This classic 1982 Honda CX500 Turbo will be auctioned by H&H Classics in Duxford on October 12th, 2016. And with an estimate of between £7,000-£8,000, it’s a relatively accessible bit of motorcycling history.
Amazingly, it’s only had one owner since 1982, and recorded just 11,000 original miles before being discovered hidden in the back of a garage.
The 1982 Honda CX500 Turbo:
The Honda CX500 Turbo (CX500TC) only existed for one year before being replaced by the similarly short-lived Honda CX650TD.
The water-cooled V-twin engine from the normal CX was given a boost of around 20hp by the turbo, which pushed extra fuel and air into the motor. Which meant about 97bhp from a 1982 500cc bike with a chassis and tyres typical of the era… Which meant Pro-Link rear suspension and TRAC (Torque Reactive Anti-dive Control).
Assuming you could stop shaking when you’ve ridden one, the fuel-injection system was programmable. So you could take control of the turbocharging, fuel injection, ignition and more.
It was quite a change for a derivative of the original ‘plastic maggot’. But that was the point – to take a mid-sized motorcycle and show how much extra power Honda could provide by using technology. And riders at the time found it exhilarating when the boost came in at around 4,000 rpm, although the slightly turbo lag makes it a little tricky to ride on winding roads. But it was a comfortable and reliable sport tourer.
And it wasn’t the only turbo around – Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki all had turbo bikes in their ranges for 1983. But ultimately the cost of production meant they were gone by 1984, with the Kawasaki last to disappear in 1986.
The Honda CX500 still looks pretty cool more than 30 years later. Who could resist an exhaust with TURBO written on it in capitals, for starters.
And imagine the joy you’ll have when people of a certain age make references to Streethawk, and you can point out the TV series featuring rider Jesse Mach actually came out later in 1985, and used Honda XL500 and Honda CR250s.
The more I look at the Honda CX500 Turbo the more I like it. And unlike some of the other technology showpieces produced by Honda (like the Honda NR750 for example), it’s actually affordable – a used NR could still set you back from £65,000 upwards.
And being a rare 1982 Honda CX500 Turbo means it’s one example of a CX that is thankfully unlikely to end up being turned into a cafe racer…