I always pictured project bikes as the ideal way to learn how to work on a motorcycle—aside from doing formal mechanical training. Inspired by my colleagues' well-garnished garages and their handiness, I decided that I, too, would learn to wrench and that I was going to do so on my own project bike.  

In August 2019, I found a bright orange 1979 Honda CX500C that I introduced to you guys as “Project Zonnig”. I didn’t choose the bike as much as it chose me, I think. My first thought when I saw the ad for it was “it’s not in too bad a shape and it’s cheap—I can work with that”. I didn’t know much about CXs and their reputation, and unlike other bidders trying to sway the owner with more money than he asked for, I wanted the bike for the challenge, not for the bike itself. Then I met Dana—the (former) owner’s daughter—and she told me her dad’s story and this bike’s story and that's when I truly fell in love with my CX.  

I left with the bike in a pickup truck box and a head full of ideas. I was going to upgrade everything, get the bike to start again, then turn it into a scrambler. Fast-forward eight months and my little Honda is alone and naked in a friend’s garage and I haven’t visited in a few months. Sad, I know. I try not to think about it too much because I feel guilty. 

Said friend kindly offered to store it in his garage and invited me to work on it whenever I wanted to, giving me the access code and an open invitation to pop in when I wanted to. I thought that a warm place for my little bike only ten minutes away from home was a bargain but I overestimated that distance. While a “ten-minute” drive isn’t much generally speakingit also means I need to plan a chunk out of my day to go and work on the bike instead of spontaneously stepping out to get things done whenever I can. I know, first world problem.  

Meet The RideApart Team’s Bikes: Sabrina’s Honda CX500
Meet The RideApart Team’s Bikes: Sabrina’s Honda CX500

Add to that having to source new parts and hitting a few roadblocks along the way—including a stubborn carburetor screw and a rusty tank I just can’t seem to clear up—and Project Zonnig is nowhere near where I thought it would be by now. Especially now that we have a pandemic and stay-at-home order thrown into the mix.  

Unlike the rest of the RideApart team, my bike isn’t running. It’s a complex 3-D puzzle awaiting completion. I still have a lot of ambition for my little bike—there’s no way I’m giving up on it. I just have to rethink my timeline. I always say that most things in life come down to “managing expectations”—and that includes managing my own.  

Meet The RideApart Team’s Bikes: Sabrina’s Honda CX500

I’ll eventually bring Zonnig home and store it in the yard behind my apartment building. I have a big cover waiting for it and a lot of love to give to make up for all its loneliness. It might not be a shiny KTM or a roaring Harley-Davidson but this little ‘79 CX500 is mine, it’s happy orange, and one day, I’ll get it to run again.  

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