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 be thought of as the ‘Poor Man’s Guzzi’ because of the lateral mounted V-twin, it was promptly dubbed the ‘Plastic Maggot’ by the press and public.
In recent years, the bike is finally getting attention from a number of builders who are finding beauty under its less than attractive exterior. One of those is BBCR Engineering, located in St. John, Indiana, less than 30 minutes from downtown Chicago. Their latest creation, dubbed the BBCR507, started life as a humble 1978 CX500.
The creator of BBCR507 is the extremely talented fabricator Andrei, who hails from the small European Republic of Moldova. After coming to the United States five years ago, he has been deeply involved with the custom bike scene and CX500s in particular. Of his nine builds in the past couple of years, seven were CX500s. All of those were bobber influenced builds, but the customer here gave Andrei free rein and the goal became a café racer with modern sportbike components and appeal.
Andrei stripped the bike to its bare frame and then then cut off the entire rear subframe, including the supports for the rear shocks and fuel tank mounts. He then bolted up his own custom CNC alloy subframe which incorporates a one piece tank, shock and seat mount, allowing for a mono-shock conversion.
The tank was reworked and a one off fiberglass café racer tailpiece was crafted to flow with the lines of the tank. The rest of the bodywork is minimal and includes stainless steel front and rear fenders. The paint, from the Jeep catalogue, is aptly named Anvil.
The modern sportbike theme is reinforced by the suspension and brake package. Starting with Yamaha R6 gold inverted forks, these were attached to the frame via a custom BBCR stem. The R6 likewise contributed the calipers, discs and front wheel.
Out back, the original shaft drive swingarm remains but was modified to accept the mono-shock treatment featuring a Ducati Monster shock with an upgraded Ohlins spring. The rear wheel is wrapped in 130 Michelin rubber. The rear sets are Kawasaki CNC units, modified to fit, and custom linkage was fabricated for both shifter and brake pedal.
The engine was rebuilt from the bottom up and is now fed by Mikuni carbs on a custom intake breathing through pod filters. The level of detail and workmanship is impressive, with many of BBCR’s own machined components. However, the deal is sealed with Andrei’s unique exhaust design, a 2-1 with a collector box sporting dual outlets under the engine.
The level of detail continues with the controls, including the incorporation of a push button start into the stem and a Cognito Moto GPS speedometer into the top triple tree.
Andrei proves again that, in the hands of a master, a Plastic Maggot can become a thing of beauty.