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It appears to me that the CX family has an under-stressed design that makes traditional concepts of what might be considered "high mileage" obsolete.

For example - I'm investigating a one-owner, apparently regularly maintained 1981 CX500 with 69,000 miles. Owner says it's been a daily commuter and has a rebuilt front caliper and a new master cylinder reservoir. Good to go for many more miles or something to be wary of?

Thanks,
Bob in St. Paul
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", '83 GL650, '82 GL500 Project "AdventureWing", '79 CX500C, '78 CX500 Scrambler
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Are you referring to the engine being a stressed member in the frame? It's not a wear location, so mileage really has no relevance to that.
Like most motorcycles, these suffer more from neglect than from mileage. If well kept, they'll run to very high miles. Even if neglected, they can often be recovered and then run to high miles. Reportedly, these were popular with couriers in London in their day, and many were run close to 200k with minimal maintenance.
These engines have a reputation for being bullet-proof. Once the age related issues are worked out, they're very reliable. If it runs well, a peek at the camchain looks good, and the electricals check out, I wouldn't be overly concerned.
 

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1982 GL500 81 BMW R100 2010 HD E-GLIDE
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It appears to me that the CX family has an under-stressed design that makes traditional concepts of what might be considered "high mileage" obsolete.

For example - I'm investigating a one-owner, apparently regularly maintained 1981 CX500 with 69,000 miles. Owner says it's been a daily commuter and has a rebuilt front caliper and a new master cylinder reservoir. Good to go for many more miles or something to be wary of?

Thanks,
Bob in St. Paul
Twin Cities has quite a few members on this forum
Paul
 

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In general, high mileage is considered over 25,000 miles on air-cooled engines and over 50,000 miles on water-cooled engines.
On CX-500s, over 50,000 miles is a lot of wear on rings, valves, cams, and bearings
 

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1978 CX500 "The Grub", '83 GL650, '82 GL500 Project "AdventureWing", '79 CX500C, '78 CX500 Scrambler
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The Grub just turned 69k, and it's not feeling it. Running as well as ever.
I think the over-engineered CX/GL engine wears it's miles better than most.
 

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The main service items above 50,000 miles typically are Stator, timing chain, and water pump seals.
If the seller cannot specifically say that these have been addressed you can look forward to doing it more sooner than later.
 

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There is a member on the this forum with a CX5000E who in 2015 had 244,000 km on the bike; probably much more by now. With proper maintenance these bike can be serviceable for an exceptionally long distance.
 

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on the lower mileage side, my GL has 5000 and the CX has 10,000, if the odometers are the originals. Sounds like they both have many miles left in them.
 

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There is a member on the this forum with a CX5000E who in 2015 had 244,000 km on the bike; probably much more by now. With proper maintenance these bike can be serviceable for an exceptionally long distance.
My 500EC is now up to 265,650km and still running well but a new cam chain is likely soon.
 

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Just my opinion, i think 100k miles is where “high mileage” begins. The most I’ve had is 60k, (on one of those problematic 650s 😁), but with no problems other than various seal leaks. I wouldn’t count the triple bypass as major engine work, but I haven’t even done that.
 

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It's hard to find a CX with less than 100,000 kms in Ausytralia. Anything with lower milage has probably been around the clock.

Apparently there are examples in England where they were used extensively as courier bikes with over 200,000 miles and one apparently that had passed 300,000.

These bikes may have had their engines rebuilt though.

Bore wear is actually rare in these motors. Most bore damage tends to be corrosion from being laid up. Most CX motors I open still display honing marks that could have been done yesterday.
 

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I think I just turned 85,000 miles on the Falconkiller and 72,000 miles on the supertanker. No problems at the moment but the wear parts do need to be refreshed or the engine will self destruct. Almost like planned obsolescence that honda got wrong with the first cx's having tensioner failure to quickly. And later ones having the warning signs of metal shavings so people knew they had to get in there and change out the camchains.
 

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Routine adjustment and inspection should lead to replacement before the warning signs of metal shavings. But then, lack of proper servicing of the chain tension may have been one of the reasons for the introduction of the automatic tensioner, which still needs to be routinely inspected.
 

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It's hard to find a CX with less than 100,000 kms in Ausytralia. Anything with lower mileage has probably been around the clock.
Agree especially if the bikes a commuter/everyday ride (you'd expect 15000 to 20000km/year......unless its only a Sunday ridden bike, I think 40000 to 50000km is typical on the market even for younger bikes.
120,000 is when you think it'll need work if unknown history.....

Those timely oil changes probably contribute a lot to longevity
 

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If they've been kept serviced with clean oil in them and the oil maintained at a good level they shrug off these milages.

I've always thought that these bikes don't die - they're murdered by uncaring owners which usually terminates in a spun left rod bearing.

A bit of googling ...

Post 4, stated 350,000 miles. Still running.


Bloke looking at buying one with 140,000 miles.


Post 3, 350,000 miles.


Also found this article from Australias Old bike magazine that I've not seen before. I spot buy this mag and must have missed this edition.

 

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The original add for Mobil1 used to espouse a high mileage life (avoiding the oil thread)...
(Digressing from CX topic)
I put 200,000km on a K100RS (from new)...only issue was the counterbalance shaft/dampeners that was increasing vibration in the foot-pegs and a gentle "thump , thump at certain revs).....
Compression was still in spec...but the Nikasal barrels on those couldn't effectively be re-bored by usual methods
 

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Also found this article from Australias Old bike magazine that I've not seen before. I spot buy this mag and must have missed this edition.

And at the end o' the article a well known Aussie forum member, and someone who appears in many US get-together photos posted here....
 

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Joe Eastmure gets a mention too.

Looking at the cover I know why I missed that copy. The CX article isn't mentioned on the cover.

Also I don't go to the newsagent so often since I stopped buying classic mechanics magazine about 12 months or so back. Now I mainly go to pick Mrs. Phreak up a few sudoku books.

I stopped buying CMM because more and more of the bikes featured were what I would consider almost new. I will still spot buy it though.
 

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Missed the inclusion/mention of Joe...but saw it on second reading...

Must have missed the shelf-copy as I usually scan the covers but most (aside from new bike releases) are "Cafe"/"Sreetfighter...." And the only time I bought a Harley "chix-shorts and bra" type mag was when I was 14o_O
I'll always buy anything on bikes owned/previously owned (or aspiring to own)

Thanks for posting this
 
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