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Garret Dietz’s ’79 CX 500

Posted on November 24, 2012 by Andrew in Brat. 69 comments

A hole lotta something. Don’t you just love CXs?

In my limited and very humble opinion, there are two kinds of Dads in this world; Dads who like motorbikes and Dads that don’t. And although I love my father very much and deeply appreciate his inherited love of all things mechanical, upon telling him that I’d decided to get a bike he told me he thought it was “a bloody stupid idea.” Ouch. Fast forward to now and the vitriol has settled to a feigned disinterest for the most part. And I say “feigned” because every now and then I see a dim twinkle in his eye as he asks me a question about shaft drive versus chain drive, or air cooled versus water cooled. It’s as if he’s holding himself back from getting enthusiastic about the machine because he doesn’t want to encourage me. Which, as a very long way around the block to visit your neighbour, brings us to Garret Dietz and his Dad. See, G’s lucky enough to have a Dad that falls firmly in the “likes bikes” pile. Hmmm. I wonder if he’d swap for a month or two? The time would fly by once he really got into my new build…

Here he is, a guy we’d call ‘Deitzo’ in Australia, Garrett Dietz. “Ever since I was boy I have felt the need to be busy building things, I think it started with Lego. I have always enjoyed creating something from nothing and being able to look back on my work feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment and that is exactly what this CX500 was.

I hail from British Columbia, a province filled with some incredible twisty back roads and beautiful landscapes and it seems a crime to not feel the breeze on your knees. In fall I laid eyes on the Wrenchmonkees CX500 build and thought to myself… the perfect winter project.”

“I finally found a CX worthy of the price (cheap) and drove to the coast to pick it up. It was ugly, and it had been neglected. I loaded it into the trailer and headed back home itching to get out my tools.

“It became more than just a project, it was time with my Dad.”

Many nights were spent in the garage stripping the bike of its weight and old unnecessary components. As time went on my Dad spent more and more time in the garage with me. It became more than just a project, it was time with my Dad. Time to share ideas over a cold brew and work into the early hours of the morning.”

“Without my father’s help, this bike would not be what it is. Sure it looks similar to the Wrenchmonkees CX, but this bike in my mind, is different. I do want to give credit to the Wrenchmonkees for their inspiration that lead me to build my first bike and more than that, for the time it gave me with my Dad. It is my everyday bike and it wont be my last!”

  • jake

    This is an absolute beauty

  • Dale

    Nice lines, better than those on the WM cx I think. It has that leaping-forward look that some old sports cars have.

    • It certainly has nice lines. Not sure I would rate it better than the WM as the standout part on that (and all WM bikes) is the quality and shape of the seat which gave it great lines. It’s subjective so if you like a flatter seat, this would be the one you go for.

      • Dale

        I agree, I still prefer the WM bike over all. I also just noticed that the photos here are taken from a slightly different angle to the photos of the WM cx, which seems to emphasize those lines more. Anyhow, I’d be proud to have a bike that’s even a bit as cool as either of them!

  • aaron

    I like the lines of this also nice and clean. The only thing I would change is the rear shock height. An inch or 2 to level it out a bit. But that is just my preference..nice job.

  • revdub

    This looks so good. I agree, the lines look perfect. Beautiful work and great story. I’m looking forward to a lot of garage time with my son. Right now, we spend a lot of time with legos.

  • Surffly

    Zero improvements to how the bike works as a MOTORCYCLE
    Cheap junk pods to insure that it runs like a dog….
    No seat for that parts bike look
    Classic guzzi with downs styling.
    Fail for PB posting a bike without firestones

    Only good thing is the hipsters are starting to love the CX and leaving the CBs alone for a while

    • surrrrrfffffffly

      yeh yeh always one to throw shit at someone elses work. if you wanna criticise then at least be constructive.
      Show us what a great bike YOU built.

      • Ugh

        It’s really easy to throw shit at someone else’s criticism – why don’t you show us what kind of great constructive criticism YOU made?

    • Rusty

      Pods do not equal doggy performance if you set up the carbs correctly. Simply install larger jets and shim the needle. We could start ragging on the performance of bias ply Firestones but for the overriding fact they look cool!

