’80 Honda CX500 Cafe Racer
It’s no secret that I really like the Honda CX500, the Japanese version of the Baby Guzzi’s. I got one for my dad, he rode it all over the Western US and Canada, and after he moved on to a Gold Wing, I rode it all over the Sierra’s. I loved that little bike. Like most all bikes it had a few flaws, the first that comes to mind is the styling, and a couple of hiccups with timing chain adjusters and the cooling system, but those little things were fixed in later models or through a re-call. There are quite a big number of the CX series bikes out there that have pushed well past the 100,000 mile mark with no troubles whatsoever. All in all, the CX500’s are really fun motorcycles to ride.
It was a good seller for Honda during it’s fairly short life. At first, magazine reviews weren’t all that kind to the little CX, mostly because of its looks, but once they put some miles on it were actually quite impressed with the middleweight twin. It wasn’t the fastest 500 by any stretch of the imagination but it handled quite well (much better than expected) and was quite enjoyable to ride day to day.
Honda continued the development of the CX series; setting it up for touring,(fairing, bags and trunk) calling it the Silver Wing, turbo’ed it, and even twisted the motor around to make it an AMA Grand National Flat Tracker. Police departments around the world chose the CX500 due to its rideability and reliability.
Over the years the CX series has gained a certain ‘cult’ status, not so much because of its performance, but more because of its uniqueness. It’s a really good motorcycle that just never really found a mainstream home. The photo to the right proves my point.
One place the CX series has found a good home is in the Cafe Racer world. Good handling, fast enough and easily customizable…what more could you want? And yeah…it’s just weird enough. I found this very nice CX500 on ebay today, only 20K miles, runs great, has been serviced, some nice upgrades and custom touches…just needs a tail light and some blinkers to be completely legal. Wait..a cafe racer that’s completely legal???…what’s wrong with that picture? Anyway, this is a really cool little bike that will be great fun to ride. A set of Dunstall type mufflers will finish the bike off just right. Click on the pics below for more info and more pictures.