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.