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Honda CX/GL500 (Grey import) - any comments?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by Kestrel, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. I've gotten a deal that just might be too good to be true, and I'm hoping for some information. A friend of mine is having to change bikes (having shoulder problems & needing a lighter bike) and has (practically) given me his Honda GL500. It's a grey import (build date 1980 - yes, I know :roll: - compliance plate date 2006 IIRC) water-cooled transverse V-twin. Shaft drive, semi-cruiser chassis... just a little different from my VTR250, you know?

    I suppose my main concerns are reliability (my friend's had it for a while and has just had the electrics reconditioned, but hell, the bike's almost as old as I am!) and weight. I intend to keep the 250 for the around-town stuff and use the 500 for longer trips. I've been looking for comments about the CX/GL 500 range and what I've seen is good, but I haven't seen that much. Hoping some more experienced minds can help out?

    Thanks in advance...
  2. There's not a reliability problem with the design of the bike, they were as
    solid as a tractor (except the cam chain tensioner). However you
    might come across stuff due to the fact
    that it's 28 years old. Things like rubber seals going bad, cables being
    rusted, rust in the exhaust/tank/frame/etc.

    It will not be a high performance bike by any means, your 250 might
    be faster and definitely will handle better and brake better, but it
    will be comfortable. And they have a nice v-twin rumble to them.

    If you decide to get rid of it send me a PM, between me and my dad
    we've had 4 of the CX's. They're not worth much $$ but I wouldn't mind
    putting one on classic+club rego for occasional sundays of reminiscing.
  3. The GL500? That's the Silverwing version of the later monoshock CX500 isn't it? We didn't get that particular bike in Australia so some parts will be hard to obtain. Obviously lots of parts will be common with the standard CX500.

    CX500's eh... hmm.

    Heavy (about 240kg), slow (about 50ps), and errr interesting handling.

    Not exactly my cup of tea, but they can make reliable commuters/light tourers.
  4. Mate as a new rider try to get a bike that made after the industrial revolution.
    The key to building confidence and skill is practice and also having a ride that you don't have to worry about.
    Certianly buy second hand, but ensure that it will do the right thing buy you.
  5. Well, the cam chain tensioner problem has already been taken care of, IIRC... and my friend has had it for a while himself, using it on Ulysses runs, so I'm not that worried. I know the exhaust has already been replaced, so we shall see...

    As for performance, well, I'm wanting it for touring, not sprinting. As long as it can keep up at highway speeds (and other things I've read suggest it can do better), I'll be happy :)

    Thanks for your comment!
  6. Well, it just so happens that that's what I want it for, so that's a bonus! :grin:

    Also, monoshock? :? This thing has 2 rear shocks (if I had a clear photo, I could show you). The side plate says 'GL500 Custom'.

    Thanks for the comment!
  7. Well, I'm not that new - been riding for 2.5 years.

    As for the pre-industrial bit - I do have to admit that the engine & associated bits look much bulkier than modern units, but as long as it does its job, I'll be happy! Besides, I have to practice with a heavier bike... :wink:

    Thanks for your comment!
  8. Ahhh ok, it's not a Silverwing then.

    It's the earlier twin shock version. And it's the 'custom' version.
    In practice it makes little difference.

    In addition to those shown below there is also the early unfaired twin shock CX500 (the infamous plastic maggot) and the 3/4 faired CX500 monoshock version (looks like the turbo model but isn't).

    This is a Silverwing GL500

    This is a GL500 Custom

    This is a monoshock CX500
  9. DING DING DING! We have a winner!

    Almost an exact match - same wheels, seat, even colour! Except mine isn't showroom new anymore. :wink: It also has a bracket in the right spot to keep the cylinder head from bouncing on the road if it's dropped (aftermarket fitting? I don't know that yet...)

    Thanks for the followup!
  10. Both Honda and aftermarket companies made crash bars for these. It doesn't really matter which you've got.