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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all,
Brand-spankin noobie here, and starting my 1st ever motorcycle rebuild. I'm mechanically inclined...(I'm a helicopter mechanic by trade)...just never tore down a bike. This seems like a good place to start, as there's a ton of very knowledgeable folks on here and most really want to help. I'll be picking the collective brain here and trying to learn as much as I can.

I just picked up a 1980 Honda CX500 Deluxe off CL for $160. Yep...$160. Couldn't pass it up for that! The goal is to completely tear it down and customize/rebuild it into a scrambler/tracker type. No rush here, I've got a lot to learn. I assume this project will take me years...as the funds and knowledge are acquired.

I think I'm gonna call this one "Gordita"...loosly translated means "Chubby Girl" (affectionately).

It's pretty rough as to be expected, but while it wouldn't crank (I suspect start solenoid or some wiring issue), the engine is not seized. I checked the oil/coolant levels (both were full but nasty), and was able to pull the plugs and hot wire the starter for a couple seconds and it turned over smoothly. In hind sight, I probably shouldn't have done that, but I was really concerned it was seized because of the ridiculously low price. Other electrics were ok...lights and horn worked, with the exception of the left turn signal. Would illuminate, but not blink. Not a big deal. Of course, there's lots of rust and corrosion, but that's fine. I intend to strip it down to every last nut and bolt, take my time, and completely rebuild it right. Tank looks fairly rust free inside, and there was just a dribble of fuel in it, only one tiny dent...good. Carbs will need a rebuild of course. The mufflers were completely rusted through at the H-pipe, and the H-pipe badly rusted as well. But the headers are in good shape. No worries there, I want new mufflers on it anyway. Forks seemed true but pretty squishy, so I'll need to rebuild those. Brakes and clutch worked and weren't locked up. Other than that, seems like good starting point, especially at the price.

I've got it striped all the way down to the engine in the frame. I took lots of pics, bagged/labeled everything, and took extra time labeling each wiring connection. So far, knock on wood, the only thing broke is a clutch lever, the mufflers (practically fell off), and the little switch coming off the stator and screwed into the lower rear engine case...I assume it's some kind of a temp switch? What is it?







 

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Welcome aboard! Sounds like you have some visions ahead for the bike. Many members here, myself included, would recommend that you get the bike back together after your cursory breakdown and cleaning. Having the knowledge of how it was designed will give you a better platform from which to pursue your ideas for change.

Have a good time researching the forum, it is likely the most comprehensive pool of information and help on the web. We are a world wide forum, so there is someone here at all times. Don't forget the WIKI and JC's great website, motofaction.org

Joel in the Couve
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, that's it. Neutral switch. Thanks JC.

Now for my first real question: The engine. Bike has 22,000 miles on it. Pending a valve clearance check and compression test, how far should I go on the rebuild? Just the top end? All of it? I want it done good, but I don' t want to spend a fortune on the motor either. I've left it in the frame until I get a solid plan how deep I'm digging into it.
 

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At 22k miles you probably don't need to rebuild. You may however need a 3x- 4x Bypass (stator, cam chain/guides, mech seal and starter clutch springs. These old bikes don't die they are killed by neglect. I would try to get it running first and then decide. main bearings are becoming scarce to non-existent
 

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Welcome gedenke!

I agree with what the okes suggested.

Like JC also explained, I would 1st check and test everything, in an attempt to get the bike working and fixed...before just diving into the 4 x bypass. Your findings will inform you what needs to be done.

FRom there, you will have a good platform to start customising, and a better sense of how deep you wanna go lol. If possible, ride the bike a while before really getting into the customization.

