1979 Honda CX500 from United States of America


Fantastic Bike

General Comments:

I've ridden motorcycles on and off for about 25 years. And nearly all of them are older bikes. In fact, the most modern bike I've owned is a 1987 BMW, which I still have. Previously, a 1986 Honda Shadow. And that was in 1988.

My "toys" currently consist of said BMW (a 1987 K100RT), a 1975 BMW R75/6, a 1981 Suzuki GS650G, and this 1979 Honda CX500.

And the CX500 is the easiest and often the most fun of all of them (although like all children, I spread my love equally). It rides relatively low, and its fairly narrow wheel base make it easy to maneuver. This "Poor Man's Moto Guzzi" has a smooth and peppy transverse engine, putting out the same HP as my '75 Airhead. The wet clutch allows me to shift very easily, and I can even ride 2-up with girlfriend in tow, on the highway at a comfortable 70 mph (roughly 110 kph, I think).

This bike is getting popular among enthusiasts that want to "cafe" the bike out. Many designers (David Mucci comes to mind; his site is great) have made *stunning* cafe racers, but I think generally, the CX500 is a poor platform for it unless you're handy with a welder (or buddies with one). But the bike's ease of use, its reliability, and its overall fun make it one worth customizing, and at the very least, keeping for a long time.

There are a few things to mindful of (i.e., potential cons):

1. Google CX500 and "triple bypass". Around 20,000 miles, these bikes often need it (or part of it).

2. Ignition issues as they get older, often requiring some replacing, namely in their CDI units (Ignitech is the go-to replacement).

3. The usual issues for a bike that's 35-ish years old. Many of us don't fare that much better at that age.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd November, 2015

1982 Honda CX500 from United States of America




Nothing has gone wrong for me, just a carb clean, simple green and ultrasonic cleaner does wonders. From none at all, or rough idle and poor throttle response, to seamless starts in mid 30°F weather and idling with no choke in 30 seconds. Awesome throttle response. I feel accomplished at what I did.

General Comments:

I'm a 6'1 185lb dude and I feel comfy riding it, to say the least, but it is my first bike purchase.

I'm lowering the handle bars a bit to get a little more forward lean. Not too aggressive. It starts, runs, and drives wonderfully. 1000 smiles per gallon just getting out and riding. I commute to school and work.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th March, 2015

6th Apr 2015, 12:48

Just looking at buying one of these from a friend with 50,000 on the clock. Is this high, and what are they like for getting parts?

Thanks, Ron.

1978 Honda CX500 from United States of America




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...