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Project CX500: A beast on a budget

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by Camoridz, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. Ok so here it starts, in a fortnight i'm taking a couple weeks off work and will be rebuilding a CX500a. Have been searching through the net and found some very interesting modifications (streetfighters and choppers :shock:) Have two bikes to build from- an 81 that is complete and running (but needs a real good tune up) the other is an 80 model that altough seems to be in good nick is in 100 pieces. Currently the plan is to build one from the two- then fiddle with the looks. Naturally as these bikes are lucky to fetch $1500 on the market it will be on a stringent budget.

    Although undecided, here are my current thoughts to make it look more cafe racer or streetfighter like:

    Straight handlebars ( or clip ons?)

    Paint strip and recover (matt black?)

    would like to get my hands on a set of streetfighter headlights but will wait and see.

    lower ride height (hmmm.. no idea how)

    one bike already has no mufflers- instead two flared pipes that make the bike heard from about 4 blocks away :? :grin: so have standard pipes for rego then might pop the others back on.

    Will keep you all updated on the progress- have been playing with cars since i was a little tacker and taught myself to service my own bikes years ago (have 4.5 Gb of motorcycle manuals :) ) But this will be my first 'overhaul' on a bike before. As the CX500 is older than i am i know only what i have read about it from the early 80's.

    Would be really interested to hear from anyone who has owned/ played with these things- let me know your experience or modifications.

    I have also got the impression from time time that some of you out there think that fiddling with a mouldy old CX500 is like polishing a turd. Fair enough, i want to hear from you too.

  2. Good stuff, make sure you give us updated progress reports with pics..
  3. They're considered a cult bike by some, so go for it, screw what others think. Would look good done up bobber-style :cool:
  4. nah i reckon it sounds like a great idea. They're quirky bikes thats for sure, and the world needs more quirky jap bikes. I reckon you're on the mark with the matt black paint, maybe some dirt bike bars and def the twin streetfighter lights. While i'm at it, you know what i'd love to see? An old 80's cbx1100 six cylinder streetfightered. I reckon it could look great.
  5. I've never ridden one, but from most accounts they've seemed to aged well with an uber-reliable drivetrain.

    The front lights and the seat unit maketh the street fighter.
  6. [​IMG]

    So here is an image that i really like (above) thought i would also include the chopper i found (below)

  7. [​IMG]

    so above is the origional, and below is my quick job of cut and paste, am liking the idea of SF lights

  8. dam ive neva even seen one b4
    if u r on a budget car headlights and exhusts are exponentaly cheaper than bike orientated ones, keep that in mind
  9. I'm trying the cx500 sites as well but here it goes...

    Anyone got a CX custom fuel tank lying around their garage that they may want to sell? i would prefer the look (assuming it will fit)

  10. Saw a genuine 1976 gold wind with the keys in it and a helmet on the bar end today... was still there 3 hours fo drinking later. Far better option :p
  11. Ive had a couple of CX500s :oops: If you have a rattle, check for the cam chain tensioner jamming. Though most should have been fixed by now.

    Check the drain hole between the camshaft and the water pump for dribbles. A new seal for the water pump is pricey ($60), but more irritating is you have to drop the motor and take the gearbox off to do the job (pretty sure from memory). Might as well do it before you build it, if its leaking.

    Drop the ride height by taking your old shocks to the wreckers and asking for shorter ones with less travel length (so the compressed height is similar but extended length shorter) off any old bike. This will make sure your tyre won't rub on anything and your shaft drive won't bind up.

    Forks will work 100% better with secondhand springs out of a GPZ900 and 20weight oil. Use some washers or 20c pieces as spacers on top of the springs when you install them, so that the front sags only 1-2 inches when you sit on the bike.

    When you have the springs out and forks compressed, measure how much space you have between mudguard and triple clamps, and use that inch or so to move the fork tubes up through the triple clamps. That will help offset the lower rear end. However, be very careful riding until you get to know it, as it may handle nervous and slappy if you do it too much.
    (These were not known for having a strong frame and forks for good handling).

