1979 model vs 1980 model, and the winner is...

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dohc24
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1979 model vs 1980 model, and the winner is...

Post by dohc24 »

A treatise: Why the 1980 Honda CBX is better than the 1979 model


Firstly I will present the benefits of the 1979 model:

1- Horsepower is 103 versus 98 for the 1980 model.
2- The speedometer went up to 150mph on the 79 model. Only 85 for MOST 80’s models.
3- Fewer exhaust baffles to increase air flow and horsepower.

Benefits of a 1980 model:

1- Different camshaft lowered horsepower but afforded better mid range power without a “weak spot”, and a smoother power delivery.
2- Rear Comstar rim was wider to allow for a larger tire.
3- Larger swingarm pivot diameter.
4- Introduction of needle bearings on the left side of the swingarm and thrust bearings on the right.
5- Adjustable rear damping shocks.
6- Steering head bearings tapered roller bearings 2mm farther apart.
7- Front fork sliders 1mm wider.
8- Two anti-stiction rings in the front forks rather than one.
9- Air assist front forks.
10- 20% higher oil capacity.
11- Vacuum controlled petcock in brakes to prevent “hydraulic lock”.
12- Modified timer advanced ignition to go faster and further.
13- Small storage compartment added to the tail section.

I may be biased being the owner of a single 1980 Honda CBX for the last 39 years, but all the mechanical differences listed make me think that other than the horsepower drop, the 1980 model being aesthetically the same, the 80 model has better handling and is safer. The suspension upgrades both front and back can only be seen as improvements. I wonder if the weaker suspension of the 79 model would have bit me in the rear end a couple of times when I was younger...


It is also fact that the 20% higher oil capacity was to better cool the two middle cylinders of the motor that tended to overheat. One could also argue that smaller carburetor jets increase fuel economy.
The biggie is the horsepower drop. If you really want to get the 5 horsepower back because you are track racing your bike, you could install the 79 camshafts (pretty expensive) and re-jet your carburetors (less expensive). There are a myriad of ways to get more horsepower out of an engine, but for the purist stock is best, and I argue that the 1980 Honda CBX is a better motorcycle than the 1979 model. Input?
:arrow:

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EMS
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Re: 1979 model vs 1980 model, and the winner is...

Post by EMS »

For a long time, I have argued that the horsepower difference is all in the owner's head. I worked with internal combustion engines all my life and my Master's thesis was work on different cam profiles on a lab engine. Due to manufacturing tolerances, the actual horsepower output can deviate from the nominal or rated hp by 5%.
This means, you could very well have a high end tolerance '80 which has more hp than a low end tolerance 79.
Best thing to do is own both a '79 and an '80.

But you could go one further and throw the 81/82 in the mix. You may find, that the Prolinks have some features that make them superior to the '79 and '80. It all depends what your personal preference is. Your cup of tea, so to speak...
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Re: 1979 model vs 1980 model, and the winner is...

Post by EMS »

Oh, and btw, it looks like my article about the "CBX Through The Years" is still up on CBXWorld, or you copied it and read it thoroughly.
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Re: 1979 model vs 1980 model, and the winner is...

Post by dohc24 »

Thanks EMS, I will look it up directly.
I 've always wondered what other people's take on this issue is.
:arrow:

dohc24
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Re: 1979 model vs 1980 model, and the winner is...

Post by dohc24 »

Mea culpa EMS. Your article "The CBX through the years" WAS a large portion of my scanty research. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, as I didn't include a bibliography.
:arrow:

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Re: 1979 model vs 1980 model, and the winner is...

Post by daves79x »

I've always said that the '80 was the better of the two. I'm not sure though, how you get a 20% increase in oil capacity by just adding the larger oil cooler. Nothing else is different. I've had several '80s (and Pro-Links with the same larger cooler) and never noticed any difference in how much oil was required.

Dave

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Re: 1979 model vs 1980 model, and the winner is...

Post by CBX-tras »

Vacuum controlled petcock in brakes?????

BTW, I just cracked open an '80 motor last week with a #1 bent rod and it had the AFV. So, the moral is: Don't rely on the AFV to prevent hydro-lock.
If you look close, you can see the rod making a right turn.

If we're taking votes, my fav is the '82. Best of everything the CBX had to offer. Want naked? OK. Just remove the fairing and bags.
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Re: 1979 model vs 1980 model, and the winner is...

Post by hondaman160mph »

I'm with CBX-tras, my naked '82 is my favorite.

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Re: 1979 model vs 1980 model, and the winner is...

Post by EMS »

dohc24 wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 1:32 am
Mea culpa EMS. Your article "The CBX through the years" WAS a large portion of my scanty research. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, as I didn't include a bibliography.
Hey, no sweat. This was the reason for the article, to share and briefly put together something about major differences. I am not that anal about "copyrights" as some others may be.
I do not recall mentioning something about a larger oil capacity in later models. I mentioned a 20% larger oil cooler. That may have confused you.

This whole issue and discussion may have been of importance when the bikes were new or until about 8-10 years after they were produced.
Today, it is very difficult to find different years in the same condition at any given time. So, to decide what model is better depends on what shape the bike you are looking at is in.
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dohc24
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Re: 1979 model vs 1980 model, and the winner is...

Post by dohc24 »

Thanks for all the feedback and corrections received. Spending this Covid downtime restoring (not complete, as I've always kept it in good shape) my bike has made me fall hard for it all over again, and I'm loving it. I'm putting a paper trail together for my CBX, as I'm the only one in the family who has any inkling as to the importance, history and uniqueness of this beautiful machine.
I appreciate this forum and the members' help immensely.
:arrow:

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Re: 1979 model vs 1980 model, and the winner is...

Post by Syscrush »

IMO the '79 is best for one specific reason:

A '79 is what I have. :laughing-rolling:

That said, I think that the tail section without the lock and cutout for the storage space looks better - I can see how that storage space would be handy, though.
Phil in Toronto
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Pics of Perry, my '79.

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Re: 1979 model vs 1980 model, and the winner is...

Post by darbyfam »

I have the storage tail on my CB1100F but not on my CBX. That little box comes in really handy.
1979 Honda CBX
1980 Honda CB750F
1981 Honda CB900F
1983 Honda CX650 Turbo
1983 Honda CB1100F
1984 VF1000F

daves79x
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Re: 1979 model vs 1980 model, and the winner is...

Post by daves79x »

Was there a storage box on the 1100F tail? I didn't think so.

Dave

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Re: 1979 model vs 1980 model, and the winner is...

Post by steve murdoch icoa #5322 »

The Euro "F" lidded tailpieces had a small storage box.
At least mine did. It was from a German 900F.
http://www.cb1100f.net/modules.php?name ... il+storage

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Re: 1979 model vs 1980 model, and the winner is...

Post by EMS »

Yes. Non-US CB900/1100 had storage tails. Today there are some NOS ones coming out of Japan.
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