Honda CX 500 Forum banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

As of this weekend, I am the proud owner of a 1978 CX500... 8300 miles from new. I bought it off Craigslist from an old biker dude (quite a character) who told me the back story: the original owner bought it new, put 6K miles on it, and then drained the fluids and put it in climate-controlled storage in Nevada for 35 years. This guy bought it in 2016 and put a couple thousand miles on it.. rebuilt the carbs, installed new tires & battery, and rode it around for awhile until he bought yet another enormous Harley. ( "My old lady says this Honda is the most comfortable bike she's ever been on!" was what he told my girlfriend, as a selling point. :cool: )

While this is my fifth Honda, this is the first 'big' bike I've had - first water-cooled, first shaft drive, first disc brake. (The CX500 actually weighs more than a BMW R90?? wtf!). I like the Bates bags & rear rack, but I have very mixed feeling about the Windjammer fairing (which is in very nice shape, btw, except for missing the cigarette lighter).

First things first: oil & filter change, radiator flush, valve & cam chain adjustments, new rear tire (there's a twenty year old Avon on there, a screw tore the sidewall on the 'new' tire)... maybe new battery. The petcock seems a little suspect as well. And the carbs need some adjusting: she starts cold, if it starts at all... I couldn't get it started yesterday. Fortunately the inside of the fuel tank is spotless. The engines and wheels are really clean... only some light spots of rust on the guards & racks, from its last year under a carport.

Later comes the cosmetics: get rid of that fairing and restore the maggot head & headlight bracket, front turn signals, etc. There's a also a small tear in the seat cover. Since I don't want to make a cafe racer, I'm hoping some of these parts will be readily available as cafe builders yank them off. Also the side cover badges.

I'll be lurking around and paying attention, but I have one initial question: do you really have to move the fuel tank to access the radiator cap? I can't see any other way. Thanks for maintaining this excellent, lively forum!

Andy in Oakland


Land vehicle Vehicle Motor vehicle Motorcycle Car
 
  • Like
Reactions: Adam312

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
11,462 Posts
Looks like a good find, welcome to the fold! Glad you are keeping it basic stock. I've noticed the uptick in removed parts from all the cafe builds, as well as the failed morphs themselves. Have fun with it, pretty easy to maintain.

The coolant filler cap is one fail point for these bikes. You might find tips from other members, but the method you mention is a way around it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,804 Posts
Ride it with the fairing on for a while and then remove just the windscreen and see what a difference there is in how it feels on the highway.
You can always shorten or get a shorter screen for warm weather.

I have a Hondaline fairing on my Custom and prefer it with rather than without and have two different height screens to use as weather warms up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,637 Posts
Welcome , fuel tank is easy to remove,remove seat then tank just a few easy to remove bolts,remember to turn petcock to off,add a fuel inline filter is a good idea.Need a battery check with this vender to make sure this is the one or not.https://www.batterysharks.com/SigmasTek-STX14AHL-BS-p/stx14ahl-bs_m12-12-210l-d.htm. I think this petcock will work if your tank thread is 18mm, fits my GL500I but they may be different, someone here will tell me if I am wrong.Honda Motorcycle Fuel Valve Petcock - 18 x 1.0mm - #2. I recommend Shinko tires,good price very sticky,look to see if these are in a size you need at Amazon for a good price.Here's a good oil.https://www.walmart.com/ip/Shell-Rotella-T5-Heavy-Duty-Diesel-Engine-Oil-1-gal/189732446. These are things you had concerns about ,feel free to ask about anything,someone will get it right and always check to make sure before you buy parts that they are correct not all CX500 bikes are the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, everybody.. good advice here.
One other thing: the dude I bought it from thinks the fork oil needs changing, because the front end will bottom out when braking hard; but from what I've read, that's how the stock front forks responded when new..? Pretty soft?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,748 Posts
A fully bagged and Vettered first year CX is pretty rare so you might want to stash everything you remove because I wager somebody will want that stuff.
How about more pics after you strip it down some ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
A fully bagged and Vettered first year CX is pretty rare so you might want to stash everything you remove because I wager somebody will want that stuff.
How about more pics after you strip it down some ?
If I wasn`t 5000 miles away........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
A fully bagged and Vettered first year CX is pretty rare so you might want to stash everything you remove because I wager somebody will want that stuff.
How about more pics after you strip it down some ?
I don't think I'll be stripping down much of anything right away... I initially thought the Windjammer would be easy to remove, but now I see that it houses the headlight and the front turn signals, so I guess I'll leave it on for now. But we actually had to remove the windshield and compress the front forks just to get it into a van, this is a TALL motorcycle.. at least compared to the little Honda motorbikes I'm used to. I like the bags & racks, the guy had new keys cut for the bags, so they're pretty useful... and maybe I can get the cigarette lighter working again!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,846 Posts
Hi Andy, congratulations on getting a low miles 78 and wanting to keep it in tact instead of chopping it up. Very commendable IMO.
If you need or want any help getting it fixed up, or replacing the original front maggot cowling, I'm sure I have everything you need here. Your only about an hour and a half away from me.
We can even clean the carbs and get it starting and running back to OEM performance.
If your interested, PM me and I'll give you my # to call.

Larry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Larry,
Thanks for the gracious offer! I've got a buddy that's offered to help with the carbs; the last owner says he rebuilt them - they work but it kind of feels like the throttle is an on/off switch, not very smooth in acceleration. But as I get this thing going I might need help here and here...

The plan is to keep it as close to 1978 original without turning it into a trailer princess... I want to ride it, I think she has a lot of life left. A new rear tire and oil change are the top of the list...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,457 Posts
I'm pretty sure the 18mm petcock will not fit the earlier CX500s. Someone else may be able to give you a link to the smaller one for your bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Larry is the CX carb/book GUY!! not an offer to take lightly. best of luck with the bike
Ahh, okay.. I'd just read about him in an article online, didn't realize he's Norcal! That's good to know... I'm a newbie, give me a little time!

I took a couple more pictures this morning.. haven't even had time to clean up the thing but she's looking pretty good as-is; new eBay seat cover being shipped today.

Land vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle Motor vehicle Car
Land vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle Car Mode of transport
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Thanks, everybody.. good advice here.
One other thing: the dude I bought it from thinks the fork oil needs changing, because the front end will bottom out when braking hard; but from what I've read, that's how the stock front forks responded when new..? Pretty soft?
Yes. Originally very soft suspension.
+ age.
+ vetter jammer
= bottoming.

New fluid will not correct the bottoming.
Nor will 'thicker fluid'.

A new set of springs will.
I've installed RaceTech and they remove all bottoming out.

You can also add a small spacer to the top of your original springs. (increasing pre-load).
Does help, but you still have old springs.

RaceTech springs are CHEAP!! $100-125 or thereabouts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Hey all...
I'm preparing to order a new rear tire, and finding conflicting information on tire size... (I'm not looking for the fat/wide aesthetic, btw).
What is closest to stock - 3.75X18? 110/90-18?

The Shinko has been recommended.. how are the Kenda? Thanks!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,155 Posts
I've had Kenda tires on my bike since I bought it. They've been good to me. Now on my second set.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,155 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
278 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for that... I've already got one in my Amazon shopping cart, with free shipping no less. I've used Kendas on other Hondas in the past and been fine with them.. especially the price.
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top