Honda CB500X

Main CB500X Boards => CB500X - General Chat => Topic started by: Arkridia on January 23, 2018, 03:29:38 PM

Title: Deciding on Bikes
Post by: Arkridia on January 23, 2018, 03:29:38 PM
I have been reading everything I can on adventure bikes and I have decided this is one to consider. I do have a couple of questions for those that ride this bike.  First, what made you decide on this bike? Second question, what mods have you had to do to make it comfortable for you. (I am 5 foot 7) for comparison because I know if your 5' your probably put lowing blocks on it. Third question if you had to do it over would you buy this bike again if not why? The next question I have for now is how expensive are the parts to repair compared to say BMW or other bikes. Finally, how often do you have problems with the bike's engine or transmission?
Thank you,
Title: Re: Deciding on Bikes
Post by: jsonder on January 23, 2018, 04:42:53 PM
You have not expressed what type of riding you intend to do, so this is a shotgun approach.

I am ~5' 6" with a 28" inseam.  A 32" seat height is all that I can manage, comfortably.  Both of my bikes meet that seat height requirement.  Suspension improvements have not changed seat height (back in '14 I installed Hagon front springs on the 500X, as Honda's front springs had way too major a change from soft to hard for the pavement that I had to ride that summer).

The 500X is my street/touring bike.  The CRF230L is my have fun in the dirt bike.  I ride Forest service roads (occasionally maintained) with the 500X, but do not take that heavy monster on difficult roads.  My street-legal 230L weighs 270 pounds (160 pounds less that the 500X) and is much more fun in the nasty/technical stuff.

I ride solo both on-road and off-road.  Being able to get out from under an upset is important.  I had one experience with being under the 500X and unable to get out last year.  I would not want to have done that way off-road and out of phone coverage.  As it was, I had to call home and get my wife to drive to the curve and look for the red shirt that I had thrown up onto the bush that we were under.  This was on pavement, I got wool-gathering (checked the clock because I was running ~1/2 hour late), went into a turn too fast and opted to ride it out going off the road and down the curves embankment.  Probably incipient dementia as I know better, but I'm 76 years old.

Now that the background junk is handled.  Yes, I am in love with the CB500XA for my uses.  It is a comfortable, competent bike in most aspects.  My suspension problem was caused by having to ride paved road that had substantial gravel truck traffic from a quarry by the road.  It was the only efficient way to get to where I had to be 4 days per week, and the broken slab nature of the road and the OEM springs were starting to give me tendinitis from the beating the front forks were giving me.  The standard Hagon springs for the 500X were a modest but needed improvement.  This was before you could purchase just the front fork fix from Rally Raid (R1 front mod).  I rode the bike from southern Arizona to central Montana and back in the summer of '15 and enjoyed it all.

The engine needed a shim adjustment at 15K miles.  All 8 shims were at or just below the minimum clearance.  The transmission is a tad "clunky" but the usual problem is lazy foot/ankle not shifting up firmly enough.  Mainly rider re-training to fix that problem.  If you do your own maintenance, you will get tired of removing the tupperware to access almost everything, but, the Honda and Haynes service manuals complement each other (Haynes has lots of photos), the parts are not too pricey, and this forum has some good "how-to" stuff.  If you have both patience and some mechanical skills (using a torque wrench helps you learn to feel a properly snugged nut) you should do fine doing your own maintenance.  The only time that the bike went to the dealership was to replace a relay under warranty, and I removed the side covers before riding the bike 20 miles to the dealership.  I cannot comment on shop costs, but, in general, Honda parts and hourly labor are locally quoted as lower than BMW. (I did consider a 650cc BMW, but chose the CB500XA and had to special order it in Jan. of '14 to get ABS; Honda was mainly shipping non-ABS bikes the first couple of years).

This is probably far from what you wanted/need, so feel free to ask for answers to more explicit questions.

Title: Re: Deciding on Bikes
Post by: dkjkwood on January 23, 2018, 05:32:28 PM
I'm 6' so seat height isn't a concern for me.  I chose the CB500x for adventure riding.  I have converted it with a level 3 rally raid kit.  I have no complaints.  I ride paved mountain twisties and some pretty rough forest trails and roads.

