Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Honda CX650C

Tue, February 2nd, 2010

1983 Honda CX650C Custom
While the CX650 mill was quite a bit more gutsy than the 500cc version it replaced, and the CX Custom was the lightest of the 650s that used this engine, those pluses only bring it into the realm of 'not bad.'
The CX actually had fairly decent ground clearance, but was let down by noticeable shaft jacking and bargain shocks and forks.
It is one of the few cruisers that doesn't look like a fake Harley or a silly cartoon. Except for the gaudy mirrored side panels, Honda knocked this one out of the park. Unfortunately, many examples got cluttered up with Honda's terribly ugly accessory sissy bars and engine guards.
By the time they got around to the 650 version, Honda had worked out the CX series' numerous weak links, but high revving abuse will still break 'em. Sanely piloted CX650C's are reliable...if kept continuously garaged and never left out in the elements for extended periods; they are prone to corrosion problems. Unfortunately, the engines are a bear to tear down, and require a nearly complete tearing down to replace just about any component.
Why this bike only lasted one year I don't know. It was a comfortable, stylish, capable bike for most riders' intended use.
Rare one-year model that sits atop the CX heap and ranks among my favorite Japanese bikes of the period. Impossible to find in good condition.
I would buy one in a heartbeat if I could find one that was unmodified, cosmetically nice, and had a mill in trustworthy shape.