    • Zero improvements on performance? The bike has been lightened, breaths easier, and the center of gravity lowered. Your first comment is enough to tell everyone you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    • Mike Cambareri

      I’m not generally the politically correct sort, but really, a Down’s Syndrome joke? I think we can all agree that’s just not cool…

      • Rusty

        Oh that’s not cool. I thought he meant hunkered down with low bars. I think he was looking for a reaction, which he got. So who wins in a wrestling match with a pig? You just get muddy and the pig enjoys it.

        • Mike Cambareri

          That was a bit more of a nudge for the mods to intervene.

  • very nice i love the headlight

  • Lars Gustavsson

    Great story – building bikes is a ton more fun in company with friends and family. Realy good work with the symmetry of the design:)

  • Nice, very, very nice. I like the color – looks like it could be an ex-military bike from Call of Duty.

    • I meant this in a good way – I really like this bike.

  • Glocker

    I love it! It looks like you would literally be straddling an engine.

  • David Cassar

    I’d love to see this with the CX500 Turbo engine in it!

  • Slowen Owen

    Aaahhhh!!!! Stop with the CXs already! I’d rather ride a bicycle.

    • That’s cool. We’d rather you ride a bicycle too.

  • richardstowey

    Looks amazing, but where is the battery?

    • Crap! I knew I forgot something! Seriously, though, I think it is that little black box hanging under the motor just in front of the kickstand in the first pic.

      • richardstowey

        nicely tucked away and lower centre of gravity. a little bit exposed though.

        • Could certainly get cracked open on the stray pothole. Maybe one of those skid plates you see on the fronts of some dirt bikes?

      • You’ve got better eyes than mine – I never would have spotted it. Cool place for a battery – should reduce the length of wiring to the starter as well as lower the cg. I pick up so many ideas from these builds – from first timers to the big builders.

  • corsaro128

    Any link to this guy? This very similar to what I want to minus keep the same fork.

  • Now&Zen

    Its ……… OK . A bit too hipster . A bit too naked . More than a bit perhaps unridable . As far as ‘ performance ‘ upgrades I have some serious doubts . Again a bit more ‘ Story ‘ than substance . But … its clean and seems reasonably crafted . On second look I’ll call it very cleanly done .

    • I’m not sure what “hipster” means in this case, but I’d ride this bike any day of the week and twice on Tuesday.

      • Doesn’t that dude N&Z remind you of somebody…….ahem. BTW my sources say that “hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics.” Sounds cool to me. Sure doesn’t sound like an insult.

        • Oh. So they are all be different the same way. That’s funny. As for progressive politics, well that, my friend, is what’s ruining America.

          • I think I was a hipster a long time ago but now I’ve forgotten. Does it count if I use progessive springs on my bike? The real problem is that I can’t fit into those tight hipster jeans – thank you Wally World for relaxed-fit Wranglers. ;^}

          • Durka McDurk

            We’re in a country controlled by 2 parties (which are basically the same at this point..), and the only hope of a change is through the progressive movement. Do you not want to change things for the better? We’ve been using the same logic when it comes to government for the past 20 years, and it is failing us. Corporations dominate DC with lobbyists, and there is no one to represent the average person.

            Oh yeah, pretty nice bike. Don’t get the “hipster” talk, but those people can suck it.

  • Mike Cambareri

    While I don’t know if I’d want to ride very far on that seat (makes my hindquarters sore just looking at it…), it does contribute to absolutely brilliant lines. Svelte, but still rather muscular. Room for a lady (or gent, whatever floats your boat…), too!

  • its amazing how you treasure your motorcycle. That is exactly what a good biker would do,because the things that are important need to be taken care of.

  • JakeBud

    Job well done. Never seen a CX custom that has worked with the stock frame/lines so well as this one. Somehow this father-son team has actually made a CX sexy. All credit to them. BTW… What happened to GuitarSlinger and his notorious negativity?

    • I heard that GS was kidnapped by thugs from the French Bakers Union for his negative comments about brioche and general misuse of the french language. They substituted a doppelganger who hasn’t quite got the hang of the multiple ellipsis function on his keyboard. His “tell” is his frequent use of “hipster” and the phrase “not good………..not bad”.

