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Topics - JMo

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I just thought I'd pass this handy suggestion along to anyone considering a little extra protection for their clutch cover...

You may be aware that Honda launched the new Rebel 500 earlier this year (CMX 500), and because of the forward foot-peg position, they have included a plastic cover over the trailing edge of the clutch housing.

Now I'm not suggesting this is going to completely protect the case in the event of a drop (on rocks etc), but hey, for the $26 bucks it cost, I thought I'd give it a go and see how it works on the CB500X too.

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photo. this is what you'll need - the plastic cover, plus 3 x longer engine cover bolts to replace the existing ones.

1 x 11380-MKG-A00

3 x 90002-MJE-D00

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photo. my original clutch case - scratched, but not broken - even after the Rubicon Trail...

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photo. the three [short] bolts that need replacing - the two directly below the oil filler, and the one in front of the clutch arm.

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photo. The new bolts are 40mm long (compared to the 27mm originals).

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photo. It's really that simple!

Neat eh?


On Two Wheels / Packing light [slideshow] presentation
« on: May 05, 2017, 07:48:44 PM »
I thought some of you might be interested in this slide-show I've put together regarding the luggage I carry on my bike when travelling.

It's essentially the slides that will accompany my seminar about packing light (so you'll have to pause the video from time to time if you want study the photo/info in more detail), which I'll be presenting along with the >>>> link hidden <<<<
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Ultimately that ride though the Canadian and US boarder States will form the basis of a brand new travel presentation that will debut at the >>>> link hidden <<<<
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I'll then be back in the US with the new presentation for the >>>> link hidden <<<<
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More details of the 2017 'Northern eXposure Tour' coming soon... and of course I hope to see some of you along the way!

Jenny x

Just to let you know that John took delivery of a brand new 2017 model CB500X in Candy Rose Red over the weekend, and has been busy noting the detail changes between the new bike and the 2016 model.

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Visually they are very similar - the only obvious updates are to the exhaust silencer, and the deletion of the original 2013-16 belly pan. However, you'll also notice that the footrest hangers have also changed (more details in the description below)...

The list so far is as follows, and once we get to work on the LEVEL 3 build later this week, we'll note any further changes of course:

Listed are the changes to our new 2017 Honda CB500X, in Candy Rose Red, from previous models.
1.Front fork side reflectors added.
2.New, slimmer cast footrest mounts, with black plastic frame covers.
3.Satin black plastic heat-shield to replace previous years stainless-steel & black plastic belly pan.
4.Redesigned silencer profile, same header pipe configuration as previous models.
5.New colours for 2017 (UK spec bikes), Candy Rose Red, Sword Metallic & Nitric Orange.

We have checked, and it is possible to fit the new design 2017 cast footrest hangers & plastic frame covers to earlier models. The rear brake pedal, master cylinder & footrests swap straight over. Unfortunately, there is no difference in footrest position compared with earlier models.

It is not possible to fit the new black plastic header guard to earlier models, as the welded screw holes on the header are different positions.

Next up this week is to offer up all our existing products to the new model and check for fitment, then build a complete L1 & L3 bike for library pictures and reference.

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More soon!

Jenny x

Rally Raid / Trans-Am 500 video presentation - now live!
« on: March 12, 2017, 01:43:17 PM »
A little treat for you all - certainly if you've got nothing better to do than while away 23 minutes on the internet during a rainy afternoon...

Rally Raid's dedicated CB500X Adventure sister website has been updated - and now includes a video based on the AV seminar I presented last year at various Overland events in the UK and USA: featuring the complete >>>> link hidden <<<<
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In addition, there is also a short summary of the packing list and preparations I undertook for the >>>> link hidden <<<<
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So grab a coffee (or Tea, or beer) and poke around why don't you?!

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Happy trails!

Jenny x

Rally Raid / Special Promotion: LEVEL 1b suspension kit - save £200!
« on: March 09, 2017, 09:14:08 PM »
9th March 2017

Special Promotion on LEVEL 1b shock
and combined 1b shock & fork kits.

