Wednesday 17 July 2013

Courier CX

This is my old Courier CX Rat. It was a 1976 ex-police bike that I bought (crashed) from City Spares ( in 1992. It cost the not inconsiderable sum of IRL£500. I guess that would probably be equivalent to about €2000 today!

Courier CX
90's Apocalyptic Courier Chic - Bar muffs, only one mirror and no indicators. If you look closely you can see the spare clutch and throttle cables taped in situ.

Apart from the bent forks and some cosmetic crash damage, it wasn't in bad condition, showing 63,000 miles on the clock. I got the forks rolled in Bohemian Motors in Phibsboro (£50), fitted a new battery (about £20), replaced all the fluids and serviced the the thing. And began a gradual but inevitable process of painting it matte black.

Damian in City Spares advised me not to drive it on the tyres that it came with. Leo Reilly ( gave it an engineers report and also suggested that I replace the tyres. But I didn't listen to either of them and threw it down the Military Road in Wicklow in the rain a couple of weeks later. There's a lesson there somewhere...

I loved that bike. I couriered it from 1992 until about 2001 and when it finally wore out, I'd say I'd done about a quarter of a million miles on it! It was big, comfortable, torquey and realistically, it was as fast as I ever needed. It was very easy to service and it was mostly reliable. 

It was also very tough. I think I had about a dozen crashes on it, a couple of them pretty spectacular, and the thing refused to die. I always felt protected by it's bulk - the tank was quite tall and I sat down into the seat and my knees tucked in behind the cylinders.

I made a couple of trips to the continent and numerous trips to the UK on it and it never missed a beat*. It was stolen just before Christmas one year and recovered in January. The dents in the tank had been professionally filled in and it had been repainted in it's original Honda blue! Unfortunately, my Krauser luggage wasn't recovered...

It wasn't all plain sailing though. The alternators used to fail in weird and interesting ways. This caused the bike to run okay up to about 50mph and then start to misfire. A reconditioned alternator could be got from the UK but they were expensive and difficult to fit (the engine has to come out of the frame).

The shaft drive bevels wore out too. Either the seals in the bevel housing went, or the sprocket in the bevel housing would fail. And the cooling fan, which ran directly off the cam shaft, would fly apart and take out the radiator from time to time. If your CX is making a horrible 'notchy' noise, you might want to take a look at the fan (If I had a CX now, I'd remove the fan and replace it with an electric one off a modern bike).

And the brakes were criminal. Engine braking was good though, so provided the bike was driven at legal-ish speeds there wasn't a problem. Well... usually.

I had to replace a couple of water pump seals too. These were weird ceramic discs and they were an interference fit in the bell housing. They were expensive to buy and difficult to fit and I have an interesting story about one of these and a well known motorcycle shop located near the Five Lamps. I'm not going to regale it here, but ask me when I'm drunk...

Courier CX
Summer 1996. Front end featuring inboard ventilated discs is off a Honda CBX550, bikini fairing is off a Honda VT250. Note 'Mutate & Survive' sticker and enormous dent in the tank, air-horns, inner tubes over the rear shocks and grey camouflage striping.

Courier CX
February 1995 and still sporting the original CX front end, dirt-bike indicators, a full set of Krausers and different air-horns. Just prior to this it had a big touring windshield, but that got wiped out in an accident. Shortly after this, the whole front end got wiped out in another accident...

*Except that one time in the freezing, snowy, dark, just past Birmingham, on the way to Portugal...

To read a later article about this bike, go here... CX

#HondaCX500 #DublinCouriers #Mercenary #MercenaryGarage

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