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1980 Honda CX500 90-Degree Traverse V-Twin Rapidly Appreciating Collectible Honda. Original Comstar Wheels Here's what Classic Motorcycles had to say about these beasts.. Working from a clean sheet, Irimajiri and his team came up with a machine that drew almost nothing from the past and instead looked to the future of motorcycle design. What they came up with was unlike anything ever built by Honda: a water-cooled, shaft-driven V-twin. Water-cooling was hardly new, but it had never been applied to a V-twin. The same with shaft drive, but so far Honda had only used it on the massive GL1000. Yet Honda had never produced a V-twin, and this was to be a twin like no other. To begin with, while everyone was singing the praise of overhead-cam engines, the 48hp CX500 made do with simple pushrods. This kept the engine height low and dispensed with the complexity of running separate cam chains to each cylinder. To make things interesting, Irimajiri twisted the heads 22 degrees inboard to pull the carbs in closer to the middle of the bike and out of the rider's way. This had the benefit of splaying the exhaust pipes out for a stronger visual statement of power. To help lower the center of gravity, the counter-rotating (to fight the longitudinally-mounted engine's twist under power) five-speed transmission was located just below and to the right of the engine. All of this was hung as a stressed unit from a spine frame, supported by standard telescopic forks at front and adjustable shocks at rear. Importantly, the CX500 was the first production bike equipped with tubeless tires.
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