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1983 Honda CX650 Custom – My new project

Okay, it’s about time.  The leader of The Upright Motorcycle Brigade (yours truly) finally has a motorcycle!  The years of the scooter are drawing to a close.

I found it on Craigslist right in Johnson City, NY about 2 miles from where I work.  It is in rough shape; won’t start, forks slightly bent, seat ripped, parts missing, etc.  Just the way I like ‘em!  Now I can tear it apart and set it right.  I enjoy wrenching just as much as riding.

Here are some pics:

First order of business is to pull the engine and replace the starter clutch.  Then reassemble and get it to pass New York state inspection.

I’ll keep you updated!

Remember, keep ‘em upright!

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32 Comments on “1983 Honda CX650 Custom – My new project”

  1. ronj10 says:

    More stuff…..
    A lot of work to yank and crack the case. Don’t do it a year or two later for something else.
    Replace the timing chain, any worn chain guides, mech seal, oil seal.
    Thra are also many tricks and things to know about this process. Like replacing the torx bolts with new ones and loctite.
    or use forums at

  2. Thanks for the links ronj10! However I am already on the ChopperCharles forum as OdieTurbo.

  3. Bruce says:

    Good luck on your project. I have a 650 also and am looking for a starter clutch replacement. Where can I find one? Any clues? Let me know….thanks

    • Marie says:

      I have two customs. Inside she is in priestein showroom condition.
      She has a cracked timing chain guide. Only things I cant find. I got starter clutch and many items off ebay. Seems at different times you can find exactly what you need or not. Look again after couple weeks. There’s different stuff. First one bout done.
      Need cam.. timing chain guide/ slipper (plastic). Only new will suffice with this part.
      Thanks for looking.. old skool rulz….
      Ride on -

  4. Take a peek at these forums:

    Everyone has been great! They hooked me up with the used CX500 Flywheel and Starter Clutch.

    What 650 do you have? Custom? Silverwing?

  5. realisticone says:

    Tough bike to work on being a transverse twin. But, perhaps one of the best bikes ever made. I love this model. Was looking for one to buy when I stumbled across your blog. Good luck, I hope to see you restore it, they are wonderful machines.

    • Karen says:

      I have a CX650 ’84 in good shape. I’ve owned it since 05. Would like to sell.
      Let me know if you’re interested.


  6. claude says:

    I have a 1983 cx650c that looks very good but is running ruff. I had carbs rebuilt but I think I was burned it runs worse! The bike has newly covered seat (professionaly covered) new tires front and rear (Dunlop Stock raised letter)lots of extra parts. 23,*** miles. Delaware area, drop a line if interested in buying. I have purchased a new VTX.

    • Hi Claude! I’d love to give you an offer, but I’m getting ready to close on a house. No funds left for fun right now.

      I’m sorry to hear about your carb issues, I had mine off a total of FIVE times before I got them right. With all the emissions junk on them as far as tiny ports and bypasses, it is tough to get them right.

      Enjoy your VTX!

  7. Mark says:

    Just stumbled on your project. I too am in the restore process and would love to share info. Drop me an email sometime. I am about 75% done and will finish this year. I got the scoop on a lot of parts and stuff. I got one of the first 100 off the line! Good luck!

    • Theodore A. Jones says:

      I need pics of the mounting locations of the electrical components in the battery box area. If you would take pics of your cx650 and post then I would be greatful.

    • Marie says:

      Awesome. You get her done? I am starting mine now. Could use advise and part places. Been a long year truck came first. Now my baby.

      • Welcome to CX650 ownership! :) Mine’s never done I’m afraid. It was in bad condition when I got it and just doesn’t like to stay running for long. Right now I’ve got a dead stator. Lots of advice over at – big CX owners group over there. I’d be glad to give you any advice I can, just ask! :)

  8. Simon says:

    Just got my 1984 CX650E back, after selling it a couple of years ago. It will need mufflers in due course, and a rear brake disc right now (or resurfacing, if it’s thick enough). Has anybody got experience with Laser brand replacements, or (here’s hoping) a 2-into-1 stainless Motad system lying around?

  9. jim says:

    Hi RM: What did you have to do to get the carbs
    right on your cx? Had mine off once already with
    no success. Going to try to clean them up again soon. Never should have left the bike sit for two
    years but life got in the way. Hope I can get it
    back on the road soon; I miss riding it!

  10. Chenango says:

    Just curious. I was just looking at buying a 1983 Honda CX650, and it needs a starter. Does the motor have to be removed to change the starter? I just want to know what I am getting into before I consider it.

    • Definitely take a peak at the CX forums I listed above. The starter RARELY ever goes bad on these. It is 99% the starter clutch which is an engine out procedure. This is what mine needed. Not a difficult task if you are mechanically inclined.

  11. Tyty1978 says:

    i have a 83 cx650 custom and was wanting to make it a little louder… do you guys know if i put straight pipes on it will i need to get it retuned? or what would be the best method to adding a little more bark to its bite?

  12. chris fox says:


  13. john says:

    My bike runs incrediblt well. I love the bike. I have some how shorted the fuses tryin to change one for the rear taillamp. Now nothing will turn over including the horn. I think I blew alll the fuses with my ignition keys arching from the handlebars thru to the fuse box while in the process of changing the 10a fuse. Has this happened to anyone?

  14. Ruben Tellez says:

    I bought one last month, it had been under some trees at a friend’s house, so most of it is rusty. Right now is with my uncle, a devoted old mechanic who has some used brand-new looking parts (front bars, dashboard). Need to find a small fuel passage problem (1 cilinder not working appropriately), fix the electric system, paint, empty and clean the fuel tank, and then it will be as good as new.

    • Sounds great Ruben! Don’t forget to check in over at ChopperCharles forum; the link is in my replies above. Can’t wait until you get it up and running! Drop us a line and send us some pics when you do.


      • Ruben Tellez says:

        Sure will… I bought it because I liked the way it looks, and because of the innovative engine design, but after doing some deep research, I think I will keep it and cherish it as my personal toy for the weekends, and probably will buy a 1989 TT250 another friend is selling. Will keep you posted about the progress, and by the way, congrats on your project, I’m sure it will be spotless in the end.

  15. tony says:

    I have two of these bikes n would like to get rid of them if anyones interested

  16. spud says:

    Holly shit I think that might be my old bike I had years and years ago! Sold it when my dad drove it with it low on oil and fried the clutch. I recognise the tears in the seat and various dings and nicks! If its not the same bike its damn similar. It was my first bike and what a comfortable bike to ride it was.

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