Tuesday, October 18, 2011

PROJECT CX: The CX500 Cafe Build Gets The Full Shoot

1978 Honda CX500
Moto-Mucci


Here it is, the full shoot on Project CX. Although it will likely never be done, the project has reached it's intentions. It's meant to be a bike for the city. A daily rider around the unforgiving roads of Chicago. Able to absorb rock chips, hail storms, and clueless people driving big SUV's. 

Not only was this my first build, but my first motorcycle. I learned a ton, and aimed at doing everything on my own. Anything I couldn't learn within a few weeks practice, I outsourced to those who could.
That being said, I'd like to thank these guys:

Tony Prust of Analog Motorcycles, for all his fabrication and powder coating help.
And Art, at Rod's Designs, for the seat upholstery.

For all the background on the build, just click the Project CX tab at the top of the page.




Build Sheet
Chopped and fabricated new seat frame
Custom designed seat
Clubman style drop bars
Posh natural grips
Custom 8″ Cherry Bomb muffler with turn-out tip
Front and rear fenders chopped from a Goldwing / CX
Dunlop K70 tires
Tank and side covers painted warm metallic gray
Wheels, fenders, forks, headlight and headlight brackets powder coated satin black
7″ Headlight and bucket from SpeedMotoCo.
Headlight mounts and tail light from Dime City Cycles
All gauges removed
Tan DEI exhaust wrap with black plated hose clamps
New stiffer rear shocks, and 20W fork oil
Bike lowered 1″ front and rear
Carbs rebuilt and upjetted 90/120
NOS 70s black pistol grip levers from Japan
EBC brakes





66 comments:

  1. Sweet lord, that thing is gorgeous. Congrats.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nice work Mooch, it must be nice to have a sense of completion with the bike. I feel like mine's about 85% of where I'd like it to be. Nice shots too, its cool that you're getting better with the camera

    ReplyDelete
  3. Trying to... These are 8 of about 300 shots I took. Shotgun approach.

    ReplyDelete
  4. even thoug i'm currently building a cb450sc...i have to admit im in love with the cx ! ! ! ! ! and as a first build/first bike myself.... if very confident on my build ! ! ! ! ! !.... build it, ride it....

    ReplyDelete
  5. very nice. just picked up a $380.00 cx off craiglist last weekend. let the fun begin. should be ready by March.

    ReplyDelete
  6. really a nice iron! ... congratulations.. one of the most beautiful cafe racer I have ever seen .... You have inspired me, I want it too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the praise guys, it means a lot.

    Nate, good luck with that CX! Be sure to jump on CX500Forums.com The guys on there are a great resource.

    ReplyDelete
  8. nice bike. glad you ditched the red wrinkle pipe. new one flows much better. what headlight brackets are you using?

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks. The brackets I got from Dime City Cycles.

    ReplyDelete
  10. i passed up one of these a while back, dirt cheap, i was put off because i thought they were a bit proto-typey, and thought finding parts would be an issue. opted for an 86' gsxr 400 for a cafe build. as you can imagine, im kicking myself now.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Das CX500 ist sehr geil! Where are you, Berlin? Wait, can't be Berlin- I don't know if they have Der Schtarbüchs...

    ReplyDelete
  12. Very impressive for your first build! I'm looking to do a similar project and was wondering the total cost of your whole project?

    ReplyDelete
  13. You definitely did it right! I absolutely love this bike. Where did you get your muffler? Did you do it yourself? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thanks for the support. The muffler is a chopped up Cherry Bomb with new turn out tip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. David,
      The seat was made for you by Rod's Designs and they are able to reproduce another or not possible? Any info you can provide on what you did to the frame and for the production of the seat would be great to have if your willing to share :) I feel in love with this bike.

      Delete
  15. Great work Mucci, beautifull machine.
    Just a doubt: as it meant to be a daily motorcicle, is it ok to go out without indicators and panel? I mean, can you take a fine for going out on your bike like this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words Lauro. In IL, you don't need turn signals or an instrument cluster on a motorcycle. I just use hand signals and judge my speed by the surrounding traffic. It's a congested city, so there's not much room to speed anyhow.

      Delete
  16. Did you get new wheels or are those just painted originals?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The wheels are stock early model Comstars.

      Delete
    2. Yes... but they aren't the wheels that you started with correct?

      Delete
  17. I had a CX a couple of years ago. What junk. I ended up selling it for parts.

    Love yours though.

    ReplyDelete
  18. A thing of real beauty, well done

    ReplyDelete
  19. an amazing job!! quite inspiring!!

    ReplyDelete
  20. How much padding do you have in the seat? ~2"? How long can you ride before getting a little sore?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Andrew, the seat probably has about 2.5-3" of padding. The rear shocks are way too stiff for the bike (like hardtail stiff) so I start hurting after a couple hours. I'll be finding some more comfortable rear shocks over the winter and swapping them in, and hopefully can last a lot longer.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Awesome. Thanks for the info. I'm working on my CX500 right now and no matter how I design the seat for my bike, I always end up tweaking it 'til it looks like your seat. I really love the clean lines you've pulled off. I'm doing all the metal work and upholstery myself (1st attempt at upholstery). this is the seat frame I've built so far, in attempt to not chop the frame. But I think I'm really gonna just need to chop and reinforce, and get a new rear fender. What rear fender did you use?

    http://cx500forum.com/index.php?/topic/12060-seat-design/

    ReplyDelete
  23. Incredible build. Classy even. Would you mind sharing some information about the modifications to the suspension?

