Tricolore

1983 Honda CX500

Café Racer

Cylinders: 2
Displacement: 495 CC
Horsepower: 50 hp
Weight: 217 kg
Top speed: 180 km/h
Owner: flaviatore
profileO46

Story

I picked up an old Italian motorcycle magazine and was browsing pages until I found her in the „historic“ section; beautifully meat and metal. She looked retro yet modern, recalling the Guzzi V-engine layout, yet edgier in forms. I remember her previous owner almost shedding a tear when he sold her. As he reluctantly passed me the keys his words were: “treat her well, take good care of her”. I sincerely hope he never gets word of what I did with her. The problem is this poor CX was hiding her beautiful forms under huge plastics and over-sized seat and chrome bars. She died to be stripped. In fact one week later I took the metal saw to chop off some useless parts of the frame. Since then, she’s seen unspeakable lean angles, orgasmic speeds and melting rubber temperatures.

Thumbs Up

This motorcycle is bullet-proof. Just look at bikes on sale and be blown away by the mileage some have put on, like 100.000+ miles are no rarity! I’ve squeezed the living hell out of her on the track and never saw the slightest water temperature indicator movement. Also, a damn stable chassis at high lean angle – no wobbles, just a bit of tank slapping. That will improve with some thicker fork oil.

Thumbs Down

Don’t ask her to downshift quickly at high revs. She won’t like that; chances are the final transmission will lock up and send the rear tire screaming and pass you sideways. And don’t force a quick lane change or chicane, unless you are willing to tear your muscles or put up with a bouncing front wheel. Damping is a word unknown to her. Or maybe I should check if there’s any oil left in the fork…

Mods

  • 37mm used clip-ons by Tommaselli (www.bike-teile.de)
  • Ripped out all lights and signals. Who needs that crap?
  • Put on some sexy numbers to compete in the German historic championship
  • Bridgestone BT-45 rubber for serious grip on the track. Never mind the “touring” tread design and high void ratio: they stick to the asphalt like paparazzi on Lady Gaga
  • Rear frame... missing!
  • Racing seat bought used at a race event. Mounted with aluminum brackets.
  • got rid of center stand