Canadian CX500 Cafe Racer Conversion
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Thread: Canadian CX500 Cafe Racer Conversion

  1. #1
    Senior Member Motomicah's Avatar
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    Canadian CX500 Cafe Racer Conversion

    Hello everyone,

    As with many members on here, I figure I should document my (slow) cafe racer build and maybe get your guys opinion along the way on a few things. I love getting inspiration from others builds and a lot of the things that I do to my bike come from other great members out there.

    First a little back story: For as long as I can remember I've always wanted a motorcycle, but never had the money to get one. Last year I was searching the web when this 1980 cx500 custom caught my eye. What a cool looking bike I thought. Long story short I went and picked up my first ever bike and I was so happy. Got it for $250, and knew I had lots to do, starting off with replacing the stator. (Also the PO did not have the ownership and it was an american bike....that took a while to get worked out lol) Fixed it up and it ran great after a little tuning. At that point in time i just wanted to have a bike to ride so I didn't do much to make it look pretty, but now that i have a bit of extra cash (I don't really lol) I want to get it running better and looking fantastic.


    Index

    Page 1: Background, front fork rebuild, front fender chop, clip-on handlebars, new exhaust wrap and mufflers, new headlight and front signals.
    Page 2: New engine new temperature gauge.
    Page 3: Painted engine tags and clutch cover.
    Page 4: New temperature sending unit.
    Page 5: Radiator guard design.
    Page 6: Engine paint prep, gauge design and radiator guard fabrication.
    Page 7: Dummy lights and gauge redesign
    Page 8: Muffler repacking, new tachometer and speedometer, engine painting, engine guards and shock painting, frame touch-up and engine mounting.
    Page 9: E-fan mounting and wiring.
    Page 10: Redesigned e-fan mounting and steering limits.
    Page 11: Gauge and dummy lights wiring and gauge mounting brackets fabrication.
    Page 12: Gauge brackets redesign and fabrication.
    Page 13: Gauge brackets painting, dummy lights mounting, gauge mounting, lights testing and carb cleaning.
    Page 14: Bike startup and oil leak.
    Page 15: Cylinder cover painting and test drive.
    Page 17: Rim tape installation.
    Page 18: Bike drawing start, LED strip testing and tank designs.
    Page 19: Rear fender and licence plate holder design.
    Page 20: Tank designs, rear fender redesign, bike disassembly and tire hugger design.
    Page 21: Tire hugger design and brake light switch bracket fabrication.
    Page 22: Battery box design and fabrication.
    Page 23: Battery box fabrication and painting and rear fender support tubes fabrication.
    Page 25: Rear fender support tubes and rear fender fabrication.
    Page 26: Rear fender fabrication.
    Page 27: Rear fender mounting bracket fabrication and start of rear fender assembly.
    Page 28: Rear fender assembly, test fit and more fabrication.
    Page 29: Licence plate bracket design and fabrication, final rear fender assembly, turn signal testing/concept and rear frame modifications.
    Page 30: More rear light ideas.
    Page 31: Rear hoop and signal mounts fabrication.
    Page 32: Rear hoop fabrication continued, new shocks and signal test fit.
    Page 34: Rear hoop mock-up, shock limiters, rear hoop modification, rear fender mounting bracket clean up, front electronic pan fabrication.
    Page 35: Rear electrical pan fabrication, license plate bracket fabrication and rear fender test fit.
    Page 36: Licence plate lights, regulator and starter solenoid mounting and wiring and rear tire hugger fabrication.
    Page 39: Rear brake pad replacement, rear hub painting, frame clean up and welding in rear hoop.
    Page 40: Priming and painting frame.
    Page 41: Getting tire hugger and rear fender ready for painting.
    Page 42: Rear fender inside coating.
    Page 43: Rear fender and license plate painting, new shock spring coating, shock assemble and install and rear fender, tire hugger and turn signal mounting.
    Page 45: 12 Volt time delay modules.
    Page 46: Wiring and painting of rear tire hugger and electrical pans.
    Page 47: Mounting tire hugger and electrical pans and wiring battery and starter solenoid.
    Page 48: Cleaning up electronics and wiring rear turn signals.
    Page 49: Pod filters.
    Page 50: Header breather tubes and front fork stiffness modifications.
    Page 51: New LED brake and running light.
    Page 52: Brake flasher module.
    Page 53: Brake light mounting and electronic testing.
    Page 55: Tire choices.
    Page 57: Disc lock.
    Page 58: Final Tank designs.
    Page 60: Seat pan mock up and fabrication.
    Page 62: Changing tires and paint supplies.
    Page 63: Tank stripping and seat upholstered.
    Page 64: Priming gas tank and new ignition switch.
    Page 65: Painting gas tank.
    Page 67: Wet sanding tank.
    Page 68: Fixing tank mistake, building ignition switch, final 2K clear coat on tank and buffing/polishing tank.
    Page 69: Bike pictures and tire hugger mounting clarification.
    Page 70: More bike pictures.


    Anyways, here are some pictures from before:

    How it looked when I bought it:

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Size:  3.01 MB

    First time taking the engine out:

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Size:  2.56 MB

    Repainting the tank (temporary):

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Views: 11635
Size:  2.16 MB

    Redone seat cover (temporary):

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Views: 11180
Size:  2.90 MB

    The bike as it stood last year before any serious mods:

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Views: 11023
Size:  4.59 MB
    Last edited by Motomicah; 10-13-2015 at 06:52 AM.

    • 1980 Honda CX500C
    "As I lay rubber down the street, I ask for traction I can keep, but if I spin and begin to slide, I pray that nothing happens to my sweet ride"

  2. #2
    Member Skyler's Avatar
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    Very Cool and welcome. There are a few of us GTA-er's around.

