1983 Honda CX650E from Canada
CX650E - Bullet proof with bags of torque
I bought the CX650E new and still have it 22 years later. For those who don't know the model, it is a liquid cooled 674 cc V-twin with the engine transversly mounted across the frame like a Moto Guzzi, driving through a 5 speed box and shaft to the rear wheel. Each cylinder has 4 valves per head, but only 2 pushrods, each operating a pair of valves through a fork. Stopping is by dual front disks and a single rear disk. Clutch is cable operated and there is a front fork brace.
The best feature of the bike is its bullet proof engine. Wonderful torque right off idle. In its day, I could blow off 750 4 cylinder bikes up to about 85 mph. You can come off the line like being shot out of a cannon, running up to the 9,000 rpm redline in first in about 1.5 seconds, or loaf along in 4th gear around town at 30 mph. When down shifting it's like applying the brakes, so consequently you don't use them much. The engine seems to have two sweet spots... 4500, which gives a 65 mph cruise, and 6500, which gives a 90 mph cruise. I've maxed it out at 121 indicated and cruised at 90 for an hour. Overall fuel consumption is about 53 mpg and the tank holds 4.5 imp gallons including reserve.
The riding position is fairly comfortable with your legs tucked up like a jockey and your upper body canted slightly forward. The small bar-mounted fairing gives some wind protection. There is a bit of a vibratory pulse through the bars, which can get annoying after a while.
The handling, although not great, is not too bad. The bike is inherently top heavy and requires great care at under 5-10 mph. It will tend to tuck in and want to fall over when doing a U turn at walking speed. On long sweepers at speed, it tends to wallow and oscillate if you are really going WOT and laid over. Nothing bad actually happens, but it isn't confidence inspiring. Still, you can ride it very quickly if you want to; however, you MUST counter steer to get it to lay over for a corner, because at speed in a straight line, it's stable like it's on rails.
All in all, a very rewarding ride that requires some ability to make the most of. I would definitely not recommend it as a first bike. I felt pretty respectful of it for quite a while when I first moved up to it from my CB350.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th October, 2005
24th Feb 2006, 00:31
I loved my old CX650E also.. I should never have gotten rid of it. I managed to make significant improvements to the handling by fitting tapered rolled bearings to the head-stem, Marzocchi suspension unit on the back, getting the frame straightened out (the bike had never been dropped and the guy that did the straightening said that he has done three so far and the frames were all offset the same direction and amount... factory jig problem perhaps?) and fitting a good set of matched tyres.