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Honda CB500X Adventure Motorbike Review

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MCN overall verdict rating is 5

The CB500X is the last of Honda’s new-for-2013, novice and A2-licence friendly 500-twin triumvirate – the others being the CB500F roadster and CBR500R sports bike – and for our money it’s the best of the bunch.
The X’s subtly larger proportions make it more versatile, more man-sized machine, while losing virtually nothing in terms of manageability and agility. Its adventure styling seems more in step with the times and makes better use of its (slightly) limited spec.
Its novice credentials are all excellent with ergonomics, controls and a delivery that’s as natural as they come. Yet its performance is good enough, too – a blend of easy, engaging drive and taut-enough steering to please even the most hard-boiled speed nut. It looks good and its quality and value exceed expectations, too. All of which adds up to ‘job done’.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Cosmetically differentiated by its silver finish (a Honda theme on its off-roaders), rather than the black units of the CB500F and CBR500R, the purpose-built 471cc twin is otherwise mechanically identical: an all-new, 8v 35kw/A2 licence optimized twin (hence 471 not 499cc) with more than its fair share of CBR600RR tech (eg matching bores, grooved piston surfaces and gear change arm), elastic delivery and decent economy.
The X, like the other CBs, still has enough pep and posture to entertain and invigorate. Sure, there’s still ultimately only 47bhp on tap (and, in bigger X guise actually feels if anything a little less than that offered by its siblings), but it’s all so accessible, so easy to ride, to thrash if need be – and all with an accompanying , pleasing gurgle – that pleasing fun truly can be had. Sure it’s never going to excite explosively or alarm, but that’s sorta the whole point, and it doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The X also shares the 500 family’s tubular steel diamond frame, but with 20mm longer forks, in turn lengthening the rake/trail and wheelbase. (Despite the ‘adventure’ styling, the 17in cast alloy wheels are unchanged, although the tyres have been switched from street Metzelers to Pirelli Scorpion Trails).
This, along with the wider bars, has the slight downside of making its steering seem a little less sharp and secure. It’s not a big deal, but if you REALLY want to scratch, the F and R are the better at it. Instead, where the X comes into its own is as an all-day, ‘man’-sized, touring capable and truly versatile machine – yet one which remains about as daunting as a basketful of kittens. It has the roomiest, most upright riding position of the three, the best weather protection and the comfiest seat all of which makes the X, if you’re either bigger than average or plan to take pillions or decent mileage, the obvious choice of the three.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

As it’s built down to a price, equipment is necessarily basic, but you’d hardly tell. For your money the X is somehow the most pleasing of the three on the eye despite sharing the same clocks (albeit in different hues), switchgear and cycle parts. There’s a nicely textured seat, neat stainless exhaust cover, wavy discs and even hexbolts on the engine cases. None of them look cheap.

Honda CB500X (2013-current)

Detail Value
New price £5,099
Dealer used prices
£4,110 (2013) - £4,770 (2014)
Private used prices
£3,700 (2013) - £4,290 (2014)
  View full used price info
Engine size 471 cc
Power 47 bhp
Top speed 125 mph
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 5 rating is 5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 5
Value rating is 5 rating is 5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 5

Cost-cutting has been achieved by Honda both adopting a ‘modular’ approach (similar to the first Hinckley Triumphs) whereby outwardly different models share a majority of parts, including powertrain and rolling chassis and even more significantly by developing the bike to be built in (cheaper) Thailand – the first ‘big’, multi-cylinder Honda to so be. That said, quality doesn’t seem to be lacking, although it’s probably too early to tell and service intervals are conservatively short.

Value

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 5

All that for under £5K? We’re impressed.

Insurance

Insurance group: n/a

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Model History

2013: Model introduced

Other Versions

CBR500R: Sports version with full fairing
CB500F: Roadster, unfaired version

Specifications

Top speed 125 mph
1/4-mile acceleration secs
Max power 47 bhp
Max torque 31 ft-lb
Weight 196 kg
Seat height 810 mm
Fuel capacity 15.7 litres
Average fuel consumption mpg
Tank range miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group of 17
Engine size 471 cc
Engine specification Dohc, 8v parallel twin. 6 gears, chain drive.
Frame Tubular steel diamond, box section swing arm
Front suspension adjustment 41mm telescopic forks, no adjust
Rear suspension adjustment Prolink monoshock with 9-way preload adjust
Front brakes 320mm wavy disc with twin-piston caliper and ABS
Rear brake 240mm wavy disc with single-piston caliper and ABS
Front tyre size 120/70 ZR 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 ZR 17

See all Honda CB500X motorcycles for sale

Honda
CB500X

420 miles

£4,494

Honda
CB500X

4267 miles

£4,195

Honda
CB500X

miles

£4,549

Honda
CB500X

2500 miles

£4,099

Honda
CB500X

miles

£5,299

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(2 reviews)

  • Cb500 x

    kevberlin

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I have just ordered a new CB500x having test ridden the NC750 and a Suzuki Dl 650 V Strom. My review is based upon the test ride while it remains fixed in my mind. I found the NC 750 engine absolutely fabulous with its torquey characteristics and grunty engine note. It felt a little heavy at the front end and the seat was like a plank unfortunately. The V Strom was much more comfortable but it seemed rather old fashioned after the Honda. I did not like how the tank sides forced my knees outward. Clutch action was not great and the engine did not inspire me. The screen did not seem very effective. The smaller Honda CB500x was an absolute gem to ride. Light and flickable with a smooth clutch and gearbox. The engine was lively but not so enthralling as the NC. Performance however was surprisingly perky and felt as good as the 650 VStrom. It was probably the easiest bike I have ever ridden in more than 40years of motorcycling. The instrument panel was a little bland and I was disappointed with the lack of a gear indicator. The bike feels very light and is easy to manoeuvre while riding at low speed and while placing onto the stand. All three bikes were good but I chose the 500x because of its sheer usability. A great engine on a comfortable light bike that would never be unwieldy to manoeuvre in and out of my garage. It will be interesting to see how I feel after a few thousand miles of ownership.

    20 June 2014

  • Great A2 Licence Bike

    Ironjwb91

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I recently passed my A2 Mod's and went out and bought a CB500X and i am so glad i did! The bike is perfect for newer riders, great seating position for getting round traffic, comfortable seat, great little parallel twin underneath you too! Only thing i think it lacks is a Gear position indicator, other than that, faultless!

    24 March 2014

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