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Help me choose a motorbike

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Mike P, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. Mullardman

    Mullardman Moderately extreme...

    I had one in red and black. CB125T as I recall. I think it was 15bhp.. or maybe 15.5 just before the 12 bhp restriction was introduced early 80s. I'd had a couple of bikes in the 1960s (Enfield Crusader Sport etc) but never got around to passing a test. So, when I needed cheap transport to and from Manchester as a mature student.. that's wot I got. (The DBD 34 'Arse in the air' Goldie is still a distant dream...)

    Cracking little bike. Handled well enough and would fly with a neutral or following wind. Up against a head wind though.. as I often was travelling west along the A580 in winter... it struggled and it would often be 45 mph flat out in 3rd, with a lean....
    I recall the red line as somewhere between 13 and 15k rpm. It was like a sewing machine. Missing a gear and overrevving would see it go higher still with no apparent issue.

    I couldn't afford posh leathers or anything at the time and had a cheap waterproof oversuit. One day I went through a horror of a hailstorm on the way home. I stopped at the lights in Lowton and wondered what the blokes in the van in the next lane found so amusing.. until I looked down..
    I had a huge wedge shaped accumulation of hail stones stuck to the front of my waterproofs. Like the prow of a battleship.. I casually shook them off .. and of course my bike left the builder's van for dead...

    Never lose your cool....

    Wish I'd known they would become rare.. but then I could say that about a lot of things..

    And yes. the cable operated front brake was crap. Mine had a habit of locking on..
  2. cjarchez

    cjarchez pfm Member

    Yes, it received much derision from the biking press. One mag dubbed it "the plastic maggot". Several friends and one of my college lecturers owned one and said they were a fab, dependable machine. An acquaintance was a dispatch rider and loved his, saying it had the least down time of any other model of the day. It was also very low so shorter riders killed them too.


    TDC is correct, the Super Dream, a pretty bike back then, I still had my j around its release time.

    Ridden a couple of these, they're very popular here but I found the riding position a little odd for me.

    Woah! The legendary beast!
  3. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    My EYES..cjarchez. On a Friday evening and all :(
    Where's the flippin eye-bleach ..
  4. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Think that's bad? look up the Silver Wing version :eek:
  5. wow&flutter

    wow&flutter pfm Member

    One of my earliest rides as a passenger was on a CX500. I thought it was great, much preferred it to his CB400/4 I think it was. The CX had issues of course and I think he traded it in for a CB550/4 and then the 750 version.I guess this must have been around 76 maybe.
    Looking at these bikes now it’s the skinny rear tyres that catch my attention.
  6. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    The worst pillion I ever had was on a CX500 and he was a biker himself! Redhill in Surrey to West Wales and back...
    I ended up pulling over on a country road and giving him a full Ferguson hairdryering to the effect that he'd be hitchhiking the rest of the journey if he didn't stop suddenly leaning the wrong way halfway around bends!
    At one point on this journey the two CX500's (both with pillions) had to be ridden (pillions walking this bit) trial style up a stream bed at night for 100 yards as the road was completely out....
    My Cx500 was rented and fit as a fiddle as it had a rebuilt motor in it but my pals was very high mileage and had been using loads of oil for months... it got so bad during this long weekend that a gallon was being used in about 150 miles! It eventually seized up at the services coming back into England and after searching everywhere for my RAC card so we could claim it was mine and get the bike plus my mate and his GF home we had to give up and assume I had left it in London.... they abandoned the dead Honda and hitched back whilst myself and other pal rode back on CX500.
    months later I eventually found my RAC card... I'd had it all along... in one of those pocket inside a pocket bits in a wallet that one never uses... How he laughed when about a year later I sheepishly admitted this.... well he didn't punch me anyhow!:rolleyes:
    Unfortunately he is now a much missed "ghost rider in the sky". RIP Percy. (no it wasn't a bike crash)
  7. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    RIP Percy.

    I think you have to give the CX credit for a great engine .. but .. that semi-cruiser styling - pullback bars/skinny kicked out forks/lard@rse seat on top of those awful Comstar alloys..Jz :(
    Arkless Electronics likes this.
  8. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    Way too much respect for Honda old gipper commuters on here.

    How to bore yourself back into the car.
    Space is the Place likes this.
  9. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Not for nothing was it known as the plastic maggot! Styling was.... considered but then abandoned by Honda I reckon.
    The engine was impressive IMHO. Interesting engineering, unique, very reliable (most of the time! 150,000 mile ones can do nasty things. see above. CDI units/sensors can give trouble), when working fully to spec at least as quick as a GS550 or CB550 and with loads more bottom end grunt. Shaft drive worked flawlessly.
    The only real downer from the riders perspective was the handling was rather ponderous and top heavy. Hitting over-banding or manhole covers whilst at a lean and in the wet could require a change of underwear! It really wasn't that much worse than most of its peers though until the GPz550 and GSX550es came out.
    The shaft drive GT550 Kwaka was it's main replacement as a courier bike of course when the CX500 got long in the tooth.
    Now a restyled and lightened CX900 or 1000 would have been an interesting beast! A modernised Le Mans Guzzi with much more go!!
  10. Guzzi V7 with the rear mudguard/brake light/number plate arrangement sorted/cut down, I’d love one.

    Cheers BB
  11. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    A mate had a CX 500 in student days. I was pillion once, it was a decent bike. It did a decent job for him, and was better than the Honda Benly he'd had before.
  12. cubastreet

    cubastreet Espresso Fiend

    I think some of the custom CX500s look pretty good.
  13. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs pants up, knee down

    When I wrote for RiDE mag, I had one of these for a few days...

    Moto Morini 1200 Granpasso.


    I had never been a fan of this style of bike... until I rode a big 'un.
  14. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs pants up, knee down

    And here I am on the Moto Morini Granpasso 1200

  15. kendo

    kendo Prussian bot

    I took my CX500B to the TT in 85 & 86, Marzocchi gas shocks on the rear, thick oil in the forks and Pirelli tyres. My mate was racing both years and I took him round the course on the pillion. He was "fretting" a little...I was not. :)
    Arkless Electronics likes this.
  16. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    Soz, like most of them I just see Big Bird. I'd never turn round for one last look if I had that.
    Big Tabs likes this.
  17. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    Probably splitting hairs here - but I wouldn't even call that a big trail-bike. It's more of a larger version of the TDR 250 Yamaha. I suppose it boils down to your definition of a 'trail'.
    Seriously - you would have to bin the beak and goggle-eyed lights on that thing before you could take it out though.. :)
  18. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs pants up, knee down

    Same goes for the popular BMW's favoured by Charlie and that other bloke.

    Not my thing at all, but to ride on the road it was divine.
  19. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    My brother reckons the BMW's are the best riding bike he's ever owned.
  20. Space is the Place

    Space is the Place pfm Member

    I must admit the purpose of a motor cycle for me is how it rides, handles, accelerates, corners and stops, the above meets none of the previous criteria! (buy a margin wider than it's cylinder heads).

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