    Hope to see it on the streets one of these days.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Motomicah's Avatar
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    First thing I did was rebuild and paint the front forks:

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Views: 10330
Size:  1.89 MB

    Painted the wheels with black rim paint and matte clear coat:

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Views: 10376
Size:  2.82 MB

    Trimmed and cut the front fender:

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Views: 11431
Size:  2.74 MB

    All together (fender is just laid in place):

    Name:  IMG_7433.JPG
Views: 10615
Size:  3.12 MB

    Next step was to redo the front headlights, signals, handlebars, mirrors and clean up the rats nest of wiring behind the headlight bucket.
    jayseamtl likes this.

    • 1980 Honda CX500C
    "As I lay rubber down the street, I ask for traction I can keep, but if I spin and begin to slide, I pray that nothing happens to my sweet ride"

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Motomicah's Avatar
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    Took off the stock headlight and WOW....what a lot of old wires. Someone had been back there before and made a hack job of a lot of the connectors. Shortened everything to a good length and put all the connectors and fuses into a project box mounted on the front. Painted it black and it seems to blend in pretty good. Over the winter I would like to redo it all again and tuck it all under the tank.

    What a mess:

    Name:  IMG_7690.JPG
Views: 9873
Size:  2.71 MB

    • 1980 Honda CX500C
    "As I lay rubber down the street, I ask for traction I can keep, but if I spin and begin to slide, I pray that nothing happens to my sweet ride"

  6. #5
    Senior Member Motomicah's Avatar
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    All of the parts I purchased for the first round of modifications:

    Name:  IMG_7524.JPG
Views: 6993
Size:  1.76 MB

    Got rid of the old handlebars and put on some clip-ons. Bought new brake assembly as well seeing as the old one was in pretty rough shape.
    Painted the top of the triple clamp black for now. I may make it a bit smoother looking later on.

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Views: 11611
Size:  2.56 MB

    Also wrapped the headers in a black fiberglass wrap, although it is more of a gunmetal color now that it has dried and baked on a bit. I may change this or not.....who knows lol.

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Views: 9429
Size:  2.40 MB

    Annnnnnnnnnnnnd new exhaust. Making the brackets sucked.....but i think they turned out alright (a little rough though I know).
    You can also see the new foot pegs. What are they made of? BMX pegs and grip tape lol. Saved me from machining them and they were pretty cheap too. I think they don't look too bad, maybe a little big is my only complaint. But for now they work good, and the grip tape helps my feet stay on them really well.

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Size:  2.21 MB
    Last edited by Motomicah; 02-20-2015 at 01:47 PM.
    OCR and jayseamtl like this.

    • 1980 Honda CX500C
    "As I lay rubber down the street, I ask for traction I can keep, but if I spin and begin to slide, I pray that nothing happens to my sweet ride"

  7. #6
    Member Tanh's Avatar
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    Hello neighbour! That's shaping up pretty nicely. I wana do a cafe too with the spare CX I got. Well I say that but time and money and excuses are what's happening right now. Can't wait to see yours!
    1981 CX500 Custom 49K

    1980 CX500 Custom 27K

  8. #7
    Senior Member Motomicah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanh View Post
    Hello neighbour! That's shaping up pretty nicely. I wana do a cafe too with the spare CX I got. Well I say that but time and money and excuses are what's happening right now. Can't wait to see yours!
    Hey, its good to see a fellow Cambridgean with a cx500 finally Once i get my bike running again we'll have to meet up sometime!
    And I hear you lol, money and time are my biggest enemies haha.

    • 1980 Honda CX500C
    "As I lay rubber down the street, I ask for traction I can keep, but if I spin and begin to slide, I pray that nothing happens to my sweet ride"

  9. #8
    Senior Member Motomicah's Avatar
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    Bike was acting up, so new coils, new caps, new plugs.....and a little bit of red expandable sleeving to make her look good, and she was running a lot better.

    Name:  IMG_8177.JPG
Views: 9030
Size:  2.73 MB

    New headlight with a cool startup feature that I didn't know about. Me likey :eagerness:



    And pics of it mounted on the bike with new turn signals:

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Size:  2.32 MB
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Size:  2.39 MB

    Of course....all these fancy new lights and gizmos means I need a new version of the most important thing on the bike........the horn...

    Name:  IMG_8187.JPG
Views: 12083
Size:  2.05 MB

    And lastly what the beastie looked like when I finished stage 1 of the front end. Slowly turning into a cafe racer....ish:

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Size:  117.8 KB

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Views: 8362
Size:  2.49 MB
    Last edited by Motomicah; 01-19-2015 at 09:57 PM.
    Skyler, jayseamtl and ZenVII like this.

    • 1980 Honda CX500C
    "As I lay rubber down the street, I ask for traction I can keep, but if I spin and begin to slide, I pray that nothing happens to my sweet ride"

  10. #9
    Senior Member Motomicah's Avatar
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    Cambridge ON, Canada
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    Just noticed some of my pictures are upside down when viewed on an iPhone or if you click to see the full picture Sorry about that, I'll try to resolve the issue for the rest of the posts.

    • 1980 Honda CX500C
    "As I lay rubber down the street, I ask for traction I can keep, but if I spin and begin to slide, I pray that nothing happens to my sweet ride"

  11. #10
    Senior Member Kameron's Avatar
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    Hey Micah,you get that motor finished and installed yet??
    1983 CX650E will restore

    1981 CX500 Custome Cafe Brat thingy

    1979 CX500 Deluxe (currently being Cafe'd/Brat)

    1973 CB750 K3 (need to restore)

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