Jeff Pamer: In the eighties I was quite young, and from that perspective I thought the future was going to be amazing. No doom and gloom on the horizon. I could look forward to flying cars, angular designs, headlights that pop out of the hood of cars, small televisions to watch anywhere, and space travel. Technology was in its infancy, but was beginning to sprout up in the consumer market. From another perspective, like one of someone older than 5, fears of economic crisis loomed, and the fuel shortage in the late 70’s was not such a distant memory. This is what inspired motorcycle manufacturers to push designs to be more fuel efficient and cheaper to run. One such example was Honda’s 1983 CX650 Turbo, which featured computer controlled fuel injection and turbo charging.
The CX650T was built on the successful, if not incredibly exciting, CX500 platform. What the CX500 lacked in power, it made up for in reliability, comfort, and fuel efficiency. Honda wanted to see if they could create something that was more exciting to ride without sacrificing too much of the fuel economy and reliability. In 1982, Honda released the CX500 Turbo. The bike was the first production motorcycle to have programmable fuel injection, this couple with the added turbo charging system made for a pretty robust bike. The biggest issue with the performance of the bike was the way the turbo spooled up as power would come on quite abruptly. To combat this, Honda upped the displacement from 500 to 650, increased compression, and lowered the amount of boost coming from the turbo. This softened the on/off effect of the turbo on the bike. Unfortunately, despite all Honda’s work to make the bike as good as it could have been, insurance premiums of turbocharged bikes offset any savings at the fuel pump. 1983 was the only year the CX650T was produced, and in relatively low numbers. Only 1,777 were produced, with only around 1,200 making their way to the U.S and Canada. Looking back at all of the turbo bikes now from the early 80’s, I can see the optimism of the time in them. The design was loud and hopeful, like the world was from the eyes of a 5-year-old.
This CX650 Turbo (VIN: RC1601DM000963) is a rare example of an already rare bike. The seller states that it was purchased from a Colorado Honda dealership, and it is completely original down to the tires. Even more impressive is that they still seem to hold air. The pictures show a small ding in some of the paintwork, but other than that, it’s a virtual time machine. Oh, and the total mileage on the odometer is just 952!
Find this 1983 Honda CX650T in Milford Michigan for $9,500 here on Craigslist.