1981 Yamaha CX500 from United States of America


I liked this machine overall, and believe the problems it had were an isolated case


Both front fork seals had to be replaced because they were leaking fluid (under warranty) within the first week of ownership.

Front seal for the cooling fan developed a small leak at about 8K miles.

Internal leak in the engine coolant jacket (liquid cooled engine) allowed coolant to saturate the alternator/stator assembly, subsequently causing weak ignition spark where the motor wouldn't run at all.

Repair of this was cost prohibitive, both in labor and parts (the cost of repair was as much as I paid for the motorcycle). It stopped running at 13K miles on it.

General Comments:

This was my first motorcycle, so I didn't have anything to compare it with. This machine ran good up until it started running weak intermittently at about 10K. It died at about 13K miles.

I loved the "putt-putt" sound of the V-twin. Many people said it sounded like a mini-Harley. It was very powerful for its size.

The shaft drive allowed a smooth and quiet ride.

I would find that I had to stop and stretch my legs frequently, because the seat would make my tailbone ache.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 26th September, 2010

18th Feb 2012, 05:34

This gentleman was unlucky. Over here in the UK, despatch riders in the 80s and 90s used thousands of CX500s and the Kawasaki GT500 and GT750. This was due to their 'bomb-proof' reliability and build quality. The shaft drives also allowed for lower maintenance. Some of the 'heaps' I saw blasting around London made me realise that these bikes must be a bit special.

You don't see many about these days, but if you do find one in good condition, it should provide years and years of good, reliable service.

23rd Mar 2012, 17:12

The only thing I forgot to mention was that Honda built the CX... Not Yamaha.

11th Jan 2014, 16:38

Actually both Honda and Yamaha produced CX500 models.