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How to Restore Honda CX500 & CX650

Truly excellent vintage motorcycle restoration guides are few and far between. A few years ago, Ricky Burns and Veloce Publishing introduced How to Restore Honda Fours. Covering all the Honda fours from 1968-1982, it was an ambitious project. Impressively crafted, it was embraced by Honda Four fans. Honda CX500 and CX650 fans will no doubt be equally excited about Burns and Veloce’s latest restoration guide, How to Restore Honda CX500 & CX650.

With the Honda Four guide Burns, an ace restorer with years of experience working on Japanese motorcycles, proved his skill
compiling workshop manuals. This new guide is no less ambitious than his first work, yet benefits from a narrower scope, covering the CX/GL500 and 650 models produced by Honda from 1978-1983. The two engines — 497cc and 674cc — were essentially identical, and combining them in one book is perfectly logical.

Featuring 700 photos taken by the author himself during the process of repair and restoration on CX bikes, this excellent restoration manual is much more than just a step-by-step how-to. Along with guiding the reader through the expected engine and transmission strip-down and rebuild, the book features important chapters on project assessment, sourcing parts, cleaning and polishing, painting, applying decals and recovering seats. There’s also a particularly excellent chapter on rebuilding and refinishing tachometers, speedometers and switchgear, with excellent tips for securing top results.

Once dismissed as ugly and common by vintage motorcycle enthusiasts (British dispatch riders nicknamed them the “plastic maggot”), the CX500 and CX650 have witnessed something of a renaissance of interest from motorcyclists around the world. Perhaps oddly styled, they were well engineered and have stood the test of time. A must for any CX500 or CX650 owner. Veloce Publishing: 176 pages, $59.95. Visit our store to order a copy of either of Ricky Burns’ Honda restoration guides. MC