project worked in several parts. I bought the bike for $400 from Brian.
He just bought a truck and the truck that he bough had some serious problems.
He spent money that his wife didn't want him to spend and all of a sudden he was
in trouble. I drove the bike quite a number of times and it always ran
great and Brian took pretty good care of it. So, against my will, because
I didn't need another bike and I really didn't have any extra money, I bought
the bike from Brian anyway. The second part of the project was to train
Blaire on how to use shop equipment and how to fix bikes. The third part
was to make this bike run and look like it was totally new.
taking the tank and other parts off that needed to be painted, Blaire and I got
started. On this job, she learned to mix the paint, prep the motorcycle
for painting, mask it off and then do the spraying. Oh, and clean the whole gun
did all of this very well and never complained when I made her work like mad.
This Honda CX500 Motorcycle had to look perfect. I had to do a lot of
computer work on YellowAirplane.com and I really didn't have the time to do all
of the training with Blaire so I painted the whole bike only black. Just
after we completed the paint job and it was completely, Blaire bought the tank
back into the garage and in the process, she dropped it and put a small dent on
yelled at Blaire and told her that she had to be very careful. She said
that she was careful. I then yelled, "You're not careful enough". So
we had to do more sanding, filling the dent and repaint the motorcycle tank.
I thought that I wanted to make this Honda CX500 look like a super nice custom
motorcycle, so I decided to go ahead and put the flames on it. Blaire
learned about motorcycle painting the hard way, as most of have to if we really
want to learn.
learned how to use different grits of sandpaper, tape off the tank and in this
picture, you can see that she is not being careful again. The tank
absolutely should not be held like this. It is so easy for it to fall off
of the stand and get bent again.
it did get bent again, I too would have been bent again. But, everything turned
out ok. So we went on to the next step in painting this 1980 Honda CX500.
We masked off the tank using fine line tape, then regular masking tape. Here you
can see it after we sprayed the red paint on it. This was the color of the
flames. The important thing to do is to sand the whole tank after every
coat before the masking and the spraying of the red. This is very
important because if the subsurface isn't totally smooth, the red will still go
on nicely, but when the red is sanded, the bumps in the black subcoat will show
up and will stick through the red making a real bad mess and a repaint.
is what the tank looked like before sanding the red, applying the yellow
pinstripe tape and then the clear. The whole secret of painting is to have
the subcoat perfectly smooth and a solid coat. you will need to use all
the same colors of primer because unless you are painting the tank all white or
black, the colors will all be different where the colors of the subcoat are
different. I learned this the hard way. Or should I say my friend
Bob learned it the hard way and I watched it happen as he painted his truck.
is the finished paint job on the Honda CX500. Once a guy named Tom
McGradey painted my old CB750 K4 and did a fantastic job. He did a trick on the
emblems that I have never figured out.
if you read this article, please contact me. I think you are a great
painter and a good guy. But he did the trick to the emblems and painted them,
leaving the edges of the lettering absolutely perfectly smooth. I could
never accomplish this, this is why I'm an amateur motorcycle painter and he was
the instruments of the bike. They look very nice. The bike sat for
about three years because I was too injured to finish it, so all of a sudden,
when I started driving it again, the speedometer started to stick. As the
bike accelerated up past sixty miles per hour, the speedometer would only read
about thirty. I thought that this was going to be a big problem, but it
started to stick less every time I rode the bike.
is a good view of the CX500 after it was complete. In the background, you can
see my house. I own the website, YellowAirplane.com, I have a yellow
house, a yellow truck, a yellow hose and a yellow comb, if you can believe that.
seat on the bike was just like brand new, the chrome looked really great and the
bike just runs great. This bike is for sale on ebay so before I put it up
for sale, I wanted to be sure that everything did indeed run right. I
build the bike to be my personal bike and it have the same paint job as my
Kawasaki ZN700. The Kawasaki was a real nice motorcycle, but I had to
sell it before so I could pay for the tickets to go to the North Pole. I'm
sorry that I sold the Kawasaki, and at the same time, I'm not sorry because it
was absolutely necessary that I went to the pole because "God
Sent Me to the North Pole". Read that story.
anyway, the CX500 came out very well. I polished the chrome, valve covers,
intake manifolds and other parts of the bike. It just came out beautiful.
a secret to polishing metal. On most bikes, you start out with 240 grit
sandpaper and really work hard and take off a lot of metal. You will know
when your ready for the next step by washing the part and then looking at with a
magnifying glass. If you see little tiny pits that didn't get sanded, you
need to sand some more. This first step takes more time than you will
imagine and is super important.
the 240 grit, you start doing the same thing with 320 grit, 400 grit, on up to
1200 grit, then use #400 steel wool and Mothers Metal Polish. And this
makes the finish almost like a mirror. Then you use just a paper towel and
the Mothers alone and the aluminum will look like a mirror.
the left picture you can see the Honda's Comstar wheel. This is a
composite wheel that is lighter and just as strong as a cast aluminum mag.
At least that's what I'm told. But this Comstar is a lot lighter than the
cast mag wheel. Now, back to the polishing. The #400 steel
wool is fantastic for mirror polishing the chrome too.
the paint, I use the fine grits of sandpaper on them and finish with Mothers
metal polish. It works great!
is a picture of the Mac Header. it took me a while to get the jetting
right and I should have looked it up on the web first. In the process, the
pipe turned blue. But parts of the pipe will turn blue since it is a
single walled, very thin racing header and a thin coat of chrome.
a picture of the webmaster, taking a picture of the bike and the reflection to
show how shiny the paint actually can be.
paint is Western Enamel, which is a two part paint. The paint uses a
hardener to get a super hard, super glossy surface. The paint actually
comes out in a high gloss when it is sprayed, but it needs to be sanded to get
the orange peel off of it.
can really see the shine in this picture and see how nice the seat is. Who
ever gets the bike will have a nice one. I never took the engine apart
because it didn't leak and ran just like new. So I cleaned and fixed
everything else, replacing all cables and rebuilt the carbs at $75 per carb for
the rebuild kits. Those motorcycle shops pull in the bucks on parts.
picture of the bike and the YellowAirplane Truck in the background.
didn't want to sell the bike, but I have nine motorcycles and I want to get it
down to just two. My Kawasaki Ke100 dirt bike and my
1972 CB750 and
that's it. All of the other bikes were bought for parts for the 750
rebuild and I found out that those other bikes were real nice and there's almost
nothing wrong with them. So I have six 750 Hondas at this time.
is the last time I will be seeing the bike. Today is May 2nd 2009 and I will
still put about a hundred miles on this bike before it sells on ebay.
a dream of my personal Honda CX500 is coming to an end. It turned out to
help a friend, give me some good times riding the bike and taught Blaire a whole
lot as part of the
Y-I-BET on the Youth of America program. I want the new owner to
appreciate this bike and take care of it as it was taken care of all of its
And to have a great time this summer driving a 1980 CX500 Motorcycle.