In the 1980s all Big Four Japanese manufacturers went full speed down the Turbo road

Honda was the first at the boosted party and built what many consider the most complete factory Turbo bike ever; the 1982 CX500 Turbo. This revolutionary model produced real-world, usable power with an unmatched whooshing rush.

Offered for only one year at a significant price, the CX500 Turbo failed to capture much wallet share of the riding public and was discontinued the same year. For 1983, Honda punched out the CX Turbo from 497cc to 674cc and raised the compression ratio somewhat for an increase in power from a claimed 82 to 100 hp. This would prove to be the CX Turbo’s last hurrah: 1983 was basically the end of the road for the turbo wars. The motorcycle market was not improving, and the bean counters at Honda (and the other factories) finally got the upper hand. Honda, Yamaha and suzuki dropped their turbos, with only Kawasaki holding out, producing their turbo until 1986.

The Honda CX500 Turbo was — and still is — one of the most futuristic motorcycles ever made. It not only featured turbocharging — ramming extra fuel/air mix into the engine to increase horsepower — but also computer control of the turbocharging, fuel injection, ignition and numerous other advanced features. It was not just a technological feat, but a technological feat in a beautifully crafted package.

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issued: Tuesday, April 26, 2022
updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2022

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