Many of you may recall that towards the end of last year we introduced a special promotional offer on all remaining LEVEL 1 suspension kits - offering an extremely affordable way to upgrade both the front and rear suspension on the CB500 range for just £500 (+VAT in UK/EU).

As you might imagine, the uptake was immediate - and I'm delighted to say that all that existing LEVEL 1 stock has now sold, which in turn has made way for the introduction of the new 2017 version of the LEVEL 1 shock (to complement the current longer travel LEVEL 2 shock) that now has the option of a >>>> link hidden <<<<
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*note. a spring compressor will be required to retrofit the hydraulic preload adjuster.

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photo. lots and lots of lovely suspension!

Similarly, we would now like to offer the last few remaining LEVEL 1b suspension kits at a heavily discounted rate - saving £200 on the original selling price.

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Suspension spec/info. The complete LEVEL 1b suspension kit features a standard travel/seat height version of our fully adjustable LEVEL 2 remote-reservoir shock - incorporating manually adjustable preload, individual high and low speed compression damping, and separate rebound adjustment. This is combined with our existing LEVEL 1 fork kit that complete replaces the OEM internal components with linear-wound springs, shim-valve dampers and adjustable locking preload caps.

please note. these last few remaining LEVEL 1b shocks are the previous generation that do not have the facility to fit the hydraulic preload adjuster.

Finally, this is a very limited offer - as we only have 4 of these original specification LEVEL 1b shocks left in stock!

Grab 'em while you can as they say!

Jenny x

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photo. 2014 model CB500X (non-ABS) with 2016 model side panels fitted, together with the Rally Raid LEVEL 3 kit including gold wheel option and Heritage graphics.

CB500X Adventure FAQs

(revised 17th January 2017)

Please note: These FAQs pertain specifically to the Production Specification Rally-Raid Products CB500X ‘Adventure’ kit, and associated parts and accessories for the Honda CB500X, CB500F and CBR500R where appropriate.

1) I see there are three ‘Levels’ of kit available, can you explain the key differences to me in simple terms?

The LEVEL 1 kit upgrades the standard travel suspension with higher quality and adjustable components front and rear. This is the ideal option for those who do not wish to raise the seat height at all. These components are also suitable upgrades for the CB500F and CBR500R models. The complete LEVEL 1 standard-travel suspension package is currently available at the special price of just £500.00 GBP (+20% VAT in the UK/EU = £600.00 GBP inc. 20% VAT)

The LEVEL 2 kit is essentially the +2” (50mm) long-travel suspension kit. The rear shock is fully adjustable (offering individual rebound plus high&low speed compression damping) with a remote reservoir. For 2017 onwards, there is also the option of hydraulic remote preload adjuster. The LEVEL 2 front fork components increase the travel to match the longer shock; while the kit also includes revised geometry rear-linkage components, a billet top triple-clamp and a longer side-stand.

Retaining your OEM cast aluminium wheels means this option is primarily for those riders who spend the majority of their time on-road, but would appreciate more ground clearance afforded by the longer travel and better quality suspension. It is also an option for those with budget constraints, as the LEVEL 3 17/19" Adventure spoked wheel-set and 19” front fender can always be purchased at a later date, once the long-travel suspension has been fitted. The SRP of the LEVEL 2 long-travel suspension kit is £1208.33 GBP (+20%VAT in the UK/EU = £1450.00 GBP inc. VAT)

Finally the LEVEL 3 kit is what we consider the full Adventure conversion to the CB500X - that is a fully integrated package of long-travel and uprated/adjustable suspension, together with a replacement heavy-duty spoked wheel-set offering a 17” rear and 19” diameter front wheel - improving suspension performance, increasing ground clearance and allowing a wider range of dual-sport and all-terrain tyres to be fitted.

The current SRP of the full Adventure kit is £1850.58 GBP (+20% VAT in UK/EU = £2220.70 inc. VAT) with black wheels - please see below:

In 2016 we introduced an anodised gold wheel rim option in addition to the standard black (powder coated) rims. Therefore, all orders for the full LEVEL 3 kit are now split, comprising the LEVEL 2 suspension kit, plus the wheel 'upgrade' kit in your choice of wheel colour...

