I have always been intrigued by the CX500. Unusual engine layout, some engineering quirks that were a bit ahead of its time, and what seems like a pretty good supply of parts and knowledge available online. When some friends got together and started planning a "cheap bike challenge", I knew I had my excuse to buy another old bike. Initial build parameters are - total budget $1000 not including tires, must be appropriately titled and registered for the street, and must be off road capable due to the route the ride would take. Once this challenge is over, I do plan to continue the build and actually make the bike "right", but for now cheap fabrication and used parts are the name of the game. After some searching, I settled on a 1980 CX500 Deluxe that was about an hour and a half away from me. The seller had bought it to turn into a "cafe racer" in the cheapest sense of the word, but had lost motivation and interest. Original purchase price was supposed to be $725, and I was all set to pay that...until the title came out. Uh oh. Don't you know you can't use white out on a title!? The owner had never transferred the title to his name when he bought the bike 5 years back, but he had filled it in. Unfortunately, he had now turned his titled bike into a parts bike in my eyes, since there isn't enough time in the schedule to deal with a court ordered title process, nor are all the court fees worth it for a cheap bike. However, the bike had a lot of positives, so I still brought it home, for $400. I got the bike home, and quickly got it running - the carbs had been fiddled with at some point and were all kinds of out of adjustment. They still aren't synced at all, but at least I know the engine runs now. After working on the bike, I discovered Progressive 412 shocks, an Ingnitech ignition, and an electric fan conversion, and the seller professed to having replaced the timing chain and guides. Apparently no leaks from the water pump, either. I have since discovered it also seems to have Progressive fork springs, along with a missing rear fender, big old cheap non-DOT headlight, chintzy plastic mini blinkers, and clubman bars. All the usual cafe-racer 101 stuff, fortunately without any sawzall or angle grinder action. Now I needed a title. Conveniently, there was a second CX500D on craigslist, also a bit over an hour from home. This one had a title, but had failed the engine due to a water pump seal failure and subsequent engine overheat. Both big end bearings spun, and both pistons were galled beyond use....but the rest of the bike was fine. And the price was right - another $400. Check out that sweet stereo on the bars! By the time I got that bike home, CX #1 was basically a bare frame. It has since been completely disassembled, and many of the parts have been listed for sale on Ebay to help offset the build budget. If you need something, let me know - I might have it. The plan now is to make one running bike out of the two parts bikes, using all the stock CX hardware. I can then get a few miles on the engine before working out what to do with wiring, the Ingitech unit, etc. For now I'm going to put it together with the CDI and make sure everything actually works. From there, the plan depends some on what parts I can sell off, and how much budget I can recoup. Already in the plan: -GL1100 17" rear wheel swap. I'm about halfway through this already. -Added rear suspension travel. I found some used Fox IFP shocks, which are supposed to show up today. This should roughly double my rear wheel travel, though I have some careful measuring to do on the U joint angles. As far as I can tell, no one has come up with a CV joint conversion yet. If the shocks are too long, they are rebuildable. I will pull them apart and internally limit their extended length. -Skid plate. Gotta get the engine in before I do this. -Fix the electric fan install - bigger fan, better switch mounting. -Make the stock forks work...acceptably. Thicker fork oil, preload, etc. With only 5" of travel and basic damping rods, they need all the help they can get. If I have time, I may modify the orifices to give it more bottoming resistance but keeping it plush in the center of the stroke. I have other fork plans once the budget part of the build is over. -Lower, dirt bend bars -Foot pegs without the silly rubber covers. I may have some extras from a KTM I can use. -Custom exhaust. the stock setup is heavy and bulky. I have an order of 1.5" and 1.75" stainless mandrel bends in the mail, along with a 2 to 1 Y pipe. I also found a vintage aluminum supertrapp muffler to cap it all off. So that's the basic plan. Remove a bunch of weight from a CX and make it somewhat dirt-worthy, and just generally have fun with it.