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Honda CX500 Street Tracker – “Superfly”

Posted on September 5, 2011 by Scott in Brat. 28 comments

When it comes to the ugliest production bikes ever made, we all have a few that come to mind. Now we’re not talking about your usual “not my kind of thing” ugly – but honest to goodness, feel the vomit rising in the back of your throat, transparent plastic bag full of monkey genatalia ugly. Top of our ‘designed with an ugly stick’ list is the Honda Rune, then probably the nauseous Victory Vision and of course the repelling Bimota Mantra – we’d probably prefer to burn our retinas with a welder than see one again. Then there’s the Honda CX500, which isn’t on our personal ‘ugly list’ but it is on some peoples lists, like Graham Braids. “So I set myself a challenge, what is one of the ugliest bikes out there? The CX500!” says Graham. He tells us that in England, the nickname for the CX500 is the “plastic maggot”, which is why he has named his modded version of the bike “Superfly”. Here’s how Graham transformed this bike from drab to rad.

“It started out as a well used hack, I stripped it right back, replaced any worn parts and gave it a good liberal coating of black paint on the engine, wheels, and headlight. I fitted flat track bars, converted to single speedo with LED warning lights. I then drilled the discs and added new s/s braided lines. Made a custom radiator shield, back and front mudguard, headlight shield, modded pipes, put old style badges on the tank and then coated them all in matt black paint. Topped it off with a rolled leather custom seat, off-road pegs, vintage grips and vintage back light, plus of course the dirt track tyres.”

“Well I’ve given it a good go, the build took 4 months over winter, and I only rode the bike a few times before one of my mates wanted to buy it. I have nearly finished my latest project though, which is a Kawasaki Z750 twin street tracker, with Aprillia upside down Forks, OZ alloy race wheels, ZZR modified swing arm, chopped tank, custom tailpiece plus twin high level stainless supertrapp pipes. I am starting to build a few more bikes for people under the mantle of Street Tuff Customs.”

If Google is anything to go by, then this bike could possibly be a world first. Graham tells us that there appears to be no other Honda CX500 Street Trackers. “Not sure if that’s good or bad!” laughs Graham.

  • Jason

    Very well done. Some inspiration for my cx500 project that's currently a pile of parts.

  • jack

    how did you get the badges on to the tank?

  • SurpriseCAfe

    I, too, have modded a CX500. They may be ugly to some, but they are super dependable and less expensive to buy used than, say, a Honda CB of ANY engine size. Put the right accessories on them and they look like little Guzzi's with that sweet little v-twin motor. Super smooth tranny, too, being shaft drive. This has been the easiest bike in my stable to take care of.

  • diwoka

    As a point of interest: the Cx 500 was known in Germany as the Güllepumpe, translating to a mechanism for pumping liquid manure.

  • SHuffman

    I dont agree that they are ugly nor do I see that as a challenge. Love the 90° V-twin.
    Tasteful mods, I agree, but not up to pipeburn par.

  • Lowflying

    Not bad. Probably fun to ride but maybe a slow day for Pipeburn?

    Now, while the Victory Vision isn't a bike that I'm hanging out to have in my garage, "nauseous" seems a bit harsh. It's definitely big and ostentatious, but it seems to me that that was the aim.

  • REadMenace

    Very nice!
    I'm working on a very similar project — turning a vt500c into a street tracker.

  • jc

    Pretty nice bike and it appears you got what you were going for. For being anti plastic im surprised you kept the side covers since they tend to look a lot better with out them.

    Here are a couple others for people looking for inspiration.

  • revdub

    Very clean.

  • timo

    well, I don't get the point. apart from black paint, seat and rear-fender, this bike seems to be quite stock. No question there's a lot of work in it.

  • timo

    I had to bring my CX to the graveyard last weekend. Second engine failure within a year:

    rest in peace!

  • matt

    no no no… the victory vision is definitely the ugliest bike ever made. "nauseous" is being kind.

    this cx500 project is far from ugly. great job.

  • Can't help but think it looks like a scrambler/sportster, still, far better than the original…

  • GuitarSlinger


    I kinda liked the Bimota Mantra . Snif . My bad I guess .Snif :o(

  • Kim of Copenhagen

    The CX500 came in different versions, and the early one was hideous enough to warrant the 'plastic maggot' nickname. Later versions, like the cruiser shown above – with Sportster look-a-like fuel tank – worked a lot better visually.

  • Kim of Copenhagen

    PS For really ugly production motorcycles, try googling these:

    MZ ES250/1

    SHL M17 Gazela

  • me


  • sr85

    please tell me the badges arent pop riverted on.

  • Not bad, looks a bit like Blitz style……Wrenchmonkees did a CX a little while back, that looks a lot better than this.

  • D.

    Like this one more than the Wrenchmonkees one. The only thing I don't like about this is the size of the tank – but the CX is hard to fit a good sized tank.

    The biggest problem with cosmetic changes to the CX500 is that those side covers are disproportionately large and look stupid no matter what you do because Honda made the frame an awkward shape at that point. About the best I've seen is people just putting flat metal grill over the airbox. The frame also makes it nearly impossible to fit pods to the carb there.

  • G @street tuff customs

    Thanks to everyone who has posted,your comments have been taken on board!
    The tank badges are screwed to aluminium discs which are metal bonded to the tank.
    The next project is nearly finished and is a bit more radical than the CX,hopefully get it posted in the near future.

  • This is sheer beauty. 

  • Very nice work. Are they modified stock sidecovers? If so, great solution to the CX’s achilles heel. Is there a link to Graham or Street Tuff Customs. Would like to contact him re some of the things he’s done.

  • Andrew Kenny

    How much did you get for it?

    • Andrew Kenny

      Very nice indeed! I ride a restored 1981 version.

  • Ebby

    I love your bike and am slowly doing a CX 500 up,where can I get mudguards and seat like yours? cheers