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Old 03-01-2010, 12:57 AM   #1
EnduroRdr
 
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Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

Ok I got all inspired by this thread:
http://www.twtex.com/forums/showthread.php?t=41070
After looking around I picked up a CX500 on the cheap and got started:
So it's really all your fault - all the TWT posters that got me looking for a new project -

Actually the inspiration was this bike:


Having had many BMWs in the past I was wanting to build an airhead d/s bike. But finding a reasonably priced doner seemed out of reach these days so then got all worked up over a cx500 instead:

Ok enough chit chat here is the build story:
I know how most of us like pics so I'll try to use a lot of pictures and try to not get to wordy

Got this bike seen here day one: The starting point - a $300 bike off craigs list - all I cared was it had clean title & it started (although it ran ruff) it didn't knock, so I knew I had a good solid base to work from.


And here it is after over a year:


But that is getting ahead of myself - first I will take you through the build that got us to that point.

Well got it home then it sat for 6 months while other priorities got done and started the conversion in Jan 2010, here stripping it down to see just what the heck I ended up with:


After some coxing and a over night charge on the battery I got it started. Took it around the block and it ran like crap: Better take the carbs apart and clean them out, sure enough the low speed jets were plugged with varnish. But the real problem was the previous monkey had taken the carbs apart and put the right side butterfly in backwards - 180" out and it didn't seat right. I had some spare carbs in boxes for parts that's why you will see extra carb bodies in the pic. Sometimes saving junk pays off - :


Well well while in there I also found one side was missing the important rubber stopper for the second jet. All my spare parts were from other years and for some reason Honda made these 1982 carbs with bigger holes so the only plug that fit was the one - I need 2! Since I didn't have it but have machine tools I can make it, using some aluminum and a generic o-ring kit:
Making the plugs:


Comparing the one rubber plug to the replacements after completion:


Another view for those of you that never seen the inside of a Honda CV carb.


And here installed to show where they were supposed to go:


Got rid of that 16" rear wheel and found a 18" off fleabay then mounted a Dunlop D606:


Next the plan was to swap out the wimpy front forks with some cr USD forks I had in the shop, I got them basically for free as I bought a blown up cr for parts thinking I would use the front end on my XR400 and after selling off the rest of the bike got all my money back and still had the front end left.
Well that xr swap never happened so now it goes on the cx500, but first I need to do something with the rear end. Mounted these Yamaha tt500 shocks, raised it about 2 inches:


The cx was bought without any mufflers, but that's ok I wanted something lighter anyway so then I had some 1.5" pipe bent at local muffler shop then welded it all together to mount this supertrapp:


The underside after removing that heavy cross over thing that was about 20 pounds. Now it is just light pipe going 2 into 1 using an XR650L supertrapp.


Now it's time to move to the front end. Pulled it all off and found the bearings were different (well I didn't think I would be that lucky anyway)


Well my luck was even worse when I visited local bearing shop and found there was no match to fit the cr stem to the cx frame:
CX500 ball bearing race:


CR Roller bearing race:


Ok so now regroup. Well my options were do some serious steering stem work or take 2.5mm off the cr bearing races. I got a machine shop so what the **** go for it. I figured the bearing race thing would be easier. Took me about 8 hours but I finally got the races perfect (and straight too - )
Had to make a jig to hold the bearing races true:


Then took all day grinding them slowly - better to be safe check twice cut once!:


Comparing the two cx ball bearing to cr roller:


Comparing the stems (triple trees), quite a bit bigger but not too far off on height:


Although the cx forks are about 4 inches shorter. After raising the rear 2 inches on the shocks and about another 1 inches on tires (the Dunlop D606 on 18" rim was about 2" taller when compared to the 16" wheel & tire so 1/2 that dimension) adding all that up gave me about a 3 inch lift in rear. means Id have to slide the forks up an inch, and then there is the difference of 2 inches taller 21" front wheel than the 19" stock. So now I got to slide the forks up 2 inches to get somewhere close to same rake:


So now I got the bearings to fit the frame but the stem is about 1/2" longer and the dust seal from the cx will not fit the cr triple. Ok I can solve that in one part, making a new dust seal and spacer for the top of the cr stem to cx frame:


Here is it mounted, nice tight fit to keep dirt out and grease in:


Ok here is first fitting of new front end: Note still working out the seat issues will address that later:


