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My New '81 CX500D

1001 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  SailorJohn
It has been about 18 years since I’ve ridden a motorcycle (not counting the FA50 I bought my daughter last year) back then my bike was a CB125. I must say that so far I love this forum.

So I just got this ’81 CX500D My intention is to use it as a daily commuter (5 miles each way) and take a 300 mile round trip every few weeks. The odometer reads 17363 if this was a car I would assume that the OD has flipped but being a bike I don’t know. I live in the Kansas City area and as far as I can tell I bought the bike from the second owner and it has always lived in the NE Kansas area. The guy I bought the bike from bought it in ’09.

I have drained the tank and cleaned the petcock. As soon as the Red Kote I ordered gets here (should be Friday) I’ll de-rust and line the tank and reinstall. I’m planning on changing the oil this weekend. This past winter the coolant was serviced and “winterized” but not the gas. Some rust in the tank (hence the liner). The original mufflers have been replaced with mufflers from a Harley “big boy”. The bike starts well and runs well under a load (at least up to 30 mph). The idle is normally pretty high but fluctuates any where from 1000 rpms to 5000 rpms (usually about 4000). It has a pretty constant psh psh psh sound while idling. I think that the sound is coming from the left side of the bike. The suspension is spongy (I don’t think that the forks are holding air for long). Also first gear slips out at the slightest provocation. Second and third seem good.

My plan is to line the tank, change the oil, and put some Sea Foam in the gas then ride the bike in for a safety inspection (required in my state). Then I will work on the suspension and other problems as my weekends allow. I will forgo any distances until I get the suspension and idle fixed and understand exactly what the psh psh psh sound is and problems with first gear. I was told that the Hondas shop said the first gear problem was an easy replacement of a $100 part just behind the front cover.

So what are your opinions of my bike and what immediate attention do I need to give her?
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Welcome to the forum, John. Tell me that your are on the Missouri side of Kansas City, and not the "other" side. Put your location on your profile page so that Rickbert in Sweet Springs, MO can find you. He is running out of things to polish on his bike, and when that happens, he becomes more active on here. Just kidding, Rick.

Back to your bike. I would investigate that psh, psh noise a little before I did any serious riding. One of my CX's had a similar noise at idle that went away as the revs went up. Turns out that the fan hub was loose and would vibrate until the force of the air on the fan stabilized it. If the fan blows up, (and they sure can), it probably will take the radiator out with it.

The dropping out of first could be caused by several things. I doubt that you will find the solution behind the front cover tho. Even tho the transmission is accessed there, removal usually requires removing the engine and rear cover. At least putting the tranny back for the first time requires the rear cover off. I had a CX that also dropped out of first, and sometimes second. When I pulled the rear cover, I discovered that the finger roller on the shift drum had slipped off the track. Five minutes and a replacement finger and I was back in business. No problem since.

Worn shift dogs, and bent or worn shifter fingers can also cause these problems. It is somewhat dangerous to ride in traffic if you don't know if or when it will jump out. Another thing that could cause it would be that the shifter lever is hitting the exhaust system and it never gets completely into first. That is a simple check, maybe you will get lucky.

I wouldn't even mess with Seafoam until I removed and deep cleaned the carbs. Seafoam is a great product, but it doesn't attack the crud and calcium that are inside these carbs. Cleaning them isn't a big deal, Larry on the forum here sells a great book on how to do it. Or, if you are up for a couple hour trip sometime, bring them down to Columbia and we will spend the day taking them apart and cleaning them.

Redcoating may help, I have not used that product. I have used the POR15 coating and was impressed. If you just have light surface rust, you may not even need more than a good cleanout and inline filter. That just depends on tank condition.
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The only problem I had on my CB125 was due to a rusty tank (just light surface rust) even with inline filters I couldn't keep it running/starting consistently. The local Honda dealer had me put Kreem in it and the probs went away. I didn't keep the bike long enough after that to notice any problems with the Kreem liner but figured I'd try the Red Kote this time.

I thought I had put my location on my profile but any ways it is there now. I like the Idea of coming to Columbia to have someone help me with the carbs the only problem is I'd want to ride the bike.

When I cleaned the petcock I noticed some white clumps in the bottom, I'd never seen in a fuel systems before, was that calcium build-up?

So I went looking for the main fuse holder, couldn't find it. I did notice that my battery fluid was low, my air filter was extremely dirty inside (can you say moldy spider) and out, and that the bottom of the battery box was wet -from the smell I'd say it was gas. I took some low quality pics (best I could manage). I'm really wondering what the extra port on the battery is.

Can't figure how to post the pics.

Anyways the battery is a Wal-mart special. It has the usual 6 ports but then has another port right below/next to the third port from the right. I didn't want to add water until I figured what that port was for. I was wondering if it was for acid.
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Where is a good place to get filters from (oil and air)?
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