Honda CX 500 Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have my eye on an 83 GL650 complete with side bags and front fairing. I have been riding an 82 VF 750 Magna for a couple of years now but am wanting to get into some more long-distance riding.



I did take the Magna from Boston, MA to Tulsa, OK and back this past summer. Was a great trip and convinced me that I like distance traveling on the bike but the Magna offered only about 130 miles between fill-ups (I'd like much more endurance) and luggage was difficult. I managed to secure two soft bags and to strap on a large backpack but all of that made the bike pretty top-heavy and still the seating is a bit cramped even for a 5'8" guy like me.



So, I'd like to hear from experienced CX/GL500 and 650 riders: What will I like most about the GL 650 over my current Magna? What will I like least? Anything I should be careful to watch out for in purchasing this bike?



Thanks!



nathan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
Well,



I don't think you can do any work on the Magna like you can on the GL650. Of course when you shop, just treat it like the Magna you bought as far as anything that hits

your radar like weird noises, clutch worn, tires about shot, etc. The Hondaline luggage on the GL650 are kinda small but work. I got myself the Vetter trunk and the luggage.

You have to modify whatever brackets you get with the luggage, but well worth it and much more room.



Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
Hi Nathan, I feel good about my GL650I. The fairing/windshield was ahead of its time, in terms of wind protection.



The monoshock and "progressive" rear suspension creates a smooth ride, especially if the shock linkage system has been maintained and is well greased.



Shortcomings: The front shocks are "old-school" telescopic type, and are not easily, readily or quickly alterable to suit;- but they are serviceable to be functionally sound.

The electrical system does not have alot of extra capacity- I added running lights at 2 x 55 watts each, and had to change the bulbs out to 2 x 35 watts each;-- especially (when), in the winter, I wanted to use the heated (Gerbing) jacket. You can work around the capacity limit, but you must plan it.



The bike is great to work on.



Its a little loud (whiny) at higher rpms, due to no 6 th gear.



Good luck with your plans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
the 650 silverwings offer a few seating options. (you probably know this)



1. dual seat, driver and passanger...

2. solo drivers seat with large trunk as a backrest.

3. dual seats, with a trunk extender.

a. markland style extender has chrome bars that wrap around the trunk

* this style allows you to stack stuff on the rear seat and strap down pretty good

b. other designs that mounts under the trunk

* this style can be used with any mfr. oversized trunk, ...

... or remove trunk and make your own super cargo deck....

... expanded metal, show off your welding skills, or mount a truck tailgate!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,516 Posts
Are you in the Boston area? If so, are you looking at the GL that was on Craigslist? If it is, it's a nice bike for cheap money.



I decided against getting the 650, my main concern is parts availability, or the lack thereof, especially the cam chain service parts, which are still available for the 500 engines but not the 600's. If it is the same bike, it's got around 40k, and it's overdue for the camchain service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Are you in the Boston area? If so, are you looking at the GL that was on Craigslist? If it is, it's a nice bike for cheap money.



I decided against getting the 650, my main concern is parts availability, or the lack thereof, especially the cam chain service parts, which are still available for the 500 engines but not the 600's. If it is the same bike, it's got around 40k, and it's overdue for the camchain service.


Yeah, that's the bike I'm looking at. I drove up yesterday to see it and was impressed with the condition but of course there are going to be issues with a bike of that mileage. Thanks for the heads up about the cam chain. Any idea of what symptoms develop when those finally start to go? Just loose compression on valves that won't close and open correctly?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well,



I don't think you can do any work on the Magna like you can on the GL650. Of course when you shop, just treat it like the Magna you bought as far as anything that hits

your radar like weird noises, clutch worn, tires about shot, etc. The Hondaline luggage on the GL650 are kinda small but work. I got myself the Vetter trunk and the luggage.

You have to modify whatever brackets you get with the luggage, but well worth it and much more room.



Good luck!


Thanks for your thoughts. In terms of mechanical work I have been able to do several things on the Magna, but it seems like the GL 650 offers a number of variations in terms of luggage, which is something I'm pretty interested in right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
the 650 silverwings offer a few seating options. (you probably know this)



1. dual seat, driver and passanger...

2. solo drivers seat with large trunk as a backrest.

