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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found this interesting statistic on Jörgs CX-Forum:







Interesting is the quite high survival rate for the CX650E and T, and very low survival rate for the GL500.



Michael
 

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I found this interesting statistic on Jörgs CX-Forum:







Interesting is the quite high survival rate for the CX650E and T, and very low survival rate for the GL500.



Michael
Nice info. Looks like you guys didn't get many of the 650 customs.

Jorge's links to the amercian cx site need updated.



Thanks again.
 

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Wow! Anyone know where to find those numbers for the U.S.?
 

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Should be open voting.
 

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Wow! Anyone know where to find those numbers for the U.S.?


It would be impossible in the US. Unlike other countries where the license plate lives/dies with the vehicle, there is really no way to get any solid info on numbers still left. There are probably at least one or two CX's and GL's put away and unregistered/untitled for every one that's registered and titled.



I may be wrong (my German is nil), but that table only reflects bikes left in Germany. That doesn't mean the attrition actually reflects less CX's/GL's on the road, those bikes might be happily tooling along in other parts of the continent or world.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes these are German numbers, on registered roadworthy bikes in Germany only. Unregistered (untitled) bikes are not counted. It is not unlikely that these numbers are representative for other countries as well.



The German text in the chart says 'Model, Type, Type number, Originally sold'. The text above the chart says 'Total numbers at 1th. january in year'.



I wonder why such low survival count for the GL's?



Michael
 

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I wonder why such low survival count for the GL's?


Just a guess, but the GL500 Interstates were a very popular bike among the frugal tourers, when the deutsche mark tanked in the late 80's they probably ended up in countries with stronger currencies.



A table which goes farther back would shed more light on the subject, it doesn't really tell much since the numbers haven't really changed that much from the first column.
 

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I wonder why such low survival count for the GL's?



Michael




Shhhhhh.... let's keep these little treasures our secret




I'd have to agree though, probably the market issues- although if I see a bike it's a GL. The other one that's popular are the old CBs. One of the guys I worked with had a CB that was (paint, seat etc) in better condition than my GL..... but it was fuuuuugly! I like the CXs a lot but would only probably use it to tool around town with, as I am partial to my fairing.
 

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I wonder why such low survival count for the GL's?



Seems that the situation for GL 650 is a little different. Not many sold but a higher percentage (3 times) still "alive".



I´ll dare a wild guess why so many GL 500 vanished from the crowd:



Used motorcycles in Germany lose their value rather quick. Top heavy as the GL:s are (no naked GL version in Germany) I suppose many of them were spilled and written off. Too expensive to repair. We see the same thing with modern "plastic rockets" and tourers today. Plastic costs....



I owned a couple of fully dressed GL 500s many years ago. Managed to do three spills (almost standstill) with them. None at all, so far, with any of my CX 500s, in spite of 4-5 times as many kms.



Maybe many unexperienced riders tried their "wings" on a GL. And dropped it.?????



I own a copy of this "CX bible" with lots of "nerdy" info about our bikes (German language only - sorry):



http://www.amazon.de/Motorräder-Geschichte-machten-Honda-Reihe/dp/3613014149



From that book I have these numbers for July 1, 1990:



15855 CX 500 standard, 12321 CX 500 C, 3339 CX 500E, about 1200 bikes with 650 engines + 230 CX 500 T. Registered and roadworthy. Almost 33 000 altogether, 7 years since Honda stopped making them. Out of 44000 sold.



Edit: For Germany, as per the original post.
 

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I wonder why such low survival count for the GL's?



Seems that the situation for GL 650 is a little different. Not many sold but a higher percentage (3 times) still "alive".



I´ll dare a wild guess why so many GL 500 vanished from the crowd:



Used motorcycles in Germany lose their value rather quick. Top heavy as the GL:s are (no naked GL version in Germany) I suppose many of them were spilled and written off. Too expensive to repair. We see the same thing with modern "plastic rockets" and tourers today. Plastic costs....



