Pacific CX500 Street Scrambler
By Ross Sharp - 23 Jul 14
It's a tough task this customising lark. You Like some pages on Facebook, do some Pinteresting, look around The 'Shed, sign up for the Bike Exif newsletter, trawl Pipeburn's archives and before you know it your creative brain is a mish mash mush of ideas and designs, and nothing feels fresh or unique. Mark Twain was onto something with his view on new ideas being rehashed old ones. The beauty of our pastime, disease, obsession and for the lucky ones, job, is that you can pick and choose the bits you like and apply them to your project. Alan and the guys at Pacific Motorcycle Company, who were in the 'Shed only last week, did exactly that. Chose a selection of things they liked and ran with it. Before they were a full-on custom and restoration shop, Pacific had a Moto-Guzzi franchise and therefore a customer base with one foot in the 'wanting something slightly different camp'. One such customer bought the last stock Guzzi and chopped two Honda CX500s into the deal. One mint with electrical problems and one sweet running but in ugly condition. This 1981 version was the tired one with 48,000 kms under its belt that ran like a clock. The theme was to be very loosely based on Griso SE that had been in the showroom; matt green tank and brown seat. The rest they would play by ear. First job though, strip that old girl down and see where improvements could be made. Inititally the standard tank wasn't going to work with their vision so an alternative from Honda's USA-oriented model, the Custom, was sourced. Well, an attempt was made but the guys drew a blank so a Kawasaki KZ750 gave up its fuel storage vessel and the result is rather excellent, as if Honda had actually meant to use this shape. The standard wheels remain, a thick coat of satin black powder coat and pair of Shinko 705s drastically improves their appearance, and suggests at a degree of off road capability. The front end was visually beefed up with gators and powder-coated tubes on the upper fork legs between the triple clamps, black motocross braced bars to give it a mean stance and the twin 4” bates headlights hint at desert racer intentions. New braided steel lines have replaced the tired originals and a new master cylinder and drilled discs take care of the front brakes. Pacific's in-house vapour blasting facility was put to good use, removing decades of ageing from the engine cases. Choice parts were powder coated and the rest left raw, any unworthy components were replaced with new. Upswept, anti-aircraft cannon exhausts let others know that the engine is just as crisp inside. The front mudguard was liberated from a Yamaha RD race bike, complete with aluminium bracket but the rear proved a more time consuming affair. A leftover guard from their Red Rocker was cut, welded and shaped before being used as a mould for fresh fibreglass. A Bates style stop lamp sits atop with LED mini indicators either side, obviously! Aged brown vinyl covers a bespoke seat base, supported by a new rear loop. A straight, flat Brat seat was avoided so as to accommodate rear wheel travel, kept in check by new Progressive Suspension shocks, and to give a pillion somewhere decent to enjoy the ride. CXs can look unbalanced when the rear triangle is gutted and left completely open so Pacific opted for number boards, #4 for their fourth build, to partially cover up the void where a cavernous air box used to live. A pair of K&Ns keep the bugs out and enhance the V-Twin's thumpy soundtrack. A tiny Shorai lithium battery is ferreted away under the swing arm and gives enough welly to turn the motor over without taking up valuable real estate. A large portion of creativity was used to hide the rest of the wiring, Honda are not known for making slim fit, tailored looms. So there you have it. In a crowded world of builders it pays to just go with what you think looks good and improves the original machine. Alan and the guys at The Pacific Motorcycle Co. are fast carving themselves out a niche for quality craftsmanship. People of New Zealand, get in touch with Alan if you want to own this bike, then they'll have funds to build another one, then we can show you that one, and onwards from there. See more from Pacific Motorcycle Co on their Bike Shed Page, their Website, and their Facebook page is Here.