One of the great things about the Bike Shed events, apart from meeting-up with everyone, is having a close look at the bikes that we write about. Classy studio shots are great, but when you can check what types of fasteners a builder uses, how they deal with pipewrap or hold errant wiring without the assistance of cable ties one gains a better understanding of what goes into some custom projects. Matt Woodgates from Cornwall already has a CX500 in our archives and from up here in London, it looked sharp. But when we finally met the guy and saw this latest build, another Plastic Maggot, we were glad he'd made the trip up to Old Smokey to showcase his work. The finish on this bike is excellent, which shouldn't come as a surprise as Matt is a trained painter and panel beater. Being a bit of a perfectionist Matt took the donor right back to the frame and put time into the preparation. Same as all bikes in the 'Shed you say, well no actually. Squirting a mig welder all over the place and then attacking with an angle grinder rarely results in a good finish. Added to which Japanese mass manufacturing in the 1980s wasn't renowned for operating the most neat of robotic welders. Splatter, pigeon poop and general lumpy welding a common sight, especially where the myriad of tabs and brackets are joined to the frame. Matt chopped the extraneous ones off, welded in a rear loop to the subframe and then set about cleaning up all the welds, both his and Honda's, before filling, filing and sanding all joints; a proper job. Powder coating is the preferred option these days but chip it and it's a pain to repair, and despite huge improvements in finish it's still hard to beat a well prepped and painted frame, so that's what we have here, in gloss black, matching the yokes, swing arm and wheels. The seat pan is 3mm UPVC sheet, warmed and formed over the subframe before being upholstered with old English hide. The rear triangle is completely clutter free thanks to the battery being relocated underneath the transmission. A good deal of effort went into producing this box and as a result Matt now sells a bolt-on battery box kit including fastenings to save other builders the bother. Once a couriers favourite, the 80 degree v-twin is almost completely bombproof needing only a thorough service and a check of clearances to see the next ownership out. For a visual freshen-up the whole engine was vapour blasted and painted with a hard wearing anthracite paint, with rocker covers and few other parts in black for contrast. The original exhaust has been shortened and titanium wrapped to keep the budget under control, and the added decibels at no extra cost are always welcome. Bigger jets in the rebuilt carbs ensure crisp running on Ramair foam filters. Here's Matt, North Cornwall Beard Champion 2 years running, a mighty thatch. Unfortunately his knee is covering the fantastic paint-job of old English white scallops over toffee brown with gold metalflake. The stock cap was binned and the rebate smoothed, allowing for a simple recessed twist cap. At Tobacco Docks in May this tank really popped as they say in Cali. The last few jobs were rebuilding the forks, fitting new shocks and pair of Heidenau K60 to bring the handling up to scratch. All controlled through a set of Renthal Ultra Low bars, motocross clutch lever and CBR125 master cylinder. Overall we were impressed with this build and so were the crowds at the show, Matt was bowled over by the positive comments he received over the weekend, a just reward. With Bike Shed submissions reaching fever-pitch it has taken us an ice-age to feature this bike, and in the meantime someone has bought it. But have no fear, Matt has a busy workshop over the coming months. There's currently a BMW, XS650 and another CX on the bench, so keep an eye on Bike Shed Archive | Facebook | Instagram Images by Brownhill Photography
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