Honda CX 500 Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I will start by saying I am entirely new to the bike world, having never owned one myself. The idea behind starting a CX500 project bike only came to be recently after finding one for a reasonable price on Facebook marketplace.

The bike was listed for $500 in Aberdeen, SD. and per the owner it only needed a battery and for the lights to be wired up. I offered him $425 and he quickly agreed, which alarmed me at first. .

Upon arriving to pick it up a few weeks later the guy selling the bike went into a lengthy rant about how he envisioned the bike when complete. Only knowing the guy for the 20-30 minutes we talked you could tell that he had spent a lot of time researching CX500s and Café Racers. He instructed me to look to the forums before I begin my build, listing off numerous names that I should watch for (regrettably the only one I remember is "Murray") I actually felt bad buying the bike from him, it almost felt like his wife was making him get rid of it or something. . He fired the bike up and let it idle while we talked and it sounded great!

I ended up getting two titles from the guy, one for the bike he had listed and one for a bike he had torn down for parts. He had saved components that he thought would be useful or worth some money - Frame, Engine Block, Radiator, Tires, Rims, Carbs and Miscellaneous other things. I feel like overall $425 was a pretty good deal, I am new to bikes so I am not entirely sure though. . Regardless, the cost was minimal (so far) and I needed a project of some sort.

One issue that I have for this build is not having a garage/shop to work out of. . The plan for now is to rent a storage unit down the road and to use that as my "shop" for now. I am going to rent a 10'x25' unit for $85 per month, power is not provided at these units so I will likely purchase a generator or us an inverter connected to my car. . I will post pictures of this setup in the future.

I am excited to start this project and hope to post progress pictures soon.

Running Bike -
1979 CX500C
29206 - 2015

Parts Bike -
1980 CX500
No Mileage Listed - 2001


Pictures of the Bike and Miscellaneous other items that I received shown below -


IMG_5730.PNG

IMG_5857.jpg

IMG_5858.jpg

IMG_5869.jpg

IMG_5870.jpg

IMG_5871.jpg

IMG_5872.jpg

IMG_5873.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Before you rent space make sure shop work is permitted. Often it violates rental rules.
I made sure to talk with them about my intentions with the rental space, I did not want to be half way through my build and get evicted. . I am out in the middle of nowhere, there really would be no other options for space if that were to happen. They were ok with me using it as a shop as long as I don't make a mess of everything (oil on concrete, etc). Hoping to move the bike into the garage in the next day or so. .
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,479 Posts
The best recommendation anyone can give you right now is this: Before you start cutting things up or making other major changes, get it complete and legal (should be possible using mostly parts you have on hand) and ride it for a while so it can tell you what needs to be changed to make it do what you want/need it to do better. This is the recipe for a bike that you will actually enjoy using.
If you start making modifications based on what someone else has done that you think looks cool you are likely to copy the mistakes of so-called custom builders who don't understand how bikes work enough to know what they are doing and that often results in yard art.

BTW: Welcome to the forum and welcome to the world of antique vehicle ownership. You will quickly learn that you don't really own any antique vehicle but rather it owns you.

Your bike has had 40 years of Previous Owners who may or may not have done the maintenance necessary to keep it safe & reliable 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 because 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) start shopping for modern stainless braided ones (they last practically forever and double the life of the fluid).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Welcome to the neighborhood.
Thank you holyman1973! It appears that we are not only in the cx500forum neighborhood but also the state! I used to live in Fargo myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
The best recommendation anyone can give you right now is this: Before you start cutting things up or making other major changes, get it complete and legal (should be possible using mostly parts you have on hand) and ride it for a while so it can tell you what needs to be changed to make it do what you want/need it to do better. This is the recipe for a bike that you will actually enjoy using.
If you start making modifications based on what someone else has done that you think looks cool you are likely to copy the mistakes of so-called custom builders who don't understand how bikes work enough to know what they are doing and that often results in yard art.

BTW: Welcome to the forum and welcome to the world of antique vehicle ownership. You will quickly learn that you don't really own any antique vehicle but rather it owns you.

Your bike has had 40 years of Previous Owners who may or may not have done the maintenance necessary to keep it safe & reliable 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 because 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) start shopping for modern stainless braided ones (they last practically forever and double the life of the fluid).
Thankyou Sidecar Bob for this sound advice!

