While the motorcycle market in the 1960s was essentially dominated by Europe and America, the 70’s allowed Japan to show off their skills. Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki were very competitive with European manufacturers when it came to mid-market bikes in the US. Honda had released bikes at a wide variety of displacements based on the same design as its top of the line CB750 Four, and they wanted to reach younger clients. They asked Shoichiro Irimajiri, the man behind the GL1000 and CBX, to create a new middle sized motorcycle, and he came up with the CX500.
The CX500 was released in 1978, and Honda marketed it with the slogan of “First into the Future!”. The designers worked from a clean sheet to come up with something brand new without any strings to the past: a water-cooled 48 hp V-Twin paired with a shaft drive. Water-cooling had never been utilized on a V-Twin before, and Honda had only used shaft drive on the GL1000 . On top of that, the CX500 was the first V-Twin Honda had ever produced. Thanks to the use of pushrods instead of the popular overhead-cam, the engine kept a very low height which permitted better stability on the bike. The goal of the CX was clearly to make a mid-sized comfortable bike, kind of a GL1000 with a 500cc motor. Another innovation was that CX was the first production bike equipped with tubeless tires. The 441 pound CX was claimed to be able to reach over 105 mph. Critics initially complained about the design [Editor’s Note: they still do!], but riders found a lot to appreciate after test rides.
This CX500 Deluxe is said to be original the owner claims it is in showroom condition, though a careful eye will note some understandable cosmetic wear considering the age of the bike. Only 11k miles are shown on the odometer, and the seller says that 4k of them have been put on this year. He also says that he has a long list of service records as well as original owner’s manual and toolkit. The bike is supposed to run perfectly and doesn’t need anything.
Find this 1979 Honda CX500 Deluxe in Phoenix, Arizona here on Craigslist for $2,500.