I owned a couple of fully dressed GL 500s many years ago. Managed to do three spills (almost standstill) with them. None at all, so far, with any of my CX 500s, in spite of 4-5 times as many kms.



Maybe many unexperienced riders tried their "wings" on a GL. And dropped it.?????



I own a copy of this "CX bible" with lots of "nerdy" info about our bikes (German language only - sorry):



http://www.amazon.de/Motorräder-Geschichte-machten-Honda-Reihe/dp/3613014149



From that book I have these numbers for July 1, 1990:



15855 CX 500 standard, 12321 CX 500 C, 3339 CX 500E, about 1200 bikes with 650 engines + 230 CX 500 T. Registered and roadworthy. Almost 33 000 altogether, 7 years since Honda stopped making them. Out of 44000 sold.
36 registered here in spain,if thats any help to the statistics
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I´ll dare a wild guess why so many GL 500 vanished from the crowd:



Used motorcycles in Germany lose their value rather quick. Top heavy as the GL:s are (no naked GL version in Germany) I suppose many of them were spilled and written off. Too expensive to repair. We see the same thing with modern "plastic rockets" and tourers today. Plastic costs....


I must agree with Sture. These bikes topple over easily, and the cost of plastic is so high that many get written off even though the cycle parts are OK.



Michael
 

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Maybe many unexperienced riders tried their "wings" on a GL




I think you nailed it here. The GL500 is a great starter bike for the touring crowd, but I'm sure if that was your intent, it would fast become obsolete to a Goldwing or other higher power touring machines from BMW to KTM etc.. The CX variety on the other hand remains a great bike in most uses as we've seen on the forum from chopper to cafe to bare bones and stock - it remains the same. Finding a bike with similar characteristics in today's market - well, there just isn't one.
 

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I think you nailed it here. The GL500 is a great starter bike for the touring crowd, but I'm sure if that was your intent, it would fast become obsolete to a Goldwing or other higher power touring machines from BMW to KTM etc.. The CX variety on the other hand remains a great bike in most uses as we've seen on the forum from chopper to cafe to bare bones and stock - it remains the same. Finding a bike with similar characteristics in today's market - well, there just isn't one.


This sounds reasonable, but the bikes wouldn't just be thrown away with that weeks garbage. They had to go somewhere, likely outside Germany. It's all conjecture, but I'd be willing to bet that the decline in numbers will correlate to the low trading price of the Deutsche Mark at the same time. Back when the Mark and other euro currencies tanked, there were thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of used vehicles exported out of Germany (and the rest of Europe) to countries with stronger currencies.



Other factors can lead to vehicles virtually disappearing from the country they were originally sold in. Here in the US, the last of the "boat" large Chevy Impalas were almost all exported to countries in the middle east, there are very few of these cars left in the US compared to how many were sold. The most recent event which drained the used car pool in Germany and other countries was the fall of the communist regimes, high end used luxury cars were in incredible demand and certain models that were never officially imported to countries like Latvia and Estonia have more examples in those countries now than in their country of official sale.



Until there are more complete numbers to compare, it's all just a guess. The only way I see tipping the bikes over as a reason for such a drastic attrition in GL's is if the Germans make a habit of riding while celebrating Octoberfest, they weren't exactly cheap and a crack in the fairing isn't going to cost more to repair than the bike is worth.



If any of you frequent the German CX board, see if they have or there's a source for the numbers going farther back. It would be interesting to see them and figure out this "German GL ambiguity."
 

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It would be interesting if we had US numbers- as I said before when I see a bike, it's a GL. Parked on the side of the road in front of someone's house, at a store, etc. However, on here it seems overwhelmingly there are many more CXs. - so the site and the German site says CX, but my encounters are more GL... (?) - and as far as the topple factor, this is my first bike and I like the balance. When it gets too far over, the best you can hope for it to lessen the impact (don't ask, I won't tell...) because it's a lot of weight to change direction- however as far as being someone inexperienced with motorcycles, they might be easier than other 'cycles to topple... but I wouldn't go so far as to say they topple easily.