3. dual seats, with a trunk extender.

a. markland style extender has chrome bars that wrap around the trunk

* this style allows you to stack stuff on the rear seat and strap down pretty good

b. other designs that mounts under the trunk

* this style can be used with any mfr. oversized trunk, ...

... or remove trunk and make your own super cargo deck....

... expanded metal, show off your welding skills, or mount a truck tailgate!


Yeah, I have been thinking about that. I'm pretty sure that I could get a good deal of use out of any of those combinations. How difficult is it to attach new side luggage? Are the mounts ever interchangable with the Hondaline set?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Nathan, I feel good about my GL650I. The fairing/windshield was ahead of its time, in terms of wind protection.



The monoshock and "progressive" rear suspension creates a smooth ride, especially if the shock linkage system has been maintained and is well greased.



Shortcomings: The front shocks are "old-school" telescopic type, and are not easily, readily or quickly alterable to suit;- but they are serviceable to be functionally sound.

The electrical system does not have alot of extra capacity- I added running lights at 2 x 55 watts each, and had to change the bulbs out to 2 x 35 watts each;-- especially (when), in the winter, I wanted to use the heated (Gerbing) jacket. You can work around the capacity limit, but you must plan it.



The bike is great to work on.



Its a little loud (whiny) at higher rpms, due to no 6 th gear.



Good luck with your plans.


Thanks for your thoughts! Particularly knowing about the electrical load capacity is pretty helpful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,516 Posts
If you hit the "multiquote" button on the posts you want to quote, then hit "full editor", all the posts you want to quote will show up in the reply window. Saves some time and space when replying to various posts at once.



As I said, the bike did look very nice for the price, aside from the lack of certain replacement parts which shouldn't be replaced with used parts, the 650's have the automatic tensioner system which is more prone to failure than the manual tensioners found on the 500's. If you're interested, if I read the seller right, he'll probably take $100 off the asking price is you show up with cash and a truck/trailer to get it out of his driveway.



Don't get me wrong, the GL650 is a very nice bike, and as was demonstrated to me and some other CX500 riders by a veteran GL650 rider at the Amish Rally this year, it's a much quicker and refined ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,559 Posts
I ride GL650(I)s and have these experiences/opinions: My first one lost it's stator at 50k miles, that engine sits in the basement awaiting my retirement or something. I replaced the engine with another (low mileage engine), but then bought another GL650I, so the first one sits lonely. The "new" second one has 54k on it and has had no engine work. I don't ever worry about 650 engine parts, over the years I have aquired several extra 650 engines and they are my "security blanket". Also, just like if you have raingear it probably won't rain, having a spare engine (they're cheap if you're not looking for them) may protect me from engine problems, or at least from worrying about them
. I have toured oneup quite a bit and found the trunk to be handy, but too small to be as useful as I would like. A trunk extender was an interim solution for me, allowing a waterproof "canoe bag" across the passenger seat. But now I prefer the combination of rear seat and rear rack w/o the trunk as I can strap down a tent, camp chair, tarp, whatever on both the rear seat and the reat rack, using the backrest on the rack to separate the two areas and make the tie downs more secure. The bigger stuff is not weather sensitive, and other stuff goes into a canoe bag (which are available in various sizes). Works for me, might not for you. I usually manage to carry a pile of parts to the Amish Rally every year that way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
762 Posts
Are you in the Boston area? If so, are you looking at the GL that was on Craigslist? If it is, it's a nice bike for cheap money.



