Author Topic: CB500X Vs XSR700  (Read 3974 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Thisll do

  • CB500X Member
  • **
  • Topic Author
  • Posts: 54
  • Bike: CB500X 2016 L3RR
  • Country: gb
CB500X Vs XSR700
on: October 25, 2018, 10:57:16 PM
    I was drawn to the CB500X in 2016, coming from an F650GS BMW single, largely pursuaded by an article in Ride magazine by Chris Scott extolling the virtues of a Rally Raid kitted X.
    I looked at other contenders at the time, including the Yamaha MT-07, but though I loved the engine, its "power ranger" stying put me off and it wasn't comfortable enough. I don't remember trhe XSR version of the 700 Yam being in the showrooms at that time. Maybe I was just a month or two early.
    So I test rode CB500Xs, including RR's demo bikes, including the "Level 3" and I was impressed. I bought a new Millenium Red X and took it to RR at Rushden to have the Level 3 treatment. I remember at the time questioning whether powder coating was adequately durable for the ally rims of the wire wheels and being told they had no problems. Though I really enjoyed the X with its RR improvements, I never felt that its suspension was set up as nicely as the Demo bike had been, despite me taking it back to have its settings checked.
     The bike did 30 months great service. great performance for its size, brilliant economy and nice handling. As I don't run a car, the bike has to run in all weathers, all the year around but I keep it clean and it lives in a nice dry garage. So I was dissapointed in the first winter to see all the spoke nipples going rusty, proving that they were cheap steel ones. I kept meaning to contact RR about this problem but didn't get round to it. The second winter my fears about the powder coated ally rims came home to roost as the rims began to show corrosion flaking off the powder coating. So this time I did contact RR but all I got was 2 sets of new spoke nipples, plated brass ones, like they should have been in the first place, and not much of an apology. And virtually no respose about the corroding rims. I wasn't even asking for new rims. My suggestion was that they might help in getting the rims cleaned up and anodised, and I would rebuild them. Just zero response to that from RR.
     In the mean time the temptation towards a 700 Yam were renewed. Taking the X for its 16,000 mile service, I was lent a 700 Tracer. Again I was so impressed with the engine, liked the effective twin headlamps, but not the bikes overall styling, but it was enough to start me checking out the 700 range and the XSR soon came to my notice. More and more it became "probably my next bike". However, by now the state of the X's corroding wheels made hopes of getting a decent price for it to enable the change.
      Despite this, things began to happen in late July this year. On Ebay, a 2 year old XSR700 modified with a 19" front wheel, for not a lot of money, was being sold by Chris Scott! the same man whose article put me onto the CB500X 2 years before! I placed a deposit and put the X up for sale on this forum. The buyer fortunately didn't object too much the the challenge of what to do with the dodgy rims and it has now gone to live in Hungary. I got the train to London and did the deal with Chris on a street corner and rode it home to Somerset.
       Once again, I was awed by the torquey 270 degree engine, hinting at being a V twin. I know that some CB500X riders have gone over to the 700 Yam models, but then returned to the Honda, but I am pretty sure I wont be doing that. This is a bike I want to keep, maybe for a long time.
      I suspect that for many, the choice revolves around smoothness. To some the Yamaha's engine seems rough and even "vibratory" (compared with some other parrallel twins, you must be joking!) but I will admit, the Yam is not as smooth as the Honda, but for me, my other love being 1980'ish big twin Moto Guzzis, that off beat note of the 700 Yam, floats my boat, and the torque of the Yam is the answer to the only fault I found with the Honda of forever chasing up and down the gearbox.
      The Honda is a good bike and I would never say I made a bad mistake buying one, just that I have found something I like better. The fuel consumption is not as good as the Honda, but I can get over 70mpg but as the tank is only 14 Ltrs, fuel stops do come more often, but the Yam is lighter, and feels it and has a tighter turning circle. Another difference for me is that On the Honda I had not enjoyed narrow, hilly country lanes it the way I had on other bikes, but now on the Yam I am enjoying those same small, steep and twisty lanes again. I think to some extent the X's fairing was off putting for me, but probably it was the constant need to hitch up and down the gearbox, wheras on the Yam as a steepening hairpin bend opens up without warning, almost regardless of what ever gear the Yam is in, it will haul itself up and around without and drama.
      Chatting to other riders, some have said "of course its better, its bigger!" or words to that effect. But, I point out, its still A2 restricted so it Bhp is hardly any more than the Honda. That limitation is only on the top end and dosn't detract from its mid range and bottom end performance, which is what matters, on UK roads at least, today.
      One big advantage to me withe the XSR is the greater ease with which it can be modified. Without the fairing of the X, running an extra wire under the tank is no trouble at all. Fitting a 7" headlamp shell with a Denali LED light unit was dead easy and put the Honda's 2016 LED headlight, literally "in the shade". Looking back I think I bought into the Rally Raid sales pitch, but it was nice to find a company who had put so much into making a good bike even better, but with the XSR there are so many different options out there, and having got the bike at a good price, I have been able to upgrade the Yam's suspension with Andriani fork inernals. One leg controls the compression damping while the other deals with the rebound, and with an Ohlin's shock on the back, it copes with the switchback roads over the Somerset levels, noticably better than the Level 3 X ever did.
     For those who've read this far, I expect many will rush to defend the X, and maybe Rally Raid as well. But remember I am not saying that the X is a bad bike. But on the other matter, while I was already thinking of getting an XSR700, it was Rally Raid's lack of response about the corroding wheels, that made it an easier choice when a suitable bike appeared for sale, and I felt it only fair to share my experience with you.
     So carry on enjoying the Honda CB500X, but if you are wondering about a change, give whichever one of the Yamaha 700s you might fancy a try.