You simply order the LEVEL 2 suspension kit @ £1208.33 GBP (+20% VAT = £1450.00 where applicable), plus the following 'LEVEL 2-3 wheel upgrade kit' - comprising 17" rear & 19" front heavy-duty spoked wheels and 19" front fender:

Black LEVEL 3 wheel kit: £642.25 GBP (+20% VAT in UK/EU = £770.70 inc. VAT)

Gold LEVEL 3 wheel kit: £742.25 GBP (+20% VAT in UK/EU = £890.72 inc. VAT)

note. The same prices apply to those who already have purchased & fitted the LEVEL 2 suspension kit - we do not charge a premium if you order separately.

2) OK, that seems clear enough, but what is the level 1b suspension kit I read about?

The LEVEL 1b kit is essentially the standard-travel length version of of the fully-adjustable LEVEL 2 suspension (with the same technical specification as our long-travel shock) - and as with the standard LEVEL 1 kit, the 1b kit does not raise the seat hight at all. The complete LEVEL 1b package is £829.17 GBP (+20% VAT for UK/EU = £995.00 GBP inc. VAT)

3) Can I purchase any of the suspension components separately, or do they have to be bought as a package?

It is possible to buy the LEVEL 1 front or rear suspension components separately - as these do not affect the geometry of the bike in any way.

The current special promotional price of the standard-travel LEVEL 1 fork kit is £242.50 GBP (+20% VAT in UK/EU = £291.00 GBP inc. VAT)

The current price of the LEVEL 1 rear shock is £260.00 GBP (+20% VAT in UK/EU = £312.00 GBP inc. VAT)

However, the longer-travel LEVEL 2 suspension components must be fitted as a matched pair and can only be sold as such - since it is also essential to fit the revised rear linkage components together with the Adventure top triple-clamp that are included as part of the +2” (50mm) long-travel suspension package.

4) I love the look of the spoked wheels - can I just buy the wheels on their own?

It is not physically possible to fit the 19” front wheel on the CB500X without the longer-travel LEVEL 2 suspension kit - which includes the replacement billet top triple-clamp required to ensure clearance at full travel.

However, in 2016 we also introduced a ‘LEVEL 1’ heavy-duty wheel kit that features the same 17” rear wheel together with a 17" front wheel, which can be fitted either in conjunction with our LEVEL 1 (standard travel) suspension, or indeed independently of any suspension upgrade if you wish.

The 17/17” rims are designed to accept the OEM size tyres, or more all-terrain appropriate alternatives - and we recommend the Continental TKC80 which is offered in dedicated front and rear 17” sizes.

Black LEVEL 1 wheel kit (17/17”) are: £673.75 GBP (+20% VAT in UK/EU = £808.50 inc. VAT)

Gold LEVEL 1 wheel kit (17/17”) are: £773.75 GBP (+20% VAT in UK/EU = £928.50 inc. VAT)

note: currently all our spoked wheels require tubes to be fitted regardless of the tyres chosen - but please see below.

5) My original cast wheels are tubeless - but you say I have to fit tubes to your spoked wheels?

Yes, as standard you do have to use tubes with our spoked wheels, even inside tubeless tyres (such as the continental TKC80) - however, we are now in a position to offer all our wheels professionally converted to tubeless (with a 4 year warranty) from the point of purchase. Currently this is to-order only (please contact rally Raid Products directly to further information), but later this year we hope to have all our wheel options in stock, with both tube-type and tube-less rims.

6) Ok, I’m ready to buy - I see you are based in the UK - how do I purchase the parts I want?

Rally Raid Products have a comprehensive web-shop: >>>> link hidden <<<<
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We use UPS for worldwide shipping, to most destinations using their 48 hour priority service. Typically all products in stock shipped to both Europe and the USA arrive within a week.

7) Can I fit the suspension/full Adventure kit myself at home, or does it need professional installation?

The kit/s have been designed to be DIY fit, and full step-by-step instructions are available on the Rally Raid Products website to read/download at the bottom of each respective product page.

