1981 HONDA CX500

The bike that started it all…

Art began this build after taking a leap of faith & leaving the corporate world to follow his passion for motorcycles. Commissioned by Troy Stackhouse (@twstack), he found this 1981 CX500 in a yard for $300 & set to work.

Working on a tight budget, Art used the awkward lines of the stock CX frame to his advantage creating a two up faux leather vinyl seat with a modern top stitch and a traditional tuck and roll.  The stock rear fender was chopped and re-mounted to expose the bulky Pirelli Route Tires, which kept the budget low without sacrificing performance. The stock Keihin 34mm CV Carbs, found on many early Honda models, were cleaned, rebuilt and re-jetted to account for the new Mac 4 into 1 exhaust and Pod filters.

Working with Aaron Whalman, a leather worker now designing his own denim line, the stock battery tray was refashioned using two leather straps laced through the aluminum base. The remaining harness and electrical components were hidden using a tray under the seat. Clubman handlebars were chosen to complete the Cafe stance, with a low profile black 2.5” mini speedometer from Dime City Cycles was mounted asymmetrically to trim the fat for a sleek finish.

The tank was stripped, like most tanks were in 2013, but still seemed too bulky. The teardrop tank was masked off and the lower portion was painted satin black, creating the illusion of a smaller tank and a more streamline visual. To give the motor more contrast the valve covers were sprayed with VHT High Heat Wrinkle Paint.

Every piece of this bike was done by Art, down to the paint. Countless hours spent in the garage turned a passion into a career into the family that is now Atlas Motorworks.

Photos by Emilia Pare', @emiliapare