Today we’re thrilled to feature this CX500 tracker/scrambler by Matt Woodgates of Woodgates Motorcycles.
The Honda CX500, along variants such as the GL500 Silverwing, has always been an interesting machine. It was the first V-twin Honda produced, available from 1978 to 1983. Some people called it the “Poor Man’s Guzzi,” given the longitudinal crankshaft configuration, but the engine was liquid-cooled and pushrod-driven, with four valves per cylinder. Power was 50 to 77 hp, with 97 hp for the CX500 Turbo.
Lately we’ve been watching builders turn out some amazing CX500 cafe racers and customs, and Matt’s build immediately leapt out from the crowd. We love that he kept the original “Comstar” wheels, and those glossy black cages that protect the cylinder heads are on point. The custom seat pan fits the lines of the bike perfectly, and the low, wide Renthal bars give this bike an old-school tracker look.
We’ll hand the mic to Matt himself for the details.
CX500 Custom: in the Builder’s Words
It started off as a completely stock bike other wise known as the “Plastic Maggot”. This is my second CX500 build so had a good idea of what i wanted it to look like. I started by stripping the bike down to a bare frame. Then cut off any unnecessary tabs/brackets shortened the rear of the frame and welded a loop in. I then dressed all the welds on the frame/swing arm, then filled and primed them all. I’m a painter/panel beater by trade so everything was painted not powder coated as you get a better finish with paint in my opinion. Then the frame swing arm yokes and wheels were painted gloss black.
I made a custom seat pan out of 3mm upvc sheet, then my local upholsterer trimmed it in Old English Hide. I got rid of the ugly stock fuel cap and smoothed in the recess. Then painted it Toffee brown with Gold metal flake and old English scallops.
I made a battery box to relocate it under the rear of the engine so i could keep the bike looking as clean as possible. Fitted some Renthal ultra low bars Moto x clutch lever and Cbr125 front master cylinder.
Rebuilt the front forks and fitted new rear shocks. The engine was aqua blasted and painted in Anthracite engine pain with a few black details. The carbs were rebuilt with bigger jets and pod filters. I fitted Heidenau k’60 tyres as they look great and work well on the bike. I modified the original exhaust and wrapped it with titanium wrap.
- Instagram: @woodgates_motorcycles
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Photography by @brownhillphotography