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I ended up lucking my way into getting a 1980 CX500 for free. I have spent the last few weeks reading about different custom builds people have done on these and figured it would be a really cool project to take on.

I have never done a motorcycle build before but I am pretty mechanically inclined and am an engineer for my day job. I am in the DFW area and any advice for a first time builder or in general for rebuilding CX500's would be greatly appreciated.

Forgive the messy garage. Just moved into a new house a while back and haven't fully gotten that in working order.
 

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Welcome, Ted!
That looks to be fairly complete. Did you get the radiator with it?
The best advice that can be given is to make it roadworthy first. Then, ride it for a while to get a feeling for what you want to retain and what you might want to change. You might even find that you like it as it is.
If you jump right in, chasing a particular look, it will only lead to disappointment. You want a customized bike that fits YOU, not one that merely looks like everyone else's.

Randall
 

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Welcome, Ted!
That looks to be fairly complete. Did you get the radiator with it?
The best advice that can be given is to make it roadworthy first. Then, ride it for a while to get a feeling for what you want to retain and what you might want to change. You might even find that you like it as it is.
If you jump right in, chasing a particular look, it will only lead to disappointment. You want a customized bike that fits YOU, not one that merely looks like everyone else's.

Randall
Thanks Randall. It did not come with a radiator nor a battery.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Please add your location to your profile and your bike's model and model year (NOT year first registered) to your signature so that you don't have to remember to tell us every time and we don't have to keep asking when you forget (see Forum Settings link in my signature).

And welcome to the world of antique vehicle ownership (they own us, not the other way around). Your bike is about 4 decades old and the Previous Owners may or may not have done the maintenance necessary to keep it safe & reliable so it is highly recommended to download the Factory Shop Manual for your model (available through the CX Wiki - link in my signature) and go through all of the service procedures, regardless of whether your bike has reached the specified mileage.
I also recommend looking on all rubber parts with suspicion because rubber does not age gracefully. Check the date codes on your tires and replace them if they are over 5 years old no matter how good they look & feel because old rubber simply cannot flow around the irregularities in the asphalt well enough to grip, especially if it is cool or wet. If your bike still has the original rubber brake line(s) (should be replaced every 2 or 3 fluid changes = 5 or 6 years) I recommend shopping for modern stainless braided ones (they last practically forever and double the life of the fluid).

The best advice anyone can give you about customizing any vehicle is to get it safe & reliable in more or less original condition and use it for a while before you start making any changes so it can tell you what changes it needs to make it do what you want/need better. That approach almost always results in something you actually want to keep and use but making changes based on style or on what someone else (who may or may not really understand how the changes affect the way it works) has done often results in a piece of expensive yard art that you can't stand sitting on for more than a few minutes and might even be dangerous.
 

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For a free bike that is in exceptionally good condition appearance wise. Recommend keeping it stock. Dallas Fort Worth ?
 

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For a free bike that is in exceptionally good condition appearance wise. Recommend keeping it stock. Dallas Fort Worth ?
Yep. Dallas/Ft Worth area. I agree it is in pretty good shape as is.
 

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Welcome aboard Ted! Those earlier Customs are my favorite CXs. Good score!
 
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I was kind of hoping you were getting rid of the tank and side pieces or swap for my CX ones if you were planning on chopping it up, oh well.
 
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