Decided to get rid of all that weight from the instruments on the handlebars.
Loosing the speedo & tachometer saves several pounds. I elected to install a TrailTech Vapor instead along with the dash board for the idiot lights (I kinda like having a neutral light and oil pressure warning light - ) :


The back side of Vapor but still sorting out the wiring in this shot:


Ok now that I'm using the Vapor and removing that big *** heavy tachometer I need to get rid of the tach cable too. (that saves another lb. or so) But I didn't want a hole in the motor to collect dirt. time to make a plug to replace the cable in the motor using a small piece of 5/8 aluminum round stock:


Now finished part:


And part installed:


Installing the Vapor its time to hookup the water temperature sensor. Since I had a CR front wheel I ordered the kit for the cr but when I tried to install the water sensor into the cx water hoses I found it was quite a bit smaller than the hoses were.:


Well next option was to just use the sensor (without the piping tee) and put it in the same location as the cx sensor. Easy right? Well again I'm not that lucky. the thread on the stock cx sensor was quite a bit larger than the Trailtech kit sensor.
Original CX sensor:


Ok so maybe I can use a bushing? Removed the sensor and compare it to all my fittings and it is not anything standard (looks like a 3/8 pipe thread but on close inspection it is not) Well I did have a spare that was same as the CX so maybe I can use it as a nipple/bushing for the TrailTech sensor?
Drilling out the large sensor:


Comparing finished product to spare:


And now new sensor installed: (yea that's some glycol residue that dripped out on my motor - )


Ok now I got the front end finished, installed some handlebar resets (set back the bar mount to allow me to raise the forks as much as needed)
Here with new Parelli m21 front tire mounted:


But now the problem is a seat! Here I am welcoming suggestions.

In this shot I tried to fit a early 70's Husky seat but the base is too straight to fit the swooping contour of the cx frame:



And here is the stock seat which I hate the protruding passenger section. It is very comfortable though. I could sit in this seat all day and not get monkey-butt like I get on the xr400 seat but dang its ugly! Maybe I can cut off the rear section some?


Here is another guys answer to the seat delema, he used a early 80's Suzuki RM seat and It looks a lot better than the stocker and even fits the frame contour fairly well: I really like the look here - comments?


OK so now I've posted quite a bit and am up to date!
Next after I work out the seat or any other items that may require frame altering or welding then I have to strip it all down for paint on tank and side covers and power coat frame.

I welcome your comments and suggestions -



.
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:16 AM   #2
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

Really nice job you have going there. I'd love to do something like this but it won't happen. No skill or talent on my part. I like the direction you are headed on the seat.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:27 AM   #3
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

but KTM orange?!
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:41 AM   #4
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by spidennis View Post
but KTM orange?!
Dennis, how are you bud? How was Concho race?

Camera light kinda sux, that is really honda red.

Look here you can see the red fender from the xr400 on left - it too looks kinda orange in florescent light!

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Old 03-01-2010, 07:43 AM   #5
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

Cool project.
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Old 03-01-2010, 07:54 AM   #6
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

I didn't go to concho! dang it!!
It just wasn't in the budget ........
and I was to head to big bend right afterwards too.
oh well .......
I do have another trip planned though, I hope.
a ten day kayak trip starting in austin
and going down the colorado river
and ending at the gulf ......
I'll be using my "Blue Bayou" bike as my shuttle vehicle ....
oh man is your project bike got me itchin' to get after the gl !
though your skills with parts fabrication is very impressive ...
you got a nice ride happening there, for sure!
I hope to do the tat as well some day .....
and it's getting close to that time of year to start the tat?
but I bet there will be snow in CO straight thru to next winter!
but your bike can do it!
put some knobbies on it and go!
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:04 AM   #7
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

What a cool project! I admire your skills and your machine equipment.

Keep us posted.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:05 AM   #8
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

Nice looking project

I'm envious of your lathe and the skills to use it.

I'd look at fabbing up some kind of a skid plate for that engine. Maybe cylinder head guards depending on what you're gonna do with it.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:57 AM   #9
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

Awesome! Man, I wish I had that kind of time right now... and money
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:58 AM   #10
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1TallTXn View Post
Nice looking project

I'm envious of your lathe and the skills to use it.
+100!
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:15 AM   #11
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

Maybe I should go dual sport with this rebuild/restore.

