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Offline Arkridia

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Deciding on Bikes
« 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,
Arkridia

Offline jsonder

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Re: Deciding on Bikes
« Reply #1 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.

John  '14CB500XA (Daily Rider),  '09CRF230L (L'il Red Piglet), '89NX250 (sold)
Nekkid motorcycles feel faster

Offline dkjkwood

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Re: Deciding on Bikes
« Reply #2 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.

Offline Trailrunner

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Re: Deciding on Bikes
« Reply #3 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 

Offline hilldweller

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Re: Deciding on Bikes
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 01:22:07 PM »
*Originally Posted by Trailrunner [+]
I love the bike ..............

What a road. Just what Honda ordered.
Brian.

Offline retmotor

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Re: Deciding on Bikes
« Reply #5 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.

Offline Trailrunner

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Re: Deciding on Bikes
« Reply #6 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.

Offline Dukie

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Re: Deciding on Bikes
« Reply #7 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.

Mods.
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.

Sold:  '13 Rally Raid lvl 3.
own:  '17  Rally Raid lvl 1

Offline Winchester

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Re: Ark...since you asked...
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2018, 01:08:38 AM »
This post may not help the OP at allbut ya never know. Maybe something here might help? I know I asked a lot of questions here before buying.

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

Like many here, Ive owned an assortment of bikesbigger, heavier, taller, faster (and faster). They were all exciting and I could name a few but this is about my X and why its here and they arent.

Maybe its because Im tired of heavyeven more tired of top heavyand large amounts of HP and torque, whichquite honestlytook all the fun out of riding for me. GREAT machines they were and Im sure the new owners are very happy. Good for them. I wanted something lighter. I wanted something that took less work to ride. YeahI knowIve 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 thats you?

Many who describe the X use the word agile. THATit definitely is. But I like the word easy better. Riding the X is stupidly easy. Relaxedwhich makes it so enjoyable. Which is another way to say fun. Its less about speed and more about riding a motorcycle. A great motorcycle that will take good care of you. Ask itit delivers. The bike will make you confident. Accelerating turningstoppingits not just willingits eager to please. Im not joking. This is the bike Ive wanted for a long time.

I put Shinkos on it and theyre great. For me personallythe Madstad windshield system is a Godsend. Caribou luggage compliments the bikeand the list goes on. If you do purchase a CB500xit may not be your last bike. Butbecause it does so many things wellI honestly think it will make you happy every time you turn the key. It makes me feel what my very first motorcycle didand thats saying sumthin.

C'mon Sunday!!

Cheers.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2018, 01:26:34 AM by Winchester »
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Offline Celeste1178

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Re: Deciding on Bikes
« Reply #9 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.

 


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