Honda CX 500 Forum banner
1 - 20 of 64 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,517 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, After reading Caleb's post about going down in a turn I realized that even after a few months I'm still getting used to the way my Cx handles.



When entering a turn I want to be at a speed and gear that will not bog on acceleration through the apex and exit. Even still, the tourqiness in lower gears at the right revs can make a smooth roll of the thottle kind of tough exiting turns. I usually put most of my weight on my outside peg (high side) and on my CX this has a pronounced steering effect of getting the front end around in a hurry... good on roads with good traction, bad when the front wheel is in the dust. I've slid my front end a couple feet in turns and luckily been aware enough not to panic and steer the bike into the ground. The rear is easy to get moving as well, but not as twitchy as I would expect with my "soft" suspension...



I keep my suspension on the soft side with the rear completely loose ( last setting), and my front sorta soft as well. (progressives w 10w and 8lbs air) This makes weight shift forward on braking (diving) rather pronounced... and can give the steering fits as well. I also notice, I'm comfortable sitting further aft than the seat is designed for ( i'm on the rise section) I never ride like this except for short straights as the bike will not turn worth a damm with me out back and up high.



My questions are : Where is your suspension set between soft and hard front to rear....? and do you all find a smooth throttle roll on at low speeds sometimes tough ( tougher than some other bikes anyway?)



Do you use weight shifting of your feet on the pegs to steer ? Where does your butt land on the saddle for a comfey or better handling ride? Do you find the CX prone to excessive dive on hard braking?



Thanks for any input, my apology in advance if this has already been covered...



Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
45 Posts
Jeff, I've riden numorous bikes over the years and find my cx to be the smoothest and ergonomically correct for me. I run the front air @ 11psi w/ auto trans fluid and i've got Harley air shocks in the rear set @ 15psi. a firm but not harsh ride for my 240 lbs. I find mine is very smooth with regards to shifting and throttle responce. personally i don't shift my weight, and the more i think about weight distribution and were my ass is the worse i ride. the more i relax and trust the bike and tires the better i ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,517 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jeff, I've riden numorous bikes over the years and find my cx to be the smoothest and ergonomically correct for me. I run the front air @ 11psi w/ auto trans fluid and i've got Harley air shocks in the rear set @ 15psi. a firm but not harsh ride for my 240 lbs. I find mine is very smooth with regards to shifting and throttle responce. personally i don't shift my weight, and the more i think about weight distribution and were my ass is the worse i ride. the more i relax and trust the bike and tires the better i ride.




I probably should have mentioned I am 6' - 190 lbs. I don't think conciously of weight shifting, I just do it. Putting weight on the outside peg will increase traction in a turn as it forces weight down and not out. (try it, you'll like it)



I dunno... Ive owned/ rode a lot of bikes... the last three being CB750s, The CX seems snappier than them with it's shorter wheel base and steep steering angle. I like it, I'm just not quite used to it yet






Thx

Jeff
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
Good topic, there should be some interesting comments. In stock configuration I found the CX a bit top heavy with the layout of the cylinder and the radiator/guages up pretty high. After my mods not so much but to be honest the original forks needed service so that's not not a completely fair comparision? Over all I find the CX to be one of the easiest bikes to ride and that alone makes it fun. I generally like to use the bars to initiate turns with moving off the seat a bit in the direction of the turn. Trust me I'm no Valentino Rossi and would like to learn enough to be competent to do some track days.

Edit: I'm 5'11" 170#

Cheers, 50gary
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,597 Posts
ok first and for most i am 6'1 and around 160ish



when i am turning i lean the bike far as i can if i am coming off a road with a speed limit of 35 i will take the turn around 30ish and i also lean my body to the outside of the turn in other words bike is leaning one way my body is the other way and i am a very aggressive rider i throw my bike around i dont let it throw me as i think some of you could tell with the rear tire blow out at 40 to 50mph



but that is just me i think a lot of people turn a lot different as its there riding (some are not to sure of them selfs) no offense my friend has a suski vx800 and a hardley sportster 1200 and i can blow him away in the twistys the reason being is he is not sure of his riding abilitys



so it all depends on the rider
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,612 Posts
Because our bikes are old damper rod technology, and were undersprung right out of the factory, they are already prone to diving (and bottoming out) under hard brakes.

Even the turbo, with its 1982 top of the line at the time TRAC anti dive Showa suspension, has a tendency to dive under hard braking.



With these bikes you really have to choose between comfort and sport tuning (unless you spend a few $ on emulators and good springs).

Your fork oil weight controls your rebound and compression damping, your spring rate controls your "dive" under hard braking.