    Um, that's all I can think of for now. Oh yeah, check the swingarm mounting points on the frame for rust. It's no fun to be riding along and have your swingarm fall out (don't ask me how I know).
  12. Watch the first gear I have heard they strip it real easy and frankly I have never readen one with the first gear working :(

    If you can shave a 1-2mm of the head.. and bring up the compression.. I have seen it done and the results were all good...

    Personaly I would go for the choper look... as these don't handle to good so might as well make it a choper....
  13. he hasn't posted here for ages, but try pm-ing greenguzzi; he's a CX-500 expert, owns at least two of them and does all his own spanner work.
  14. Sounds like fun, streetfighter headlights can be a bit exxy, have a look at some dirt bike ones. They are a bit different and pretty cool IMO. :grin:
  15. Ummmm I am about half way through a project myself on a maggot

    I ride one every day standard and have a cafe racer version

    so far i am running a extended tank i cut and shut a standard tank up 50 mm to get some range out of it

    running ace bars with modified stops to stop the bars smacking the tank

    7.5 inch aftermarket LC250 headlight $70 bucks complete from any aftermarket shop and a set of cheap headlight brackets $20

    For instruments it will be a tacho out of the assy and have made an ss tube to cover up the blue plastic and will run a bike speedo

    thsy can handle pretty well with the mods listed earlier re the forks side of things but i may make some leading link forks for mine as they are heavy for a 500 so the best idea i can give is get friendly with th the angle grinder

    I have managed to liberate 20 kilo already in misc bits lost to the project already

    Yep the triple bypass is always worth while

    Replace cam chain $60
    Rewind stator $250
    Replace mech seal $10

    The heads can be got at very easily with the porting tools get the port floor done and match the seats to the head and get divider sharp
    and a half mm shave it will flow 15% better

    Now the not so easy bit please strip the donk down and check your bearings big ends and mains these motors will rev to 9500 for a 27 year old donk thats not bad i have 2 bits bikes so 4 in total and these two have spat big ends which is the not so easy to fix stage do not let them get to this stage as there are only marginal oversize shells available from honda

    Where abouts in Aus are you ??? please update your profile and i may be able to quide you to the service providers in your state

  16. Brucey, you are a champ! great info.

    I'm in sydney but the bikes are in canberra so i will be doing the work there. I remember you from a while ago when i used to post under the ID Cell9765 and mentioned my intention to do it then- somehow netrider thinks my Cell9765 ID never existed (eveen though i can find it with a search :? ) and i had to create a new profile.

    Have been thinking about stopping power- have a drilled rotor setup that is quite thin and a second set (not drilled) that is good but i understand that a CB900F set will bolt on with minimal fuss so need to look at that.

    already have a complete gasket kit for engine rebuild so will have a close look at the big end bearings then :wink:

    I have a question for you re: carbs would prefer two pod filters but have struggled to find info about how to change the jets to suit (ie: which jets to use). Have you had much time on the carbs?

    The other option is to get some mikunis but i might do that at a later stage...
  17. I can't resist the classic joke.

    Knock knock

    Who's there?

    CX-500 :LOL:.
  18. Now Now Hornet

    thats not fair as a Laverda owner i get more bang for my buck using that joke with Ducati owners ie any single or Bevel drive twin

    Funny that isnt it that they only got reliable after they copyed a little Honda Maggot
  19. Actually the joke was all the rage amongst CX-500 owners in England all those years ago; the cost of the cam-chain fixes was nearly equal to the gross national debt :LOL:.
  20. OHHH I CX500, I thought you could only find these as fossils at the back of an old wreckers :bolt: . They used to be called Plastic Maggots (Plastic Guzzis) or in the UK a Teas Made.

    I remember seeing heaps of them at rallys all kitted out with full fairing and panniers. Most of the fairing were full ones made by the same guy that did the fairings for the first Mad max movie.

    Good to see someone giving this Jap Classic some care.