Honda CX500 Reviews from United States of America

1978 Honda CX500

Model year1978
Year of manufacture1978
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2012
Acceleration marks 8 / 10
Handling marks 8 / 10
Braking marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired25600 miles
Most recent distance27500 miles

Summary:

Solid

Faults:

When I bought the bike it was missing 1st gear. Starts off easily enough from 2nd.

Also has an oil leak from the front right side of the engine, from underneath the radiator shroud.

The temp gauge does not function, but the cooling system works.

My bike comes with brackets to fit a pair of hard saddlebags, and the bracket, passenger pegs, and muffler bracket all connect to the frame at the same point. Somehow the one bolt that holds it all together fell off, so now I'm missing a peg, and my muffler is loose.

General Comments:

This is a great bike. Mine is a '78, the first year they were made. If you get a '78 (any) or a '79 (within a certain serial number range), be aware of the recall issue. Early models had a faulty cam chain tensioner that would cause the cam chain to get loose and tear up the inside of the engine. This was fixed part way through 1979, but Honda issued a recall on all existing bikes. You can tell if your bike has been fixed by checking the lower left part of the engine where the number is stamped into the casing. If you see three punch dots in a triangle pattern, your bike was fixed.

Anyway, I love this motorcycle. It's 500cc, so big enough to keep up with highway traffic, but not big enough to get you into trouble (or killed in some cases). I've owned mine for a month, and I've put about 2000 miles on it. I get about 45-50 miles to the gallon, with a range of about 150-170 miles per tank. The bike is shaft-drive, so no chain to tighten up or replace. It does require some periodic maintenance, but not nearly as much as conventional chain drive. The engine is practically bulletproof, but if you do need to do some maintenance (tune-ups, valve adjustments, etc), the heads are conveniently angled outwards to make it easy for you.

These bikes make good cafe-racers or bobbers, if you're into that sort of thing. And you can take it across the country without a second thought... you'll probably wear more than the bike will.

This is an EXCELLENT first bike. The only drawback is that it's not ideal if you're short, and while you can lower the bike somewhat on the shocks, it might not help much. But I'm totally in love with this motorcycle!

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th August, 2012

31st Oct 2013, 06:53

Just bought an 82. It's a lovely bike. Had the speedo drive changed and all is good. Hopefully will get some riding in next summer...

1980 Honda CX500

Model year1980
Year of manufacture1980
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2012
Acceleration marks 7 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 7 / 10
Handling marks 8 / 10
Braking marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.6 / 10
Distance when acquired22000 miles
Most recent distance24000 miles
Previous motorcycleHonda VT500

Summary:

Fantastic bike with a little work

Faults:

Original components were all badly aged, as would be expected of a 32-year-old motorcycle.

After refurb, have had zero problems at all.

General Comments:

These are fantastic machines, if you take the time to get them at least back to original condition or preferably better. A lot of the common complaints (e.g. poor front brakes) are easily and fairly cheaply fixed.

I bought my bike, a 1980 CX500C, in very poor condition for $300. I totally overhauled the bike, and now it is just amazing. The tuned-up engine and replacement ignition accelerate the thing quickly and smoothly to 65-70 mph, where it will happily and steadily cruise all day, even in the hottest weather. The front disc brake with single-piston caliper hauls the 460-lb motorcycle back to a stop surprisingly quickly - the stainless brake lines and new master cylinder make a huge difference.

It starts instantly in any temperature and never bogs down. You can ride right off from cold starting (unusual in bikes from this era and even today)

Handling is pretty excellent. I have new shocks and rebuilt forks, and the forks are lowered 1" in the trees, which quickens the steering just enough. The center of gravity is fairly high, but it doesn't matter once you're moving. The tires (new Kenda K671s) are excellent in all conditions, with tons of grip.

The seat is comfortable, the bike looks nice (with the addition of a new paint job), and sounds nice because of the new mufflers.

Total cost for the build was roughly $1000. It took a few months, during most of which the bike was rideable. No work was outsourced - I did everything myself.

Full list of modifications:

Front brake caliper rebuilt. New pads and fluid. Replacement (improved) master cylinder. Stainless steel lines.

New mufflers (stock Harley Dynas). These are reasonably quiet and very deep. Excellent sound.

Ignitech replacement ignition module. This replaces the aging CDI unit on pre-1982 bikes, and solves problems with that and the stator (both chronic problems with the CX). It also has an improved curve programmed, which improves performance, ease of starting, and smoothness over stock.

Thoroughly cleaned carburetors, properly synchronized.

Rebuilt front forks, lowered 1" in the trees.

New rear shocks.

Valve adjustment.

New engine water pump seal (also a chronic problem).

New fluids all round.

New tires.

New paint.

Cleaned and lubricated cables.

Restored seat (original foam and repaired original cover).

New ultrabright LED signals and stop/tail light.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd July, 2012

Average review marks: 8.1 / 10, based on 3 reviews