Unusual, beautiful and fast are some of the key elements in Italian Craftsmanship. The latest creation of Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche, a Honda CX500 custom aka “Testardo” has them all.
I have always been fascinated by Italian custom crafts; there is that sense of thinking outside of the box and doing something different. This Honda CX500 custom is Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche’s forth featured build, previously we have featured their custom Moto Morini and 2 custom Yamaha’s, so it’s good to throw a Honda CX500 custom in the mix.
To give you a little flashback the Honda CX500 was first introduced by Honda Motorcycles in 1978. The Honda CX500 was a milestone in motorcycle design, and has to be arguably one of the most visionary creations Honda has produced in the last 30 years. The Honda CX500 was unique in concept and superior in engineering. It featured a 500cc water-cooled engine with four valves per cylinder that were operated by pushrods rather than the overhead cams. The CX500 was one of the first recipients of Honda’s new Comstar wheels.
According to Andrea “ This Honda CX500 custom was a commissioned project but the owner left us “hands free” to put our ideas and our design approach on the bike. He wanted something original, a short bike but with the possibility of having a small seat for his son.”
The frame was difficult because of its strange form, first tubular after boxed, thin tires, big engine and so on. The idea was to build a bike with the fusion of bobber and scrambler style. Bringing the comfortable riding style of a bobber and a scrambler style off road tires with a touch of Triumph (the owner is a big fan). This idea looked quite similar to the other builds, so they decided to change the approach and give it more of an Emporio style. “We started imagining stuff and lines, which lead us to the realization that we needed a small but particular front end. We arrived to the Guzzi Carter, which gave it the right spine and we started chopping and welding.
The next hurdle was creating a single seat that can be altered into a double with a touch of Triumph. We found this mix by using a Triumph fairing as the tail, which was reformed and chopped and added to the frame. We added supports to have a fast unlock of this part to use the hidden small seat below.”
Other modifications include a front headlight mounted in a 1984 Guzzi Carter 650, a plate holder, speedo holder, gear lever, battery support and a headlight support built using a wrench. A ton of problems during the build led EEM to give the bike the name Testardo meaning hardheaded. This build may have been full of challenges along the way, but when you get where you are going you realize what you have taken was an amazing journey with a beautiful result!
My personal favorite on this Honda CX500 custom has to be those quirky wrenches at the rear of the seat, whats yours?