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Honda CX500 – Kingston Customs

Posted on February 12, 2014 by Andrew in Brat. 18 comments


After 35 years the CX500 is continuing its second coming and receiving a lot of love from bike builders across the globe. This time, it’s from our German friends at Kingston Customs. Their last build was a stunning stripped down BMW R75/6; to say it was well received would be an understatement. As for the stock Honda CX500, the visually appealing V-twin engine was the saving grace of a bike that was commonly called the “plastic maggot”. Kingston have obviously lost all the plastic fantastic and in true German fashion, have created one of the cleanest and tastefully modified CX500 café racers we have ever seen.


So when Dirk Oehlerking from Kingston finally got the donor CX500 back to his garage, the first thing he did was to strip her down completely. Dirk isn’t the kind of guy that takes the easy way out either. Every screw and every part on the bike passes through his hands. Each one is checked, machined, modified or newly made. “I am committed to using the original screws with their special patina” he says.


The Cx500’s  transverse V-twin engine has been treated with thermo-sensitive coating and the exhaust manifold is wrapped with thermal tape. Dirk has also converted the fork suspensions with air.


The tiny fairing has been handmade, along with the bench seat, battery box, fenders and foot brake lever. The Harley exhaust has been modified and the front fender was shortened and has now become the rear fender. The footrests were taken from an XT 600 Yamaha, the stub handlebars are from Fehling and the Stahlflex brake lines are from Spiegler.


The headlight is from Bates covered nicely with a Harley cap. Rear Tires Avon 5.00-16, Front 4.00-19. The stock comstar wheels have been painted gold, along with the tank, frame and matching gold grips. The dash has been completely simplified with nothing but a speedo – except for a spark plug that protrudes out of the steering head.


They say the devil is in the detail, if this is the case, then there’s a lot of devil in this build. Dirk has been pleasantly surprised with all the positive feedback from people who recognise the CX500 and can’t believe it’s the same ugly beast they rode when they were younger.



  • William Connor

    Very nicely done. I am currently working on a friends GL 500 and there is just so much potential with these bikes. The CX 500 rear frame is prettier stock but the GL can really be cleaned up with the mono shock arrangement. How was the fork converted?

  • John in Pollock

    Best CX ever.

  • Erik Harland Ludwig


  • Hermosa…

  • Paul McM

    First rule of building machines for humans to use — understand anatomy (measure arms and legs for starters). The original stock CX-500 seat was very tall above the frame rails FOR A GOOD REASON. When you cut the seat right down to the sub-frame like this on a CX you make the bike only suitable for children or chimpanzees. Why don’t these customizers start with a tape-measure? You could have this (thin seat) “look” by building a completely different rear section of the bike. But, god forbid, that would take some real engineering and fabrication skills. Another example of “remove plastic, apply pipe wrap, paint frame, give no thought to riding position” school of customization. It is not surprising that few, if any, of these tarted-up rat bikes are ever photographed with an adult human sitting on them. Nice paint-work though…

    • Victor B

      Its a work of art. not a mass produced utility vehicle. If you knew anything about engineering, you would know that to produce a good design, you must first know the purpose of what your designing, clearly the purpose of this machine isn’t for Paul McM to have a comfortable ride. You’re just jealous because you don’t have the balls to try to do anything like this, just another typical critic.

    • It’s like a story you’d see on The Onion. ‘Man visits custom motorcycle website, complains about all the custom motorcycles.’

    • Bar Stool

      clearly you don’t own one of these bikes.. if you did you would know that moving the mids to rear sets fixes any riding position as well as dropping the bars lower.. lets the rider lye across the tank with feet back 4in which tucks the pegs up for more lean in the corners..

    • mike

      so what you’re saying is you only approve of perfectly stock bikes? what the hell are you doing talking shit on a custom motorcycle blog?

    • bbq870

      “… building a completely different rear section of the bike….”
      good luck with this in Germany
      anything you change makes it ILLEGAL to drive

  • CXs are a difficult bike to customize and wind up looking good. This one passes all the tests. Clean, lean and mean. What make and model are the tires? The almost look like flat track tires.

  • nathas909

    This bike has such a nice classy vibe about it, the colors, the front light and shield, and that seat is stitched so nicely. I am just worried about that spark plug sticking up right where my chin might go if I was leaning over the tank and all of a sudden hit the brakes.

  • Folke Bredkjær

    I think this bike is beautiful in many ways but it reminds in shape and lines too much of wrenchmonkees CX500. Which also have been used as a reference in Garret Dietz’s build

  • Ivan Vasilyevich

    Love it! Super clean and aggressive!

  • MVictor

    It’s a good looking ride. I’m working on 500cc custom scratch build right now, which is the smallest motor I have ever used. But I’ve started noticing that you will see a lot more artistic elements on bikes 750cc and lower. I don’t know if it’s a preference per culture thing, or if it’s that there’s more room to play with the style side when there is less motor. Either way, that’s probably the first CX I’ve ever seen that really impressed me with all around design and fabrication.

  • James