The kit/s have been specifically designed to be completely bolt-on, and there is no need to cut or weld anything to fit the upgraded components. Typical workshop tools - a metric socket set, wrenches and allen keys are really all that is required. Should you prefer a professional workshop to undertake the work on your behalf, then they too will appreciate the straightforward nature of the conversion.

note. To safely fit the front and rear suspension components, you will need support the bike so that no weight is on either the swing-arm/front forks in turn. In that regard, we suggest you consider our Adventure Engine Guard which cradles the engine, and fit that first of all - then you can support the complete weight of the bike on a scissor lift directly underneath the engine.

In addition, while the vast majority of the installation is simple bolt-off bolt-on, you will be required to remove the fork internal components and replace them with the new Rally Raid parts. If you are not confident or familiar with such a procedure, we do recommend obtaining the assistance of an experienced and/or professional workshop mechanic for that element of the conversion.

8) Can I still use a centre stand if I fit the longer-travel LEVEL 2 Adventure suspension?

No. Unfortunately the standard length centre-stand is not long enough to lift the rear wheel off the ground once the +2” (50mm) suspension has been fitted. The Adventure suspension also requires a longer side-stand to replace the original (supplied as part of the LEVEL 2 suspension kit), and there is simply not enough space for both stands to stow correctly on the bike.

9) OK, so how can I lift the rear wheel for chain maintenance for example?

We realise it is useful to be able to lift the rear wheel off the ground for maintenance, but at the same time, consider a traditional centre-stand bulky, and unnecessary weight to carry around with you for the vast majority of the time.

Instead we would suggest you consider a short removable prop-stand similar to those used by dual-sport riders - which typically locates under the swing-arm and is used in conjunction with the side stand to lift the rear wheel a few inches off the ground.

For workshop and home maintenance, we strongly recommend you invest in either a traditional paddock stand to lift the rear wheel (the universal type can be used with many other motorcycles too of course), or a simple scissor-lift that can be used to lift either wheel in conjunction with the Rally Raid Adventure engine guard.

10) My bike has ABS - do the Rally Raid spoked wheels still work with the ABS?

Yes, they certainly do. In the UK and Europe the CB500X is only sold as an ABS equipped model, so it was essential that our replacement wheels would retain all the OEM ABS and braking components. They work equally well with the non-ABS bikes too of course.

In addition, the RRP spoked wheels also retain the OEM cush-drive/rear sprocket assembly, and everything is re-mounted using the OEM hardware. This makes ordering replacement parts such as wheel-bearings a seals very straightforward.

11) I see that some manufactures offer ‘switchable’ ABS these days, is that something I can have too?

Yes. Again, the UK/EU bikes all come with ABS as standard, and while we feel it is an excellent system both on-road and off, there may be an occasion (traditionally in very technical off-road terrain) that you absolutely don’t want the ABS to cut in.

We offer a simple ABS bypass switch that complete disengages the front and rear ABS, allowing the bike to behave in exactly the same way as the non-ABS version (that is sold in the United States for example) does. When the ABS is disengaged, a dash warning light is illuminated to remind you. You can also switch between ABS on and ABS off on-the-fly as you ride along.

12) How much taller is the bike once the long-travel LEVEL 2 suspension and 17/19” spoked wheels are fitted?

We have measured our LEVEL 3 bike (fitted with Continental TKC80 all-terrain tyres) at a little over 34" seat height (870mm). To compare, the standard seat hight on the OEM cast alloy wheels and street-biased tyres is 31.9 inches (810mm).

13) I’m rather short in the leg, what are my options to upgrade if I want to ride my bike off-road more seriously?

We realise that the CB500X does appeal to shorter riders, which is why we felt it important to offer the same high quality suspension components as our full LEVEL 3 Adventure kit, in standard travel/ride-height length for both front and rear.

The LEVEL 1 (or 1b) upgraded suspension components will make the most of the original travel available, without raising the seat height at all - you just have to keep in mind that without raising the bike, your ground clearance is still limited.