    ReplyDelete
  24. That is one of the sweetest looking cafe's I've ever seen. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  25. This was the most beautiful bike design I've ever seen. What a great job you've done. The perfect suttle matching of colours, the leather(?) lining of the tailpipe. Did you manufacture every part one-off? Like the handlebar/ brown handles or the leather seat? Please tell me... If I would like to try something similar out myself with an old CX500, as a tribute to the one and only Moto Mucci is it even possible?!
    Great design and a great job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the positive feedback.

      The lining on the exhaust is heat resistant fiber wrap, known as "exhaust wrap" or "header wrap." The bars and grips are not custom, but the seat is.

      Good luck on the build.

      Delete
    2. Can you tell me the process you used to make the seat?

      Delete
  26. Really good job. Like the fact that you've kept the original tank and sidepanels, and you've made a tall, top-heavy bike look like a ground-hugger. Seems solid as a tank, too. Congratulations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mick, These bikes are not top heavy. In fact, they are one of the lowest "Center of Gravity" bikes I have ever ridden. One of the things that makes them handle so well. Great Bikes no matter what.

      Delete
  27. Love the Bike. Where did you find the shorty front fender? Or did you make it? -Riley

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thanks guys.

    The front fender is the stock CX one, chopped up.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Nice looking bike. I'm beginning a project along the same lines. How did you lower the bike 1"? Great work and thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
  30. You said you lowered your bike 1" front and back. How did you go about lowering the bike? What size/brand rear shock are you running?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hey,
    Great build! Would you tell me how much money you spent (approx.) and how many hours it took to get it that way?
    My first Bike was a CX500 chopper but I crashed it after a couple of month. Now 30 years later your build gives me some inspiration to buy and build such a classic!

    Regards,
    Uli (from Germany)

    ReplyDelete
  32. What I wouldn't give to have that bike. It's gorgeous and I hope to build one like it some day soon. I'm also from Chicago, so I love the idea of a bike that's beautiful in simplicity and can take the beating that Windy can dish out.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I'm thinking about starting the same build, any tips or thoughts ?

    Hanrahan_devan@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  34. You are my inspiration. I will try and replicate this. It is truly a thing of beauty. Well done

    ReplyDelete
  35. Can you tell me the process you used to make the seat?

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hi David,
    I am Mark from The Gold Coast,Australia. I have a 1978 CX500 with 8,000km on the clock. I have looked long and hard over the internet for inspiration and yours is my favourite by far. I would love to build mine similar to yours, if that is ok with you.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Mate, that's the best looking sled I've seen in years. Clean, modest, outstanding. Congrats, top job.

    ReplyDelete
  38. seriously drooltastic... well done bro

    ReplyDelete
  39. How much did the whole thing cost you?

    ReplyDelete
  40. I just bought a 78 CX about 3 months ago and have been looking all over the Internet for inspiration to do the cafe transformation. I'm totally using yours man. I love the flat seat and the absence of the gauges. What's the ball park figure of how much you spent

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi, I'm ahcong from Singapore. Please keep up your blog on the bold flying V. It inspires the uninitiated and ignites the ones who are.

    ReplyDelete
  42. wow i fell in love with this help me out i need to know the price for one of these

    ReplyDelete
  43. Did you fabricate the seat yourself? It looks awesome and I'd love to do something similar to my CX500 Deluxe.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Have swaped a Dead Gixxer for a CX500 which I am going to cafe, very inspired by the work you've done. Did you have to modify the steering stop to prevent the bars hitting the tank?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They do sell a wider set of these clubman bars on ebay that will not hit the "toaster" tank. I bought a set and they fit great.

      Delete
  45. Whoo! I am in trouble...now. Nice, very nice.

    ReplyDelete
  46. What size rear tire did you use?? 110/90 or 120/90??

    ReplyDelete
  47. too beautiful to swim amongst the sharks.....seat design is the nicest i've seen, the way it works with the weird frame section where the seat attaches. great job!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Imitation is flattery I hope.... too many good ideas not to use -

    I am planning a similar build... going green and gold but hopefully a sister bike to your gorgeous artistic eye

    http://cxfe.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi I am in love with this bike, I have a GL 400 1981 in India and am Struggling to get parts for it, any suggestions???

    ReplyDelete
  50. With the crazy amount of clubmans to chose from, would you mind telling us which exact ones you used? Congrats on a friggin sweet ass ride.

    ReplyDelete
  51. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hey David. Just wanted to say thanks for the inspiration. Love your bike. Made my own version out here in California. Check it out!
    http://grahamsgarage.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  53. I am with Graham, this was one of the inspirations that got me started. The seat is tight for 2 up but it does work. I have another build in progress and will get a longer seat made for this one. Great work here David. Pimping mine here also, Peter
    http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=42369.0

    ReplyDelete
  54. Great job. I want to build it almost the same as you have done.
    I especially like the colours you have used.
    But i got 1 question.
    The seat you used is that almost the same one as the one in the link below?
    http://www.motorcycleseatsdirect.com/Honda-cx500-standard-deluxe-modified-motorcycle-seat-pan-extra-length-at-the-seating-area/

    ReplyDelete