CX Turbo: Third time lucky for Honda

You’re driving along in your car, something fast and wide approaches quickly from behind. As it draws close to the bumper you glance in the rearview mirror and see the words, bright as day in big capital letters: “TURBO”. You can read it because it’s been placed back-to-front, especially for you. Especially for you to move your car out of the way. That was the power of the OBRUT sticker. Only the select few motorcycles could wield the sticker.

We’re guessing that was the theory, anyway. In reality it was placed on the front of overweight, underpowered, overcomplicated and overpriced middleweight motorbikes in the mid-1980s. Supposedly the added turbocharger and OBRUT sticker allowed a typically 650cc-ish machine to have performance matching that of a litre bike. Supposedly. Once weight and turbo lag were factored in they were in fact nowhere near where they were supposed to be.

Classic Turbo colours for this CX

While none of the big four Japanese manufacturers at the time were overly successful in delivering the promised vision of a middleweight package with the punch of a 1000cc, the 1982 CX500 – which was enlarged for the Mk2 version to 650cc in 1983 – showed that Honda employed the most creative designers with a twisted sense of humour. Not only did they base their turbo on a slow, cumbersome pushrod V-twin more suited to more mundane duties, but the 650 variant actually turned out to be quite the rapid tourer. However, we believe turbos should be about the outrageous, the crass and the excessive. So with tongue firmly in cheek, we present our idea of the 21st century CX Turbo.

While the 1983 674cc CX650 made a respectable 100bhp, it’s nowhere near enough in today’s market of Tuono V4s and KTM Superdukes. Our CX koncept boasts an upped 1000cc capacity, increased maximum boost to 20psi and lightened everything from pistons to engine cases. Using a stolen blueprint from HRC our fantasy CX pumps out 180bhp but with the tyre-bothering torque curve you’d expect from a big V-twin. To ensure no power is lost, we’ve thrown away the heavyweight shaft drive and shed 20kgs in the process. This bad boy will rip arms from sockets at low revs and induce much grinning at high rpm.

Using both steel tubes and box-section aluminium, the CX is a quirky fusion of new and old technology. Wheels and forks are modified Honda CBR650 while the front radial calipers once lived on the FireBlade. There’s no doubt the swingarm is complete overkill but on a bonkers koncept like this we think it kinda suits it.

The original CX was arguably awkward on the eyes, and although we’ve tempered the desire to retch on sight, we wanted the CX to retain that unique look. You know – the one that makes passers-by do a double-take. With air intakes inspired by the Honda Xaxis concept bike of 2002, the CX looks armed and dangerous, like it would blast you out of the way if you didn’t see the OBRUT sticker filling your rearview mirror.

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