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XLADV has been invited to the launch of the new CB500X this Friday so check back for more details!

This is an interesting bike in that it's not really an adventure bike per se but it ends up being used as one anyways.  I've seen quite a few mods like from Rally Raid UK.

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These fit in a small spot along with a Vstrom 650. Better for distance than a thumper, but cheaper to buy/run than the big bikes

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I will have specs later but off the top:

19/18” wheels

4.6 gal tank and getting about 60 mph so about 275 mile range

430 lbs wet standard; 434 for abs model

Quite nimble and easy to move around

Cruises fine at 75; 80 not so much

Very comfortable but note the footpegs are higher and further back than your usual dual sport bike.

Great for a smaller rider, new rider, budget rider, girlfriend/wife bike

Great for easy dirt roads but a BDR would push the bike’s capabilities

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I have the specs!!!  Okay first up are the changes which are new to this 2019 model:

  • Engine refinements for an increase in overall power, including 3 to 4% more torque from 3,000 to 7,000 rpm. 
  • Fuel-injector spray narrowed, fuel-droplet size optimized for improved spray penetration in intake. Improves combustion and therefore creates more linear power from first crack of the throttle through to rpm redline. 
  • Smaller battery, repositioning of components enable increased air-intake volume and addition of filter element in tract below headlights. Straighter velocity stacks and reshaped separators between the cylinders make for decreased turbulence, resulting in improved power at every rpm.
  • New valve timing increases torque and improves roll-on response. 
  • New crank-sensor system with over 2.5 times more-frequent crank-position readings and model-specific fuel-injection settings allow more linear power delivery, with emphasis on low- and midrange power and more precise throttle response. 
  • New muffler with increased volume before and after catalytic converter. Backpressure optimized for improved low-end and midrange power. New dual-outlet muffler tip makes exhaust note racier-sounding to match new power. 
  • New transmission gear-dog design is more precise for more accurate, sure shifting action. 
  • New slipper clutch design adapts to load stresses for increased hook-up under heavy acceleration and reduced engine braking under downshifting. 
  • New clutch design, with the same engineering found in the CBR1000RR, decreases lever pull by 45%, especially helpful in stop-and-go traffic. Lever shape improved as well.
  • Larger, 19” front wheel for better bump absorption, improved high-speed handling. 
  • Steering caster angle slackened by 1 degree (now 27.5 degrees) for improved handling. 
  • New front and rear tire design with deep-grooved tread.
  • New shock with advanced pressure-separation design from Honda’s large sport models is more stable and predictable for improved rear-wheel tracking and traction. 
  • Increased suspension travel (up .4 in. in front, 1.2 in. rear) for improved performance through stroke, reduced bottoming and increased ground clearance. 
  • On ABS version, upgraded modulators improve precision during ABS engagement.
  • Revised hydraulic ratio in rear brake, combined with ABS, achieve improved brake modulation in low-traction situations.
  • Lighter seat rails for improved mass centralization and better handling. 
  • New, full-featured display has larger screen and thinner bezel, includes new upshift indicator that can be set to different rpm settings. 
  • Turning radius reduced by nearly 8 inches for easier maneuvering. 
  • Windscreen is 20mm taller for great wind protection during high-speed cruising. 
  • Seat narrowed above pegs to aid touching feet to ground at stops. 
  • New tapered handlebar improves feedback, control and style, while new rubber-mounted handlebar clamp minimizes vibration to rider’s hands. 
  • More aggressive adventure styling with new fuel tank, radiator shroud, headlight, clear taillight lens and new LED turn signals. New shroud design helps direct radiator heat away from rider’s legs. 
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My quick one day "review" of this new CB500X from Honda is that I was impressed by so many things from the engineering to the build quality that translates to a very capable smaller adventure platform which is not just a great value but a blast to ride.

This is honestly not "my type" of bike given my experience and preference for off road performance but frankly, I'm just not their market.  There's a much LARGER market of riders this bike is perfect for; the new rider, the smaller rider, the budget rider.  At such a low entry point for price (~$6700) there just isn't anything else out there this good, this nice, this fun, this reliable.

The power (471 cc parallel twin) is sufficient but isn't exactly going to pull wheelies (although I did see two of the better riders do them).  It's comfortable cruising up to about 75.  At 80 it's straining.  My steed got about 60 mpg so at 4.6 gallons that's about 275 miles of range.  Rode comfortably all day about 125 miles of a good mix of twisty asphalt and easy dirt roads.

Ergonomics are a bit different in that this is obviously on the smaller side but the pegs are also a bit further back and higher so not what you'd typically see on an adventure bike.  I'd definitely like this bike on easy dirt but nothing more ambitious.  And for 99% of the world's dirt roads you could do much worse.  This bike was a ton of fun and it's easy to see it used for adventure purposes.

Luggage easily fits on the back and Honda does have hard panniers but I'd probably go for a set of soft panniers and you're in business!  This is totally credible as a round the world bike.  I think it's very good also for the girlfriend/wife who may not already be as much of an adventure pro as you.

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On 7/23/2019 at 12:05 PM, Eric Hall said:

2019-cb500x-grand_prix_red-650x380.png

XLADV has been invited to the launch of the new CB500X this Friday so check back for more details!

This is an interesting bike in that it's not really an adventure bike per se but it ends up being used as one anyways.  I've seen quite a few mods like from Rally Raid UK.

These little bikes are sweet. I am a bit confused... Why would you not consider this CB500X a "Real" Adventure bike? So many RTW riders choose the BMW 650 due to it's light weight nature, durability and reliability...  Others take DR650's and even Vstrom 650's. What about the "small displacement" makes them seemingly not so adventurous to you? What makes an "Adventure Bike" and adventure bike per se?   

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39 minutes ago, Manybikes said:

These little bikes are sweet. I am a bit confused... Why would you not consider this CB500X a "Real" Adventure bike? So many RTW riders choose the BMW 650 due to it's light weight nature, durability and reliability...  Others take DR650's and even Vstrom 650's. What about the "small displacement" makes them seemingly not so adventurous to you? What makes an "Adventure Bike" and adventure bike per se?   

That's a great question.  I guess it's more in the "used to" think.  I thought with those small wheels that it just made off road riding ridiculous and limited the terrain you could do too much to be considered a "real" adventure bike.  But they've increased that size both front and rear.  This was before they came out with their Africa Twin but I was also annoyed that people liked the CB500X so much simply because Honda and the rest of the market was so desperate for a better adv platform than existed at the time.

I am a big bike evangelist but I've said many times it doesn't matter what bike you want to "adventure" on.  If I guy can ride a Harley to Magadan or Ed March on his postie bike then that's an adventure bike too.  But there is a certain type of motorcycle specifically made for adventure and not other purposes and it did bug me when manufacturers started over-using the adventure moniker like BMW's S1000XR did.

I now think that this CB500X is a legitimate adventure bike (would still prefer the pegs lowered and moved forward).  Engine size really has nothing to do with it, for me at least.  I think their CRF250 Rally and even the CRF450L make great adv bikes too.  And with the CB500X's stiffer sub-frame, 4.6 gallon tank and fairing even better!

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