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CAGIVA CANYON 500 (1996-2002) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"Not the most reliable, even by Italian standards"

Cagiva Canyon 500 motorcycle review - Riding

"Not the most reliable, even by Italian standards"

  • At a glance
  • 499cc  -  33 bhp
  • 45 mpg  -  200 miles range
  • Insurance group: 9 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • Medium seat height (795mm)

Overall Rating 3 out of 5

There are no end of single cylinder commuter/trailie bikes around if you have the urge, so the Cagiva Canyon loses out for a couple of good reasons in that hard-fought battle for novice biker cash; first off, it's not the most reliable, even by Italian standards. Secondly, it just doesn't have the oomph to match its city slicker looks. What's more, the Rotax engine is outdated and down on power.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The Cagiva Canyon is nice and soft for novice riders, but once you gain some confidence and riding skills, you'll soon wish the Cagiva had more precision, more panache, than it can offer. Non adjustable front forks and a squishy rear monoshock make the Canyon something akin to a mobile bouncy castle on a country lane.

Engine 2 out of 5

Here's an odd thing, with the Canyon, Cagiva started out with a 600cc single, then downsized to a 500. Not exactly progress some might say, although to be fair the old 600 Rotax lump makes about the same poke as the later 500cc unit. But both feel very vibey and are unpleasant above 65mph.

 

Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5

The Cagiva Canyon is just not very well made basically, with the chances of electrical gremlins, bits coming loose or engines spluttering to a halt all realistic scenarios. Starter motors are known to fail on them. Buying one used is a real gamble, purely on Cagiva spares availablity if nothing else.

Insurance, running costs & value 2 out of 5

Yes, Cagiva Canyons do go cheap secondhand. But there's a whole stack of reasons why and they're mostly bad news. The Canyon's used buy competition in the shape of the Aprilia Pegaso 600/650, CCM R30, Suzuki Freewind 650, BMW F650 etc, all make the Cagiva look like a poor second choice. Which it is. Find a Cagiva Canyon 500 for sale.

Insurance group: 9 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Actually, the Cagiva Canyon 500 looks really good. The nose fairing has an insect-like aggression about its bug-eyed stare, whilst the wide saddle, handy carrier and 20 litre fuel capacity help make it a viable commuter machine. On paper it's got all it needs - in reality, few riders fell for its quirky charms.

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1996
Year discontinued 2002
Original price -
Used price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 9 of 17
Annual road tax £64
Annual service cost £100
Performance
Max power 33 bhp
Max torque 29 ft-lb
Top speed 90 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 13.9 secs
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 200 miles
Specification
Engine size 499cc
Engine type Single cylinder, four stroke, 5 gears
Frame type Steel tubular
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 795mm
Bike weight 165kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake Single 296mm disc
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 100/90 x 19
Rear tyre size 140/80 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

1996: Cagiva Canyon 600 launched in UK.
1998: Cagiva Canyon 500 replaces the 600.
2002: Cagiva Canyon discontinued.

Other versions

Cagiva Canyon 600.

Owners' Reviews

8 owners have reviewed their CAGIVA CANYON 500 (1996-2002) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your CAGIVA CANYON 500 (1996-2002)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.9 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.3 out of 5
Engine 3.6 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.6 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.6 out of 5
Equipment 3.9 out of 5
3 out of 5