Enjoy the ride....and between This forum and Motofaction, you will get all the info you need... :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
What you said, Speedster. I should clarify my plans. I'll mock it back together, try to get it running, do the checks that JC suggested in post #6, and THEN move on to the bypass if needed. As for riding it, probably won't...the tires are toast and I intend to mod the rear wheel to 17" before buying new rubber. The reason I bought the bike was as a project, and besides, I have my dual sport to keep me busy when the weather is decent.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Well...not necessarily in order:

-clean/flush tank & radiator - (RAD. DONE)
-get engine/carbs tuned up right (CARBS REBUILT, ENGINE REBUILT/PAINTED)
-new seat/rear frame mod - (DONE)
-brakes - (GSXR FRONT BRAKES DONE...JUST NEED SS BRAKE LINES)
-airbox delete (DONE)
-trim fenders
-mod rear wheel to 17" (better tire selection) - (DONE)
-paint EVERYTHING (frame/engine/tank/wheels)
-cone carb filters (DONE)
-DOT knobbies (DONE - Kenda K784 Big Block 130/80x17, front/rear)
-new mufflers (Stainless Steel - eBay)
-dirt bike style handlebar (DONE)
-lithium battery/MOSFET R/R (Shorai...R/R needs connectors wired)
-new grips/gauges/head light (In progress...installed, needs wired)
-low profile buttons (Change of plans...keeping the stock. Painted)
-LED turn signals/tail light (in progress)
-fab side covers ( in progress)
-rewire with M-Unit & M-Button & M-Lock ignition switch...maybe (probably not...too expensive)
-eventually...USD fork swap - (DONE)
-eventually...upgrade to Mikuni carbs

I'm debating on relocating the battery and leaving the airbox space open, or fabbing up some aluminum side covers and leaving it in the airbox hole. And that's the plan...for now, ha!

Something like this:
http://www.pipeburn.com/home/2017/10/03/honda-cx500-brat-cafe-canada.html
http://thebikeshed.cc/woodgates-motorcycles-cx500/
 

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Ok...lots of work then...lol.

The bikes in those pica also looks very cool.

The brown/green/gold one is super cool...and was also my inspiration. Awesome look!
Just note that that specific bike is very naked/bare..lol...meaning def not street legal. You will see there are no guages, no front indicators and hardly any steering control switches. So very minimalistic...but probably not ideal fro regular riding.
I wont build a bike without a rev counter, temp guage and indictors...lol

Nice project!
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Ok, so I ordered Larry's carb book, and am starting to gather an order list of gaskets and seals for the engine and carbs. (going off the bypass list on JC's site) New mechanical seal on order. I'm going to pick up a decent multimeter and compression test kit when I get home. I've decided I'm going to get the Rae-San hall effect kit and I might upgrade to a G8 stator as well...Where's the best place to pick up a stator? Custom Rewind? Ricks?

I've been reading a lot of good about Randakk's Carb rebuild kit. But it's 3x as much $ as other kits and doesn't come with jets and needles like the other kits do. Is it really worth it, or will I be ok with the cheaper 4into1 kit and adding a couple air cutoff valve kits?

Carburetor Rebuild Kit - Honda CX500 - 1980-1981
Air Cut Off Valve - Honda CB650/750/900 CM400/450 CX/GL/XL/XR500 GL1100

OR...

https://www.randakks.com/honda-cx500-variants-randakk-master-carb-overhaul-kit.html
 

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Custom Rewind had the best warrantee and reputation across all platforms for fun toys.
 

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I recommend refitting your existing float needles if they are still sealing and working OK.

Some that are supplied in the ebay kits are slightly different lengths to stock and put the fuel level out of whack. Especially if you have non adjustable all plastic floats. If your floats are metal and plastic and can be adjusted this isn't an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Ok, makes sense.

The more I read and think about it, the more I realize I just need to bite the bullet and get the Randakk kit. Talking to Murray, with what I plan on doing with the configuration of the bike, I'll need 90/120 jets. The 4into1 kit comes with 78/115.

Advice heeded. As soon as I get home and check if I have the accelerator pump or not (don't think I do), I'll order the Randakk kit. Thanks for helping me make up my mind guys.
 

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I quite understan about the Randaks price. I know the kits are quality and fit and work as they should. Having said that, I can't justify the spend, especially once factoring in postage costs so I buy from other sources.

Incidentally, the original keihin float needles seem to be made to survive and I've never actually seen one fail.
 

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4into1 has a discount for the forum members, check in the WIKI. It doesn't cover all their inventory, but worth a look.
 
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