1981 Honda CX500 from France


Reliability... it just becomes part of your life


If used to commute and stored outside (I know, I know, but I didn't have a choice) : Exhaust every 4/5 years... saddle cover usually has the same lifetime.

A bit on the heavy side for new users (although it is low on the ground, so easy to handle).

And MPG in the city...

General Comments:

I previously had many bikes, the latest being a TDM850. Great bike, but I like my engine to be perfectly running, and this one required carb sync too often.

As a temp replacement bike, bought the CX500 Custom. Didn't love it at first, it was just a commute bike. It's after 3 years that I realized... It always starts, takes me where I want at a decent pace, no mechanical issues... One major improvement was the change of tires from Michelin to AVON. Even though these are not so well noted, they performed miracles on this bike. I have seen myself stuck to the back wheels of sports bikes with double the power on high speed curbs, with the foot rest lifted up to allow more angle...

In all, a monster of reliability, enough power for city and highway, a bit on the heavy side and... riding it for so long, I have the handshake pressure of hell now!

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th September, 2009

1981 Honda CX500 from United Kingdom


Probably was nice commuting machine in its time


The motorcycle is extremely difficult to start in the Autumn/Winter weather, although it runs OK once started.

The brakes have reached the point where they need serious attention, although they were working reasonably when the bike was purchased.

Handling is suspect, perhaps due to tyres/shock absorbers.

General Comments:

The bike and seat are comfortable on long trips.

The handling is poor. This may be due to poor tyres/tyre matching or shock absorber problems.

Could be excellent for commuting at lower speeds, has a nice feel for this, but the poor handling characteristics/braking result in a lack of confidence in the machine.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th January, 2007

30th Aug 2008, 05:59

I suggest your bike needs some serious work - it should be a lot faster than a scooter! From memory they had about 50hp and were not a heavy bike, so acceleration should be brisk. When tuned correctly they are very smooth.

Handling was good for a soft powered bike - check the tyres, swing arm bearings and head stock bearings for wear. Check the wheels are aligned.

The early models had a problem with the cam belt, which should have been replaced under warranty. When this was done, the mechanic was supposed to stamp a * (star) by the engine number.

17th Mar 2009, 18:48

I owned an '80 CX500 from '82-84. Sure wish I had kept it.

Mine had a Vetter fairing and saddle bags, which were nice, but looked a bit dorky.

It started and drove nicely.

I thought the seat was a bit high and I'm 5'11". I loved the water cooled engine and shaft drive. The only maintenance I remember was leaky front shocks.

25th May 2009, 02:41

...while I did not have a cx500... I did own a 82 GL 500 Silverwing, which is essentially the same bike... just with touring fairing and small trunk...

It was my first bike, which I had purchased in 87...

Extremely well mannered bike with plenty of power for any riding I needed to do...

And in the first summer I had the bike I put 27000 km on it...

Wish I never sold the bike :-( Would buy another one for puttering around town now, if I could find one.

11th Dec 2012, 20:05

The cam is actually driven by a HYVO chain. 3 punch marks are present on the engine number of recall bikes.

1983 Honda CX500 from United Kingdom


Brilliant tourer with loads of power


New indicator switch fitted.

General Comments:

This is a solid and really reliable machine, starts first time everytime, and is brilliant on long trips.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th December, 2006

4th Jul 2010, 23:10

I love them, I had 2 in the past, never let us down, had to reluctantly sell the second when our first son was born.

Just bought my third 15 years later with only 53000 on the clock. Some might say they are ugly, well not to me, and some of the CX Cafe racers I have seen are awesome, don't believe me?... Google them! They just keep going and going.

My Custom had the old Alpha pipe (long gone now) and it sounded like a hot rod... Bliss.