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Offline Buster217

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Thinking about a CB500X
« on: December 12, 2018, 05:21:42 AM »
I'm joining the forum because I've been thinking seriously about getting a CB500X. I test rode one a couple months ago and would have purchased then but I wanted ABS and they didn't have one with it. Now it's getting close enough to the 2019's that I'm thinking I should wait until they are out, but I might go ahead and see what kind of deal I can get on a '18. I found a dealer that has an '18 ABS model in stock.

I ride a Harley Heritage Classic now and want to add another bike better suited to more adventure style riding. Where I live there are lots of great places to go that are just not fun or even doable on the Heritage. I plan to browse around the forum and learn what I can but am interested if anyone can provide a little advice on a couple of questions.

I'm wondering just how off-road capable the 500X is and if it requires changes from stock to really go onto rougher roads. Will I need to change out the stock tires for knobbies? How rough of roads can I expect to be able to handle - dirt, gravel, rocky, muddy, sand? I've looked at luggage options. Looks like there are several. I'll look around the forum for discussions on that but if anyone has any advice on that subject, I'd be interested. Also, any other changes, mods, etc that I might want to be thinking about. I guess this sounds a lot like the HD world where the first thing people do is drop another $10K on chrome and loud pipes and such. I'm not thinking from that perspective - just upgrades and accessories to make it more functional.

Looking forward to getting to know this new (to me) form of riding and culture.

Offline 303

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Re: Thinking about a CB500X
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2018, 06:54:27 AM »
Well I guess welcome is in order.

there is no giant can of worms emote but I think there should be for posts like this.

Rally Raid sub forum is where you'll find plenty on what can be done to the bike and how far it can go. There's a crazy person on here.. well a few actually who have taken the X and ridden it in and dragged it out, over and off just about every kind of terrain and obstacle known to man.

Youtuber blancolirio has some good videos on installing the RR upgrades and some adventures in the high sierras... and also some adventures with that crazy person I mentioned above.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2018, 06:55:52 AM by 303 »

Offline Buster217

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Re: Thinking about a CB500X
« Reply #2 on: December 12, 2018, 08:19:32 AM »
After I wrote the first post I found a discussion about riding off road so I got a pretty good idea of the limitations of the bike from that.

Offline ewryly

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Re: Thinking about a CB500X
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2018, 09:57:12 AM »
:400:  I don't plan on taking my CBX on anything rougher than some gravel roads, but from what I have read elsewhere on this site, if you don't mind doing the upgrades it makes a decent X bike at still a good price. And if you do nothing to it, it is still a damn fun and economical bike to ride!

Offline JMo

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Re: Thinking about a CB500X
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2018, 10:05:06 AM »
*Originally Posted by Buster217 [+]
I'm joining the forum because I've been thinking seriously about getting a CB500X. I test rode one a couple months ago and would have purchased then but I wanted ABS and they didn't have one with it. Now it's getting close enough to the 2019's that I'm thinking I should wait until they are out, but I might go ahead and see what kind of deal I can get on a '18. I found a dealer that has an '18 ABS model in stock.

I ride a Harley Heritage Classic now and want to add another bike better suited to more adventure style riding. Where I live there are lots of great places to go that are just not fun or even doable on the Heritage. I plan to browse around the forum and learn what I can but am interested if anyone can provide a little advice on a couple of questions.

I'm wondering just how off-road capable the 500X is and if it requires changes from stock to really go onto rougher roads. Will I need to change out the stock tires for knobbies? How rough of roads can I expect to be able to handle - dirt, gravel, rocky, muddy, sand? I've looked at luggage options. Looks like there are several. I'll look around the forum for discussions on that but if anyone has any advice on that subject, I'd be interested. Also, any other changes, mods, etc that I might want to be thinking about. I guess this sounds a lot like the HD world where the first thing people do is drop another $10K on chrome and loud pipes and such. I'm not thinking from that perspective - just upgrades and accessories to make it more functional.

Looking forward to getting to know this new (to me) form of riding and culture.

Hi Buster - dig around for UKJeeper's ride report from this summer - he took a standard height/travel and 17" front wheel (admittedly with the Rally-Raid upgraded suspension) over the whole TAT and huge chunks of the USA too.

I'd say fit some decent all-terrain tyres, some proper hand guards [backbone style] and a decent skid plate and go from there...

You'll soon find if the stock bike has any limitations you want to improve personally, and there is a healthy after-market out there to allow you to make that bike more capable than most people will ever need.

Jenny x

edit. Tim's trip is in the ride-reports section here: https://www.cb500x.com/index.php/topic,7358.0.html

...along with a few of mine too ;o)
« Last Edit: December 12, 2018, 10:08:11 AM by JMo »
It's not a unicorn as such, just a little mule with a bump on it's head... www.CB500Xadventure.com

Offline UKJeeper

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Re: Thinking about a CB500X
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2018, 10:41:42 AM »
*Originally Posted by JMo [+]
Hi Buster - dig around for UKJeeper's ride report from this summer - he took a standard height/travel and 17" front wheel (admittedly with the Rally-Raid upgraded suspension) over the whole TAT and huge chunks of the USA too.

I'd say fit some decent all-terrain tyres, some proper hand guards [backbone style] and a decent skid plate and go from there...