Progressive rate springs are a poor attempt to solve one of the underlying weaknesses of the damper rod system to make the bike more "user friendly."



The best way to begin tuning these ancient technology bikes is to buy the correct spring for you. Without it, nothing you do will ever tune the suspension properly. The correct spring/preload combination creates the proper "sag," and also allows for dive that does not bottom out.

With the proper spring, you can minimally adjust your compression and rebound damping with the fork oil weight.



If you really want to get into it, read Peter Verdone, Motorcycle Suspension



As far as weighting footpegs, you cannot turn a bike by weighting pegs. This has been argued for years, but proven time and time again by Keith Code. Weighting the peg supplements your inputs. You can turn in faster by weighting an inside peg on the initial input, and come out of the turn quicker by transferring the weight to the outside peg, but you cannot initiate a turn by transferring weight to a footpeg.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
what I am about to say to you is not meant to offend, rather it is to help you, and I say it as an ex-professional motorcycle racer and senior tyre tester for a large motorcycle tyre company

Placing weight on outside footrests will not turn the bike, and has absolutely noting at all to do with traction. It is merely fashionable and you are deluding yourself. this is a 30yr old touring bike. You may do this to pleasure or flatter yourself, but it achieves nothing. What does happen however is that as you alter your body position, whether you realise it or not you drop your shoulders, move your arms, and therefore initiate the turn faster.

If however, while playing this way you are sliding the front tyre occasionally then you are a danger to yourself and other road users and need to take stock of what you are doing, and what you are doing is riding a touring bike on a public highway. Based on what you say, I would not ride with you, or even near you.

Bikes are fun, riding with buddies is even more enjoyable so dont try to over analyse it, just ride

If you are curious to try to develop any skills you may have, go on a relevant course and learn from others example in a safe, and controlled environment using a more suitable machine. there is a saying in england "There are old riders, and bold riders, but there are no old, bold riders"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,597 Posts
what I am about to say to you is not meant to offend, rather it is to help you, and I say it as an ex-professional motorcycle racer and senior tyre tester for a large motorcycle tyre company

Placing weight on outside footrests will not turn the bike, and has absolutely noting at all to do with traction. It is merely fashionable and you are deluding yourself. this is a 30yr old touring bike. You may do this to pleasure or flatter yourself, but it achieves nothing. What does happen however is that as you alter your body position, whether you realise it or not you drop your shoulders, move your arms, and therefore initiate the turn faster.

If however, while playing this way you are sliding the front tyre occasionally then you are a danger to yourself and other road users and need to take stock of what you are doing, and what you are doing is riding a touring bike on a public highway. Based on what you say, I would not ride with you, or even near you.

Bikes are fun, riding with buddies is even more enjoyable so dont try to over analyse it, just ride

If you are curious to try to develop any skills you may have, go on a relevant course and learn from others example in a safe, and controlled environment using a more suitable machine. there is a saying in england "There are old riders, and bold riders, but there are no old, bold riders"




hey welding are you saying that to me also one of my friends who i ride with is a teacher of the MSF course and he says i have a great riding technique so i wasnt sure if you are talking to me or not....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,612 Posts
Lucky, while I appreciate that your friend is an M.S.F. instructor, in the real world, that doesn't necessarily mean he's any good or even knows what the hell he is talking about.



One of my best men at my wedding used to be an MSF instructor. He damned near ran into me (with my own bike) twice. Damned near ran off the road on my bike, twice, and used to do some seriously stupid shit.



Since then, he has taken multiple track days, worked with race instructors to improve his technique, and has become an exceptional rider.



My point is, unless an M.S.F. instructor has taken classes from Keith Code, Lee Parks, Penguin Race, Ed Bargy, any of the Pridmore's, or some professional street riding clinic, race school, or track day provider, that teaches advanced riding techniques, body positioning, and suspension set up, I would trust their opinion about as far as I can throw my 500 turbo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,601 Posts
I was a bit worried about riding at first after having tens of thousands of hours on dirt bikes yet only a few on a large street bike (which was way too big and tall) but I found that everything just fell into place on my CX500C. It did take a while to get used to the bars on the Custom, and they still feel a bit funny, but as far as handling, even with a passenger, it rides like a dream to me if I just ride it.



I will however admit (and advise new riders to these bikes also) to take some time every now and then during the first week in a parking lot making a lot of low-speed maneuvers, it helps you to adjust to the center of gravity being a bit higher.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,597 Posts
i have to agree with you marshallf3 about the hours on dirt thats how i learned to ride so thats why i am used to throwing my bike around i guess......
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
71 Posts
I always lean until I get the apex that I want. I paid a lot of money for tires and ensure that they're properly inflated, and my rear tire is rated wider than stock. But I have no problem turning to the point that the foot peg lightly grazes the ground. On dry, solid asphalt. Never in rain, gravel, dust, rubble, etc. etc. Anything other than solid asphalt I'm almost completely upright and I slow down.



