Five years ago, I’d never have picked the Honda CX500 as a target for custom bike builders. But it’s now rapidly finding favor, being a cheap and reliable platform that can be transformed into a slinky, contemporary custom—as the Wrenchmonkees discovered six months ago with their own CX500. This machine belongs to Dave Mucci, who got hooked on motorcycles three years ago.
“I studied industrial design in Detroit, and in my senior year, I took a motorcycle design class. The instructor was a phenomenal inspiration. He raced time trials in his day, and has a collection of over 60 vintage motorcycles. That class got me hooked: I’ve always been into vintage cars, but since that semester I’ve wanted a vintage motorcycle.” So in March, Dave got himself a CX500.
“It was a 1978 CX500 Standard from a guy in Michigan. I bought it in running order, but immediately tore it down.” Mucci started sketching concepts on his blog: “I wanted it to be two-up, a relatively inexpensive build, and not too pretty. Chicago has a way of destroying everything you love that’s shiny and clean.” For Mucci it was a crash course in motorcycle mechanics, but he found the bike much easier to work on than the cars he was used to.
“I taught myself as much as possible in that three-month period, and aimed to do all the work myself. I’m not yet a good fabricator, and I know nothing about upholstery, so I had Analog Motorcycles help me out with the frame modification and seat pan. The seat I outsourced to Rod’s Designs.”
Mucci finished the build in June, and had been riding his CX500 for only a few weeks when “a lady in a big ole SUV backed into it while it was parked. It got knocked over, putting a big dent in the tank, breaking some controls, bending the levers and denting the headlight. So I ended up having to fix all of that again.”
But Mucci’s pretty happy with the way the CX500 turned out. “I’m hooked for life. I plan on continuing to have a build going in the garage: I’m working on refining my fabrication skills and hope to implement them in my next build—a 1981 SR250 for my girlfriend.”
If this is Mucci’s first attempt at a custom, I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.
Chopped and fabricated new seat frame
Custom designed seat
Clubman style drop bars
Posh natural grips
Custom 8″ Cherry Bomb muffler with turn-out tip
Front and rear fenders chopped from a Gold Wing
Dunlop K70 tires
Tank and side covers painted warm metallic gray
Wheels, fenders, forks, headlight and headlight brackets powder coated satin black
7″ Headlight and bucket from SpeedMotoCo.
Headlight mounts and tail light from Dime City Cycles
All gauges removed
Tan DEI exhaust wrap with black plated hose clamps
New stiffer rear shocks, and 20W fork oil
Bike lowered 1″ front and rear
NOS 70s black pistol grip levers from Japan
“… and replaced a bunch of OEM parts.”