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My 1st try at a Cafe', need advise

3140 Views 14 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  GoBears0305
Hello to all,

Several days ago I purchased a 82 CX500 custom in good mechanical shape, cosmetic shape is okay. Bike has 6500 miles on the speedo and it has a current PA inspection. It also came with a new rear tire, new battery and rebuilt forks. So far I have changed the motor and final drive oil and today I may atempt a coolant flush and valve check.

I am wanting to try and attempt a cafe build and have lots of questions and the wife has given me an $800.00 budget.

1. With adding lower bars (clubmans or equal) do I need shorter cables for the controls? The factory bars on my bike are very tall and swept back I thik I will have lots of slack.

2. I would like to run pods, would it be better to get different carbs if so what an I to look for and what size?

3. Do you need the h-box on the CX? I would like to fab two singles and not sure about needing the crossover pipe.

4. What is the best way to clean the motor and get it looking factory again?

I am also looking for a nice deluxe tank if anybody has one the would like to sell.

Thank you,

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about the cables, you can search ebay motors/motorcycle parts for "universal control cable kit" and find a kit to do custom-cut clutch and two throttle cables (about $50 plus shipping)...or, you can do it yourself with a torch, a dremel tool and some silver solder...i'm about to cut my cables down myself, if i mess it up really bad then i'll buy that kit off ebay. i put clip-ons on my cx cafe and the throttle cables were so long that the throttle sleeve would stick open, that's why i'm going shorter. as for carbs, stock are fine but you'll want to re-jet as noted above, i am also currently cleaning my carbs and have the new jets to install, in all my research folks seem to like the 90/120 jet config for pod filters, but i also plan on running straight pipes, so i'm going with a 90/130 jets. you can get the jets from jets-r-us (.com) for pretty cheap, but know this, you aren't replacing the idle and main jets, the idle jets on the cx carb is fixed...instead you are replacing the primary main and secondary main jets...primary main=120, secondary main=90, so when you order you'll be ordering both jet sizes from the "main jets" section, not from the "idle jets" section...that was a point of confusion for me for a while until a local shop owner clued me in. as for exhaust, i'm going to try to build my own...i removed my H-pipe and wasn't planning on putting a crossover in, but they say above that you should...i'd like to know why, because frankly, i don't know, and knowing is half the battle. as for cleaning the engine, mine isn't too bad, i'm using a gallon can of parts cleaner and a toothbrush, but i like to suffer.

good luck! (look forward to some pics)

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J_reid, I totally needed that info about jets because I was confused as well. Thank you!!!

Lance, check your local parts yards for tanks, I found about 10 at the big yard here in AZ, Make sure you try to find one with the least dents and hopefully a cap, I found one with a cap and a petcock and it still had surface rust inside. I plan to run stock carbs, pods, stock headers with no H pipe, probably the EMGO 12" shorties and have them come out just below my pegs, 18" front and back wheels (eventually)and I'm in the process of making a seat pan. I got my clip on's on ebay for $50. You just gotta look for the deals. I also installed 40mm Triumph forks on my bike, but that was just because they were available haha. You can check out my build here, and there are plenty of CX cafes around.

My link


sure thing build (infant stages):
Unfortunately I have called almost every legitimate motorcycle salvage in PA. Found one tank in the Philly are that is spotless inside needs paint and all for only $175.00 plus shipping.

check ebay...i saw a couple last night. that's where i got mine, absolutely spotless inside and out for about $160 (i think)...without the petcock. maybe i just got lucky. just search for cx500 tank and i'm sure you'll find something...eventually. :)
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