Since posting this thread I have kind of came to the same realization, I need to get the bike operational/safe before going into any modifications. Also, my preferences for the bike will most definitely change after I have some miles on her. An example of that already is just the brief rides around the neighborhood has changed my opinion on the dropped café style bars.

Some of the first things I will be doing -

1) My plan is change all of the fluids in the next few days on the bike.

2) I purchased a new seal kit for the front end, figured it was cheap enough and should probably be done after 40 years of service. Also a good starting project to get me in the rhythm.

3) I purchased a battery for the bike as to start the bike right now I need to jump the starter terminal with an automotive starter, previous owner removed pretty much all electronics. I would like to have the full ignition/charging system brought back to life, I bought a 4 cell antigravity and now I have concerns on whether that will work. . Link for that posting is here--> https://cx500forum.com/forum/technical-help-forum/108967-[79-cx500-cafe-project]-antigravity-battery-questions.html).

4) Go through the brakes - Front has no tension on the lever but there is fluid, did not bleed correctly?, Rear squeaks a lot when pressure is applied. . Honestly I was thinking of removing the front brake for now and just going through the rear. .

5) Installation of headlights, tail lights and running lights - Currently there are none of these.

These tasks should keep me busy for a bit, just want to get the bike on the road soon as the summer is quickly passing.

Thanks,
Dave
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
13,479 Posts
Yeah, my back hurts just looking at low bars but some people don't mind them.

Re brakes: Don't try riding it without both the front and rear brakes working perfectly. Not only do you need to use both brakes to stop safely (especially when a kid or dog runs into the road ahead of you) but 2 separately operable brake systems (foot brake and emergency brake on a car/truck, front and rear on a bike) is a legal requirement for any vehicle operated on public roadways in Canada & the US (& probably most other places too).
The rear brakes probably squeal because there is rust inside the drum from it sitting unused. This usually goes away after a bit of use but if it persists you may need to file the sharp edges of of the shoes and maybe clean the drum.
The front probably just needs to be bled properly but the ancient rubber line won't help any either. I would bleed it properly for now and replace the line as soon as you decide on handlebars so you can get the right length.

BTW: The handlebar switches are turned so that the knobs point downward in the pics. It will be easier to use if you set them up so your thumbs can reach them properly.

I wouldn't run it a lot until you get the battery figured out and lights installed. Aside from the legal requirement for lights (even in daylight), the load of the lights and charging the battery contributes to regulating the voltage with the original regulator/rectifier.
BTW: There is also a requirement for a specific minimum area of reflector on the rear (it was part of the original tail light's design) and at the front and back on each side (like the ones on our rad shroud). I have never heard of anyone being ticketed for missing reflectors but if you run into a cop that is looking for an excuse... Anyway, having them is a good idea because they make the bike will show in other vehicles' headlights if the lights fail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Yeah, my back hurts just looking at low bars but some people don't mind them.

Re brakes: Don't try riding it without both the front and rear brakes working perfectly. Not only do you need to use both brakes to stop safely (especially when a kid or dog runs into the road ahead of you) but 2 separately operable brake systems (foot brake and emergency brake on a car/truck, front and rear on a bike) is a legal requirement for any vehicle operated on public roadways in Canada & the US (& probably most other places too).
The rear brakes probably squeal because there is rust inside the drum from it sitting unused. This usually goes away after a bit of use but if it persists you may need to file the sharp edges of of the shoes and maybe clean the drum.
The front probably just needs to be bled properly but the ancient rubber line won't help any either. I would bleed it properly for now and replace the line as soon as you decide on handlebars so you can get the right length.

BTW: The handlebar switches are turned so that the knobs point downward in the pics. It will be easier to use if you set them up so your thumbs can reach them properly.

I wouldn't run it a lot until you get the battery figured out and lights installed. Aside from the legal requirement for lights (even in daylight), the load of the lights and charging the battery contributes to regulating the voltage with the original regulator/rectifier.
BTW: There is also a requirement for a specific minimum area of reflector on the rear (it was part of the original tail light's design) and at the front and back on each side (like the ones on our rad shroud). I have never heard of anyone being ticketed for missing reflectors but if you run into a cop that is looking for an excuse... Anyway, having them is a good idea because they make the bike will show in other vehicles' headlights if the lights fail.
Yea, I probably shouldn't go without the front brakes. I plan on updating the levers/grips/cables, I will just plan on doing that right away.
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top