely) have the battery relocated to under the engine, where the H-Box used to be. That just leaves the regulator/rectifier, CDI or TI, and starter solenoid, which are smalll and pretty easy to stash under the seat.
 

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One thing I've noted from other more savvy members is to make sure the reg/rec is positioned for air flow, it needs free air to keep it cool.

Joel in the Couve
 

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One thing I've noted from other more savvy members is to make sure the reg/rec is positioned for air flow, it needs free air to keep it cool.

Joel in the Couve
I always wonder about that recommendation, since there's not a lot of exposure while it's tucked behind a side cover. I know some folks have thrown it under the tank with the coils, which could be problematic due to the engine heat, but under the seat gets more air than it's ever seen before.
 

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I'd venture to say that there is more air flow under the side covers than you might think. Being sideways oriented, there is a bit of a vortex in there when in motion.

Joel in the Couve
 

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I'm not disagreeing with you, Joel; far from it. These sleds wouldn't still be on the road if the regulator/rectifiers overheated behind the side cover. I was just trying to validate/defend my suggestion of mounting it within the open cavity created when the airbox is removed.
 
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