Maybe it's a Midwest thing... IDK
 

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I admit I was only guessing. I don´t know for a fact why so relatively few GL 500:s were on the road already 2003. It´s quite possible that the German currency rate played a role. But why, in that case, not for CX 500 T - a much more expensive bike?? Or the other models, in the same grade?



I based my assumption on the fact that I dropped my Silver Wings three times. My CX-es - nill! The lady who bought one of my SW:s dropped it in the parking lot, outside my garage, immediately as she straddled it, just trying it out. I had just told her "It´s a little top heavy - be careful!" "I will", she said!! Kabooom!! She bought it, anyhow!!



One of the very first CX meetings I went to there was a guy, who dropped his GL. The same thing happened once again later, if it was in Denmark or Germany I don´t remember. It´s my definite feeling (based on limited experience, I admit) that this happens easier with GL:s than with CX-es.



Luckily these spills at low speed didn´t cause much damage. The only GL 650 I´ve tried was spilled later the same day (at moderate speed) by its owner. He did an encore some years later. Repair costs were quite substantial. The first time he got fairing and other parts from the US. The second time most of the plastics were repaired. The insurance company wanted to write it off. He didn´t! Not the same bike, any more!!



Sture
 

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IDK about the CXs- but as soon as I got the GL I started reading... closing in on 600lbs, and being top heavy at that- it can be a little intimidating to the inexperienced. I couldn't get it up on the center stand for the first month I had it because I was being too gentle. Confidence needs to be gained and cockiness needs to be kept in check as while the balance is good, the top heaviness can lead to quick mistakes if one doesn't stay aware and cautious.



I know you know all of this already, but this is coming from a newbie and her experience.
The fairing plastic is easy to break, but can be a pain to fix, so that might've had a hand in it. Who knows- with different styling tastes, anything could've factored into it. Like the AMCs here- some people are fanatics, and others think they are downright ugly
 

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The GL's being Interstates would be much more desirable and worth the effort of importing them, maybe?



I suspect the "buckhorn" handle bars (first thing I'm getting rid of when I get my GL500I on the road this year) may contribute to the instability, especially when moving the bike around at slow/no speed.
 

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I suspect the "buckhorn" handle bars (first thing I'm getting rid of when I get my GL500I on the road this year) may contribute to the instability, especially when moving the bike around at slow/no speed.



I think you´ve got something there!



I don´t know how to put it right (in English words) but I definitely think there was something with that large and heavy fairing, the skinny front fork (the GL mudguard not being the sturdiest thing in universe) and those bars + low speed. Was it ever a situation when the bike felt awkward and clumsy, so was it at (very) low speed and doing a sharp turn or worse still, several in a row.



I felt like once you turned those bars, the fairing and rest of the bike came "afterwards". And the whole maneuvre felt imprecise and vague. Like a loaded wheel-barrow.



I put fork braces on one of mine. Helped a little but was no radical improvement. That was the bike that lady later dropped outside my garage.



My first CX had a large aftermarket frame-mounted fairing (Pichler). And buckhorn handlebars. Sort of the same feeling with that one.
 

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I will be 72 years old this April and I have a Naked 1982 GL500. I am 5'8" tall and weigh about 155 pounds. I have not ridden for 40 years, until the fall of 2010. I bought this bike - after my research on this site. My only impression was that it was heavy as I was used to Triumph 650 twins. It took a couple of months to get used to the weight. I only move the bike around while sitting on the machine when I could move my Triumph by pushing it around while walking next to it. I must admit that I have never felt it top heavy but maybe that is because I do not have the weight of a fairing. I have no idea what a fairing would weigh. I had a couple of times when I thought it was going to tip over but reacted quickly and had no problems catching it. I am very happy with the bike and find it comfortable. Billrod
 

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I wonder if there might be a typo or mistake in the numbers,,if there was only 680 GL's sold and not 2680, then the survival rate would be more in line with the CX numbers.
 
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