1986 Honda CMX450 Rebel, originally uploaded by evanfell.
The Honda CMX450 was only made for a couple years in the mid 1980’s. It was essentially the big brother of the Honda CMX250 Rebel. The 450 uses the same motor as the CM400 with with a few extra cc’s. The CMX450 as has a sixth gear so it can cruise effortlessly down the highway.
These bikes are fairly difficult to come by and hold their value extremely well.. These bikes are popular among women who like cruisers because they are a physically compact bike with a low seat height. I am 6’3â€ and looked like an orangutan riding this thing. My knees pointed straight up and hit the handlebars when I cornered.
These bikes are also very popular because of their smooth road manners. The motor runs like a watch and is buttery smooth when setup properly. They pull even through all the gears and are comfortable putting around or wicked open. I was extremely impressed by the performance of this bike â€“ for what it is, it goes well.
I’m not particularly a fan of the aesthetics of any of the Honda CM style motors. They look a little funky to me with the squared valve covers. They are also anodized rather than plain aluminum like the previous Honda CB motors. The anodizing tends to bubble up and crack a bit over time and there is simply no good way to fix it. Once oxidation sets in the only way to clean these motors up is to send them off to be re-coated â€“ though you could probably paint it reasonably well if it started to get real bad.
The other problem I have with the CM motors is that they don’t have a kick start backup. By the 80’s electric starting systems on motorcycles had long been common place, and the components were much less prone to failure than ten years earlier, but I love kick starting bikes. There is something great about having to use manual force to get a bike churning.
All in all the Honda CMX450 is a great little cruiser. It doesn’t fit me well at all, but I very much enjoyed cruising around on it for a while. It makes a great bike for a new rider, or an experienced rider of small stature. Purrs like a kitten.