Offline ThirtyOne

  • CB500X God
  • *****
  • Posts: 1652
  • Bike: '13 CB500X
  • Country: hn
Re: CB500X Vs XSR700
Reply #1 on: October 26, 2018, 12:33:52 AM
I understand your plight. I've been dissuaded from brands because of very similar customer care. Even to the point where I stopped buying from them altogether. Good to hear an honest review and I'm glad that you ended up with a bike you enjoy even more.

I also know the gent that collected your CB. He's a mad scientist and what has in the works will be well beyond the average RR CB500X.

Offline sk8norcal

  • CB500X Member
  • **
  • Posts: 41
  • Country: us

Offline Applecorp

  • CB500X Master
  • ****
  • Posts: 724
  • Bike: MT-09 Tracer
  • Country: england
Re: CB500X Vs XSR700
Reply #3 on: October 26, 2018, 07:26:24 AM
*Originally Posted by Thisll do [+]
So carry on enjoying the Honda CB500X, but if you are wondering about a change, give whichever one of the Yamaha 700s you might fancy a try.

I tried the Tracer 700 earlier this year, I wasn't impressed. I Tried the Tracer 900 not long after, I was very impressed. I bought one. 

Offline Dukie

  • CB500X God
  • *****
  • Posts: 1424
  • Bike: Cb500x
  • Country: gb
Re: CB500X Vs XSR700
Reply #4 on: October 26, 2018, 09:05:49 AM
Nice honest feedback. Enjoy your new ride
Sold:  '13 Rally Raid lvl 3.
own:  '17  Rally Raid lvl 1

