1983 Honda CX650 Turbo, Bigger Boost!
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1983 Honda CX650 Turbo, Bigger Boost!

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By JeffWare - 22 November 2022

Words: Jeff Ware Photography: Heather Ware

After riding the 500, I wander down to the next bike and fire it up – the mighty 1983 CX650 Turbo, the bike that replaced the 500 after just 12-months.

The CX650 was built specifically for the North American market in 1983… 

The 650 is a bored and stroked version of the 500 with more compression (7.8:1 versus the 500s 7.2:1), a fatter front tyre, stiffer rear shock and a peak boost of 16psi from the 51mm turbo.

The extra capacity means the lag off turns is much improved over the 500cc version. 

The chassis and bodywork are basically unchanged from the 500 aside from paint and graphics but the example we have here is much more modern looking than the 500 in my opinion.

Amazing condition switches for a 39-year-old machine. 
Smooth throttle even by modern standards, so great EFI.

That’s thanks to the white and blue colour scheme. I roll out of pit lane and onto the main straight, open the big 650 up and I’m instantly grinning!

Twin piston dual calipers are OK for the era. SHOWA forks. 
TURBO… the true 1980s craze… All Japanese brands had a go. 

The lag of the 500 is gone and the 650 reacts to throttle input much faster thanks to the increase in compression and EFI improvements. There is a strong, grin inducing, surge of power and with 100hp at the crankshaft this bike really is a quick thing. In fact, the front wheel comes up in first gear with a bit of a nudge and gets light on the gas in the first three gears.

8,265 original miles. Just amazing. 

The gearbox ratios are revised on the 650 also and the entire package works so well. The biggest surprise for me is how smooth the fuelling is. Modern bikes are less progressive on the throttle.

Like the 500, the 650 handles well, even better with the stiffer shock.

Like the 500, the 650 handles well (again, on modern rubber) and the brakes are impressive. This is a machine that has been so well tested and developed – specifically for the North American market (the only place it went on sale – in part to help avoid the over 700cc tariff on Japanese imports that was successfully imposed after lobbying from Harley-Davidson).

18in front and 17in rear wheels were a strange combo, weight is a whopping 260kg wet. 

The CX650 is a blast. It is fast and it handles well – plus so comfortable you could tour the country on it. What an underrated bike that just slipped through the radar. A real jewel of a motorcycle.

Bored and stroked versoion of the 500cc model. 

TOP SPEEDS (OFFICIAL FACTORY CLAIMS)

CX6 – 225km/h

1/4-MILE TIMES (OFFICIAL FACTORY CLAIMS)

CX6 – 11.9@112mph

The owner having a great time at The Farm testing his bike. 

SPECIFICATIONS HONDA CX650 TURBO

Engine: Turbocharged liquid-cooled 80º east-west V-twin pushrod four-valves per cylinder four-stroke, 675cc, 7.8:1 compression ratio, 82.5 x 63mm bore x stroke, five speed gearbox, wet multi-plate clutch, shaft final drive, EFI.

Chassis: Tubular steel frame, Showa conventional forks with TRAC anti-dive, Honda Pro Link rear with Showa air pressurized shock, dual rotors with twin piston calipers (f) and single rear rotor, 110/90-18in (f) and 120/90-17in (r), 220kg dry, 260kg wet weight, 20L fuel tank capacity

Performance: 100hp / 70ft-lbs

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