It’s interesting to think that there are hardly any production motorcycles, other than the Kawasaki H2 range, of course, that make use of forced induction. In the car world, it’s common practice for manufacturers to make use of turbochargers or superchargers to give smaller engines an equal amount of grunt as that of their larger counterparts. However, when it comes to motorcycles, is it really true that there’s no replacement for displacement?
Well, in reality, there was a turbo phase in the Japanese sport bike scene, albeit a short one. In the 80s, manufacturers like Yamaha, with its XJ650 Turbo from 1982; and Honda with its CX500 Turbo all ventured into forced induction in sporty, albeit street-focused packages. Suzuki and Kawasaki, too, tried their hands at turbocharged two-wheelers with the XN85 Turbo and GPZ750 Turbo respectively.
Having said all that, a following for these retro sporty machines continues to exist to this day. If you happen to be looking to add a retro turbocharged two-wheeler to your collection, then you may want to consider this 1982 Honda CX500 Turbo. Listed on auction at no reserve on Bring a Trailer, this bike was Honda’s answer to the turbo mania of the 80s. Producing an impressive 82 horsepower out of a 497cc transverse V-twin, that’s nearly twice as much power as what we get in Honda’s modern day 471cc parallel-twin. Granted, we can’t deny the 19-PSI boost provided by the turbocharger mounted to the bike’s motor.
Apart from being super cool thanks to its turbo, the CX500T was also a bike of many firsts for Big Red. It was Honda’s first bike to employ electronic fuel injection, and it came with thoroughly modern features such as liquid-cooling and four valves per cylinder. For smooth and direct power delivery, it came with a shaft-drive system, and transferred power to the back wheel via a five-speed manual transmission. This particular bike, finished in Pearl White with gray and orange graphics, looks to be in remarkable condition, and has only had two owners since being purchased brand spanking new from Leipold Motor Sales in Ottawa, Illinois.
A considerable amount of work has been done to this bike to keep it road-worthy. Maintenance jobs consisted of a fresh oil change, coolant flush, fork oil, brake fluid, and gear oil for the shaft-drove system. A new battery and a fresh set of spark plugs have also been fitted in preparation for the sale. The bike has a total of 17,000 miles on the clock, and comes with a complete set of documents consisting of all paperwork, service manual, and a clean California title in the seller’s name.
At present, the current bid for this bike stands at an enticing $4,000 USD. However, with seven days to go as of press time, chances are we’re going to see that number gradually increase. If you’re interested in adding this retro machine to your collection, be sure to visit the original listing linked below for more information, and to place a bid.