Deciding factors for me were:  weight, styling, fuel injection, the fact that it's a honda.  I'd like more power and cruise control, other than that it's a great bike.
Title: Re: Deciding on Bikes
Post by: Trailrunner on March 12, 2018, 08:02:42 PM
I love the bike and have owned 20 plus bikes most this style and I wanted one that was easier for me to ride every day and enjoy without a large investment and I liked how the industry was starting to see the bike was selling in the US and developing the new parts and acc. The bike is easy to maintain simple fuel injected.I have added Givi side bags and huge trunk and hand guards touring screen and little things. Driving lights so I don't look like a street lamp. Would I buy it again yes. This little bike is tuff people say oh do this do that. Most never even find the OME limits. It's dependable and most of all fun. It doesn't cost 12K and when you get in the woods it's finesse.
Just have fun be safe 
Title: Re: Deciding on Bikes
Post by: hilldweller on March 13, 2018, 01:22:07 PM
*Originally Posted by Trailrunner [+]
I love the bike ..............

What a road. Just what Honda ordered.
Title: Re: Deciding on Bikes
Post by: retmotor on March 13, 2018, 01:54:57 PM
jsonder for president.

I bought it for back roads, maintained dirt road (like you'd find in most state and national parks), and because it'll do the interstate. Also, it's comfortable for me where many bikes are not. If I did a lot of interstate or a lot of dirt, there are better choices. There's no "unicorn" bike that will do it all, but there's surely a little unicorn DNA in this bike.

Some of the best riders I've ever ridden with were short with a dirt bike background where bikes are tall. They were forced to learn not to depend on being able to put their foot down. That said, my first big street bike was tall (for me) and I picked that bike up a lot. (I'm a slow learner sometimes.)

Still working on the mods, but to get it set up for multi-day trips; tires - TKC80s or similar, Rally Raid level 1, bash plate, radiator guard, off road pegs, probably bar risers, probably a seat mod, auxiliary lights, convenience plugs front and rear (for running/charging electronics), grips, hand guards and bags.

Good luck.
Title: Re: Deciding on Bikes
Post by: Trailrunner on March 13, 2018, 05:26:55 PM
Thank You,  hilldweller
I am blessed with miles of road like the one in the video. Finding the time to ride the roads are what I struggle with. The time change will help for some late afternoon rides where I am not in dress clothes and a riding suit. Back to the topic, I am 5' 10" and the bike fits me well I have a 33" inseam. I do want one day to upgrade my suspension. I am blessed, my nephew is an HRC Mechanic, I remind him he is living my dream make it good. He left for Dayton this morning  :003:
I read what I wrote and I thought that sound like a strong opinion. I did not mean it to sound that way. I hope everyone enjoys's every ride they take on the CBX it is a fun bike. If I could change just one thing it would be big mean brakes, they are good. I have had some supermoto bikes and the breaks are crazy good. The Husky 610 breaks are clean and strong even the little DRZ400sm had great breaks I should not have sold. :157:
I remind myself all the time ride your own bike, it's not a race have fun. That's why I ride it is fun and it adds excitement every day I ride. It has been a change for me I have had 4 and 5 bikes at a time. So this is the bike that I thought I am 51 I should be able to have one bike do everything I want to do. So far me and pretty wife have enjoyed it. The factory setting of the rear shock at 3 is low move it to 7 and you will be happier.
Title: Re: Deciding on Bikes
Post by: Dukie on March 14, 2018, 03:47:53 PM
Why buy?
I could afford it, I had not had an adventure bike before and on the test ride I found it comfortable and wanted to ride it further and explore in it.

1)Mototwerks peg lowering kit to change the peg location as it's more suited to the F and CBR models than the X, the knee is quite bent back. I then replaced these with rally raid wide foot pegs. I can get a better knee position on these so am comfortable. Cost £100
When rally raid produce an adaptor to relocate the foot pegs fully I will get these.  Cost unknown.

2)Heated grips cost £110 fitted. Just helps with cold.

3)I had 2013 model. I was fine on it however on my next 2017 bike I am buying 2" Rox risers because I'm getting a lot of shoulder pain.cost £75

4)Rear shock: honda one doesn't work cost £400.

