1982 Honda CM450E from United States of America


CM450E: twist the handle soulfully, but keep your distance


Turn signals were whack - fixed the ground on tail light assembly.

Headlight and front turn signals became loose - tightened the stalks.

Forks were twisted slightly - loosened the triple clamps and readjusted. There is a lot of range.

Front brake cable - replaced with generic junkyard cable for 10$

Front brake return spring (s) - fixed with external spring, $2.5.

CM450s did not have a center stand - sucks : (looks like 1970s CB360 stand might fit?$?)

Rear brake takes a moment to release due to weak old springs. I'm too cheap to buy a special motorcycle jack.

Rear wheel spokes are loose. I bought a special wrench - still in the bag.

General Comments:

CM450E rips hard from standstill, and it's an absolute pleasure to accelerate to the traffic ahead and then slice right in between cars.

Nice low exhaust tone - ddrrrrrrrrr. It must have been re-jetted in the past because the literature tells of lean emission-friendly jetting, but my plugs are normal-looking brown (consider the clean-burning modern gasoline). I recommend 89 octane to prevent detonation during hot idle in traffic. The engine runs smooth at all RPMs, hot or cold. 6-speed OD trans adds to the smoothness on freeway. The gearbox is gigantic, like 4-bangers of that era. The powerplant feels like it was built to last forever.

Comfy saddle. Needs a windshield for high-speed touring. The suspension could be softer.

It is a relatively lightweight motorcycle (~400 lbs) but due to soft wheels and thin flexible forks, it feels dangerous in turns. Now I know what all the fuss is about with vintage cafe racers :) Opposite of my old kz650c.

Brakes are horrible - drums front and rear. Even when they work perfectly, drum brakes are bad. So I don't rely on them. Instead I use the engine's massive braking effect to slow way down, then the brakes for the final stop.

That said it is a perfect motorcycle for a beginner - it teaches precision of inputs and attention. Plus they are dirt-cheap to buy and maintain, so the first wipeout (s) won't put you in a poor house.

Proper attire is mandatory though. The seller of this bike wiped out on his wet front lawn and showed me a nasty welting flesh burn on his leg, because the exhaust headers stick way out. I still haven't cleaned off the black-burgundy carbon stain. If a hot one falls on your leg, it will burn it off in no time. That guy is a limping louie for a month, heheh.

Of the many motors I rode in my life, I highly recommend this model to anyone aspiring to become a cyco4lyf like me :)

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th August, 2006

30th Aug 2006, 00:43

Update: the liners on rear brake shoes were separated! They were still in place though because the shoes have locating ridges at ends.

Straightened rear rim with a sledge (steel rules:) and tightened the spokes. Found a better front tire for 10$.

Valves are adjustable with common tools in contrast to typical shim-and-bucket quagmire.

This is the best mid-size street bike ever!

26th Sep 2006, 18:54

I'd have the brakes fixed right dude. We wouldn't want you down-shifting feverishly into the side of a truck that took a left turn in front of you! Fix the wheels too, for safety's sake.