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Topics - Thisll do

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CB500X - General Chat / 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.

CB500X - General Chat / Farewell
« on: July 27, 2018, 09:51:12 AM »
Level 3 RR CB500X now sold, so goodbye and good luck with yours and this great forum.

Bikes for Sale / 2016 Level 3 Rally Raid for sale UK
« on: July 10, 2018, 04:58:21 PM »
Owned by me from new
2016 CB500X in Millenium Red, with Rally Raid Level 3 mods, fitted by John at RR when the bike was new, and is probably still vewable on Rally Raid's website.
It now has 24,000 miles on the clock and has never been "off road"  Its big 16,000 mile service was done on time and showed no problems as did its more recent service, and apart from a replacement rear disc, the bike has been 100% reliable and trouble free.
As the Level 3 mods raise the whole bike, stands can be a problem. Both side stand and centre stand have been modified to suit.
Up front it has a Puig screen sitting on an adjustable "Palmer Bracket" to which I have added a stainless steel sat nav bracket. There are twin cigar lighter acccessory sockets with rubbur caps.
Under the seat there is an extra fuse box to allow easy instalation of accessorys.
At the rear it has Hepco & Becker pannier frames with a one off tubular stainless brace, which also replaces the grabrails and provides a very useful hitching rail for bungee straps.
It has a Puig hugger, and a Tutoro chain oiler and a protective "sock" over the rear supension unit.
Original cast wheels, Honda pannier frames, original grab rails and spares (not yet needed) such as taper roller head races, forkseals etc. are all included.
Considering the cost of the level 3 kit, a bargain at 4,800.
Posting it on the forum first, but will probably put it on Ebay with that as a start price, if there is no interest.
I'm no good at posting photos, but should be able to email them as required.
Bike is located in Somerset, and every assistance will be offered to prospective buyers.

CB500X - General Chat / Seeing double in Yeovil
« on: August 01, 2017, 05:22:55 PM »
Parked in Tescos gloomy car park, under the overhead parking, today and coming back to the bike, right beside it another 2016 Millenium Red CB500X!
Identical except that mine has the Rally Raid Level 3 mods with spoked wheels. Was it anyone on the forum?

Maintenance and Servicing / Rear brake judder
« on: July 12, 2017, 02:29:11 PM »
My 2016 CB500X, with 15,000 on the clock, just yesterday began to have judder when using rear brake.
This was fierce juddering when braking firmly.
Back home a general check revealed that the disc runs true as far as I can see and externally all seems Ok with the caliper. Brake fluid is a bit low but still clearly above the low level mark.
I have read the thread about front brake judder and wonder if this is a similar thing or something else. Ideas please.

A complete set, with a rear carrier (home made) thrown in. With key.
One pannier needs a new lock but everything else works Ok.
The beginnings of some rust on the tubing here and there.
I have fitted Hepco & Becker Juniors and don't want the old panniers taking up space, so "Open to reasonable offers" though I realise the forum probably requires a named price. So how about 180?
I'd prefer buyer collects, in Somerset 25 mins from J25 on the M5, but I can send within UK at cost of P&P.

Ride Reports, Trips, and Touring / Siezing the day
« on: June 19, 2017, 08:09:13 AM »
A spell of solididly warm weather at last in the UK as midsummer appoaches made me think of a early morning ride. Recently retired, apart from continuing house redecoration, the chance to heade off at the drop of a hat had been in my mind.
So after a warm night, waking at 5am, I took the opportunity. Coffee and a bite of toast, the lightest vented riding gear was a bit of a gamble, but it was 16 degrees and going to be warm pretty soon, and I had a jersy in the tank bag.
Having moved from the flatlands of the east coast back to the hilly south west, at 5.30 I set off through South Somerset with the low lying mist across the fields and the road with hardly any traffic to disturb it yet. Mist to handlebar height, road covered, but where the were no hedges visible, at uncertain moments the line of telephone poles gave the clue.
Onto the A303 for a few miles, a useful, but horrid modern road that carves across sothern England, before turning east onto the older A30 that follows more naturally the hills and valleys. Into the rising sun, but the blue tinted iner visor on me HJC bubble flip helmet takes the sting out of it. At Chard hardly anything is moving. In places so little traffic has passed, that all the night time aromas linger. Fresh mown hey from the day befor, a deciduous wood, a pine wood, the sharp smell of sheep, the reek of a livestock farm. At 6.30 Crewkerne seems tro be waking up, and at 6.50, an industrial estate cafe "No.5" in Gazelle road, is w3ide awake and provides a good breakfast.
Heading home, commutors are everywhere, but I've had my kicks and I'm home at 7.30. Just 50 miles, no big deal, but what a way to start the day, and what a lovely bike, the CB500X to do it on.

Tyres and Wheels / Conti Trail Attack 2 mileage
« on: June 16, 2017, 04:31:07 PM »
I got Rally Raid to fit the Conti Trail attack 2 tyres to my Level 3 wheels, fitted soon after I bought the bike last spring. Since then its done 14,000 miles, which is probably been the best mileage I've had from tyres on any bike, and there have been a few.
They were both well worn and had been feeling less than great for the past 1,000 miles. The rear was down to 2.5mm tread depth in places and the front had developed a strange lumpy wear pattern.
But besides the good mileage, I was happy to fit the same again today, as they have performed brilliantly in the dry and in the wet.
Furlong tyres in Manor Street, Yeovil, did a good price and great service. Its a lovely old style shop, specialising in bike tyres.

 I realise that many Level 3 owners use their bikes off road, and for them a centre stand is unwelcome weight and has to take second place to the Rally Raid sump guard.
But as I went for the Level 3 to benefit from the cushier ride, larger front wheel, and lets be honest, the spoked wheels, I wanted a centre stand. I knew the standard item would be too short, and was unsure if it was extended, would it foul the side stand, or anything else. As I managed to get an unused centre stand kit cheaply, I took the chance.
It was easy to detemine that the legs needed extending about 60mm. I chose to weld the extensions on so that they were parralel to each other rather than contiuing to slay further outwards. On trial fitting, this proved Ok on the off side, (as we say in the UK) but on the near side the extension needed to be angled out a little way to clear the side stand. I then made a new prong to stand on to lever the bike onto the stand.
I thought this might be useful info for anybody else wanting a centre stand to work with RR Level 3 mods.
I picked the stand up from the powder coater's today and I have the pivot tube, the rubber buffer and the spring, but I cannot find a picture anywhere of where the centre stand spring hooks onto the frame. Could sombody point me in the right direction please.

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