Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 8th March 2017

Honda’s CB500 range comes in three flavours: the naked CB500F, a sporting CBR500R and this, the adventure styled CB500X.

 

In many ways, the 500cc parallel twin makes the most sense in this mildly off-road styled X version. The original CB500 made its name as an outstanding commuter bike and with a combination of low weight, upright riding position and a £5799 price tag, the CB500X has all the credentials to be the perfect ride to work bike.

 

Honda CB500X Sunset

 

At the heart of all three CB500s is the same 471cc parallel twin motor that pumps out 47bhp. That power output is significant, as it means that the CB500s can be ridden on an A2 licence. Honda is clearly pitching this as an ideal first big bike.

 

The colours and graphics won’t be to everyone’s tastes. Factory colours are red, silver or orange, at least the dull beige option from last year has been dropped, but the graphics are not an option. Most likely the tyre track stickers are alluding to some kind of ‘all roads capability’ and we doubt that the designer wanted to make it look like the CB500X had been run over by a truck. It does look a bit like that though!

 

Honda CB500X Headlamps

 

Any off-road pretentions are Honda writing cheques that the CB500X can’t cash but that really doesn’t matter. The CB500X is a really solid road bike. There are no gimmicks, no riding modes, no traction control. The digital dashboard is dominated by the LCD speed readout, with the rev counter rising and running along the upper edge of the instrument panel. You also get a clock and a fuel gauge. The short screen is fine for smaller riders, although taller guys might find themselves being buffeted at motorway speeds.

 

Despite the impression of being a tall bike, it’s actually pretty manageable for a wide range of body shapes and sizes. The 810mm seat height is relatively low while the saddle itself is narrow and the suspension soft, meaning that most riders will be able to flat foot on the Honda.

 

Honda CB500X Ride

 

On the move, that motor is docile and super smooth. With Honda, you know what you’re getting. The suspension and some of the finishes, particularly the exhaust, are a little budget and the seat is not the most comfortable on long runs. Overall though, the quality is excellent for the sub-£6000 price tag. With just 47bhp on tap it does require some dancing through the gearbox to execute overtakes on country roads, but it’ll sit at 70mph (and even more) on the motorway and around town there is more than enough on tap. Brakes are adequate enough. They’re definitely not sports bike powerful but do a good job of pulling the CB500X up progressively and safely, while the ABS is barely noticeable – which is a good thing.

 

At a claimed 196kg ready to ride there are lighter bikes on the market for new riders but it carries it well. The lowish seat and tight turning circle makes it easy going at slow speeds while that weight actually helps aid stability on bumpier roads.

 

The Honda CB500X is something of a rarity these days, a simple no nonsense all rounder that does what it says on the tin. It’s cheap to run. Honda claims fuel consumption of 83mpg and although manufacturer figures are often optimistic we averaged 65mpg in our time with one. If practicality is your thing you can stick some panniers and a top box on it for even more convenience.

 

Alternatives: Strangely there are not too many direct competitors. Bigger, more expensive, bikes like the Suzuki V-Strom 650 and Kawasaki Versys 650 offer similar all-round abilities, as does the BMW F700GS.

 

Specifications

 

ENGINE TYPE

Liquid-cooled, two-cylinder, four-stroke, eight-valve

DISPLACEMENT

471cc

BORE X STROKE

67×66.8mm

MAXIMUM POWER

35kW (47bhp) @8500rpm

MAXIMUM TORQUE

43Nm @ 7000rpm

FRONT SUSPENSION

41mm telescopic forks

SEAT HEIGHT

810mm

WET WEIGHT

196kg

FUEL TANK

17.5 litres

INSURANCE

£234.40*

 

*Based on our average customer 52 year old, 9 years NCB, garaged, WA14 postcode, no claims/convictions, 4000 miles Comp cover is £234.40 with a £250xs. Get your Honda Motorcycle Insured with Carole Nash