My CX500 project started back in August 2015. I’ve always had a passion for making, design and motorcycles, but had yet to combine all three. The opportunity presented itself after I won an auction for a box of bits which made up a 1978 Honda CX500. It was in a sorry state and hadn't run since 1985. With a tight budget and eagerness to learn new skills, I planned to do all the work myself and where possible make performance upgrades. I wanted a clean cafe racer/brat aesthetic to showcase the unique transverse V-Twin power-plant mixed with some modern touches. Equipped with an owners manual I got straight to work tearing down the bike, rebuilding, replacing and modifying as I went.
With my background as an Industrial Designer, I created a concept render and designed most of the parts including the new subframe, in CAD. I don’t have an elaborate workshop or fancy tools and was often working where I could. Friends garages, my living room floor and my parents shed. Over the next year and a half I cleaned, rebuilt, and repainted down to every nut, bolt and washer entirely myself.
It’s been a great project which has taught me a multitude of valuable skills. In a bitter sweet end, I have now put the bike in storage as I have relocated to the UK. However, before leaving I managed to get a couple of rides on the bike which I will never forget. There’s nothing quite like riding a bike you've invested money, hard work, time, and above all passion to bring life back to an old machine.
Before August 2015
I purchased the donor bike off a gentleman who intended to do a full cafe racer build but with a young family and stressful job, didn't find the time. Prior to that, the original owner was an elderly women who used to ride with her husband. After he passed away the bike was left outside and hadn't run since 1985. It had suffered years of neglect and had obviously had a hard life when it was running. Rust, rotten electrics, dents, cracks, missing parts, you name it (my personal favourite is the bodge job of a cracked clutch cover). However, I saw the potential and wasted no time stripping the bike down.
After March 2017
There has been extensive modifications to this bike. No part has got back on which hasn't been rebuilt, modified or replaced entirely.