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1978 CX500
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody,

Just like the title suggests, I'm the new owner of a 1978 CX500 and I'm totally delighted to get a bike that I've wanted since I was a kid. My dad owned a CX500 when I was little and some of my earliest memories are riding around the yard with him. As I grew older I came to really appreciate the bikes from a conceptual standpoint because having a longitudinal-mounted shaft-driven bike just seems like a very elegant solution. My bike has just under 23,000 miles on the odometer, came with a 2-rider bucket seat (not the most attractive seat ever made, but I'm sure it's comfortable), and a non-matching windjammer fairing (which might be the most hideous looking fairing that could possibly go on the bike. It isn't running, but that's fine with me since I picked it up as a project and I hope to get it running while I wait to take a motorcycle safety course. The bike isn't pristine and there are some cosmetic issues that I am going to address, but mechanically it seems very sound (apart from being 43 years old and needing me to go through the carbs and replace some gaskets). I'm looking forward to participating in the forum and sharing my journey of fixing, riding, and enjoying my CX500.

207622
 

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1978 CX500
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
welcome to the herd! dump that fairing and find an OEM maggot front cowl! :ROFLMAO: My first CX was a new off the showroom 78. regret ever selling it
Oh, It was the first thing I did when I got home. My buddy was helping me tow it, and was absolutely relentless about how bad that fairing looked.

207623


Need to track down a new front cowl and headlight mount, and fix the wiring for the front of the bike. I know it doesn't necessarily get the bike closer to being running, but I don't think I could force myself to ride the bike while it had that fairing installed.
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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Welcome to the forum. Please add your location and your bike's model and model year to your profile 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.
And while you are there get the colour wiring drawing for your model and the Honda Wire Color Codes chart to help you figure out which wires are which
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 (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). And don't forget things like the rad hoses and the boot between the engine and swingarm (they can crack on the bottom where you don't see it).
 

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1981 CX500 Custom
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242 Posts
Welcome!!! You've come to an amazing community and will find people with incredible knowledge of these glorious bikes. Glad you've joined us!
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
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11,059 Posts
Welcome aboard, Jefish!
I've got a garage full of CXs, but the '78 Standard I bought in 2007 is still my favorite.
 

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The fairing with a lower screen might work...wouldn't junk it yet....
The front cowl even with fly screen offers little wind protection.
Riding with a frame mounted fairing is a different sensation....you don't see the front wheel which needs a lil adapting for parking etc...but the fairing is more stable than a hadlebarmounted aftermarket....something to think about.....
 

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1978 CX500
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The fairing with a lower screen might work...wouldn't junk it yet....
The front cowl even with fly screen offers little wind protection.
Riding with a frame mounted fairing is a different sensation....you don't see the front wheel which needs a lil adapting for parking etc...but the fairing is more stable than a hadlebarmounted aftermarket....something to think about.....
For sure. I haven't junked the fairing yet, but it had some significant issues already with the locking mechanism being totally broken and some major cracks on the inner structure. To be clear, I'm not opposed to fairings, but it will take a significant amount of work to repair the one that came with the bike and I'm going to focus on getting the bike running and roadworthy for the time being.
 

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For sure. I haven't junked the fairing yet, but it had some significant issues already with the locking mechanism being totally broken and some major cracks on the inner structure. To be clear, I'm not opposed to fairings, but it will take a significant amount of work to repair the one that came with the bike and I'm going to focus on getting the bike running and roadworthy for the time being.
alls good...just putting it out there..just to let you know the old CX cowls a bit of a pain...and simple instrument (tacho/speedo) bulb replacement needs some dismantling...if you go that route consider LEDS in warning lights and instrument lighting.

(My CX just has the "flyscreen", and the CB has no fairing but will be modded to either a low profile bikini or a frame mounted 3/4 down the track.......)
 

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'82 GL500 '83 GL650 '21 RoyalEnfield INT650
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2,358 Posts
Welcome aboard! You'll love that seat if you take any long trips!
 

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1978 CX500
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Welcome aboard! You'll love that seat if you take any long trips!
I bet it will be nice. The cover has seen better days, and it's tearing along the front of the seat, so I'll probably have to get a new seat cover if I want to use it long term. I don't see myself riding double until I build up a significant amount of seat time, so I don't really need the double bucket seat. Maybe if a more traditional seat falls into my lap I'll swap it out, but it's staying for the time being.
 