I would and did buy it again. Between my first and second cb500x  the suspension better on new but seat more comfortable on 2013-2015.

Title: Re: Ark...since you asked...
Post by: Winchester on March 17, 2018, 01:08:38 AM
This post may not help the OP at all…but ya never know. Maybe something here might help? I know I asked a lot of questions here before buying.

I’ll be 72 this year...5' 11'...31" inseam...185 lbs. my 500XA is a new 2018 with low miles. So I can’t give you any long term reports. What I can say is this. When it comes to making important decisions, like a bike purchase, I’m a serious plodder. Back in 2017 I put in hundreds of miles and then some to look at different machines that I seriously considered…sometimes, the better part of a day to get there and back. All to X was NOT an impulse purchase!

Like many here, I’ve owned an assortment of bikes…bigger, heavier, taller, faster (and faster). They were all exciting and I could name a few but this is about my X and why it’s here and they aren’t.

Maybe it’s because I’m tired of heavy…even more tired of top heavy…and large amounts of HP and torque, which…quite honestly…took all the fun out of riding for me. GREAT machines they were and I’m sure the new owners are very happy. Good for them. I wanted something lighter. I wanted something that took less work to ride. Yeah…I know…I’ve seen 125 lb women handle older Gold Wings (like I had) effortlessly. Beautiful to watch. Good for them. Most of the speed limits around here are 60 and under. 100 HP? Maybe that’s you?

Many who describe the X use the word agile. THAT…it definitely is. But I like the word “easy” better. Riding the X is stupidly easy. Relaxed…which makes it so enjoyable. Which is another way to say “fun.” It’s less about speed and more about riding a motorcycle. A great motorcycle that will take good care of you. Ask it…it delivers. The bike will make you confident. Accelerating… turning…stopping…it’s not just willing…it’s eager to please. I’m not joking. This is the bike I’ve wanted for a long time.

I put Shinkos on it and they’re great. For “me” personally…the Madstad windshield “system” is a Godsend. Caribou luggage compliments the bike…and the list goes on. If you do purchase a CB500x…it may not be your last bike. But…because it does so many things well…I honestly think it will make you happy every time you turn the key. It makes me feel what my very first motorcycle did…and that’s saying sumthin’.

C'mon Sunday!!

Title: Re: Deciding on Bikes
Post by: Celeste1178 on March 17, 2018, 01:37:10 AM
First, what made you decide on this bike?

This was my first bike purchase and initially a friend recommended a vstrom 650. I went to a few dealerships and finally found one a few hours away that had a great selection of different bikes.  I went sat on several and the 500x just felt the best.

Second question, what mods have you had to do to make it comfortable for you.

I'm 5'7" as well.  I haven't done any comfort mods yet really.... I'm thinking about handlebar risers but have not done it yet.  I'm also working on a better seat.... the current seat is fine but after about 5 hours it gets a bit rough.  I also have the madstad windshield and love it.

 Third question if you had to do it over would you buy this bike again if not why?

I would absolutely buy it again! I was lucky enough to test ride the gs800 adventure and the triumph tiger 800 last weekend and really enjoyed those bikes...i was worried that after I would be dissatisfied with my 500... quite the contrary.... once back on my bike I realized just how much fun it is and that I never want to get rid of her...

The next question I have for now is how expensive are the parts to repair compared to say BMW or other bikes.

No idea,  I've needed no repairs and have only required an oil change so far.

 Finally, how often do you have problems with the bike's engine or transmission?

No problems at all but I only have 8500 miles and have only had it about 8 months.
Title: Re: Deciding on Bikes
Post by: uku383 on March 17, 2018, 05:55:07 AM
First, what made you decide on this bike?

No great insight here for you - an inexperienced rider, I crashed the bike on a test ride.

Second question, what mods have you had to do to make it comfortable for you.

None, other than heated grips for winter. I'm 5'10 and it suits me fine. I am thinking of a new windscreen (I have the larger Honda one) to try and contain the wind noise at higher speeds, however I've done a lot of kms over the past couple of years and it hasn't been a huge issue (I do, and always will, wear ear plugs anyway). The seat, for me, is very comfortable.

