Author Topic: Ascot and related model clarifications...  (Read 13991 times)


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Ascot and related model clarifications...
« on: May 16, 2014, 11:46:58 am »
Originally written & contributed to the Yahoo VT500 Ascot Owners Group by group member Roger

As a point of reference for those new Ascot owners or those new to this group, I thought a general overview of Honda's 500s of the early 80s might be in order.  We see a lot of inquiries over the years about the interchangability of parts between models, and sadly there isn't a very much where it counts.
Our Ascots are VT500FT (as in flat track motorcycles) models, made only in 1983, in red and dark blue, and 1984, in red and black, and powered by a v-twin (2 cylinders, in a fore and aft V).  It is water-cooled and uses a driveshaft instead of a chain.  Best looking Honda ever made in my book.  The engine architecture introduced here was found through into the 90s in Honda's extensive cruiser lineup.
It has a sister from around that time, the cruiser-styled VT500C that was made for considerably longer.  Not an Ascot clone, and other than the basic engine and electrics, a different model altogether. Down-swept styling of the tank and seat, the handlebar controls, wheels, brakes and suspension were all different and not interchangeable with the VT500FTs.
Preceding our Ascots, was a different Ascot altogether, the FT500.  FT, again stood for flat track (Ascot was a famous track in southern California).  It was powered by an air-cooled single cylinder that transmitted it's power to the rear wheel via a chain, not a driveshaft.  It was made from1982 and 1983 in red and black,  For the purposes of this group, nothing interchanges between this Ascot and the twin cylinder models.
There was a VT500E model for Europe, and parts interchangability between them and our Ascots would be essentially the same as it is with the VT500C, as in not much.  Again, the architecture of the bodywork and running gear is all different.  There were several other variants of this bike, perhaps a 400 in Japan, but nothing very relevant to us VT500FT owners.
Still, some of our Ascots have made it across the Atlantic and we like having you along.  For that matter, the VT500C guys too, and like you we wish things would interchange more, as we would stand to benefit the most from that tradeoff for sure.
Finally, Honda had another 500 v-twin of sorts out around that time, the CX500, made from 1978-1983, and sometimes an owner drifts by our group.  It was a v-twin of sorts, but with the cylinders arranged side to side, at a 45-ish degree V-angle from vertical.  It was also water-cooled and used a driveshaft.  It came in cruiser and standard models too, and again, nothing interchanges with any of the VT or FT models.  I had a first year 1978, and it was a great bike, bigger and, being initially designed as a lightweight tourer, was more  comfortable.  Euro versions evolved into workhorse mounts, perfectly suited to the extensive courier trade in the big cities.
Each bike here was unique and I own(ed) one of each engine configuration and really liked all of them.  Hope this helps....



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Re: Ascot and related model clarifications...
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2014, 07:50:37 pm »
perhaps a 400 in Japan

Yes ! this one :


The French Forum.