HONDA CX500

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - The 1990's -

That Honda’s CX500 has ac­quired a rep­u­ta­tion as a some­what dowdy com­muter bike and courier hack does great dis­ser­vice to the clever en­gi­neer­ing that went into its de­sign. The across-the-frame 80-degree liq­uid-cooled 497cc V-twin had its heads twisted in­wards by 22 de­grees to skew the in­lets away from the rider’s legs. Shaft-drive of­fered an­other twist of prac­ti­cal­ity,

The en­gine lay­out dic­tated that Honda had to aban­don their usual over­head camshaft de­sign in favour of a high cam with pushrods ac­tu­at­ing the four-valve heads. A five-speed gear­box sat un­der the crankshaft keep­ing the en­gine short but tall. That gear­box spun the other way around from the en­gine to help coun­ter­act torque re­ac­tion – more clever en­gi­neer­ing.

The first mod­els were twin-shock but later went to Pro-link monoshock while forks were at first con­ven­tion­ally hy­draulic then be­came air-as­sisted.

The CX500 was Honda’s first ever V-twin and be­came one of their most en­dur­ing. It would pro­vide the base for the 500 and 650 Sil­ver Wing tour­ers and of course the turbo mod­els.

1978

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