Still going strong

27 August 2018 by Badweather

There is Italian build quality, but it has proven to be reliable. I never got stranded with this bike unlike other bikes I have owned.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Very comfortable on bad roads and over speedbumps. The front fork is very very good and eats everything you can throw at it. The rest of the bike just follows. The pillion has a better seat than the rider. The bike is not made for traveling fast on motorways, but it is doable at a more modest pace. The brakes are sufficient.
Engine
2 out of 5
What MCN writes about the engine is true. This bike deserves a better engine, look for the Grand Canyon. But this little Canyon has one trick up his sleeve engine wise MCN didn’t mention. Off road, in the mud or on a steep dirt road this engine has some kind of magical tractor mode which gets me out of trouble every time.
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
Build quality? Some parts are better than others, but it's been more reliable than my BMW RT. When you fall while off-roading some parts bend but they don’t break. So you just bend them back into their original position.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Yearly maintenance is minimal and easy to do yourself with the free online manual. Just change the fluids, plug and filters.
Equipment
3 out of 5
There is a frame for mounting a topbox as standard. Additional equipment I have added includes: a topbox, a higher windscreen, heated grips, barkbusters and a navigation mount (RAM). I also use Conti Escape tyres.
Buying experience

I bought it very cheap 10 years ago as a winter bike and it was already in a very rough condition, but now it looks even worse. Still, I have never regretted it.

4 out of 5

Cagiva Canyon - Cheap mid life crisis fun

26 May 2008 by Arsedownandy

Just bought an old 2000 reg 500, I havent rdden for a long time, Ive had it a couple of months now, and so far, its behaved beautifully, I do about 70 miles a day too and from work, along winding country roads, and its propper fun, I tried it the shorter way back on the motorway, and the total lack of winsheild, made me want to never go on a motorway again. Anything after 60 mile an hour and you need nerves of steel, and fingers to match, clinging on. However, as i said along back country roads, uneven surfaces, its alot of fun, with a big throaty tone from the twin exhuasts I have a smile on my face most days. I have read that they have a real problem with the sprag clutch been a real weak spot, so I have checked the net in search of them for a back up replacement, and I would probably hvae more chance in finding the preverbial rocking horse poop, so fingers crossed, it wil hold together.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Cagiva Canyon - Cheap mid life crisis fun

26 May 2008 by Arsedownandy

Just bought an old 2000 reg 500, I havent rdden for a long time, Ive had it a couple of months now, and so far, its behaved beautifully, I do about 70 miles a day too and from work, along winding country roads, and its propper fun, I tried it the shorter way back on the motorway, and the total lack of winsheild, made me want to never go on a motorway again. Anything after 60 mile an hour and you need nerves of steel, and fingers to match, clinging on. However, as i said along back country roads, uneven surfaces, its alot of fun, with a big throaty tone from the twin exhuasts I have a smile on my face most days. I have read that they have a real problem with the sprag clutch been a real weak spot, so I have checked the net in search of them for a back up replacement, and I would probably hvae more chance in finding the preverbial rocking horse poop, so fingers crossed, it wil hold together.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Cagiva Canyon - Cheap mid life crisis fun

26 May 2008 by Arsedownandy

Just bought an old 2000 reg 500, I havent rdden for a long time, Ive had it a couple of months now, and so far, its behaved beautifully, I do about 70 miles a day too and from work, along winding country roads, and its propper fun, I tried it the shorter way back on the motorway, and the total lack of winsheild, made me want to never go on a motorway again. Anything after 60 mile an hour and you need nerves of steel, and fingers to match, clinging on. However, as i said along back country roads, uneven surfaces, its alot of fun, with a big throaty tone from the twin exhuasts I have a smile on my face most days. I have read that they have a real problem with the sprag clutch been a real weak spot, so I have checked the net in search of them for a back up replacement, and I would probably hvae more chance in finding the preverbial rocking horse poop, so fingers crossed, it wil hold together.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Cagiva Canyon - Cheap mid life crisis fun

26 May 2008 by Arsedownandy

Just bought an old 2000 reg 500, I havent rdden for a long time, Ive had it a couple of months now, and so far, its behaved beautifully, I do about 70 miles a day too and from work, along winding country roads, and its propper fun, I tried it the shorter way back on the motorway, and the total lack of winsheild, made me want to never go on a motorway again. Anything after 60 mile an hour and you need nerves of steel, and fingers to match, clinging on. However, as i said along back country roads, uneven surfaces, its alot of fun, with a big throaty tone from the twin exhuasts I have a smile on my face most days. I have read that they have a real problem with the sprag clutch been a real weak spot, so I have checked the net in search of them for a back up replacement, and I would probably hvae more chance in finding the preverbial rocking horse poop, so fingers crossed, it wil hold together.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Cagiva Canyon - Cheap mid life crisis fun

