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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello everyone, I decided to make a thread to document my build. There are so much valuable information in every build thread here posted by other members.
I have posted a few threads under Technical Help Forum but needed a single thread to merge it all.

So my introduction thread is here:
https://cx500forum.com/forum/new-member-introductions/104047-cx500a-1980-new-member-south-africa.html

I bought the CX to ride and enjoy but wanted peace of mind motoring from a 38 year old bike. So i decided to give it the full inspection hoping to perform only minor repairs. Initially the cam chain was the obvious issue and so the triple bypass was on the top of the to do list. Having never worked on an engine or motorcycle it seemed an impossible undertaking.
Fortunately there is this forum and all its awesome members, Motofaction and Wiki that has to the point super helpful information and advise. I felt somewhat relieved that i was not going to be doing this all on my own.

The triple bypass commenced with additional surprises after finding an 'alien' one of a kind auto cam chain tensioner beautifully installed where a manual cam chain tensioner should have been. The Saga continues. the link is here:
https://cx500forum.com/forum/technical-help-forum/104229-cx500a-1980-auto-cam-tensioner.html

So the R&D will still be going on for some time until I can spare time to work on my idea for a universal CX500 auto tensioner. Don't hold your breath it may take a while before an end product emerges.

While the engine was out of the frame and my mechanical skills was growing, it would'nt hurt to check the cylinder heads, so i decided to give it a good cleanup and rebuild. The thread is here:
https://cx500forum.com/forum/technical-help-forum/104711-cx500a-1980-cylinder-head-refurbishment.html

My skills and tools was increasing, budget kept decreasing but the build had to go on.

While parts was still on order for the cam chain etc etc, i started rebuilding the carbs....the thread is here:
https://cx500forum.com/forum/technical-help-forum/104049-cx500-carburetor-identification.html

Just when i thought i had mastered some skills with the cam chain build, I entered into an even more complicated carburetor world. Nevertherless I was still having fun with the build.

And ofcourse no build is complete without shining up the exterior, so the engine clean up and repaint thread got started, the link is here:
https://cx500forum.com/forum/technical-help-forum/104551-cx500-engine-exterior-cleanup-paint.html

There will be more threads posted as the build to do list grows and even more new skills and tools to go with it as the story unfolds. But definitely I know I will be in good hands while in the company of this forum's members.
Thank you to everyone who read and especially to those who posted replies and advise. Every bit of information was useful and helped me to keep going.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I recently found an ad on our local South African Gumtree , while searching for used parts for my own build. It’s a 1981 CX500 for sale at a whopping $7000. Completely rebuilt.
Most CX’s here are advertised in the range of $1000-2000, depending on the condition. You won’t get any barn finds...I suppose these bikes are generally well kept to stay on the road. And ofcourse they are super rare. I searched for over 12 months to find a ‘bargain’, managed to to drop the price from $1300 to $700. Needed only a hooter and front brake light switch to get it roadworthy. But ofcourse there were other gremlins and no service history.
Is this the true value of the motorcycle?






CX500A 1980 South Africa
 

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That is a nice looking Custom.
Certainly seems worthy of its asking price if all the work is quality.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Planning on refitting the engine this Sunday, only day i have off from work for the next 3 weeks. I have a engine table lift stand and should make it easy to re-install.
Should I fit the carbs and radiator to the engine before i install? Wondering if its simpler this way.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That is a nice looking Custom.
Certainly seems worthy of its asking price if all the work is quality.
Rethinking the price thing, if you own a CX500 in South Africa it means that you will pay 14 times more for parts than anyone else. This is because of the poor exchange rates. Most of the parts will be imported. If you are doing it yourself then the cost of labor is discounted, however, if you are getting a specialist to do all the work well then it’s gonna cost. I recently got a quote to have the engine rebuilt for ZAR25000, that’s $1800. And if you are restoring then the costs quickly start running to Everest.

The owner of that CX500 did not spare any expense, I hope he gets his price and the bike goes to a new owner who can appreciate it.


CX500A 1980 South Africa
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Was a dumb blonde moment from my side
I fitted everything except the radiator, busy flushing it for the next few days.
I did not fit the engine, I kept finding small things I need to attach, neutral switch, temperature sense, oils pressure...little brackets and things that needed refurbishment before going back. So, engine goes in this week sometime....


CX500A 1980 South Africa
 

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Great stuff Schyff! Will follow your build with keen interest!