You'll soon find if the stock bike has any limitations you want to improve personally, and there is a healthy after-market out there to allow you to make that bike more capable than most people will ever need.

Jenny x

edit. Tim's trip is in the ride-reports section here: https://www.cb500x.com/index.php/topic,7358.0.html

...along with a few of mine too ;o)


All of what Jenny said. Buy the bike, ride it, then decide what you feels improving. Also, look at the 2019 CB500X. Several improvements to make it better 'out of the box', including taller suspension and a 19" front wheel.

I did a more complete ride report here: https://ukjeeper.home.blog/2018/09/19/the-journey-begins/

The bike did a great job. Took everything in it's stride, whether it was a 450 mile 'slab' from Moab to Vegas, or a 300 mile dirt trail day. Even at the stock height, it coped just fine. And the Rally Raid skid plate soaked up anything that did stick up too high!

Online Jonathan

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Re: Thinking about a CB500X
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2018, 11:47:01 AM »
Welcome to the forum! Here's my anecdotal reply. I used to do a lot of trials and trail riding on dedicated bikes, as a kid, then a ten year stint commuting on various machines. I had a long break from motorcycles, but decided to get back into it (midlife crisis? call it what you will). I bought a CRF 250 L, which was billed as a Dual sport. Ultimately, I found it lacking both as a road bike, and on the trails. Don't get me wrong, it's a great bike, but the more I rode it, particularly on longer road journeys, the more I realized its limitations. So, I wanted something more suited to the type of riding I was doing. I bought an old 600 Transalp- comfy for distance, capable of touring and, in more skilled hands than mine, quite competent on gravel roads. I threw a bit of time and money at it (mainly to make it more tour-worthy) and I still own it, but it's not the most frugal bike and feels quite weighty. I bought an X since it ticks all the same boxes as the 'alp but it's more economical, physically smaller and parts are plentiful.
So in a roundabout sort of way, what I'm trying to say is this: you start with a notion of what you'd like to do and look around for something that fits the bill, but then your ambitions change. If the trails are close at hand and you want to do some off-roading, I wouldn't recommend the X as the tool of choice; an old XR, DR, XT or something Scandinavian would be a better proposition. If you find yourself in your element then upgrade to something more dedicated like a KTM exc or whatever. If on the other hand, you do the trails and realize it's not quite the buzz you anticipated, it's more to do with the journey, exploring farther afield and taking the back lanes and fire roads then the X will be perfect...even more so with upgraded suspension and tyres.

Some folk push the limits in terms of what the bike can do with the right kit, hats off to them for their skill and mindset, but that's where they are coming from. Think what you really want to do and make your choice on this basis. The latest model has more potential on paper, but it's still not really dirt worthy. Besides which, you'll be too precious to throw it around. If your heart's set on an X, then If I were in your shoes I'd get the best deal I could on a 2016 onwards and put the rest towards dedicated trail parts developed and tested by companies like Rally Raid. I think it will be a more capable bike for less money than new.....and you won't be as bothered about putting the odd scratch on it.

In the same way you wouldn't use a crescent wrench to tighten a screw, if lots of serious off road is your thing there are much better machines available....but there's nothing stopping you from taking the X to the limits of your (and it's) abilities, if you're that way inclined
« Last Edit: December 12, 2018, 11:53:02 AM by Jonathan »

Offline ThirtyOne

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Re: Thinking about a CB500X
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2018, 12:21:38 PM »
The 19 model has quite a few improvements over the 18, especially if you're going to be planning to take it off road. I would wait for that model if you can stand to wait.

Offline AJC500

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Re: Thinking about a CB500X
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2018, 12:34:13 PM »
*Originally Posted by ewryly [+]
:400:  I don't plan on taking my CBX on anything rougher than some gravel roads, but from what I have read elsewhere on this site, if you don't mind doing the upgrades it makes a decent X bike at still a good price. And if you do nothing to it, it is still a damn fun and economical bike to ride!

 :460:  The 2019 has some useful improvements - 19" wheel for off road stability, better instrument panel etc., but if you can get a good discount on a 2018 model, that must be tempting!!  One comment - standard tyres are poor and wear quickly (and unevenly), but that's an easy fix......
The Story So Far.........
2017 and 2018: 8000miles recreational use - 89.82mpg UK; 74.79mpg US; 3.14litres/100km

Online Jonathan

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Re: Thinking about a CB500X
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2018, 12:44:52 PM »
*Originally Posted by ThirtyOne [+]
The 19 model has quite a few improvements over the 18, especially if you're going to be planning to take it off road. I would wait for that model if you can stand to wait.

While I agree (and this is pure conjecture since I've not ridden one), the longer travel may be just that...slightly longer travel. If the stock suspension on my bike is anything to go by (which as a 2016 was hailed as an upgrade on previous years), I'll wager it'll still be very budget. The 19 inch wheel is a plus, but for anything gnarly, or if you plan to ride it hard, spokes would be a better long-term bet. I think the new styling is excellent and the instruments are welcome, but I can foresee plenty of folk shelling out for the new model and then some to address the springs and damping after a relatively short while.

Who knows....we'll have to wait and see? 

 


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