As warmer weather gets some riders out on their bikes again, it gets other riders thinking about project bikes. While there may be overlap between these two types of riders, any way you appreciate bikes is cool, but if you’re thinking of dipping a cautious toe into the project bike pool, then you may want to sit down and check out this Brick House Builds video.
Now, BHB has a ton of experience with Honda CX500s, which will almost immediately become evident in this video, even if you haven’t seen any of BJ’s previous videos on other CX500 builds that he’s done. In this one, he’s digging into a stock CX500 factory custom model, which he purchased as part of a pair of CX500s (and a load of spare parts) from a seller.
This bike was sold as a parts bike, not a runner. However, since it appears to be in pretty good shape, and someone in BJ’s family will be learning to ride soon, he thought this would be a great bike to fix up and teach them to ride on. It’s friendly, unintimidating, and a solid choice for someone just learning to ride—especially once he installs some crash bars to help minimize damage if it’s dropped along the way.
The cool thing about this video is that it works on multiple levels. On the one hand, it’s about this specific CX500, and assessing its condition and areas of concern. Topics covered include the fact that a bunch of bolts (including some weird specialty ones) are missing, the coolant system needs attention, the fuel is starting to varnish in the carburetor float bowls, and there are minor electrical system things to sort out.
On the other hand, it’s also about assessing a theoretical project bike you may have in mind and charting your best course of action for fixing it up. From specific observations like Keihin carburetor quirks commonly found on this model, to always making sure to clean up any roughness on the mating surfaces of metal parts before you install new gaskets and put them back together, there’s a lot of good information and tips that carry far beyond this specific CX500 project.
As you’ll note, BJ has a dry erase board filled with different tasks that he’s identified as needing to be accomplished on this bike. That way, he has the simple satisfaction of crossing them out when they’re complete. If you’re a list-maker, don’t worry—you're not alone, and if crossing things off your list gives you that extra sense of accomplishment, why wouldn’t you do it?
He also has a physical notepad to write things down as he goes, which can be useful for any number of things. From taking notes on what parts you need to order, to writing down key measurements along the way, sometimes a pen or pencil and paper are some of your most valuable tools.