However I'm no professional. I used to do intensive biking and go about 30mph on my trek bicycle, so I'm comfortable with tight turns. That being said, I did just take my first fall in the rain (though I felt I was being careful). I haven't taken any classes outside of my endorsement class, but I have ridden my bike every day for the past year 100+ miles per day. It's my only transportation and I drive a lot.



So take whatever I say with some salt.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
15,413 Posts
I second or third the MSF. They are or may be good at 0-30 in a parking lot but who knows what they can do above or at that in the real world. But I do recommend everyone learning as much as they can about driving from course classes or track days.



I have that video Ride like a Pro 4. http://www.ridelikeapro.com/

And one of the quotes in there says that many riders of x years only really have one year experience and bad habits. And therefore must train themselves correctly to remove those habits. Of course that isn't word for word.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,601 Posts
You can't trust the streets around this town well enough to take any fast corners - holes, sand and gravel can appear overnight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
Around here in minersoda we've got a lot of nice curvey well maintained ribbons that are a joy to take at 65 mph. At speed I always lean with the bike and at slow speeds frequently counter balance to keep center of gravity as neutral as possible. This time of year you never know when you're gonna see a pile of spilled soybeans or a dispersed mound of shelled field corn. Kinda like riding over marbles. Oh yeah, and don't forget about all the dead 1/2 crow eaten clumps of racoons,possoms, squirrels, and an occasional doe.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
639 Posts
Jeff, I used to have your exact bike -- a 1982 CX500 Custom that was bone stock and in good condition. For the first year I had it, the front end dove like crazy on hard braking. Then I rebuilt the forks. After the rebuild, front still dove but the improvement due to new fork seals and new fork oil made a big big difference. Forks never bottomed. Also got new tires which tracked much better than the old.



If I'm taking a curve at a spirited pace, I typically scrunch up and hug the bike with my knees while crouching slightly. I try to never let off the throttle abruptly as that can stand the bike up, which is exactly what you don't want to happen. If your bike is lugging coming out of a curve, you're either in too low a gear in the first place or your bike isn't properly tuned up. Remember that these bikes can rev. Although above 4500 rpm, the bike doesn't sound that great, there is great power there and it'll run all day long at twice the rpm. I'm 6' 190 lbs FYI.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
397 Posts
I'm probably one of the world's least skillful riders, even though I've been lucky enough to have never laid down a bike yet. I've dropped my GL when it was standing still a few times. In 1947 when I took my first flying lessons (for Gene if you read this: in a Piper PA-11) my instructor who was also a bike rider kept drumming into my skull that I should always sit straight in the plane and on my bike. In other words, if they lean then lean with them. With the bike this was at road speeds. Below 12 or 15 mph with the bike was a different story, but he claimed that I should still try to always sit straight with the bike and nor lean either more or less. So that's the way I always try to ride. It seems to work for me. I've never been lucky enough to get any lessons from a real professional rider. I don't suppose that many of us have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,423 Posts
Years ago and older biker than me when I was a nipper told me some thing that has stuck with me....



"You can't change a bend once you are in it"



I didn't get it at first but the penny drops after you ride a while when you think about it.In other words set yourself up for the bend/corner.Don't just go into it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
when i am turning i lean the bike far as i can if i am coming off a road with a speed limit of 35 i will take the turn around 30ish and i also lean my body to the outside of the turn in other words bike is leaning one way my body is the other way and i am a very aggressive rider i throw my bike around i dont let it throw me as i think some of you could tell with the rear tire blow out at 40 to 50mph
Sorry, you may think this looks aggressive but leaning the bike under you at anything above parking lot speed is working against your turns.



"I lean the bike as far as I can" says to me that you've got no margins to call on if you need to tighten your turn.



For a given entry speed and corner radius your goal when riding should be to use the minimum lean necessary to achieve the turn. Weight shifting to the inside of the corner greatly assists this, as does minimizing the upset your inputs having on the bike's geometry.



You'll likely attempt to argue your technique but go sign up for a Total Control class first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
Well, I've just done what 'feels' natural - I don't lean on the bike, I just do like Dash described - I tuck in and go with the bike around the turn in the lean. My back stays pretty much with the lean of the wheels. No leaning in or out for me, but I'm sure I leave a lot on the table (I tend to, as I've come up on turns a little faster than I should, and I like knowing I've got a little extra room to play if I come in a little too hot.)
 
1 - 20 of 64 Posts
Top