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Old 03-01-2010, 09:22 AM   #12
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

now that would be "real" adventure!
I'd be up for that ......
go for it!
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:30 AM   #13
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

I'd lower the front CR forks by using internal spacers. You could probably take about two or so inches of travel out which would match the rear travel a little closer anyway, and you wouldn't have to run the forks so far above the top triple clamp.

I think it would handle a lot better for what that bike will be capable of. Looks like it will be a fun ride when it is done.

On the seat pan, maybe you combine the stock seat pan, somewhat modified, and the seat foam and cover from your dirt bike seat you have.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:44 AM   #14
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

When you changed the rear wheel to an 18", is this a 70-80 model Gold Wing wheel?


The plug for the carbs are a marketable item. Not a big market but a grateful one.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:23 AM   #15
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:



Possible seat donor? My father had a CX500 and I had a YZ about the same year as the one shown. For some reason, it just came to mind.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:31 PM   #16
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1TallTXn View Post
Nice looking project

I'd look at fabbing up some kind of a skid plate for that engine. Maybe cylinder head guards depending on what you're gonna do with it.
We must think alike Nathan, After looking under that motor (and removing the bulky "H" exhaust crossover box) I found that the motor is relatively flat and there are at least 4 points to attach a skid plate. I have a plan in mind it will get posted here when it gets done.
I have cylinder guards that came on it - see first pics before strip down, but they are kinda bulky!

I'll try to continue to post updates (with lots of pics). I figure I get bored easy reading tons of stuff with out pictures and expect that other readers are the same way getting lost in all the heavy reading, so I'll do mine the other way - less talk and more show.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:53 PM   #17
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveC View Post
When you changed the rear wheel to an 18", is this a 70-80 model Gold Wing wheel?


The plug for the carbs are a marketable item. Not a big market but a grateful one.
Dave - Actually that's a cx wheel from a 78 or 79 standard model cx500. Back when Honda was just trying to break into the cruzer market it seems they were "cruzericing" everything by adding pull back bars and 16" rear wheel - so the cx then got offered in the "CX500 - Custom" version you see here. But all the wheels mount same and rear drives are shared same between models.

I am considering making a spoke set of wheels (or rear wheel) by using my 16" rear hub and making the disks for spokes to mount to:

I think with the cr front end it would just look more balanced if it also had spokes on rear. (I kinda like the option of tubless but in this case style may over-ride function -

See these: Now I can make these disks, then get Buchanan Spokes to make me up a set of spokes. First I gotta get the rest of the bike all sorted out then maybe last do the spoke conversion.











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Old 03-02-2010, 07:15 AM   #18
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

This just too cool.

I like the 80's RM seat as well with the rack. I have a 06 KTM450 SMR seat you can have as well as a 1995 Triumph Tiger seat it you want it. Both "ramp up" on the tank though so not sure it that would be what you want.

It appears you have a great ability to change what you don't like to make it work well though, so that is why I thought I would mention either seat.

I can't wait to see your finished product.

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Old 03-11-2010, 11:11 PM   #19
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

Since your skill set is pretty extensive I would think you would make your own seat pan, foam and cover.
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Old 04-27-2010, 10:30 PM   #20
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Re: Honda cx500 DualSport Conversion:

Hello gang, It's been several weeks since I posted any updates.
Most of my time was spent doing Honey do's & other priorities (like supercross weekend - ) but I did manage to do some electrical work on the CX500 D/S one of those weekends.

Here I relocated the fuse box - normally it is under the handlebar clamp on a stock cx500 but with new front end had to move it behind the side cover.



Here was the commissioning of the Trail-Tech Tach/Speedo



Here's a shot of the mounting of the ignition switch and where I added a 12v cig plug for the GPS or whatever.



the Trail-Tech instrument dash only had 4 idiot light mounts (plenty of options - but had to pick only 4 of them for the 4 holes) so since I wanted to keep the Low Oil Press Warning light, Neutral light, and High Beam light, that left me only one for turn indicator. (Stock CX used 2) That meant I needed 2 diodes so I can use same indicator for both sides and not have it back feed from one side to other. Cheap fix @ 1.69 each from Frys Elec. (2 required, guess I bought 2 extra for nuttin - now I'm 3 bucks over budget - )



Now I found a good CHEAP 1980 Suzuki RM seat from ebay for 8 bucks plus another 8 for shipping. (then had to buy a replacement seat cover for another 25) here I am fitting the base to match the cx frame contour.
Looks like it will work out good.





That's all the pictures I got for this update. I'll post again when there is more progress
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