Honda CX650

1983 Honda CX650E Sports

Vehicle Identification No. RC  2004 083

Engine  No. RC10E  2006116

Manufacture – 7/83            Odometer – 56,264km.

This bike came in a trade from a friend in North Queensland in 2009. He had bought the bike in Townsville not long before, but probably because he committed matrimony shortly afterward – and all that that implies, he decided that he did not wish to do anything further with it so it was now surplus to requirements. (After all, his Suzuki ‘Hayabusa’ provided enough fun.) Sometime previously he and I had shared the cost of a large trailer, suitable for transporting his CX500-based Morgan-style three-wheeler, but the trailer had ended up in his sole possession and hundreds of kilometres away in Queensland. To my delight, the CX650 was offered to me as a notional trade for my share of the trailer.

I had admired the CX650’s from afar for many years. They seemed to be mechanically sophisticated without being so high tech. as to be incomprehensible to the ageing and cantankerous motorcyclist. I liked the styling and from all reports they were reliable and a pleasure to ride. Certainly a CX500 I had owned for a couple of years was a very pleasant machine. The upsized (670cc) transverse V-twin engine of the nominal 650 gives it greater (quite surprising) power over the 500.

Its specifications include disc brakes all round, (twin disc, anti-dive in front) and a monoshock rear end. It continues the electric start, shaft drive, Comstar tubeless tyre wheels and water cooling of the line.

I picked up the CX650 on 2 July 2009 and decided to make it my immediate restoration project, so I would have something fitting to ride in my declining years.

From some of the papers that came with it, the bike may have been bought in Western Australia. It was last registered in Queensland in July 2006. It is quite complete, even to having the owner’s handbook and most of the tool kit with it, but it had been laid up for some years. The hydraulic disc brakes were corroded and locked, and it generally needed a thorough servicing and tidy-up. Information on servicing and maintaining the CX650 was hunted down on the Internet and a workshop manual acquired through Abebooks.

A pair of new tyres was a simple, if expensive beginning. Dismantling the corroded-up brake callipers required making up a couple of special tools and the use of a good deal of extravagant rhetoric. On dismantling, the hydraulics appear to have been topped up with Cappuccino, or perhaps more likely Turkish coffee, judging from the residue.

Pieces of Trivia:

On visiting Precision Motorcycles, the Top End Honda dealers in search of some parts, a problem arose. According to their information, the CX650E was not officially allocated to Australia by Honda, thus Honda takes no responsibility for providing a factory parts service (bastards!).

The story was that, as with some other models sold here prior to Honda deciding that the economics favoured a full-scale Australian release; it was imported by various dealers off their own bat. (Who am I, however suspicious, to contradict this explanation? – Precision’s dealer’s parts catalogues certainly have no listing for CX 650E parts or service info.) Bits & pieces had to be tracked down by finding where they (or suitable substitutes) were used on other models that were officially imported. Fortunately, Precision Motorcycles Spares staff appeared to be quite happy to engage in such a hunt. However, after a couple of visits, a bright young woman in the parts section tried consulting and comparing Honda’s North American and Australian websites on the Internet and tracked down various part numbers, finding that many parts were readily available. A great improvement.

Some re-chroming and repainting of tatty bits is improving the overall appearance and I am quite happy with the emerging result. The re-chroming was undertaken by ‘A Class Metal Finishers’ in Adelaide and really is a superb job. I will certainly be dealing with them in the future.

Pieces of trivia:

Like its little brother the CX500, the CX650 has also become something of a cult bike over the years. It continued the elegant “Euro” styling that had been introduced with the Turbo 500 version.


3 comments on “Honda CX650

  1. Colin De La Rue says:

    G,day Mick,
    The Honda part number for the oil filter I use is 15412-KEA-003 which gets me the right filter.I also have an earlier number 15412 413 005.which may help if your dealer is not up-to-date.
    Best wishes,
    Colin DLR

  2. michael callahan says:

    Dear Sir,
    I have acquired an almost identical bike, Engine No RC10E 2005 856.
    May I enquire what oil filter you use.
    The one I imported seems too tall and the filter fins get crushed.

    • G’day Michael,
      The Honda part number for the oil filter I use is 15412-KEA-OO3. But I also have an earlier number 15412 413 005. The former number seems to get the right filter from my local dealer.
      Good Luck,
      Colin DLR

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