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Old 6 Jun 2013
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Location: Keele, Staffordshire
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Honda CB500 RTW?

Afternoon All

I have looked through a large number of threads on this forum (Spending more time than I care to mention!) but only a very small number have involved the use of a CB500 as the machine of choice to go RTW on. The last thread I read which mentioned the beloved CB500 was several years ago, and I was wondering if anyone has gone on an adventure since then, or would be willing to share their experiences from previous trips with their CB5's? I have managed to contact one such person (Flash55) as a result of the HUBB UK meeting last week!

I am in the planning stages of a RTW trip on my CB500 and I am looking for all the hints and tips I can get. I am hoping to be departing in around 18 months to 2 years time once I have had time to save as much as possible, prepare the bike and get my head around all of the paperwork needed.

If there are any CB500 owners/travellers/adventurers out there, I would love to hear from you!

Happy travelling.

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Old 10 Sep 2013
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Location: Tenerife - Canary Islands
Posts: 280
Hi Scott,

Unfortunately I don't have a CB500 but I know a bit of the bike (used it to teach people to ride) and since nobody is answering you...

I think you can do it on a CB500, 'easely'.
You don't need a GS or any other heavy bike to go around the world. People think they need it but it's bullsh#t.

GO with the CB.
Just don't take to much stuff with you and you'll be just fine, it's a good and reliable bike and easy to fix if it would go wrong somewhere...
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Old 15 Sep 2013
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Have a look at Chris Scott's writeup on his GS500/DR650 hybrid. He more or less agrees that a good middleweight twin with slightly uprated suspension is more than adequate for touring on most surfaces.
Good fuel economy being more important than having a highly tuned powerful engine.
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Old 13 Oct 2013
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Older type Hondas are dead reliable and generly easy to fix if you are happy with the bike go for it main thing is you trust in bit more ground clearance may be useful but not essential not far from you if you need a word. Dave
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Old 14 Oct 2013
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Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
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My 2 pesos

Hi, whenever I read about CD or CB Hondas, my heart flutters at little.

In 1968 after 2 years as a U S Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica, I purchased a 0 Kilometers (new) 1968 Honda CD175 "sloper" making
real the possibility of a dream to ride from Costa Rica to Los Angeles, California after my close of service as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Photo of my bike with my Costa Rican girlfriend aboard taken in Puerto Limon , Costa Rica 1968.

I have also included a video of a 1968 Honda CD175 (not mine) I found on YouTube.

My point is - I rode the Pan Americana before it was totally paved during a 5 month 1968 ride from Costa Rica to Los Angeles - with real saddlebags that I formerly used on my Peace Corps provided horse , a back back strapped on and very little money.

I ended up trading tools for gas once I ran out money , I was shot at several times in Guatemala and witnessed the pre olympic massacre of about 50 students in Mexico City.

I suffered the 2 extraordinarily dangerous events listed above - which just added to the adventure...., but other than a couple flat tires, the CD175 carried me through jungle and mountain roads to Mayan ruins, through unbearably hot deserts, through streams and all manner of mud and sand, over pot holed pavement and even over good roads.... It never missed a beat. I did standard maintenance and I kept the chain adjusted and oiled. My biggest problem was finding enough to eat once I ran out of money.

My 2 pesos claim is that a RTW on a Honda CD175 would be possible, so your CB 500 should be more than up to the task.

1968 Honda CD175 "Sloper" - YouTube

Attached Thumbnails
Honda CB500 RTW?-kumari-1967a.jpg  

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Old 15 Oct 2013
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When I was despatching for a company running cbf500s, it was generally recognised that basically every bike would get up to about 130,000miles before suffering running problems. This without any engine or carb work being done. To be honest I'm not sure if they even bothered checking/changing the valve clearances on their bikes... Clutch plates normally wore out, but to be honest that was down to how they were ridden, I reckon you could easily get over 100k miles out of a clutch. Other couriers told me that supposedly the cb500 was designed by Honda to have an engine capable of 300,000km without needing a rebuild (but presumably needing at least one or two camchain replacements?). The courier bikes all used to get crashed a lot, so by 130,000miles they were knackered, even if the engines were capable of more (the company used to give them a half decent service then ebay them!!!)
UK to Mongolia 2009, on a DR350
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Old 28 Oct 2013
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Hi, I have a CB500 . Ihaven't done a RTW but last week i have past 100 000 km. I live in France and I went in Ireland, Portugal, Deutchland and in Norway to the northcap. I love my bike. She is simple , easy to drive. If you carry too much luggage( as me!) the rear suspension often was to the maximum and hurt the frame. I had only 2 problem: a 65 000 km the bearing off the real well were broken and at 95 000 km i had a leak on a rubber hose who goes to the radiator. that is all for problems!. That is what I can say about my bike if that could help you . Excuse but I don't write werry well in English. Frédéric
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Old 16 Dec 2013
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xfiltrate, that was a fantastic post. I too had a CD175 but a red 1971 model which never ventured outside Yorkshire and Lancashire in the north of England, where nobody shot at me, although I was refused entry to a pub on my first 'adventure' tour, an 80 mile trip to Scarborough from Skipton in 1972, as I was soaked to the skin after riding 40 miles with no waterproofs. Two old ladies (probably in their 40s) talked the pub owner round and he let me in for a warming meal.

Incidentally, your girlfriend on your 175 looked really tasty. Sadly I didn't meet anyone like that in Scarborough! In fact, no girls at all, although I was chased down Scarborough sea-front by two lads on a Vespa or Lambretta looking for a biker to beat up. Lost them at the first roundabout, though! Scooters didn't go round corners.
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cb500, honda, rtw

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