Shoichiro Irimajiri’s was charged with designing a new motorcycle for Honda in the mid 70’s, a bike intended to be both great for beginners and attractive to seasoned vets, and his transversely mounted V-Twin blew enthusiasts away globally. Chris Benotto and Mike Johnston of Midnight Oil Cycle Co. put themselves in Shoichiro’s shoes when they set out to boggle minds with their deconstruction and rebuild of a 1979 Honda CX500 of their own.
Chris and Mike cleaned up an original CX frame by removing all extra tabs and reshaping the rear loop to give the bike a simple profile, void of anything unnecessary. The side covers, rear fender and half of the front fender were ditched, sticking to the theme of less is more, which handsomely complements the freshly tailored low-profile saddle. Details include a Tungsten Cerakote finish for the two-into-one megaphone exhaust, hopped up carb mods and tuning, and modern handlebars with new controls, all finer points that keep this revived ripper in line. The final touch is a walnut ring inlay around the ignition core carved by Chris’ brother, keeping this build in the family.
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