Yea I think that seller is a bit optimistic if you ask me..lol..even for a fully restored bike.
But having said that....I don't mind these machines appreciating in value.:cool:

In fact, it upsets me if some okes advertise a very good specimen for way too little...because that kills the market...or drops the realistic price of these bikes.

I think a realistic price..at this point in time in SA...for a very good original or customized CX...is probably between $3500 and $6000...willing buyer willing seller of course...(and then I am talking about a very very clean bike)
But that is purely just my opinion..as a SA biker..who loves Bikes..and specifically classic Honda's..and follow the market as far as possible.

Enjoy your build and bike..and please show us some more pics!
 

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I recently found an ad on our local South African Gumtree , while searching for used parts for my own build. It’s a 1981 CX500 for sale at a whopping $7000. Completely rebuilt.
Most CX’s here are advertised in the range of $1000-2000, depending on the condition. You won’t get any barn finds...I suppose these bikes are generally well kept to stay on the road. And ofcourse they are super rare. I searched for over 12 months to find a ‘bargain’, managed to to drop the price from $1300 to $700. Needed only a hooter and front brake light switch to get it roadworthy. But ofcourse there were other gremlins and no service history.
Is this the true value of the motorcycle?






CX500A 1980 South Africa
What do you reckon that seat us off? I’m considering a Harley single seat, that looks like something HD might produce.


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And good luck with the build, working on a rolling build myself right now


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Discussion Starter #12
And good luck with the build, working on a rolling build myself right now


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Thanks, gonna need all the luck and lots of research.

About that seat, the ad did not go into details or specifications. So no information on who done the seat etc.


CX500A 1980 South Africa
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Radiator flush:
So I read a few threads about cleaning the radiator and cooling system as a whole by Installing an inline pump ‘pond pump’ and adding various acidic chemicals and circulating overnight, flush, rinse and repeat. Chemicals such as vinegar, or drain cleaner or citric acid.
The radiator was removed from the engine for my cleanup.
I cleaned it without the circulating pump. Of course plugged the radiator openings, filled it with drain cleaner, let it stand 24 hours. I would shake it up every time I passed it. Did this for 3 days. Each end of the process there would White milky water inside the radiator until finally on day 3 it remained clear.
Even though I had the pump and pipes to do the ultimate cleanup, the method I used gave good results.


CX500A 1980 South Africa
 

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Great news. Glad you got it clean.
I also never use chemicals..but just flush it with tap water...untill clean.
From there...add the required water (bought at Midas) and antifreeze 50/50 mix..
A friend told me now..that he changes the antifreeze for winter and summer.... not sure what people think...?!
 

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He probably changed the mix...from 50 water/50 glycol...to 50 glycol/50 water :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
He probably changed the mix...from 50 water/50 glycol...to 50 glycol/50 water :rolleyes:
hahahaha, we dont have minus temperature readings in South Africa. The coldest we get is +5.
I dont even think we need antifreeze....
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Great news. Glad you got it clean.
I also never use chemicals..but just flush it with tap water...untill clean.
From there...add the required water (bought at Midas) and antifreeze 50/50 mix..
A friend told me now..that he changes the antifreeze for winter and summer.... not sure what people think...?!
@Speedster, im not sure about changing the ratios or even the type of coolant. But what i can say is that Builders Warehouse drain cleaner does make a HUGE difference in what you think is clean. It contains citric acid and 2 other chemicals. It really cleans the radiator, you should try it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
He probably changed the mix...from 50 water/50 glycol...to 50 glycol/50 water :rolleyes:
I clicked on your links, fantastic build threads....I mentioned somewhere in one of my posts WIKI, Motofaction etc, but i did not mention the The Odontologist!!!! LOL, I have watched almost every video, very helpful! If you are The Odontologist, Thanks for making the YouTube channel.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Small update, more work on the radiator this time the exterior. Now that the engine is looking spotless the old radiator paint suddenly looked shabby. So paint stripper, water jet blasting, repeated a few times. Resprayed same colour as the engine. As soon as it was dry enough i reinstalled it.
Need a new radiator cap. I came across ones that had a gauge built in on one of these build threads, or perhaps during a google image search. Can’t remember, where can I get it?
Now the package looks complete. No pics this time.

Only thing left is the neutral cable reinstall. I need to get new cable protection, it’s a material sleeve. What is it called?


CX500A 1980 South Africa
 
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