26 May 2008 by Arsedownandy

Just bought an old 2000 reg 500, I havent rdden for a long time, Ive had it a couple of months now, and so far, its behaved beautifully, I do about 70 miles a day too and from work, along winding country roads, and its propper fun, I tried it the shorter way back on the motorway, and the total lack of winsheild, made me want to never go on a motorway again. Anything after 60 mile an hour and you need nerves of steel, and fingers to match, clinging on. However, as i said along back country roads, uneven surfaces, its alot of fun, with a big throaty tone from the twin exhuasts I have a smile on my face most days. I have read that they have a real problem with the sprag clutch been a real weak spot, so I have checked the net in search of them for a back up replacement, and I would probably hvae more chance in finding the preverbial rocking horse poop, so fingers crossed, it wil hold together.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Cagiva Canyon - Cheap mid life crisis fun

26 May 2008 by Arsedownandy

Just bought an old 2000 reg 500, I havent rdden for a long time, Ive had it a couple of months now, and so far, its behaved beautifully, I do about 70 miles a day too and from work, along winding country roads, and its propper fun, I tried it the shorter way back on the motorway, and the total lack of winsheild, made me want to never go on a motorway again. Anything after 60 mile an hour and you need nerves of steel, and fingers to match, clinging on. However, as i said along back country roads, uneven surfaces, its alot of fun, with a big throaty tone from the twin exhuasts I have a smile on my face most days. I have read that they have a real problem with the sprag clutch been a real weak spot, so I have checked the net in search of them for a back up replacement, and I would probably hvae more chance in finding the preverbial rocking horse poop, so fingers crossed, it wil hold together.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Cagiva Canyon, Whats that?

30 July 2007 by Dave201288

Some of the commments on the engine power are pointless if your looking for a 33bhp legal (restricted licence) bike without having to pay £200 for a restrictor. This is what appealed to me when looking at this bike. A rider with more experience may find that this bike lacks the power. mf'The bike has a reasonably comfy seat and handles well. However i found that near 80 you got alot of vibrations, and you would not be able to keep at that pace for a period of time. The ride is soft (you wont feel every bump in the road), but i wouldn't advise trying to ride this bike like a YZF-R1, its not built for that type of abuse. The quality of the bike is questionable. I'd only buy one of these that has already had some money spent repairing the engine. I have had to wait 2months for some parts. However i've been told this is not Cagiva's fault, It is the importer (3cross motorcycles) who are useless and incapable of getting an order correct. (thanks 3x) What causes the biggest delay in parts is that somewehere along the line a company will ship every 3 weeks (mostlikly to save on distribution costs). So it is quite likly that you will wait upto 6weeks for your parts. The Parkers guide price for this bike is wrong! A well looked after model can cost upto £2000. However private you are looking at closer to £1600 for a W/X reg (as at July 07)

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
2 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-

Photo Gallery

  • Cagiva Canyon 500 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Cagiva Canyon 500 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Cagiva Canyon 500 motorcycle review
  • Cagiva Canyon 500 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Cagiva Canyon 500 motorcycle review - Riding
  • Cagiva Canyon 500 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Cagiva Canyon 500 motorcycle review
  • Cagiva Canyon 500 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Cagiva Canyon 500 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Cagiva Canyon 500 motorcycle review - Engine
  • Cagiva Canyon 500 motorcycle review - Front view
  • Cagiva Canyon 500 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Cagiva Canyon 500 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Cagiva Canyon 500 motorcycle review - Side view
  • Cagiva Canyon 500 motorcycle review - Side view
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