Therefore we would certainly recommend also fitting the RRP tubular Engine Guard to protect the otherwise vulnerable sump; while our heavy-duty foot-pegs offer a far larger platform for when standing while riding off-road, and indeed improve general comfort when riding long distances too.

Finally, the recently introduced LEVEL 1 17/17" spoked wheel combo also provides stronger and more resilient heavy duty rally-bike specification wheels, which accept the OEM size tyres or similar more all-terrain tread pattern alternatives.

Whether you specify the new 17/17" spoked wheels or chose to retain the OEM cast wheels, we recommend fitting the Continental TKC80 in 120/70 x 17” front and 150/70 x 17” rear sizes - which will make the bike feel significantly more sure-footed and capable off-road than the standard tyres.

14) If I fit the LEVEL 3 Adventure kit, can I swap between my OEM cast wheels for commuting during the week, then swap to the spoked wheels for off-road use?

Yes, if you so wish - however, we have designed the Adventure kit to specifically improve and enhance the standard CB500X into more of an ‘all-road all-rounder’, without compromising its day-to-day usability at all.

Indeed, the full LEVEL 3 Adventure conversion ought to be considered a complete re-engineering of the original bike, making it comparable with other mid-size adventure bikes such as the BMW700GS, V-Strom XT or Kawasaki KLR650 for example - I trust none of which you'd consider required changing the wheels every weekend?

We strongly believe that with the right tyres fitted, you’ll soon appreciate it is by no means essential to swap between your wheels with any regularity. However, having your OEM cast wheels available does mean you could always have those fitted with something more suitable for spirited on-road riding, or if you regularly commute and want to save your all-terrain tyres specifically for longer adventure rides. All you would need to do is swap the OEM brake discs and cush-drive assembly between each set of wheels as desired.

15) Do I need to change the gearing (my chain and sprockets) if I fit the LEVEL 3 spoked wheels?

No. One of the main reasons we decided to retain the 17" rear wheel diameter is so that the final-drive gearing would remain the same, and that the speedometer (which is driven from the gearbox) also remains accurate. Of course there is nothing to stop you gearing up or down a few teeth to suit a personal preference, and do consider that depending on what brand/size/tread-pattern rear tyre you fit, the rear wheel may be slightly larger in diameter overall than standard - but we found that when using a 150/70 x 17 Continental TKC80 for example, there is no appreciable difference.

16) I see the LEVEL 2 longer-travel suspension kit comes with new rear linkage parts and a replacement top triple-clamp too - why is that?

The rear linkage components are essential to allow the longer (+50mm travel) rear shock to physically fit on the bike, and to retain the original leverage ratio for the rear suspension.

At the front, the LEVEL 2 components offer +30mm more travel over standard (so that both the front and rear suspension are equal, at 170mm travel), and as part of the geometry revisions, it was also essential to lower the top of forks by 20mm, which is achieved with our billet top triple-clamp.

In addition, the Adventure top triple-clamp offers a choice of handlebar mounting position when using the OEM handlebars, plus the option of Fat-bar risers should you wish to fit stronger aluminium handle bars; and also incorporates dedicated mountings for an optional Scotts steering damper.

Also included in the LEVEL 2 package is a longer replacement side-stand so that the bike remains at the correct angle with the longer suspension fitted.

17) I really don’t like the stock handlebars, but I understand their shape means the choice of alternatives is very limited - is there any alternative from Rally-Raid Products?

Yes. The Adventure top triple-clamp (standard with the LEVEL 2 & 3 kits) has a choice of bar riser. You can specify the standard height bar risers to retain the (22mm) stock bars, or select the high-rise Fat-bar option that is designed to accept 28mm bars - mounting them correspondingly higher so that a wider selection of traditional MX/Enduro bars can be fitted to the bike.

Our Fat-bar risers have been specifically designed to mount the Renthal 'RC High' bend (84mm rise) bars, as we feel these offer the combination of rise and sweep for off-road riding (and indeed are a very popular choice with rally riders), and fit with the OEM cables, hoses and switchgear wiring without modification.

18) The LEVEL 3 kit comes with a replacement front fender - why is that necessary, and why a low fender?

