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  #1  
Old 18 Dec 2003
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CX500 (not a looker)

Ive done a search on this site and there doesn't seem to be much talk of the old maggot (CX500) this may be good.
I'm after a work horse to commute on and will be doing a lot of miles. The best idea for a bike in terms of cost and reliability/ not needing major work often is a CX500.

however i was wondering what one would be like 2 up to take around europe from time to time.
Are they comfortable and have enough power for 2 people to cruize on a motorway?

They don't look nice but seem a viable option due to their cost. what type of milage can they do and what would you look out for when buying one (any known problems that crop up at cirtain milages?).

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  #2  
Old 19 Dec 2003
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Hi,

The CX is a very good all-round bike. It's been very popular for that reason with couriers in GB. I am on my third one now. Number two went around India and overland to Europe two up towing a one-wheel trailer. They are still very popular in Germany where 20,000 are said to be still registered. Parts are no problem. You should be able to pick one up in France for a song, as the French can't seem to be able to give them away.

I find it a very comfy bike and passengers have commented that they find it more so than many BMW.

Reliability is a mixed bag: many just seem to keep going without any major work. Others experience catastrophic engine failures (normally big ends). I don't know why, but suspect that some people thrash them when cold. The engine can take 20-30km in Winter to get really warm.

My long-distance bike experienced numerous ignition and charge coil failures. In the 165-odd K that I owned it the engine was out about every 10,000k (no kidding!). However, this was partly due to my conversion to the automatic cam chain tensioner, which has several design faults, as I found out afterwards. (I have a document on how to fix this.)

The cam chain is another weak point, if it's not adjusted often; I recommend every 3000k.

When the time comes to buy one you should arm yourself with a new oil filter and watch out for these then:

Engine rattles: check the fan first. If it's loose it needs to be replaced, no big deal. If not, it could be the cam chain. Still no really big deal, except the engine comes out. What you really don't want to hear, though, is a rattle that turns into a knocking noise when give it a bit of throttle. In any case, before ever making an offer, remove the oil filter and bend the paper "fins" apart. (The filter gets destroyed in the process; that's what you bought the new one for.) Gold coloured metal flakes in the bottom indicate a bearing about to fail. Count on a major engine overhaul. I have pulled several such engines apart and in most cases the crank was already damaged.

Check the battery gets charged.

Finally, remove the rear wheel (I'm serious). Inspect the splines between the hub and the final drive. Normally, they should be covered in MoS2 grease. If these are allowed to become dry (and rusty) they wear at a frightening rate. When new the teeth and the gaps between them are about equally wide. The teeth on the drive should be about two thirds still there. If not count on replacing the drive! The sleeve on the hub can be replaced, but not the crown wheel.

The original shocks are very soft, too soft for two up.

These are all the CX specifics I can think of. You still need to check all the other usual items...

Cared-for CXs can reach very high mileages. Oil consumption is normally near zero. In summary: very recommended. I only wish I'd had a CX650! Heaps more torque.

Another, similar Honda you may want to consider is the NTV 650. I've heard lots of good things about it, but have never ridden one.


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Old 19 Dec 2003
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I assume that you're in interested in a CX because you're on a budget? If so, another option is a VT500, also popular with couriers. I've been in the courier business for the past 13 years & have seen plenty of them give good service.

There are several advantages & disadvantages to owing them compared to a CX. Generator is easier to access on a VT - it's on the side of the engine, on the CX it's situated at the rear of the engine - engine out to replace it on a CX? VT's have two plugs per cylinder, I believe you need to remove or drop the radiator to access the 2nd front plug. The clutch is on the front of a CX & easy to access, as is the side mounted clutch on the VT.

The most important thing to bear in mind with both bikes is that they've both been out of production for a long time & many examples have been thrashed around the clock by couriers, especially in the south of England & around London in particular. I would not pay a great deal of money for either unless it was immaculate & the seller could prove the mileage was genuine with old MOT's etc.

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Old 19 Dec 2003
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thanks for the info, reason i wanted an old scrapper is the fact i'm going to have to leave it outside and I don't want a nice bike to get stolen, a cx500 isn't going to be nicked!
I'm not into cruizers so the VT is out of the question however cheers for the info, don't think a seller would like me to take his bike apart though!
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Old 19 Dec 2003
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VT50O's are not cruisers, they are a regular shaped "roadster, similar in size to a CX, although Honda did make the VT500C which is the usual 80's custom variant. Add on a small sportster style tank, small back wheel, bigger handlebars & hey presto - instant chopper look, shades & bandana not included.

Steve

(Above comments not intended to offend any Harley riding types who may be reading this.....)
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  #6  
Old 9 Feb 2004
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I think the VT in question is the VT 500 E, as opposed to the custom styled VT 500 C. As for the CX: Didn't they make some models turbo-charged?
(Sorry if I'm a bit off topic here - I just got curious)

While we're at it in this class of bikes: Isn't the Yamaha XJ600-series also reputed for being a reliable workhorse - or am I misinformed?

Take care
Indu
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  #7  
Old 9 Feb 2004
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Yes, they made a CX500 Turbo and then a CX650 Turbo. They are now collector's items.

They both came with a 3/4 fairing and are supposed to be good tourers. I think they were also the first Hondas with injection.

And yes again, the 4-cyl. Yams seem to have a good reputation. But the 600 is chain-drive.

If we continue in this vein god will undoubtedly push this thread into the "Which bike?" forum.

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