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  #1  
Old 15 Jun 2013
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Honda CB500X - Serious consideration for a RTW machine?

Morning All

I was wondering what the audience of this forum thought about Honda's recent "Range" of CB500 machines. In particular the CB500X (The adventure styled version).

As an owner of an original CB500, I was interested to find out about these new vehicles and from what I have seen and read, they seem pretty impressive considering that they are only £5,000 brand new.

Would anyone consider taking one of these around the world? I have had a decent offer for my current CB500 (Which I was planning to do the trip on) so may "Upgrade" to one of the new CB500X's. I am aware it isn't a GS, or KTM adventure, but neither will it be for less than half the price and I think this could provide a real option for those of us who do not have £10,000+ handy and biceps the size of the world's strongest man to lift them!!!

Here are a couple of links for those who have not yet seen this particular bike:

CB500X | Adventure | Motorcycles | Honda (UK)
2013 CB500X Innovations - Honda Powersports

I would be interested in any views, thoughts and opinions.

Kind Regards

Scott
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  #2  
Old 15 Jun 2013
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Your right about the price. Seems like good value and the options for round the world viable machines 500cc and below are not that good generally in my opinion.
And its a Honda!

No doubt we will pay double for it in Australia!
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Old 15 Jun 2013
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I'm almost certain someone will take the 500X round the world soon enough. Cheap purchase price is a very big plus. That said (and I haven't ridden it yet) it appears to be fully biased towards paved roads, still an unknown, how well it would handle some more rough stuff. And it's not particularly light.

After I rode the NC700X I thought it's a nice bike in many ways, but I'll keep my V-Strom, especially for 2-up touring, it just felt more like a bike for riding solo. This one at least appears a bit similar.
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Old 15 Jun 2013
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Substantially lighter than the Transalp, be about as good as any other middleweight.
Folks have done RTW on CT110s and R1s, this should go anywhere an R1 will go.

I'd cross shop the Vstrom and Versys.

Also check tire choices if you want something less street focused. Finding suitable replacements in other countries could be a problem.

I'd also consider setting up a CRF250L if you are staying away from freeways and want a current Honda.



Sent from my Android chinaphone, please excuse the spelling
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  #5  
Old 15 Jun 2013
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I'm watching them as potential WeeStrom replacements in 18 months or so. I'm afraid the badge only brings back memories of Tippetts of Surbiton ripping me off on CB100N parts, so not a reason for me to buy but the spec looks right.

Andy
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  #6  
Old 15 Jun 2013
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I agree it would be a great contender:
- nice mid-size engine, good power and great economy; fine for one up
- excellent fuel economy
- tubeless tyres
- simple engine with FI
- good ergonomics
- ABS

The hardcore off roaders won't like it but for most RTWers who go one up, it should be up there for consideration IMHO.

V-strom 650 is a better bike - more power and better fuel economy and is tried and tested but also costs about 50% more.....
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  #7  
Old 15 Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
After I rode the NC700X I thought it's a nice bike in many ways, but I'll keep my V-Strom, especially for 2-up touring, it just felt more like a bike for riding solo. This one at least appears a bit similar.
Sometimes, like now, it is hard to see where Honda are going with their range of bikes, and their marketing.
At the UK bike show, last November, this bike was squarely advertised for new riders (the "A2" licence holder, which I believe is a Europe wide qualification) yet it is very similar, not least in looks, to the NC700X, even down to the pricing.
But, 500cc or 700cc in capacity - there has to be a different riding experience in there, in some way or another?

It's a decent sized fuel tank at 17.2L though and it is in more or less the same price bracket as the BMW G650GS single cyl.
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  #8  
Old 16 Jun 2013
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Sorry, OT post:

UK bike marketing is run by 50-year olds who back in the day wouldn't buy a Fireblade until they made it over a litre. They like to think of everyone buying a new bike every year three years in the order 125, 600 sports, 1000 sports, 1000 sports tourer, 1500 cruiser, 1800 mega tourer with possibly a 600 tourer for the little woman and a few twist and goes for the kids along the way. The off years should be filled with buying jackets and colour matched bits that can be binned when yo sell the bike.

Muppets

Andy
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  #9  
Old 16 Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pecha72 View Post
I'm almost certain someone will take the 500X round the world soon enough. Cheap purchase price is a very big plus. That said (and I haven't ridden it yet) it appears to be fully biased towards paved roads, still an unknown, how well it would handle some more rough stuff. And it's not particularly light.

After I rode the NC700X I thought it's a nice bike in many ways, but I'll keep my V-Strom, especially for 2-up touring, it just felt more like a bike for riding solo. This one at least appears a bit similar.
Hi pecha72

The purchase price certainly is a big (Well small!) selling point! It is a little biased towards paved roads as standard I agree, but there are quite a few optional accessories (http://www.honda.co.uk/motorcycles/_...ory/CB500X.pdf) that would transform it into a more off road capable machine. It will never be a true "off-roader" but should eat up the roads (Whether they are in a good state or bad) and will perform off-road when required.

As for two up, yes that will probably be pushing it, but riding 1 up with kit and equipment shouldn't be a problem.

Scott
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  #10  
Old 16 Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docsherlock View Post
I agree it would be a great contender:
- nice mid-size engine, good power and great economy; fine for one up
- excellent fuel economy
- tubeless tyres
- simple engine with FI
- good ergonomics
- ABS

The hardcore off roaders won't like it but for most RTWers who go one up, it should be up there for consideration IMHO.

