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Honda CX500 – Nozem Amsterdam

Posted on April 21, 2014 by Andrew in Brat. 28 comments


Written by Martin Hodgson

When you’re starting your build with a bike colloquially known as the “Flying Maggot” and other nicknames even less flattering the test of a builders skill is going to be put to the maximum test. Lorenzo and Delano both graphic designers with Nozem Amsterdam were more than up to the challenge of turning a maggot into the classy café that sits before you. But with the likes of Wrenchmonkees, Hageman Motorcycles and Moto Mucci already having built incredible examples, making a CX500 stand out from the crowd is increasingly more difficult. And the Nozem boys knew it “The idea was to make a cool, authentic looking CX500, there are a lot of  CX500 builds nowadays, so it was a challenge to make the bike stand out.”


While early knockers of the CX heavily criticised the plastics it is the frame that is the nightmare of any builder, so first task was cutting, shaving and grinding until a smoothed out look was achieved and all unnecessary tabs and brackets removed. The sub frame was then heavily modified to further neaten the overall look and lower the stance of the bike, including taking 20mm out of the front forks. Lorenzo who doubles as a fabricator made new shock mounts to hang 260mm Harley Davidson items and fitted up a set of custom twin tail lights.


With the backend now almost unrecognisable from the factory Honda effort the Nozem boys then turned their attention to the often maligned front end. All the plastics are gone, the bulky switch blocks ditched and the standard bars consigned to the scrap heap. The triple trees were shaved and all holes filled with just a small bracket left for the speedo. Attached to the new clip-ons are a CBR600 clutch lever and Fireblade Brake master cylinder all complete with braided lines. The headlight comes from a 4 wheeled creature, a Jeep from the 1980’s and that would leave a tidy up suitable for most.


But Lorenzo and Delano wanted to go further. The wiring loom has been stripped of any unnecessary components, the starter button is hidden under the seat, battery is hidden under the engine were the big old collector box once sat and to avoid the look of light switches, they are left permanently on. This is a bare bones bike so the horn was ditched but the eBay ordered “Hooligan mufflers” mean you know when this CX500 is coming!


To take care of aesthetics the wheels, frame, swing-arm, custom footrests, clip-ons, triple trees and many small components were powder coated black. The tail-piece was made from fibreglass, along with the seat pan while a local upholsterer used real leather to cover the seat also made at Nozem. The road warrior tough paint is BMW Diamant Schwarz and Messing Metallic and who swung the gun? Lorenzo decided he’d have a go and picked up a paint gun for the very first time!



Keen to show off his handy work Lorenzo rides the bike daily in the summer time and to ensure he is never stranded the engine was treated to a new stator, seals, bearings and gaskets. 30 years ago CX500’s cruised the globe, a favourite of couriers, now Amsterdam plays home to a CX that retains all the old charm, none of the horrible plastics and what is left is a hardcore custom café bike. Design brief completed, project executed, let the riding begin!


[Photos by Gijs Spierings]


  • Tom

    understated, simple, beautiful… stunning… there is not a thing I would change about this bike

    • Tom

      I misspoke, the only thing I would change about this bike is the owner

  • revdub

    Yes to all of this: overall attitude and design, bike, and photography! One of my favorite builds so far this year. I didn’t think I could like a CX custom more than the Wrenchmonkees CX, but this is making me rethink my position. I agree with Tom, this is one I would definitely want to own.

  • Luke

    Outstanding build !

  • John in Pollock

    I like it. A lot.

  • Love it. I wish every feature included photos of riders on the bikes like this.

  • Kyle

    Searches craigslist for CX500’s. Anyone have an idea of the tail light / turn signals where they are from?

  • ccc40821

    ‘Flying Maggot’? Never. The first version with the wide, ungainly tank and plastic instrument console was called ‘The Plastic Maggot’, on account of being one of the ugliest motorbikes in known to man.

    This version with the elegant fuel tank of the later factory custom editions earned itself no nicknames.

  • Fantome_NR

    I wonder how long it took to wash the sand out of his oil cooler, since he chose to not use a front fender. also, how many rides in the sand until he has to repaint it.

  • tyler


  • Tyler Stone

    Beautiful, beautiful bike. Clean, subtle, and classy. I want this one.

  • usedracer

    Never would I have imagined that a cx coud be made so sexful.

  • Jacob Speis

    It’s hard to pick a favorite aspect of this build, but by far the most standout quality is how much time was taken to make sure the eye is drawn to exactly the lines the builder wants you to see. From the perfect slope going from tank to tail section, to the way the exhaust upturn works perfectly with the frame angle, nothing is even remotely an accident. Even that massive 500/16 on the rear seems right at home.

  • B. J. Parker

    The execution of the little details on this thing is beautiful.

  • Davidabl2

    Glorious…but i want k-70’s or k-81’s on mine:-)
    or maybe trail wings if it’s gonna spend a lot of time at the beach…

  • gr333nyboy

    I used to own a cx back in the day and with some t l c it was a great, great bike, a joy to ride, i remember doing a ton on the A3(?) to Anglesea. great fun, a much maligned bike. this ‘plastic maggot’ tag seems pretty ironic to me now as pretty much every bike i see on the roads built in the last 20 years is exactly that. A VERY nice build though. add a shorty mudguard for reality sake and this would be perfect.

  • Hard to make a CX look good – and this one looks very good.

  • This has to be one of the best looking (and executed) CX 500’s I’ve ever seen! The CX 500 is a tough one to make look good but your efforts made it a beauty.

  • Fast2Furious

    Apparently the hipster dufus cafe racer fad is a world wide phenomenon.

    • Bucks balls

      Slow an full of shit it’s not a phenomenon you are:)

  • James

    Where is the tank from?

    • Coen Berends

      It looks like the original CX500 C tank. The CX500 A, the touring model may be considered ugly by many, the originial CX500 Custom was designed very beautifully in my opinion. Want some more ideas? Have a look in the ‘showroom’ of our Dutch CX community at

  • Pertti

    Looks really great! My brother built attached almost similar bikes:)
    photos by Markus Tamminen.

  • Pertti

    Looks really really great and written nicely. My brother built almost similar bikes cx 500 and cx 500c. Photos “without driver” by markus tamminen.

  • THRobinson

    By chance, would anyone know the colour of paint used for the bike? Like paint code or whatever?

    • THRobinson

      Never mind… emailed them direct. Apparently they just blended a bunch of BMW paints together until they found a colour they liked.

  • Zac Martin

    Im new to this, but is this a stock tank?

  • Nick

    Anyone know what the paint code is on the tank? Gorgeous color