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As anyone who follows this blog knows, there have been a disproportionate number of CX500 posts in the past couple of months. Why?
We’re building one with our mates at HMVK for a customer so I like to do my research and see what others have done. I have no problem “borrowing” an idea when I think someone nails a particular look but I also want to develop that idea and put a different spin on it.
As part of my research I came across the beautiful CX500 you see here. I messaged Justin and asked if had some nice pics and a link to a build thread that he’d like to share with the world of tumblr. He replied that he didn’t but he was happy to take some pics for me and provide me with the story behind the bike. Over to Justin…
hmmm, I’ve been doing it all wrong it seems. I’m going to have to spend less time blogging and more time riding...
“I bought the bike on Craigslist. The previous owner had some friends in the car industry so he had already started modding the bike before I bought it (mainly with the Honda Element green tank—gag me!). Living in Los Angeles means you either sit on 4 wheels in traffic for hours to get anywhere or you feel the wind in your hair and get there in 20 minutes; so I intended to ride the bike as it was and make small changes along the way.
As I started doing routine “new to me” maintenance I found a lot of issues that needed to be fixed. Exhaust leaks, an exploded fan sitting in the bottom of the radiator shroud, and a temp gauge that didn’t work made me hesitant to trust this guy. I started getting deeper into fixing these items in the bottom level of my apartments parking structure. When I finally got a garage I decided to fix the oil leaks and check out the inside of the engine. That’s when I told myself, “hey, this thing is apart…just make it what you want it to be.” So I started tearing everything down. This would be my first build without the help of my grandfather’s guidance so I learned a lot of things the hard way.
I found a lot of inspiration through blogs such as GarageProject, MotoMucci, Pipeburn, etc., but I really wanted to make the bike stand out. That’s hard to do with all the great custom builders that are around right now. The front end really makes this bike pop. The forks are from an 07 GSX-R 1000rr. The triple trees are from an 04 Honda CBR 1000 (they mate with the CX’s stem with no major modifications quite well though the did have to be modded to fit the GSXR forks. And the rotors are from a 95 Ninja z5 (the bolt holes match up with the stock CX wheel). Motorcycle performance in Los Angeles did the adaptor plates for the brakes. I also really like the exhaust set up on the bike.
I’ve never really been in love with the cafe bump so I wanted to avoid that if I could. This lead me to go with a more flat track style seat while embracing the nuances of the CX frame. I loved the way the slight rise in the rear of the frame looked so I fiberglassed my seat pan around that. It was then covered by Batz Auto Upholstery in Los Angeles.
Exhaust was my biggest worry. I think it makes or breaks a bike. I didn’t like the Motad (you actually lose a significant percentage of HP with the motad system) or the MAC 2-1 systems so I called upon a friend and CX500forum.com member to help me out with some welding. We chopped up some old CB pipes and made the setup rest under the engine where it mates with the Supertrapp muffler.
The engine that is currently in the bike is actually the 2nd go round. The first one ran after I completed a triple bypass, but on my maiden voyage to the muffler shop my rear wheel locked up. After tearing the block down I found that the cam shaft sprocket bolt had been over-torqued and snapped in half causing my cam chain to break and the rear case of the motor to be shredded to bits. Another CX500forum.com member has been extremely helpful throughout this entire build and walked me through the possible causes of this catastrophe. He’s also got the final touches of the bike being made up for me as I write this: Mikuni Smooth bore carbs. Dropping the stock airbox on these bikes leads to carburetor issues that never stop so I am hoping the conversion will boost HP by about 10% and make my life a lot easier. Once the adaptors for the Mikunis are complete the bike will be complete.
If I had to it over I would, but I would do a complete mock up BEFORE I had the frame powder coated. I’d also pay closer attention to details in the bike’s manual as it will save a lot of headaches in the future.”
For more pics, make the jump
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