A Custom Honda CX500 Racer

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Pushing the limits to bring a dream bike to life.

All bike customization projects require passion, patience, and perseverance. However, some projects raise more challenges than others. This Honda CX 500 custom racer is one of them. Nicknamed “Obersten Regal”, or “Top Shelf” by its owner Chris Kent, the motorcycle certainly looks like a top of the line model. Getting to the finished product demanded extra determination and ingenuity from both Kent and his childhood friends from the Iowa-based Smith Brother’s Classic Cycles & Customs. Found in a barn, the 1979 Honda CX 500 bike underwent a transformation process that lasted two years. After completing a first version, Chris turned to his old friends to push the build further.

A full set of Motogadget parts and Mikuni carbs later, disaster struck with a voltage spike that damaged a lot of gear and also forced the team to start over. Other problems included finding a set of rings for the ‘79 CX 500 pistons, but the workshop overcame all of the obstacles to finish the build. The beautiful bike has a retro-inspired design with some distinctive features that make it stand out on the streets. A bespoke flyscreen hugs the speedo, while the Excel Warp 9 rims boast CNC machined hubs. New details include R6 forks with GSX-R dual wave rotors, a Penske rear shock, as well as a GL1000 rear shaft with a Ducati Brembo caliper. The brown hide seat matches the color of the grips, while the white, black, and red paint job give the Honda CX 500 custom the perfect finishing touch. Photographs© Deke Morrow.

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