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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi
New to the forum. A few weeks ago I found an ad for a CB 500 -83 No picture. Jumped on it and, borrowed a trailer and went to get it. The guy showed me the bike and I realize that, this is not a CB, it's a CX, or.... is it.... it has a Sllverwing fairing, so I'm thinking GL, but, everything else looks CX. Then I read cx 500 on the frame, saw the crank shaft, paid the guy 5000 swedish kr (500usd) loaded it up and drove it home. it drives (barely), the brakes are stuck, clutch is crap and its rusty and worn, but still! It runs, and now I've got my winter project. happy days!

Ok, so, did Honda make the cx 500 81 with the silverwing fairing or have someone been creative?
Stores in Europe to get new parts (clutch, pads, gaskets etc.)?
Good place to get used parts (tank, indicators, stator etc)?
Full restore or another café mod?
Other bikes that use the same parts, triple tree, clutch, brakes etc.
Clymer or haynes manuals?
Tea or coffee?

Tons of questions. Thanks in advance for your wise answers.
 

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1982 gl500
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How many shocks does it have? In some places what is called the GL in the USA and other places was badged CX.
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
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Clymer or haynes manuals?
Neither.
Once you've established the correct model, download the appropriate Factory Service Manual from the wiki. The FSMs for this series are particularly well written. Haynes and Clymer are rather generic and error prone.
 
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1978 CX500 "The Grub", 1983 GL650I "Nimbus"
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How many shocks does it have? In some places what is called the GL in the USA and other places was badged CX.
I believe you have that backward. What we know as a CX500 Standard was badged as GL500 Wing in some markets. Besides the Turbos and Eurosports, I don't think there were any monoshock CX500s.
 

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1982 gl500
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I believe you have that backward. What we know as a CX500 Standard was badged as GL500 Wing in some markets. Besides the Turbos and Eurosports, I don't think there were any monoshock CX500s.
Ah you're right, there are monoshock versions of the CX but they aren't the same as the US GL, eg the Eurosport variant has no US equivalent.
 

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'84 CX650E that is evolving into a GL500
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If you post some pictures of what you have we might be able to figure out what it is.

Welcome to the forum. Please add your location and (once you figure it out) your bike's model and model year (NOT year first registered if that's what the paperwork shows) to your profile so that you don't have to remember to tell us every time and we don't have to keep asking when you forget (see Forum Settings link in my signature).

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 may or may not have had all of the maintenance necessary to keep it safe & reliable even before it was "stored" and allowed to deteriorate so it is highly recommended to download the Factory Shop Manual for your model (available through the CX Wiki - link in my signature) and in addition to fixing the obvious problems 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. You probably already know to 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) but 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).

As for whether to restore or customize, the best approach is to get it safe & reliable in more or less original condition and use it for a while before you start making any changes so it can tell you what changes it needs to make it do what you want/need better. That approach almost always results in something you actually want to keep and use but making changes based on style or on what someone else (who may or may not really understand how the changes affect the way it works) has done often results in a piece of expensive yard art that you can't stand sitting on for more than a few minutes and might even be dangerous.
Besides that, cafe style bikes (99.9% of them are NOT even close to being any sort of "racer") have become what choppers were a couple of decades ago: A few good ideas that have been copied and exaggerated by people that don't understand the physics & mechanics involved to the point that they usually result in something that doesn't work as well as what they started with.
If you make changes based on what you want the bike to do you will end up with something that actually is better and doesn't look like every other custom bike there is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Everyone

Big thanx for your answers and the generousity of sharing your thoughts and knowledge. It's got two rusty old hagons attached and I did get the the wiki manuals which seems to cover almost everything. It's a good point comparing it to the choppers, and man, have I driven and seen some really crappy cafe racers during the last ten years. So many have killed classic CBs and BMWs it's almost shameful. That said. i just restored a Triumph to original and it does look and drive great, but that was in good condition. This one... it's crap, apart from the engine and the original toolbox I just found it's really not that much to halleluja about. So, if it's one bike i can make something out of without being stoned for Blasphemy it's this one, but still the thought lingers.... originals are just that, originals. This is probabaly gonna be a spontaneous decision with a beer in my hand and my head saying, f**k it, just cut it, and the I'm off.

I have driven a fair amount of 70s and 80 bikes and do know not to tamper too much with frames, rubbers also seem to deteriorate faster with the new gas/petrol so that's the first thing I get.

Either way, your advices are very appreciated and I will ofcourse post some pics and keep you updated. winter is coming and up here in the north, many bikes will not return the same. (I'm tired of that quote as well but it just seemed to fit)

Keep you posted

Thanx again
 
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