Honda CX500 Custom Gas Tank


Honda CX500 Custom Gas Tank

A friend of mine is building up a Honda CX500.  When he picked it up the bike was in its second or third round of “customization” attempts.  Needless to say there were parts of the bike that were in various states of disrepair.  One of the items that had seen better days was the gas tank.  There were some big dents in different areas of the tank and the left knee indentation was smashed up so the crease that outlined the area was hard to see.  He was thinking about trashing the tank and buying another one but I talked him into giving me a shot at fixing it.  I’m typically up for a challenge.


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The first thing to do was to sandblast the tank to see what was under the multiple repair attempts.  He also wanted to smooth over the emblems.  Once the tank was sandblasted it was apparent that there were some major dents that needed to be pulled out.  Using various methods I was able to pull out the dents to a satisfactory level and massage the right knee indent back into a decent shape.

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The emblem areas have a backing that they are attached to on each side of the tank.  Using a die grinder I cut the backing out and found extensive rust in this area.  Once I had the rust removed there were two large holes on each side where the welds had rusted all the way through.  After sandblasting the newly exposed area I welded in small metal patch pieces.

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At this point it was the start of smoothing the tank with 2K body filler, sanding, sanding, and more sanding.  Another layer of body filler, more sanding, more filler, sanding, etc.  After that I sprayed on a couple of layers of epoxy featherfill and progressively sanded  that down to 600 grit.

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I sprayed the tank with three layers of single stage black urethane, color sanded, and then laid down three more coats of color.  I then color sanded down to 3000 grit, and then cut using Meguires M105 Ultra Cut Compound by hand and then used Meguires M205 Ultra Finishing Polish using a rotary polisher.

These pictures are before cutting and polishing so there is a bit of orange peel in the finish that was removed with final cut and polish.

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Here is the tank after color sanding to 3000 grit.

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Start of color cut by hand.

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Here are is a shot showing final level of polish.

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Delivery day!

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The final product turned out really nice, especially for a motorcycle that will see a lot of miles.  With the single stage paint any scratches can be easily buffed out as time goes on.  Here are some pics of the bike at the stage it is in now.  With a few final reassemble steps the bike will be ready to fire up and get back on the road.


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