Offline Jonathan

  • CB500X God
  • *****
  • Posts: 1207
  • Country: gb
Re: CB500X Vs XSR700
Reply #5 on: October 26, 2018, 02:04:21 PM
*Originally Posted by Thisll do [+]
    I was drawn to the CB500X in 2016, coming from an F650GS BMW single, largely pursuaded by an article in Ride magazine by Chris Scott extolling the virtues of a Rally Raid kitted X.
    I looked at other contenders at the time, including the Yamaha MT-07, but though I loved the engine, its "power ranger" stying put me off and it wasn't comfortable enough. I don't remember trhe XSR version of the 700 Yam being in the showrooms at that time. Maybe I was just a month or two early.
    So I test rode CB500Xs, including RR's demo bikes, including the "Level 3" and I was impressed. I bought a new Millenium Red X and took it to RR at Rushden to have the Level 3 treatment. I remember at the time questioning whether powder coating was adequately durable for the ally rims of the wire wheels and being told they had no problems. Though I really enjoyed the X with its RR improvements, I never felt that its suspension was set up as nicely as the Demo bike had been, despite me taking it back to have its settings checked.
     The bike did 30 months great service. great performance for its size, brilliant economy and nice handling. As I don't run a car, the bike has to run in all weathers, all the year around but I keep it clean and it lives in a nice dry garage. So I was dissapointed in the first winter to see all the spoke nipples going rusty, proving that they were cheap steel ones. I kept meaning to contact RR about this problem but didn't get round to it. The second winter my fears about the powder coated ally rims came home to roost as the rims began to show corrosion flaking off the powder coating. So this time I did contact RR but all I got was 2 sets of new spoke nipples, plated brass ones, like they should have been in the first place, and not much of an apology. And virtually no respose about the corroding rims. I wasn't even asking for new rims. My suggestion was that they might help in getting the rims cleaned up and anodised, and I would rebuild them. Just zero response to that from RR.
     In the mean time the temptation towards a 700 Yam were renewed. Taking the X for its 16,000 mile service, I was lent a 700 Tracer. Again I was so impressed with the engine, liked the effective twin headlamps, but not the bikes overall styling, but it was enough to start me checking out the 700 range and the XSR soon came to my notice. More and more it became "probably my next bike". However, by now the state of the X's corroding wheels made hopes of getting a decent price for it to enable the change.
      Despite this, things began to happen in late July this year. On Ebay, a 2 year old XSR700 modified with a 19" front wheel, for not a lot of money, was being sold by Chris Scott! the same man whose article put me onto the CB500X 2 years before! I placed a deposit and put the X up for sale on this forum. The buyer fortunately didn't object too much the the challenge of what to do with the dodgy rims and it has now gone to live in Hungary. I got the train to London and did the deal with Chris on a street corner and rode it home to Somerset.
       Once again, I was awed by the torquey 270 degree engine, hinting at being a V twin. I know that some CB500X riders have gone over to the 700 Yam models, but then returned to the Honda, but I am pretty sure I wont be doing that. This is a bike I want to keep, maybe for a long time.
      I suspect that for many, the choice revolves around smoothness. To some the Yamaha's engine seems rough and even "vibratory" (compared with some other parrallel twins, you must be joking!) but I will admit, the Yam is not as smooth as the Honda, but for me, my other love being 1980'ish big twin Moto Guzzis, that off beat note of the 700 Yam, floats my boat, and the torque of the Yam is the answer to the only fault I found with the Honda of forever chasing up and down the gearbox.
      The Honda is a good bike and I would never say I made a bad mistake buying one, just that I have found something I like better. The fuel consumption is not as good as the Honda, but I can get over 70mpg but as the tank is only 14 Ltrs, fuel stops do come more often, but the Yam is lighter, and feels it and has a tighter turning circle. Another difference for me is that On the Honda I had not enjoyed narrow, hilly country lanes it the way I had on other bikes, but now on the Yam I am enjoying those same small, steep and twisty lanes again. I think to some extent the X's fairing was off putting for me, but probably it was the constant need to hitch up and down the gearbox, wheras on the Yam as a steepening hairpin bend opens up without warning, almost regardless of what ever gear the Yam is in, it will haul itself up and around without and drama.
      Chatting to other riders, some have said "of course its better, its bigger!" or words to that effect. But, I point out, its still A2 restricted so it Bhp is hardly any more than the Honda. That limitation is only on the top end and dosn't detract from its mid range and bottom end performance, which is what matters, on UK roads at least, today.
      One big advantage to me withe the XSR is the greater ease with which it can be modified. Without the fairing of the X, running an extra wire under the tank is no trouble at all. Fitting a 7" headlamp shell with a Denali LED light unit was dead easy and put the Honda's 2016 LED headlight, literally "in the shade". Looking back I think I bought into the Rally Raid sales pitch, but it was nice to find a company who had put so much into making a good bike even better, but with the XSR there are so many different options out there, and having got the bike at a good price, I have been able to upgrade the Yam's suspension with Andriani fork inernals. One leg controls the compression damping while the other deals with the rebound, and with an Ohlin's shock on the back, it copes with the switchback roads over the Somerset levels, noticably better than the Level 3 X ever did.
     For those who've read this far, I expect many will rush to defend the X, and maybe Rally Raid as well. But remember I am not saying that the X is a bad bike. But on the other matter, while I was already thinking of getting an XSR700, it was Rally Raid's lack of response about the corroding wheels, that made it an easier choice when a suitable bike appeared for sale, and I felt it only fair to share my experience with you.
     So carry on enjoying the Honda CB500X, but if you are wondering about a change, give whichever one of the Yamaha 700s you might fancy a try.

