Honda NX500 is the return of the Dominator... sort of

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Like the CB500F naked, the Honda CB500X gets a new name for 2024, but it’s not the one you might expect. With the Hornet moniker filtering down to the CB500F, we suspected the CB500X adventure bike might become Honda’s smallest Africa Twin or a starter Transalp XL750.

But no. Instead it’s now called the Honda NX500. Readers of a certain vintage will recognise the NX designation from the 1988 NX650 Dominator – an air-cooled trailie that chuffed out of salesrooms for over a decade.

Back then, it was targeted at urban commuters who wanted comfort, rugged reliability and enough poke to make it entertaining during weekend blasts – much like the NX500 is today. 

Honda NX500 off-roading

Of course, the new NX500 is vastly more sophisticated than the old Dommie. The liquid-cooled, 471cc parallel twin engine is far smoother thanks to a crank counterweight and balancer shaft, and of course there are masses of electronics.

For 2024 the NX500 gets the 5in TFT from the Transalp (replacing the old LCD dash) that can connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth to allow turn-by-turn navigation, revised aerodynamics to improve stability at higher speeds, new springs and damping settings which Honda say ‘improves feel’ on and off road.

2024 Honda NX500 screen

Honda NX500 specs

  • Power 47bhp @ 8600rpm
  • Torque 32lbft @ 6500rpm
  • Weight 196kg
  • Seat height 830mm
  • Price TBC