Depending on how you define “production”, Kawasaki was the first motorcycle manufacturer to roll out a turbocharged motorcycle. But as this excellent article on OddBike points out, Kawasaki’s effort was more of a quasi-aftermarket creation, and it wasn’t well-thought out either. Honda’s CX500 Turbo is more deserving of the ‘first production turbo bike’ title, as it truly started the forced induction craze of the early 80s.
Hindsight has shown that turbos were not meant to be, as manufacturers were later able to get big power out motors without that pesky turbo lag. Plus, if you really want to buy a turbo Honda, the CX650 Turbo that was introduced a year after the CX500 is objectively a better bike. Still, as a piece of history, this is a fascinating motorcycle. According to Motorcycle Specs, the small cylinders required the world’s smallest turbocharger, with 51mm rotors that spun over 200,000 rpm.
Thanks to the tiny turbo, the 498cc engine produced 82 horsepower, which got the bike up to 128 miles per hour. This was up from the base CX500’s 50 horsepower. But the turbo wasn’t the end of the modifications – this bike also got upgraded with digital ignition, Pro-link rear suspension, and evolved Comstar wheels.
This example (VIN: JH2PC0302CM001933) has had just one owner over its 41,074 miles. The seller doesn’t have much information to share, except to say that it’s “absolutely all original” as well as “garage kept and professionally maintained”. It’d be nice to see some more details, but this looks like it’s got potential to be a fun and historically significant ride.
Find this CX Turbo for sale in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin with a BIN of $5,000 or best offer