Glad you found something that suits your riding preference. I wouldn't compare the X to the XSR...different beast all together. It's a shame about the RR paint issues with the rims. I would've thought hard anodizing is the way to go for spoked alloy rims, although this isn't bullet proof either.
Interesting you should mention the power delivery of the Yam, compared to the X despite similar output figures. My old V twin Transalp 600 feels more grunty low to mid than the X even though there's not a lot in it torque-wise. The x needs to be pushed harder but then it has the benefit of a 6th gear unlike the ALP.
For me, the X feels much less langourous and top heavy which suits the type of riding I do mostly...sounds like the extra nads of the XSR is just what you've been lacking...andreanis may be one solution for primarily road orientated X owners, although the Level 1 RR seems to be the ticket for plenty and I like the idea that it's a small UK based outfit....despite your somewhat disappointing experience.   
Last Edit: October 26, 2018, 02:07:03 PM by Jonathan

Offline gregjet

  • CB500X Pro
  • ***
  • Posts: 266
  • Go forth and modify
  • Bike: CB500X
  • Country: au
Re: CB500X Vs XSR700
Reply #6 on: October 27, 2018, 09:02:40 PM
I own both an MT07 and an X.
 Very different bikes to ride, and in some ways an 07 would make a better offroad bike, because of the rear weight bias, though under engine is more fragile. The 07 is lighter ( the Tracer is much heavier and about the same as the X) by the way and has more travel at both ends. The 07 motor has a more noticeable torque response, where the X is smooth as silk, but less torquey. I would be happy to ride either across Australia , as they are both a delight at (legal) highway speeds and handle with similar delightful ease ( especailly after suspension is upgraded).
Both bikes have AWEFUL suspension, but that's easily fixed.
In my opinion these are the best two motors available designed in Japan at the moment.
If you want to mod an 07 for adv riding, check out fz07.org as there are some modded that way there. They have some of the best suspension people I have ever seen on a forum as well, who are very helpful.
Both bikes can be modded yourself. For wire wheels I like Warp7 from the US. You need to be reasonable prepared to do capable workshop work though.
The Honda Adv type fairing is definitely better than anything the 07 has to offer in any form for avd riding or the highway.

Offline gregjet

  • CB500X Pro
  • ***
  • Posts: 266
  • Go forth and modify
  • Bike: CB500X
  • Country: au
Re: CB500X Vs XSR700
Reply #7 on: October 27, 2018, 09:09:27 PM
One very important thing I forgot to add. It's probably not as important for a tiny place like the UK, but the 07 tank is small and it uses more fuel. The X tank is a useable size and uses less fuel. That could sway a decision in Aus , but may not be as important in smaller distance places.

Offline Jonathan

  • CB500X God
  • *****
  • Posts: 1207
  • Country: gb
Re: CB500X Vs XSR700
Reply #8 on: October 27, 2018, 09:14:11 PM
*Originally Posted by gregjet [+]
One very important thing I forgot to add. It's probably not as important for a tiny place like the UK, but the 07 tank is small and it uses more fuel. The X tank is a useable size and uses less fuel. That could sway a decision in Aus , but may not be as important in smaller distance places.

We may be tiny....but our roads are twisty :152:

At the newbie training centre near me, they use MT07s as their fleet bikes...the ones with the green neon wheels

Offline CB-500-X

  • CB500X God-zilla
  • *****
  • Posts: 2207
  • Bike: 2014 CB 500 X
  • Country: us
Re: CB500X Vs XSR700
Reply #9 on: October 27, 2018, 09:53:43 PM
How is the seating position and comfort compared to the X ?
Hart to beat that yamaha motor. No wonder they have sold so many of the variants built around that engine. Pity they don't offer the tracer 700 here in the US. I love my X but would trade it for that engine.