I bought this bike practically on whim simply because I’ve always wanted a drive shaft bike and this was only $1200 in runnning condition from Portland, OR. I took the day off from work and got a Bolt Bus to Portland with my riding gear. There wasn’t much room to negotiate but I told myself if the registration is still valid then the seller’s story checks out and I’ll give what they ask.
Sure enough it was just registered a month ago which tells me they intended to ride it. I checked out the basics and took for a short test drive before buying it and then drove it home to Seattle, WA on back roads. I put some new tires and a wheel bearing on it when I got home. The previous owner really wanted a cafe racer and outfitted this bike with pod filters and an aftermarket exhaust but was too cheap to buy the Mikuni carbs to go with the pod filters. Keihun carbs are the OEM and they require laminar airflow which cannot be acheived with just pod filters. Based on the recipts, he spent enough money tuning these as a new set of Mikuni carbs would cost.
Most of the time it stayed parked at the 5th avenue garage except a few times when I took it out to the islands for day trips. I had originally planned to use the bike for island weekend trips.
It really proved useful when my uncle and cousin visited in October 2018. Curt had his BMW K1200 and I had just bought the V-Strom. This left the CX500 to Zachary and he seemed to take to the throaty, aggressive throttle. The fastest the bike has ever done on its own is 81 mph with me on the back wearing a tshirt but the exhaust sounds are authorative. The bike made it all 1500 miles around Washington including some scary impromptu off-road in Gilford-Pinchot. When we would stop to chat most people were more interested in the story of the CX than either of our two newer bike – including the BMW. At one point in Port Angeles, WA it scared a poor motorist into running a red light.
With my Strom to play with I did not spent much more time on the CX500. It was always a treat to show off but never got the miles I planned to put on it. The engine simply defies any attempts to silence it. I’ve used exhaust baffles and stainless scrubby brush. They were all temporary fixes that eventually get spit out so the full v-twin engine can be enjoyed by all.
So it sat at the 5th ave garage until June of 2020 when my cousin had a job out west and a little time off afterward. He packed up the bike and rode it out to Colorado where his wife met him and they trailered it back east.