      • Dude, now they’re going to have to “silence” you. Been good knowing ya, Manx.

        • I’ll have to keep my eyes open for a black Citroen van with “boulangerie” printed on the side – which around here would be as rare as Honey Boo Boo not drinking Mountain Dew.

  • thunder

    just perfect! congratulations! by the way, very nice grips, where can I find some of those?? greetings from Brazil.

    • Garret Dietz

      Grips are from, cant say enough great things about the boys there!

  • Alec

    I personally own and ride a cafe’d CX everyday, these machines are awesome, the way the engine sticks out the sides, your riding a damn engine, and i was in the middle of blacking mine out, great to see what it could look like. Did you swap out the old radiator too?

    • Garret Dietz

      Thanks Alec, no I did not swap the old rad out, it was in perfect working order so there was no need.

  • Max

    I’m the owner of the Wrenchmonkees’ CX and I’m glad to see that it inspired a few people. CXs are reliable bikes, they may not be sexy stock but I go so attached to mine that I decided to make it look and run better. Now I don’t really understand the uncoolness of few comments here, I mean, the guy got busy and made something, and I’m sure he’s enjoying the hell out of it, and that’s what matters. Aren’t we here to share a passion-driven pleasure?

    • Garret Dietz

      It is all about sharing a passion-driven pleasure, and thanks to your CX I now have a CX of my own that I enjoy the hell out of… so thank you!

  • Chas

    Absolutely love it. I have a 80′ CX 500 that my grampa gave to me. I painted it and road it stock for years. Now its sat for about 8 years and I was planning on tearing it down and customizing it. This bike has totally inspired me(along with the Wrenchmokees). Thanks for the ideas.

    • Garret Dietz

      Any time chas! Enjoy your build!

    • Marcello

      Great job !! tank is original or..?! (cx500c)
      no ‘before photos’ why ? 🙂

      greetings from Italy

  • i wanna know where everyone is putting the batteries on these bikes i plan to build one as i have a stock cx500 i get lots of good ideas from these pics but idk how to mount the battery

    • Hey Levi, I have the seat with the metal hood in the back and that’s where I store my battery…

  • When you got the rims powder coated black did you need to remove the rubber and more importantly did you have to take the rear drive assembly apart since you got the rear drive housing powder coated as well?


    • Garret Dietz

      Yes, the rubber will have to be removed… as for the drive assembly I painted it black instead of powder coating it, just easier!

      • Thanks so much for the reply! So did you have much trouble matching the paint to with the powder coating – I think I’ll go that route…? And did you do flat, semi-gloss, or gloss for the powder coat? And did you break down your rims all the way by drilling out the rivits and such or just have them powder coated as is?

  • Patrick

    Hey man, nice build! I’m busy with my CX atm and was wondering where did you pu the CDI unit?

  • Can you provide some pictures from the licence plate mount? Your CX looks a ton better when the plate’s not hanging from the fender!

  • Bradleh

    I live in Nelson, BC and just purchased my first motorcycle: a Honda CX500 Custom. It has a few mods, mostly cosmetic. I plan on painting it this winter and wouldn’t mind turning it into a cafe or bobber. Inspired by this beaut!!

    • Garret

      Best of luck on your build!

  • Tony

    Where is the Battery or the Kickstart lever? How you you fire this bike up?

  • Aw

    What a stunning bike! And a great story to go along!

    Was just wondering where you got your seat ?

  • Aw

    Great bike and story bro –
    From where did you get the seat ? –

  • Dwayne.

    Beautiful bike.I love the way you made your seat look and fit like that .iv been building an 82 custom cx for some time now and its nice to see the passion others are putting into there builds.very inspiring.

  • Garret

    Hey Aw – The seat was custom made from a piece of aluminum and then taken to a local chap who then covered and did the stitch work.

  • Garret

    A simple custom hidden toggle switch then the press of a button and it starts!

  • Ben Levin Krause

    Instantly fell in love with this bike.. i´ll get one too in august. 🙂
    Gonna build it with my dad, too.

  • Thanush joseph

    Beautiful bike and even more beautiful story of the build