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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!



I'm excited to say that I am looking to buy a Honda CX500 for the purpose of around town and possible trip riding. I have been riding for 10 years. Recently owned a '98 Kawasaki Vulcan and more recently a '74 Honda CB360. I love the looks of the CX500 as well as what I've heard about them. I need some sage advice about models on this bike.



Here's a few questions I have:



What years are the most reliably built or have less issues overall?



What problems or potential problem areas should I be looking for specifically to the CX500 when buying?



That's all for now. I'm going to look at a 1980 w/ 30,000 miles on it possibly tonight or tomorrow. I haven't even ridden one yet, so I figured I'd go test drive and see if the seller knows a lot about them or if he's just had worry free years and no problems.



Thanks in advance!!



Ryan
 

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Where are you located Ryan? Put that in your profile. My buyer backed out, so my 82 CX500 Custom is on the market again. MY LINK
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That is some great information! Thank you! Once I actually BUY the bike, I will look more into that information. However, I'm wondering what to look for BEFORE I buy a CX500.



For example, does this bike have a cam chain issue? If so what does it usually sound like and which side of the engine is it on?



Are there some good tests I can do while I am looking at a bike to check for full function of the engine and systems? I don't mind taking my tools and tearing a few things apart .. .. with the owners permission of course




Does this bike have any recalls? If so, what years and how would I know they have been addressed?



What is a good amount of miles for this bike to be in good condition still? I know that too many may be close to the end of a life or coming upon a lot of replacement parts needed, while too few miles may mean the bike sat for many years under unknown conditions.



These types of things are what I am looking for if anyone has any ideas or information along those lines, that would be great!
 

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If your game......reply to the ad! Thanks for the compliment, she is in great shape. I have some new spare parts to go with it, for items that will come down the road.
 

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Cam chain, sloppy sound from rear right on motor. A ticking sound is normal coming from the valve covers. Take the seat off and a voltmeter and find the connector with 3 yellow wires. Disconnect it and take the 3 yellows that go to the REAR of the MOTOR and make sure that each does not have continuity to ground. Then test all 3 to each other for continuity, should have about 1 ohm. Start the bike and you should read 14-14.5 volts at idle. If the idle rpm's are higher than 1,200 then you may see 15 volts which is a little high but ok. Drop the idle down though by the black knob under the carb to about 1,200 to make sure they aren't compensating for something. If the 3 wire test fails and or if you are not seeing more than 13.5 volts on the battery (left side cover) while at idle, that is a slightly costly job.



Recall on early 78 models only. Side of motor triangle type stamp where cx500 is stamped.



If the cam chain has never been replaced, it seems that at about 30k miles is where the chain should be replaced. Also an engine out job. But the motor might be the easiest motor to take out of any bike. The 78 model year had a weaker cam chain guide and Honda beefed them up.



If the bike has sat for more than a year, don't even try to start it. Some would, I wouldn't. Can you see heavy rust in the tank? How old is the gas in the carb fuel bowels? Take along a long flat head screw driver to empty the bowels on the bottom of each carb if old, then of course fresh gas. Have the carbs ever been cleaned? Did they add a fuel filter? Cleaning carbs is a lil tricky but there is help here. I would take the 17mm front inspection cover off and with same socket turn the motor over by hand to make sure it spins free and can feel the resistance on the compression strokes.



Take the dip stick out and see if there is oil. Is it milky? I would bring my 18mm deepwell socket for the plugs and a compression tester along with me to see if both cylinders give about the same reading. But that's me.



Kick the tires.
 

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If there is not a title or the bike doesn't turn over walk away. Nate is right about everything else, you can fix almost anything on these bikes easily with common hand tools. Common trouble points are:



1. Cam chain (eats up a bolt on the bottom if it becomes loose, 80 dollar part)

2. Stator (Bike runs off this, can be mitigated with Ignitech, which runs the coils off the battery instead 100-150 dollar part)



I would drop the oil pan and check for any silver, same with the final drive. If it has bits of metal it likely needs heavy engine work, if it is clean it might just be new so just be aware.
 

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If there is not a title or the bike doesn't turn over walk away. Nate is right about everything else, you can fix almost anything on these bikes easily with common hand tools. Common trouble points are:



1. Cam chain (eats up a bolt on the bottom if it becomes loose, 80 dollar part)

2. Stator (Bike runs off this, can be mitigated with Ignitech, which runs the coils off the battery instead 100-150 dollar part)



I would drop the oil pan and check for any silver, same with the final drive. If it has bits of metal it likely needs heavy engine work, if it is clean it might just be new so just be aware.


He is going to go look at a bike, so I doubt the owner will let him drain all the oil out. I didn't see metal glitter in my oil until the last bit of oil off the bottom was coming out. That is when it shows. I use my normal catch pan, and when I'm close to empty, use a dif container to more closely examine if there is anything other than oil in the 2nd pan, or cup.



Also, make sure, even if not started, that you can shift through the gears. That about does it for the most common, most expensive stuffs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That is exactly what I needed! Thank you so much guys! I will print these posts out and check all of these things out when I find a good runner.



I knew there was a laundry list out there somewhere and a group of people that knew exactly what to use and how to check things.



I'll keep you updated on my findings!



Thanks a ton!



Ryan
 
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