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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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Old 13 Sep 2010
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CB500 for africa?

Hey all. Thinking that the CB500 I have will be up to the challenges of africa, any one disagree?

Any mods I like to make concerning suspension? shall try and find some knobblyish tyres and might put some wider renthal bars on it.

I know its not the 'perfect' overlander bike, but think it could actually be near as damn it for a numpty like me

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Old 13 Sep 2010
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may be not the first choice for most i was so close to buying one for south america but ended up with a suzuki sv650 v twin .if you feel happy go with it there was something on here somewhere about a guy getting one ready for overland travel ,would be nice to see some pics of you trip keep us posted ,
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Old 17 Sep 2010
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I've owned a CB500. Very good bike it is.
Maybe not my first choice of modern bikes.

It's certainly a serious contender. Especially if you upgrade the ignition to a breakerless style and keep the breakers as spares should the rare occurrence of the breakerless ignition failing happen. Travel with appropriate spares like clutch cable, throttle cable, spokes, chain/sprockets, and you're good to go RTW.
If you're carrying a really heavy load you might consider replacing your rear rim to stronger rim with heavier duty spokes.
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Old 17 Sep 2010
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Take my comments with caution, because I only know CB 500s by reputation.

I'd say this is a great bike to use because it seems to be bullet proof. Most of your time will be spent on some kind of made road or piste, so why not?

Some have taken a Harley, of all ridiculous bikes, RTW. Your bike is sturdy, practical and you've got one, so go for it, I say.

I saw a talk (HU Portugal, 2007/8?) by a guy with some ancient road BMW (pre GS) , who did the most brilliant, memorable trip thru Africa with his unmodified antique bike. No Touratech, no expensive mods, just him and a really simple bike which he could lug onto a ferry without hassle. It looked like a heap but that bike did the business. He could pick it up when it fell down.

I'd do the trip on your bike.

Best wishes, tell us what you did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PS If you're getting ready for Africa then you're no "numpty". Believe me!

This site is full of exotic bikes which look, and are, fabulous for travel - Africa Twins, GSs, Ténérés etc. But I think if you can resist the fashionable pressure of such machines, and be confident in your very competent bike, you'll do well. I think you like this bike, so go for it.

I would.
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Old 17 Sep 2010
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I've had 2, and....

I would back the little cb to put up with anything you throw at it. Couriers dont use them without good reason. I just bought an NTV650 really cheap, with 40k miles on it. Similar bike, and I could be seriously tempted to do some big tours on it. I wish you luck.
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Old 18 Sep 2010
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Do it, great bike, bulletproof, and anyone can fix it anywhere.

I would recommend old Hondas to the end of the earth. Both my big African trips have been on them, and they have never let me down (too badly.) If you are thinking even cheaper and pikier, I can't recommend the CG125 highly enough.

Mine got two of us to Cape Town, and is currently getting ready to go to Australia. I have full confidence in the lovely little beast.

I wouldn't bother with the mods. The suspension will take a hammering, but its all stuff that can be fixed on the go. The bars are adequate, and knobblies are just another expense. Just go with the tyres you have and replace them with cheap local ones as they wear out. It's never going to be a dirt monster, why waste the cash?

The only thing I would recommend in way of modification is a bit of a bashplate (low clearance, and we kept knocking our sump bolt to pieces) and some kind of auxillary fuel tank/tank extension. They're both practically free, so leaving more money for travelling!

Best of luck.

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Old 19 Sep 2010
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Thanks for the replies. Was hoping that would be the general consensus. I'm a long way from gearing up for it right now. Would like to get out the uk next winter, but have lots of debts to pay off before then left over from my year long spell in india.

I've not actually ridden the cb yet, its in my garage and i'm getting the frame blasted, powder coated and giving it a damn good service. Will let you know how it all goes though.

Should really do a write up on my travels in India some time. If you want to check out some pics you can search for me on facebook - ianhutchings82@gmail.com

Glad you got your trip done birdy. Remember chatting to you about it 2 years ago up in yorkshire. Was going to try and come to this meet, but can't do that weekend, and my finances are all over the place at the mo. Just booked 2 months in goa from early jan to early march. Just to get out of the british weather and enjoy a bit of fun in the sun

Look forward to seeing some of you at the next big hubb meet. didn't go last time, hopefully will be around for it this summer.

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Old 19 Sep 2010
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Would like to hear more of your time in India , Hutch.
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Old 1 Nov 2010
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What year CB500 ?

Hi Hutch,
Just wondered what year is your CB 500 ? As I am thinking the same as you.
Went up to Luxembourg 2 weeks ago and bought an Africa Twin, found the rear wheel bearings needed replacing so the guy refused my money until it was done, last week he was riding it back and got knocked off by a car, he got a couple pf broken ribs but OK and the 'bike's destroyed
So maybe I'll just go on the CB 500 and use the money I save on the trip !
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