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1979 CX500D
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Todd from WA, here. Recently picked up someone's project bike as it trickled through my OfferUp filters for a reasonable price, and local. Ultimately back in 2008 I was inspired by Moto Mucci (sp?) build - However, I was working on this at the time:

.. so wasn't ready for another project! Life happened, moved and never finished the XL, years later now with 2 kids (yadda yadda), but also a CRF250 Rally later, I am now fulfilling my CX project dream as I still await the 450Rally.

Now tearing into this project bike, running into some of the classic normal wear-n-tear issues BUT reading the same issues and figuring my way through from posts from 2008-era. The previous owner was going down the café-scraper route, had a tote of parts, plus a couple OEM nuggets so I was able to piece the 1978 CX500D back together and take a few rips around the neighborhood. Cobwebs literally came out of the rear drum... wasn't a fan of oil on the left leg, 6500+ idle at a busy intersection, fuel pouring out of the pods, and the comical hand-signaling... however I AM IN LOVE WITH THE CX.

She runs OK with some choke-n-throttle+clutch-n-brake coordination. But I am more focusing on getting this bike dialed - I apologize ahead of time if I ask a redundant question, please just nudge me in the right direction. I've read the shop manual cover-to-cover (really only section 4-1 to 4-10 so far). But I am also excited to be a part of this community.

Planning to build a dirt tracker with modern suspension and adding some aggressive knobby's for spending 80% of the time hauled in my camper and ripping around forest service roads with the occasional trail bashing. I have a decent amount experience with CAD/CAM/CNC, solidworks, mills and lathes. Prefer #builtnotbought. I can solder like a boss but I suck at anything else electrical. CDI? TI? WTF? Planning to get as much as I can out of the CX this season, and tearing it completely down, modify, and refurbish before spring!

I am an Elder Millennial more old-school than anything. I understand the importance of "building bikes isn't for everyone..." so I offer shop rate @ $250/hr. plus materials.

Open to sponsorship(s).

Purchased as:

3 weeks later:

  • removed clip-ons
  • added fuel
  • added battery
  • re-threaded left cylinder for OEM valve cover bolts
  • soldered regulator from Skidoo 800
  • 3D Printed temporary rear bracket for lights and plate (not pictured)
  • custom quadlock phone mount (for gps speedo)
  • attempted to sync carbs #1
  • scattered all the carb parts on my workbench


1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
11,004 Posts
Welcome, Todd. Kudos for taking on someone else's failure and making it live again!
It's already spring. I suggest you concentrate on the running issues, then make incremental changes during the riding season. That way you can enjoy riding it, too. Strip it down next winter to make it all perfect.

Super Moderator
'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
17,233 Posts
Looks promising.

Welcome to the forum and welcome to the world of antique vehicle ownership (they own us, not the other way around). Your bike is about 4 decades old and the Previous Owners may or may not have done the maintenance necessary to keep it safe & reliable (not to mention what the last owner did and anything you might have missed while putting it back together) so it is highly recommended to download the Factory Shop Manual for your model (available through the CX Wiki - link in my signature) and go through all of the service procedures, regardless of whether your bike has reached the specified mileage.
I also recommend looking on all rubber parts with suspicion because rubber does not age gracefully. Check the date codes on your tires and replace them if they are over 5 years old no matter how good they look & feel (old rubber simply cannot flow around the irregularities in the asphalt well enough to grip, especially if it is cool or wet). If your bike still has the original rubber brake line(s) (should be replaced every 2 or 3 fluid changes = 5 or 6 years) I recommend shopping for modern stainless braided ones (they last practically forever and double the life of the fluid). And don't forget things like the rad hoses and the boot between the engine and swingarm (they can crack on the bottom where you don't see it).

1978 Honda CX-500.. a work in progress
33 Posts
Welcome Todd! Nice project. I am in the dry part of WA (Moses Lake), and have a non running 78. It needs LOTS of work, but as a 'Silverback Boomer' I too like the old school, gonna keep some stuff. Will be following your progress.


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