Technical

Honda CX500 Tech Tips

 

The CX500 is a tough little bike. If it's treated well it is STONE reliable. It's top-heavy, and not such a good looker, but it's a great learner bike and it's pretty low-maintenance. The poor man's Moto Guzzi.

Front Brake

These bikes used the pinnacle of ‘70s technology: The single piston brake. If cared for, this bugger will stop you (eventually) and get the job done. Braided steel brake lines on something like this is almost like polishing a turd, but they will help it out somewhat. Better quality pads will work better as well. Will they let you do stoppies? Not on a bet.

Drive Line

It’s a shaftie! It’s clean and relatively maintenance-free. Check the oil level in the rear end frequently (twice a year) and watch for leaks. Oily shafties are big buck trouble. When replacing the back tire or taking the back wheel off for some reason, be sure to grease the splines that drive the back wheel. This is hugely important because if you don't, you can say "bye bye" to your drive unit. That's big bucks.

Exhaust Pipes

Any holes in the exhaust pipes on this bike will torpedo an already lean idle. Fix them or replace them. I saw a CX with a 2 into 1 supertrapp setup that made my chest vibrate when I walked behind it. It had killer sound, but doing this is almost certainly polishing a turd. It was a pretty slick-looking cafe racer, though. If you must mess with the airbox or exhaust, remember to rejet.

Cooling System

Make sure the thermostat works, and you’re home free. Be sure to run silicate-free coolant in the system or get used to changing water pumps. See warning in GL1000 radiator section.

Valves

Valve adjustments is normally done for each 12000 km according to the manual.

Weight

The bike is top heavy, but that stands to reason because of the transverse V twin layout. A windshield on one of these bikes will make it feel even more tippy. Avoid these, or be sure you can handle it before installing one.

Electrical

Apart from roasting starter solenoids, the only thing to do is to replace the 4 pin/3 lead connector from the alternator (look for three yellow or white wires) with a solid SOLDERED connection. This will eliminate a source for shorts that can blow the alternator assembly. Remember, on this bike, like the Gold Wing, the alternator is an engine-out-of–the –frame job. Not nice.

Other Miscellaneous Tips

Cosmetically, these bikes are sure to be rough-looking. Remember, this is a “throwaway” bike that most people don’t look twice at. That’s too bad because it’s a really nice little scoot. Things to improve it’s looks/handling/appeal:
Ditch the stock bars and replace them with TT’s or Clubman’s . Better riding posture and better control as well as better looks will be your reward.
Engine/cylinder head guards are a must on this bike. They look like crap, but if your bike goes over, you wont have to replace your valve cover/head. Ignore this at your own peril.
Aftermarket pipes and a jet kit make these bikes sound like the loping V-Twin that wants to be let out of each of these bikes. I’ve heard these things sound like Ducatis before, so it can be done.
If you have a C model (Cruiser), dump the tank and replace it with the other variant of fuel tank. It’s a better looker and is bigger. What else could you want?
Paint it some tough-ass color. Shiny black is good, but avoid purple and dark blue. Most of these things came stock with these colors and they are just putrid. Do what you want.
Replace the worn out seat. Get one from a junkyard or have your seat pan done up with new foam and a new cover. You won’t regret it.