Thread: Honda CB500X
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Old 12-09-2012, 06:46 PM   #108
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Aug 2006
Location: Carnation, WA USA
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Originally Posted by Paebr332 View Post
Just curious what is required for a bike to be considered "an off-roader?"

Seems these guys did pretty well on bikes far heavier and with far less suspension travel than the new 500x. Does that make them posers?
No, not posers, it makes them Adventure riders. Just like all of us in the 1960's and 1970's, when none of the bikes had specialized capabilities.

However, today, technology and the marketplace have changed our definitions. The Universal Japanese Motorcycle (UJM) sells less well - although the arguement can be made that recent years have seen a small come-back in "standard" motorcycles - in favor of more specialized bikes.

For me, any bike that is really designed for going off pavement, let alone off-road, needs 7" of ground clearance, 7.5" of suspension travel front and rear, and a neutral riding position, if for nothing more than my peace of mind.
  • The new "big" ADV bikes all qualify: R1200GS, S10, 9xx ADV, F800GS, Tiger 800XC, and Honda Africa Twin.
  • So to, do the KLR/KLX-650, DR-650/750/800, TE610/630, 625/640 ADV, 690E/R, F650GS Dakar/ Sertao, and the new TR650's.
  • The KTM-SMT and the Husky Nuda 900 also both qualify by my definition above, but seem to be used more "off-pavement" rather than "off-road". I need to learn more about their capabilities
  • The older KLE-500 twin, the Transalp v-twin & Honda NX-650 Dominator single may not quite meet my criteria above - but all seem to be capable off-pavement.
For me, the Versys & CB500X are street bikes with "Adventure Styling" - to quote Honda from the CB500X marketing materials. They don't have enough GC or suspension travel for my comfort in an off-road environment, although they handle gravel and hard-packed dirt roads just fine.

Again, you can take almost any motorcycle "off road". Some just do it better than others. For common ground in our ongoing discussions, however, many try to make some of the distinctions that we're talking about here.
1990 Honda NT-650 Hawk-GT

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indeed, it's the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Gryphon12 screwed with this post 12-09-2012 at 06:56 PM
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