Motorcycle Classics Blogs > From the Owner

From the Owner

The ups and downs of owning a classic motorcycle


Ron Graf’s 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo

1983 honda cx650t 
Ron Graf and his 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo. 

Bike: 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo
Owner: Ron Graf
Occupation: Medical Assistant
Age: 42
Rides: Three Honda CX650Ts, a 1980 Honda CX500 Deluxe and a 1984 Honda CB650SC Nighthawk

It is a truism that there is a perfect bike for everyone, and for Ron Graf, the perfect bike is a Honda CX650 Turbo. He owns three. Ron started his Turbo collecting in 1991: “I had a 1980 Honda CX500 Deluxe, and I liked that V-twin sound. I liked the engine feedback. I was saving up for a Honda ST1100, but then I saw ‘The Ad.’”

The ad was for a CX Turbo, and the asking price was affordable. “I didn’t know Turbos existed, but the idea sounded attractive,” Ron recalls. The bike had a bad water temperature sensor, but after that was replaced, it ran fine.

Ron was almost immediately hooked by the power boost. He crashed the bike three months later, but started looking for another one as soon as he was up and about. “The mid-range torque is addicting,” Ron says. “I take it up on the highway, slow down, get off the boost and then hit the throttle, just to feel the boost. I love it.”

Ron enjoys riding his Turbos, and has put over 100,000 miles on his stable of Boostbikes. “It’s a comfortable all day bike,” he says. “The windscreen fits me. The TRAC anti-dive fork mechanism works well. You set it and forget it.

“I use Metzler high mileage tires,” he continues. “Tire choices are limited, and since I don’t push it in the corners, I’d rather spend less money on tires. You use a lot more brake going into a corner to set the entry speed, since if you brake once in the corner, it’s going to stand up. It’s a top-heavy bike. However, it’s easy to control coming out of a corner. By now I know when the boost is going to come on. That turbo power is unique and you have to get used to it.

“If you are boosting heavily and let off the throttle a little, it will keep accelerating, although to a lesser degree. You learn to feel how your right hand is connected to the throttle differently than on a normally aspirated engine. A good analogy might be, on a normally aspirated bike, your right hand is connected to the throttle by a wire. On the Turbo, it feels more like a rubber band.”

Here's a quick video demonstrating the sound of a Honda CX650 Turbo:

  

welshman
4/9/2015 4:14:47 PM

The CX500 turbo was a turd until you disconnect the wastegate link. Then, it would easily keep up with RD500 or Suzuki RGV 500 on acceleration and gentle curves. It was a real impressive sight to see something so bid and bulky flying along chasing 'race' bikes (I worked at Suzuki Yamaha dealer after the Honda /Yamaha dealers)


greg
3/20/2015 10:28:21 PM

Hey Scott, who asked you?


dennis dickey
1/9/2012 3:27:02 PM

I have a 1983 CX650 Turbo purchased in 1989 with 200 miles on it. It is in perfect condition. I ride it only on occasion, and it currently has only 1700 miles on it. I also have two CX500 Turbos, a 1982 CBX, a Honda 2003 VTR1000, and a 2006 Harley Sportster XLCR stlyed bike. I ride the Harley the most to preserve the other bikes. But my favorite is the CX650 Turbo. I will retire this year, and probably begin to tour a lot, using the CX650 Turbo. Been saving this bike just for retirement. The CX650 Turbo is a fabulous machine!


dennis wymore
12/9/2011 6:38:30 PM

I worked selling bikes at a Honda shop during this era. There was a CX500 Turbo that we got in used which I had the chance to ride...it was interesting, but the power was a little soft. A couple of years later we had a 650 Turbo in used. Now that bike was a thrill! We found that the CX650 could stay in the draft of a then new 600Hurricane (CBR600) but could not pass up in the top end. Much torqueier than the 500...more fun! It is physicaly a larger bike that would be by today's standards a sport tourer. They would be a good long distance mount...but saddly, if you had any problems there would be little dealer support as most dealers didn't see them new...much less 28 years after the fact. Still this makes for one intersting ride!


tonycarlos
9/12/2011 12:51:19 PM

Come on Scott. Isn't the "my bike is cool, yours sucks" a bit juvenile? Ron likes his bike and it fits him. He chose to share that with us. I've got to admire a guy who knows what he likes. So what if it's not the bike for you. What to brag about yours? Write and post an article about it.


scott haralson
9/9/2011 7:05:08 PM

Check out TMIOA ( turbo m/c owners international ) see "turbo people" click on me (Scott haralson) see my turbo & many more factory turbo bikes. Scott haralson


scott haralson
9/9/2011 6:41:06 PM

Still just another V-twin , "Guzzi" style. My 750 Kawasaki Turbo sounds much better, inline 4 w/ 180 crank is the original "screamer". No "put,put" V twin, even with a turbo, can sound as "turbo whistle" smooth as a 4 cyl.with 180 firing order as it " spools up" . I've got 55,000 miles on mine, & not near as fast as my 'Busa , it is more fun & feels faster as the boost is building.