I decided against getting the 650, my main concern is parts availability, or the lack thereof, especially the cam chain service parts, which are still available for the 500 engines but not the 600's. If it is the same bike, it's got around 40k, and it's overdue for the camchain service.
The only camchain related part currently unavailable is the one tensioner blade (as discussed multiple times on the old forum). The other tensioner blade/guide, cam chain, and the automatic tensioner are still available from Honda America.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I ride GL650(I)s and have these experiences/opinions: My first one lost it's stator at 50k miles, that engine sits in the basement awaiting my retirement or something. I replaced the engine with another (low mileage engine), but then bought another GL650I, so the first one sits lonely. The "new" second one has 54k on it and has had no engine work. I don't ever worry about 650 engine parts, over the years I have aquired several extra 650 engines and they are my "security blanket". Also, just like if you have raingear it probably won't rain, having a spare engine (they're cheap if you're not looking for them) may protect me from engine problems, or at least from worrying about them
. I have toured oneup quite a bit and found the trunk to be handy, but too small to be as useful as I would like. A trunk extender was an interim solution for me, allowing a waterproof "canoe bag" across the passenger seat. But now I prefer the combination of rear seat and rear rack w/o the trunk as I can strap down a tent, camp chair, tarp, whatever on both the rear seat and the reat rack, using the backrest on the rack to separate the two areas and make the tie downs more secure. The bigger stuff is not weather sensitive, and other stuff goes into a canoe bag (which are available in various sizes). Works for me, might not for you. I usually manage to carry a pile of parts to the Amish Rally every year that way.




The only camchain related part currently unavailable is the one tensioner blade (as discussed multiple times on the old forum). The other tensioner blade/guide, cam chain, and the automatic tensioner are still available from Honda America.


Thanks guys, that is all super helpful. RichNCT I think you and I may have some similar travel tendencies, I like your suggestions and set-up. I have read that some complain about the seating position on the GL 650 saying that it's not comfortable over long periods. Would you agree with this? Any suggested adjustments?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,559 Posts
I think I'm only an inch taller than you. I find it fine for even long days (sometimes 12-14 hrs with only short breaks). That said, I've got one foot in 60yrs old, and get uncomfortable after awhile if I can't change positions. I have forward highway pegs, and sometimes slide back onto the passenger seat, or if it's loaded, up onto the duffle bag on the rear seat to stretch out for a couple of minutes. Also, I sometimes stretch my legs out straight forward resting my calfs on the highway pegs (for relatively short periods). Along with a throttle rocker type paddle and a vista cruiser type throttle lock to allow me to drop my right hand and "shake it out" for a minute or two, I find I can stay comfortable enough. I've been known to stand up and catch the breeze on occasion too. Then when I'm really getting bored, I try to see how many miles I can ride with both hands off the bars . . . got up to 5 miles last summer going out to P'Amish on I-80. Never tried to ride backwards on the seat though
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
One choice you have is to use Vetter luggage as what I have on my bike in my avatar. Soo much bigger and roomier, you can put a extra large full face

helmet in the trunk and lock it. the Vetter luggage open at a angle keep stuff from falling out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
One choice you have is to use Vetter luggage as what I have on my bike in my avatar. Soo much bigger and roomier, you can put a extra large full face

helmet in the trunk and lock it. the Vetter luggage open at a angle keep stuff from falling out.


Oh I certainly am a fan of your Vetter set-up but I might have to save up some cash first. Or better yet, I'd love to break out the rivet gun and put some sheet-metal experience to use!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,516 Posts
Then when I'm really getting bored, I try to see how many miles I can ride with both hands off the bars . . . got up to 5 miles last summer going out to P'Amish on I-80. Never tried to ride backwards on the seat though


OH, THAT'S what you were doing. I thought it was narcolepsy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think I'm only an inch taller than you. I find it fine for even long days (sometimes 12-14 hrs with only short breaks). That said, I've got one foot in 60yrs old, and get uncomfortable after awhile if I can't change positions. I have forward highway pegs, and sometimes slide back onto the passenger seat, or if it's loaded, up onto the duffle bag on the rear seat to stretch out for a couple of minutes. Also, I sometimes stretch my legs out straight forward resting my calfs on the highway pegs (for relatively short periods). Along with a throttle rocker type paddle and a vista cruiser type throttle lock to allow me to drop my right hand and "shake it out" for a minute or two, I find I can stay comfortable enough. I've been known to stand up and catch the breeze on occasion too. Then when I'm really getting bored, I try to see how many miles I can ride with both hands off the bars . . . got up to 5 miles last summer going out to P'Amish on I-80. Never tried to ride backwards on the seat though


That's good to know. Not sure I'll be standing up any time soon but I'm glad there is room to stretch. On a 5,000 mile trip on my Magna this last summer I found myself often getting quite stiff and riding for 12 hours was decidedly uncomfortable. This is why I'm looking for something different and it seems more and more like the GL 650 is the bike I'm looking for.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top