The street-style OEM front fender is designed to fit closely around a 17" tyre, and there simply isn't enough clearance for the 19" spoked wheel to fit. The LEVEL 3 kit comes with a dedicated replacement 19" front fender (and new mounting hardware), that properly follows the profile of the new wheel, and offers improved mud-clearance.

Fundamentally, because of the brake-hose routing, it is not possible to fit a high fender successfully on the ABS equipped bikes; but we also feel that the low rally-style fender compliments the bikes styling, and also offers better protection to the front of the engine and radiator too.

19) I have a CB500F model - can I fit the longer-travel LEVEL 2 suspension to my bike too?

Yes. The rear shock, linkage and the fork internal dimensions are exactly the same, so its perfectly possible to fit the LEVEL 2 front and rear suspension if you wanted more travel and ground clearance. You could even fit the complete LEVEL 3 Adventure kit including the front and rear spoked wheels and 19 front fender if you wanted.


rev. JMo 12/1/17

Just a quick plug for two friends who are currently riding around the world on the CB500s (one X, one F model)...

Jonathan and Mary set off from Ireland earlier this summer, passed thorough Europe, took the boat to Egypt, and are now heading south though Sudan - it's going to be an epic trip for them both and the little Hondas!

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Jenny x

Rally Raid / Rubicon Trail 2016
« on: October 04, 2016, 05:37:37 PM »
So last week, Juan and I went for a little ride in the Californian mountains...

This is that story:

Jenny x

So last week, this happened...

Photos and story to follow, once I've recovered!

Jenny x

Rally Raid / CB500,000 special LEVEL 1 suspension promotion
« on: September 09, 2016, 08:34:56 PM »
To celebrate passing the half-million mark (500,000+) views on one of the other Adventure Rider motorcycle forums (ahem), Rally Raid Products are delighted to offer a promotional discount for anyone wishing to purchase their >>>> link hidden <<<<
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For a limited period, customers can purchase the combined front and rear suspension kit (part number: RRP 431) for just £500.00 GBP (plus VAT where applicable) - saving over 20% of the usual recommended retail price.

The kit in more detail

The LEVEL 1 suspension upgrade is ideal for those riders looking for a high-quality higher performance and adjustability upgrade, without raising the seat height of the standard machine at all.

The kit includes a complete replacement aluminium body rear shock with adjustable damping and preload, together with complete replacement internal fork components that offer cartridge style rebound and compression damping, together with adjustable preload caps.

The LEVEL 1 suspension is suitable for all CB500X models from it’s introduction in 2013 to current date - and is also equally appropriate for the naked CB500F and sports-orientated CBR500R models, who will also benefit from a 20mm increase in fork travel compared to standard specification. The rear shock can also be supplied with a [no-cost option] choice of spring rates to further tailor the ride and handling characteristics.

Rally Raid development

In just two years since development work on the CB500X Adventure project began (September 2014), ongoing marketing has almost exclusively been online, typically via various social media outlets to an enthusiastic and ever expanding owner’s group.

Rally Raid now offer over 60 products that help to upgrade, enhance and transform the excellent Honda CB500X into a far more capable and well-rounded all-terrain and off-road adventure motorcycle.

The heart of this conversion has been re-engineering and replacing the original budget suspension with high-end multi-adjustable components - developed in conduction with European suspension specialists TracTive, who produce a range of products exclusively for Rally Raid Products.

While the flagship LEVEL 3 conversion includes longer (+50mm) travel suspension and a replacement heavy-duty spoked wheel set, Rally Raid also took the opportunity to develop a complementary range of standard-travel length suspension upgrades that would appeal to those owners/riders who did not wish to raise the seat height a corresponding amount - and certainly the low seat, low centre of gravity and compact dimensions of the standard bike is something that attracts a great number of riders to the CB500X in the first place.

You can order the LEVEL 1 suspension kit at this special promotional price of £500.00 GBP (+VAT for UK & European customers) directly though the >>>> link hidden <<<<
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please note. there is a limited quantity available, and once they're gone, they're gone!


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