What's it worth?

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I'm not sure how many rice-burner enthusiaists are on the forum, but I thought I'd ask for an opinion.

I happened to see, on a sidestreeet here in town, a quite repsectable looking Honda CX500. It's a 77 with only 27,000 miles on it. The owner's price on the windshield is $1000 obo. I figure about 25% off that and it could be a good buy. I'd have to get used to left-foot shifting the wrong way up, but it looks feasible.

Any comments re price would be appreciated. CX500s are fairly rare birds, so there's no real database to look at. This isn't a turbo - I'd have bit his hand off at that price. A CB550 4-cylinder would go for about $500 at this age, according to one of the on-line value sites.
 
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Those things have a terriffic reputation, I know several folks that have them and there is a seperate foum for them on Naked Goldwings.
The police used some of them, both in two and three wheel form, I think some Post Office use, and certainly they are legendary in messenger service. In the various forms and sizes these things are rumored to be unbustable and cover huge mileages with much abuse. A number of Goldwing folks ride them as a light bike. One of my pals has two runners and one that has sat for years, just in case.
I'm sure it depends on the use that bike has had because I've seen some terribly beat ones in SF that have had no service at all. (Often a messenger's bike).
And as for price I've seen them for $750 or so US running, on CL to a max of $1200 last year when I was considering one for a runabout. They are pretty common here, I know a German that has one, an Aussie, and I think an English friend had one but sold it for a newish Triumph. This makes me think they made a lot of them. Some are called Silverwings I think, but they may be a larger size.
 

L.A.B.

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frankdamp said:
CX500s are fairly rare birds, so there's no real database to look at.

In the UK, the CX500, was affectionately known as the "Plastic Maggot"! And were either loved or hated by the majority of motorcyclists!

After a shaky start in 1978, due to some early CX models suffering big end bearing and cam chain tensioner problems, it was to become one of the UK's most popular middleweight motorcycles of the 1980's, ridden by enthusiasts, commuters and motorcycle dispatch riders (of which there were many in London, and many CX's ended their days as worn-out courier hacks) so they were a common sight on British roads throughout the 1980s & '90s.


http://www.elsham.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/cx500/history/

I have to say, that as common as they were, I've never ridden a standard Maggot, although I did get to ride the CX500 Turbo Maggot version a few times, which was quite impressive for its day, but I can't say I liked it that much.
 
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I think a test ride might be important here. I've heard they ride like tiny Goldwings but I've never been on one. Folks have cafe'ed these things and said they can be made to handle quite well.
With the way so many have been beaten condition would be everything.
 
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Thanks for the inputs. I took a closer look today. It started and ran, but it sounded very clattery and there was a fair amount of smoke. The owner wasn't interested in questions or any kind of offer.

Since SWMBO has said "No bikes - you can't carry the dogs and you're getting too old for that stuff", I decided not to pursue it. I did take exception ot the second part of the comment, but I have to admit never having ridden on the street in the US. Maybe it's better left alone!
 
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I expect to finish up on the wrong side of the road in New Zealand, shortly after leaving a bike meet in a pub, and as an ornament on the grillwork of a Bedford.
Get a sidecar outfit Frank, the car reminds you which is center and it won't fall over when you park it. They are a joy to do errands with all the room for groceries and such.
 
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Dogs love to ride in sidecars too. Sounds like just what you need, Frank! :)

Debby
 
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A friend of mine has one last October we did the Colombres rally in northern spain (enter four go to colmobres) into you tube and you can see it . It's still used as despatch bike today some 400,000 miles on it still goes well you will see its totally original fairing don't laugh it works.
 
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I've had one sidecar outfit in my motorcycling life, a 1954 BSA A7 with a single-seat sports sidecar. I put the chair on because you got a 75 percent reduction in insurance over a solo. I never could figure out why. I though having the sidecar on was a damn sight more dangerous!

I think I'd have an even bigger leaning curve that solo here because the sidecar would be on the "wrong" side as well as the brake pedal and gear-shift.

As an engineer, I've always liked the CX, paticularly the Turbo version. I wish N-V had had the money and the foresight to develop something like it in the late 1960s. Unfortunately, starter motors were pretty weak then (before rare earth magnets) and turning the Commando motor sideways in the frame, to accommodate shaft drive, was too big a step for the brass to consider.

Ariel were working on a bike that looked a lot like a Gold Wing when they folded. It used a stretched "Leader" frame with an underslung water-cooled flat four, about 1200ccs if I remember right. They built a couple of engines, but were astonished when they only developed about 30 hp on the dyno. I guess someone had forgotten about the importance of RPM in the horsepower equation. I think it had a power peak at about 4500 rpm.

It was pretty much a death blow, as they'd sunk a lot of development money into it. If there are any old Ariel hands on the forum, I'd be interested to hear if my memory still works!
 
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Didn't norton develop a Weslake type engine that tunred out to be heavy and only put out about as much as a Commando?
 
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At the time I left N-V June 1968), the majority of the development effort had stepped over to the street/trail version of the AJS Stormer, as the thinking was that the Commando would be left to "mature" as a production bike for about 18 months after its introduction.

I don't remember any big effort on the engine except for the weird DOHC version that was bench tested. It had a chain dirve for the cams that came off the same place as the pushrod set-up and was threaded through the pushrod tubes into the head. If I remember correctly, the chain was about 40" long. Not a good idea.

The other main effort was the disk brake development which was still being thrashed about when I left. We'd tried two designs, both of which failed due to management insistence on a sliding disk instead of a sliding caliper.
 

L.A.B.

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frankdamp said:
Ariel were working on a bike that looked a lot like a Gold Wing when they folded. It used a stretched "Leader" frame with an underslung water-cooled flat four, about 1200ccs if I remember right. They built a couple of engines, but were astonished when they only developed about 30 hp on the dyno. I guess someone had forgotten about the importance of RPM in the horsepower equation. I think it had a power peak at about 4500 rpm.

I think the engine size of the prototype Ariel Leader four you are thinking of, was 700cc: http://www.nationalmotorcyclemuseum.co. ... php?id=145
 
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That's the one, L.A.B. It was even more underpowered than I remembered. 25 hp from 700ccs wasn't trying very hard!
 
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65 HP from a Commando (at the crank, I assume?)? What do you have to do to it to get that?
 
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