Brat-Style 1980 Honda CX500 Is Custom Japanese Goodness Done Right

Custom Honda CX500 12 photos
Photo: Purpose Built Moto
Custom Honda CX500Custom Honda CX500Custom Honda CX500Custom Honda CX500Custom Honda CX500Custom Honda CX500Custom Honda CX500Custom Honda CX500Custom Honda CX500Custom Honda CX500Custom Honda CX500
It’s a story we’ve heard time and time again; riders start customizing their motorcycle as a personal project, but a lack of time, resources, or know-how leads many of them to hand things over to professionals.
Having reached out to Purpose Built Moto (PBM) in 2018, Luke wanted Tom Gilroy’s specialists to perform some minor fabrication work and give his 1980 Honda CX500 a new seat. The bike made its way back to him once these mods had been performed, but it ended up returning to PBM in the exact same format 18 months later.

Judging by what the Australian shop came up with, their client Luke must be very glad to have made that decision! Without further ado, let’s see how this Brat-style transformation unfolded from start to finish. First things first, Tom and his crew began by reworking the CX500’s subframe to tighten up its rear-end geometry.

A discreet electronics tray was then placed in between the modified tubes and ultimately topped with a stunning bench seat. The burgundy leather upholstery comes courtesy of Timeless Auto Trim, and we’re particularly keen on the pattern used for the stitching. A subtle pair of dual-function LED lighting units flank the saddle, while the rearmost portion of the looped subframe holds a bare-bones license plate bracket.

All this equipment is supported by modern Gazi shock absorbers, with a tiny swingarm-mounted fender keeping road debris away from the air filters. Aftermarket rearsets complete the modifications in that area. Up north, PBM lowered the forks in order to give the CX500 a tougher stance, subsequently installing a new top clamp, clip-on handlebars, and a 5.75-inch LED headlight.

Moreover, the cockpit is outfitted with minimalistic switchgear, as well as a small Daytona speedo, Adelin control levers, and underslung bar-end mirrors. The Aussies added discreet LED blinkers on each side of the headlamp, then they trimmed up the front fender to reduce visual mass. To keep the donor’s silhouette as clean as possible, its fuel tank was treated to a flush-mounted filler cap.

Tom Gilroy’s bike-modding doctors went to town in the powertrain department, as well, replacing the stock carbs with fresh TM34s from Mikuni and topping them off with a set of DNA pod filters. Exhaust gases are channeled via handmade stainless-steel pipework fashioned in a two-into-two configuration, with dual reverse megaphone mufflers at the tips.

Ingitech supplied a premium CDI ignition module, and there’s also a brand-new regulator/rectifier from Rick’s Electrics. This classic brat-style Honda features an Antigravity battery, too, with its juice running through youthful wiring and a Black Box control unit from Purpose Built Moto’s very own aftermarket catalog. For the paintwork, the guys went with a glossy black base and silver tank details, finally completing this build in early 2020.
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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