Launched in 1982, the CX500 Turbo was the world’s first proper turbocharged production bike. Based on the relatively unglamorous middleweight CX500 with its transverse 8-valve, pushrod 80° v-twin motor, the intention was to produce a mid-sized engine with big-bore power. Furthermore, the CX was liquid-cooled and, equally importantly, it was the first of Honda’s V-configuration road bike engines – a path that the firm still follows decades later.
The new CX’s wow factor lay not just in its turbo, but also in the then uniquely advanced, computer-controlled engine management system. Pumping out 82bhp at 8,000rpm, the shaft-drive 497cc CX Turbo could cover the standing quarter in 12 seconds and nudge 130mph. The 500 Turbo was superseded the following year by a 650 version, but despite these model’s many attributes, CX Turbo production ceased in late 1983, thus making it rare by Japanese mass production standards.
The CX500 Turbo here has about 20,000kms (12,500m) on the clock and it’s in remarkably well preserved, unrestored original condition. A fine example of the very best in period Japanese engineering ingenuity.