All other mods are things I'd put on almost any bike (e.g. radiator guard, centre stand, luggage racks).

Third question if you had to do it over would you buy this bike again if not why?

Yes. I've thought about other bikes, and have ridden a couple, but my bike offers so many advantages the others don't. Some points that I like include:

1) It is affordable (in fact, considerably less expensive than others out there) to both to buy and run. For the price, it can be purchased and fully optioned as you wish with some money left over compared to the unit cost of some other bikes. It uses 91 RON fuel, whereas competitors generally use 95 which is more expensive (I'm not miserly - this is a factor when you ride longer distances regularly) and its fuel economy is excellent, meaning that you have a healthy tank range (for comparisons, look at bikes on the website).

2) Service intervals are good. 12,000km between services, or 24,000km between major services. Recommended service intervals is a good thing to compare between bikes as they can vary greatly.

3) It is sufficiently powered to ride for long periods at higher speeds, without struggling. It will still overtake comfortably at speeds over 120kph.

4) It is incredibly well balanced, and light enough to navigate tight turns quickly and easily. It is 'flickable'. People say that it is more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow. While I don't consider the bike to be slow, it is not a superbike and I can confirm that it is fun to play with.

5) The seating position is excellent. It gives a great field of view and is very comfortable. Also, even though it is styled along adventure bike lines, it is still quite slim. These two factors make it great for handling traffic and lane filtering. I only use my side panniers for really long trips, so they don't get in the way for winding through traffic.

6) Some people criticise the suspension, but I haven't been concerned by it. That can be a preference thing (influenced by nature of use). This is not a true adventure bike, and if you plan to take it seriously offroad you will need to make some mods, especially the suspension and wheels (they're road-oriented cast alloy and only 17" - an off-road rider might prefer 19").

How expensive are the parts to repair compared to say BMW or other bikes.

I can't say from experience, and suggest that you do your own research on this. Check on-line parts stores for different bikes and compare parts costs. You can also call up dealers and ask labour costs. However, skuttlebut is that BMWs can be expensive to repair.

Honda and Yamaha both have an excellent reputation for reliability and, if properly maintained with scheduled oil and filter changes (these jobs can be done yourself to keep costs down, and are very easy jobs) should last for years with no real trouble. Like all bikes, the valve clearances should also be checked regularly, and this is more of a time-consuming job for a mechanic. However, as I mentioned about, they only need to be checked every 24,000km.

How often do you have problems with the bike's engine or transmission?

I've done 123,000km now, and I've had no problem with either. The only issues that I've had are that a couple valves had to be adjusted - this happened twice - and my rear wheel bearing went (this is not something that I'd criticise the bike for - wheel bearings are generic parts). Oh yes, I also had a fork seal go but, again, there's nothing unique to this bike about that.

My bike now uses a little bit of oil between services, but not enough to concern me, and it's a really easy job to top it up. I generally check and top up about half way through a service cycle.

The 'agricultural' gear box doesn't seem that bad to me. I understand that the clunkiness that some people have commented about has been fixed by updating some minor parts in the gearbox on more recent bikes (there's an upgrade thread on this somewhere). I'm not bothered though.
Title: Re: Deciding on Bikes
Post by: oldmopars on March 18, 2018, 12:47:39 AM
I bought this bike because of the Rally Raid mods available. I wanted a bike I could take off road and still be able to do long hwy runs. I looked at the VStrom 650 and it was a storm contender and I still like it a lot. However, at the time there was not a lot is the way of upgrades for it and the price was about $2000 more. If I could have afforded it, I might have gone with the VStrom 650XT.
As for mods, Rally Raid level 2, bash plates, crash bars, hand guards, fat bars, lowered pegs, 2016 windscreen/custom mounts and the list goes on.
Would I buy it again, yes and no. I love the bike, but I am finding it difficult to find people to ride with. I moved and my riding buddy did not. We still ride, but not as often as I would like. BTW, he has same bike with almost the same mods maybe more.
The crowd where I am at now are mostly cruisers and so I may go that route someday.
The other downside is that my wife will not ride on this bike, does not feel same and she does not ride a bike herself. So, a different bike may come someday, but I do love the CBX, a great bike.