Update: Here’s my review!
Back in 2017, Charles Fleming of the LA Times asked me to join him on a ride up California’s highest motorable road – my experience on that ride fueled my review of the Kawasaki Versys-X 300 and introduced me to the Reward Mine, which became the central component of my review of the Royal Enfield Himalayan. But there was one bike from that ride I never got a chance to ride – the Honda CB500X.
See, when Charles and I were goofing around on some moderate off-road trails with our little bikes, we encountered someone on a CB500X. Our conversation was brief, but he had recently switched from a big 1,000cc+ ADV bike to the CB, and he could not have been happier because he was finally confident on the dirt with a machine that was reasonably sized. His bike seemed stock save for the addition of crash bars and knobby tires, and I could tell he was having a blast.
Not everyone is a dirt hero that’s going to back it in to every corner. What if you just want to explore? Owners of the previous generation CB500X used to drool over the Rally Raid catalog, but now Honda’s made some changes to give the X a little more dirt flavor while retaining plenty of practicality.
There’s lots of little changes (such as the vague claim that the motor has been revised “to feature more power and torque in the midrange” with no specific numbers), but the main things to me are:
– 19″ front wheel (vs 17″ in the previous generation)
– .2″ LESS travel up front (5.3″)
– 1.2″ more travel in back (5.9″)
– longer wheelbase (56.9″)
– 0.9″ taller seat (32.7″)
– 0.8″ taller windscreen
– new LCD dash (same one found on the CB650R)
– slipper/assist clutch
– $100 price bump to $6,699, which seems quite reasonable for the upgrades. Add $300 for ABS.
The CB500X is interesting in that there’s no real direct competitor. The closest options might be the more expensive Suzuki V-Strom 650 or the cheaper Royal Enfield Himalayan. MSRP for the Honda is $6,699 (plus a destination charge of $380).
Click here to see what Honda has to say about their updated mid-sized “real-world adventure” bike, then hit me with your questions in the comments!