V-strom 650 is a better bike - more power and better fuel economy and is tried and tested but also costs about 50% more.....
Hi docsherlock

I am interested to hear why you think the V Storm is a "Better" bike. I wont argue the fact that the V Storm isn't a good bike, it is! But why better? The fuel economy (According to Honda at least) of the CB500X is actually far superior at 79.5mpg than the V Storm at ~55mpg. This would give a projected 300 mile tank range!

The V Storm does have more power 68bhp compared to the CB500X's 47bhp (A2 license limit). But the CB500X is lighter at 195kg compared to 215kg. Swings and roundabouts?

I guess my real question (Which will be individual to all riders I assume) is... What makes a "Better" bike.

Scott
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  #11  
Old 16 Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigershel View Post
Substantially lighter than the Transalp, be about as good as any other middleweight.
Folks have done RTW on CT110s and R1s, this should go anywhere an R1 will go.

I'd cross shop the Vstrom and Versys.

Also check tire choices if you want something less street focused. Finding suitable replacements in other countries could be a problem.

I'd also consider setting up a CRF250L if you are staying away from freeways and want a current Honda.



Sent from my Android chinaphone, please excuse the spelling
Hi tigershel

Do you have any suggestions for good off rod tyres matching these specifications?

Front:120/70-17 radial
Rear: 160/60-17 radial

I have spotted these "Continental TKC 80 Twinduro" but have had no previous experience with them.

Thanks

Scott
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  #12  
Old 16 Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post
Sorry, OT post:

UK bike marketing is run by 50-year olds who back in the day wouldn't buy a Fireblade until they made it over a litre. They like to think of everyone buying a new bike every year three years in the order 125, 600 sports, 1000 sports, 1000 sports tourer, 1500 cruiser, 1800 mega tourer with possibly a 600 tourer for the little woman and a few twist and goes for the kids along the way. The off years should be filled with buying jackets and colour matched bits that can be binned when yo sell the bike.

Muppets

Andy
Threewheelbonnie

Has the previous OT email worked its cathartic charm? I happen to agree with you entirely about the UK marketing of motorcycles. When I tell salesmen that I am only considering a 500 or 650cc machine through personal choice, their expression is like, why? We have much bigger (And therefore better?) bikes in the showroom! Ummm, sorry, but it doesn't work like that!

Anyhow, what is your view on the CB500X? I arranged a test ride this weekend, but it got cancelled as someone on a test ride before hand dropped it!

Scott
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  #13  
Old 16 Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkabout View Post
Sometimes, like now, it is hard to see where Honda are going with their range of bikes, and their marketing.
At the UK bike show, last November, this bike was squarely advertised for new riders (the "A2" licence holder, which I believe is a Europe wide qualification) yet it is very similar, not least in looks, to the NC700X, even down to the pricing.
But, 500cc or 700cc in capacity - there has to be a different riding experience in there, in some way or another?

It's a decent sized fuel tank at 17.2L though and it is in more or less the same price bracket as the BMW G650GS single cyl.
Hi Walkabout

Good point, it is hard to see where Honda are trying to take this set of machines. With regards to the BMW comparison, that bike in the UK brand new is ~ £6,195.00 OTR, before any optional extras which immediately makes it £1250 more expensive.

Whether the BMW is worth that additional cost is another question though!

Scott
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  #14  
Old 16 Jun 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scott_walker_1 View Post
Hi Walkabout

Good point, it is hard to see where Honda are trying to take this set of machines. With regards to the BMW comparison, that bike in the UK brand new is ~ £6,195.00 OTR, before any optional extras which immediately makes it £1250 more expensive.

Whether the BMW is worth that additional cost is another question though!

Scott
Not really a comparison with the small GS - more a comment about the single cyl Vs twin consideration (lots of people like a single for it's simplicity, but, nowadays, Honda don't have one in the 600/650cc category).

Honda were making a big deal of the A2 licence at the last UK bike show; their whole stand was full of it. I guess that is a key difference for them in differentiating the 500 from their 700.

As for the dealers; sure they will want to sell a fireblade rather than a 500/700 any day of the week.

In the meantime, the GS list price has risen a tad, or my memory is failing (I had it in mind as retailing at about 5.5K which is what the F650GS single cost back in 2005 by the way).

ps There is one common factor between the singles and this particular twin - in the fuel economy that you mentioned earlier.
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Last edited by Walkabout; 16 Jun 2013 at 16:20. Reason: ps added
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  #15  
Old 16 Jun 2013
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My 2012 Weestrom (DL650X) is averaging 65 mpg with a confirmed high of 77 (next tank did 67, so it wasn't a bad reading). The Glee (Gladius engine) is supposed to be fractionally more efficient. I'm riding a mixture of motorway commutes restricted to 50-55 by tax cameras and UK/West European back roads. Tank range is practically about 280 as while the theory says 320 the flashing light joins the voices in your head and you go fill up with 18 litres not the full 22. I have nailed it half the length of the M62, fully loaded at illegal speeds and still couldn't get it to drop below 60 to the gallon. People getting 55 mpg aren't changing up soon enough IMHO.

I had a carbed F650 single and could get high 60's to low 80's mpg out of it. On the one tank BMW let me put through an F800 I got 76 mpg. Maybe I'm just a tight Yorkshireman but I wouldn't let the numbers put you off either way. All the modern 5-800's are way better than the 30-40 figures people are still reporting from 1000cc Vee's and the like.

47 HP is perfectly sufficient for two up and luggage. You only need the Wee's 67 for lazy gearchanges and breaking the speed limits. Having the option to autobahn cruise maybe does make the Wee/Glee superior? Wouldn't be a feature I'd really look for though.

TCK80's are decent all purpose rubber if memory serves. I last used them in about 2003-4 though.

Pity your ride got cancelled, I think this bike is a contender and wanted to hear how it went.

Andy
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