The Honda CX500 — along with variants like the GL500 and GL650 — incorporated a variety of innovative features for the late 70s / early 80s. These included liquid-cooling, shaft drive, electric-only start, and an 80-degree V-twin mounted with the crankshaft parallel to the longitudinal axis of the bike — much like a Moto Guzzi.
The bikes developed a reputation for ruggedness, surviving harsh lives as courier mounts in the UK, but no one reckoned the slightly odd “Plastic Maggot” would become a darling of the new wave custom scene — one of the most popular cafe racer donors of the 2000s!
Below you’ll find a selection of Honda CX500 cafe racer builds we’ve featured on BikeBound.
The Low Rider: Honda CX500 by Seb’s Atelier-The Honda CX500 was a strange bird when introduced in 1978, sporting a host of innovative technology for the era. The most obvious feature was the transverse 80° V-twin that led some enthusiasts to term […]
Honda GL500 “Brokenwing” by Bandisca-The Honda GL500 Silverwing was a touring model spin-off of the CX500, with a similar liquid-cooled motor, shaft drive, and air adjustable suspension. While neither bike was very attractive, the off-beat CX/GL series has caught […]
Honda CX500 Brat Cafe by Sault Built-Cameron Sault is the founder of Sault Built, a workshop where he builds custom furniture and motorcycles, as well as working in metal sculpting. Since Cam is deaf, he cannot enjoy the exhaust note of […]
Honda CX500 Rose Edition by X-AXIS-Today, we’re proud to showcase the Honda CX500 Rose Edition, the third CX500 custom in the X-AXIS fleet. After years of competitive racing, two-time British motocross (MX1) champion Billy MacKenzie created the X-AXIS workshop to […]
Custom Honda CX500 by X-Axis-British motocross racer Billy MacKenzie has quite the racing pedigree. He’s a 2x British MX1 Champion, riding for Factory Kawasaki and Honda teams, and 3x overall Gran Prix winner. After decades of competitive racing, Billy […]
Honda GL650 Silver Wing Cafe Racer-Remove Before Flight… Today we’re thrilled to present a Honda GL650 cafe racer hailing from Lithuania. The Honda GL650 Silver Wing was essentially a punched-out version of the GL500, a midsize touring bike based around […]
Honda CX500 Cafe Racer by Rolling Retro-Nothing we love more than a shed-built cafe racer — especially when it turns out as clean as this one. The Honda CX500 has become a favorite among builders, with its ‘Guzzi-style V-twin, stubby wheelbase, […]
Honda CX500 Cafe Racer by LV Custom-The Honda CX500 is experiencing a big renaissance these days. Who would have thought that the “plastic maggot” would become the darling of custom builders the world over? This particular specimen is the work of […]
Honda CX500 Cafe Racer by BBCR Engineering-Few bikes have started life as unloved as the Honda CX500. Designed by Shiochiro Irimajari, the man behind the incredible six cylinder CBX1000, Honda billed it as ‘First to the Future.’ Though hoping it would […]
Honda CX500 Brat Cafe by Therapy Moto-Here we have one of the prettiest Honda CX500 customs ever, built by Lars Engelviken of Norway’s Therapy Moto. The “Poor Man’s Guzzi” is a tough bike to turn pretty, but Lars managed just that. […]
Honda CX500 Cafe Racer by Ironwood Motorcycles-Ironwood Custom Motorcycles of Amsterdam is quickly becoming one of our favorite custom builders. Earlier this month, we featured their incredible Yamaha XS650 scrambler. Today we have another work of two-wheeled art, a 1978 Honda […]
Faves: 1982 Honda CX500 Custom-The Honda CX500 has officially become a popular platform for custom builds. With a few modifications, such as straightening the lines and adjusting the fuel tank by a few degrees, it goes from a motorcycle […]