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1978 CX500
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
alls good...just putting it out there..just to let you know the old CX cowls a bit of a pain...and simple instrument (tacho/speedo) bulb replacement needs some dismantling...if you go that route consider LEDS in warning lights and instrument lighting.

(My CX just has the "flyscreen", and the CB has no fairing but will be modded to either a low profile bikini or a frame mounted 3/4 down the track.......)
I really like the look of the bikini fairings and will probably install one to replace the damaged windjammer. I'm not really shooting for the cafe racer style, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to thinking that they look pretty cool.
 

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Hey everybody,

Just like the title suggests, I'm the new owner of a 1978 CX500 and I'm totally delighted to get a bike that I've wanted since I was a kid. My dad owned a CX500 when I was little and some of my earliest memories are riding around the yard with him. As I grew older I came to really appreciate the bikes from a conceptual standpoint because having a longitudinal-mounted shaft-driven bike just seems like a very elegant solution. My bike has just under 23,000 miles on the odometer, came with a 2-rider bucket seat (not the most attractive seat ever made, but I'm sure it's comfortable), and a non-matching windjammer fairing (which might be the most hideous looking fairing that could possibly go on the bike. It isn't running, but that's fine with me since I picked it up as a project and I hope to get it running while I wait to take a motorcycle safety course. The bike isn't pristine and there are some cosmetic issues that I am going to address, but mechanically it seems very sound (apart from being 43 years old and needing me to go through the carbs and replace some gaskets). I'm looking forward to participating in the forum and sharing my journey of fixing, riding, and enjoying my CX500.

View attachment 207622
Looks nice. Get rid of the fairing. I also bought a 1978 CX500 a few years ago. It gets expensive so do the work yourself and use this great forum...
 

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1978 CX500
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Looks nice. Get rid of the fairing. I also bought a 1978 CX500 a few years ago. It gets expensive so do the work yourself and use this great forum...
Yep. I bought it with the intent of it being a project. Lots of work to do initially, particularly with the wiring. I have completely removed the "Horrible, Awful, No-Good, Very-Bad" fairing, and I'm in the process of getting the wiring sorted out. Fortunately, I found another thread where another person was in the process of removing a Vetter Fairing, and there was great documentation regarding the color codes for the wiring harness. Miraculously it seems like the harness is about 95% intact, but since the OEM cowl is gone I have none of the normal mounting hardware for the Headlight or Turn Indicators. Also, the turn signal relay was displaced from the rest of the harness, and I haven't found anything that looks like a 7V voltage regulator. So, I'll be tracking down a design for the regulator and getting handy with a soldering iron. But aside from that, it seems like things are actually in pretty good shape, and I don't think I will need to rewire the front of the bike (deep sigh of relief).
 

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These are plug and play
 

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Super Moderator
'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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17,290 Posts
Or if you want to make one yourself. Reg came up with this before 7807 regulator chips were commonly available so he used a green LED so its bias voltage of 2.1V would add to the 705's 5V to produce 7V. If you want to use a 7807 just delete the LED and connect the centre terminal to ground.
207708
 

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The 7 volt regulator should be near/in the instrument cluster. Part #1 in this diagram.
207709


If it is not there, there will be some unconnected connectors. You know what wire colours to look for, green, black and yellow.
 

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1978 CX500
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The 7 volt regulator should be near/in the instrument cluster. Part #1 in this diagram.
View attachment 207709

If it is not there, there will be some unconnected connectors. You know what wire colours to look for, green, black and yellow.
Also, I see that you're just on the other side of the river from me! Hopefully we get COVID under control soon, and we'll be able to cross the border again soon.
 

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Super Moderator
'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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17,290 Posts
I just noticed that you have it listed as a CX500E. The CX500E (AKA Eurosport or CX500 Sports) (pic below) was only made for the '81 & '82 model years and wasn't sold in North America. they have completely different bodywork and "boomerang" Comstar wheels.
I think the confusion may come from the engine serial number beginning with "CX500E-". I don't know what Honda's engine numbers were supposed to mean but AFAIK the actual CX500E bikes have engine numbers beginning with "PC01E-".
I believe the '78 model was just called CX500 and is sometimes referred to as "standard" to differentiate from the later CX500C (Custom) and CX500D (Deluxe) models.
https://classic-motorbikes.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/IT2J6579-01.jpg
 
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