1980s Bike Crush: Honda CX500 Turbo


Forced induction became the eighties - especially in the Honda CX500 Turbo

We’ve said it before: your taste in motorcycles will be defined by the bikes that were cool at your time of bike consciousness. Usually this is somewhere around adolescence. So hitting this watershed in the early eighties, the Honda CX500 Turbo was one of the exotics that grabbed my personal attention.

We’re not trying to be overly Freudian. It’s just obvious. The moment the sap starts to rise in the average early teen, you start noticing vehicles that somehow encapsulate a dream. Speed. Fun. The Future. The Honda CX500 Turbo was such a bike.

Honda CX500TC

As the first turbocharged production bike, the blown version of the CX500 came with stripes and that all important TURBO logo that meant so much in the eighties – as well as the trademark Guzzi-like bulges that denoted the V-Twin setup.

Honda may or may not have been trying to harness the glamour of the Guzzi Le Mans for that lairy new decade – but building a two wheeled pocket rocket with forced induction was certainly a brash, bold move.

Honda CX500 Turbo 7

We have no first-hand idea how the bike performed or handled – but we can only imagine the scary kick-in that came when the turbo did its business.

The turbocharger, according to a few sources, at peak output provided around 19 psi boost. That nearly doubled the power output of the engine. We’re not sure either when in the rev curve and how quickly this double-down occurred – but it must have been a buzz when it did.

The base Honda CX 500 has of course become a bit of a cult classic of late – and popular amongst the custom scene because of its relative availability and its attractive motor.

We’d be happy with the stripes and spangle of the turbo version. And one went at the recent Coys MCN show for 7.5K.

Appreciating classic alert!