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Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by JimmieA, Nov 12, 2012.
From what I see this is what can be considered "better comfort street bike" but not "do it all" by any definition.
Offroad package is more than just 19-17 wheels and rather decorative crashbar with pair of fog lights. This bike clearly built with specific purpose.
Look at footpegs assemblies. Easy-snap type... Loot at passenger pegs assemblies one of which also holds end can. Look at location of all parts of exhaust system. Look at VERY budget suspension and swingarm. Look at wheels design.
I do not see at all why this is more of X bike than regular Honda CB600.
I think there is series of misinterpretation of what Honda actually trying to market like in their X bikes.
And inevitably everything that have "X" in it and pair of fog lights ends up in "Beasts" section. :huh
Is anyone that works at Honda more than five feet tall? Look at the peg placement on this thing. Pilot pegs are where passenger pegs should be. Passenger pegs are so high and far back any passenger must have a 24" inseam.
That is inherited from a sportbike which 500x originates from. They have changed the coat, which costs next to nothing and that was it. To make a proper standard or an adventure, the coat change is not enough, the structure, the skeleton has to be different, but that is a new bike, and that is expensive to develop and build. Who would do that, if the only thing is needed to pass for an "adventure" is to be marketed as an adventure and to have an X in the name.
"Adventure" bikes have suffered the same fate as SUVs...
You can actually buy a "Jeep" that shares it's platform with a sedan... SUV, right.
I understand why they have done it... most of these bikes have their "adventures" while traveling from one Starbucks to another. I've seen WAY more GSAs being ridden by guys in suits than off roading. Middle weight "adventure" bikes have become "adventure commuters" and the big ones "adventure tourers" with emphasis on the touring part.
A few years ago these bikes at least tried to look the part, these new crop of bikes doesn't even get that right.
Nothing wrong with that concept - look how many SUV's get sold....what I disagree with is somehow that these flyweight motorcycles, which haven't sold well since the 70's, will all of a sudden be snapped up by commuters?
Take the old viffer 800 motor/chassis and gussy it up to look like an ADV bike, and I'd be all over that. Oh wait, they did that, but just aren't bringing it here. It's getting to be cliche, but Soichiro must be getting indian burns from rolling over in his grave so fast.......
I'm not a cheer leader for Honda, or any other brand.
I have come to the conclusion that if you want an adventure bike you might as well choose a platform that meets your minimum requirements and then build it to suit your tastes, than keep it for a long time.
Every time I log onto one of these discussions I read statements like, if this or that was done, I'd be all over it. If they just built this or that I would buy one etc, etc. But this bike is too much of a street bike, or it is too heavy, or the engine is too small, or it has the wrong wheel size, or it needs spokes, or it won't cruise all day at 80 MPH, or the tank is too small, or you can't ride two up on it, or it needs $2,000 suspension system, on and on it goes. The need/requirements are so different that I would be hard pressed to name a single bike that meets the requirements. It stretches from the Yamaha 250cc to the 1200 cc bikes.
I have no answers, just saying!
I generally agree with you. I think most of the frustration stems from the fact that the bikes that people would want to build would require non-trivial fab work on the frame, because you're usually talking about an engine swap from a larger bike to a smaller bike. I've done this with a mini (XR100 engine into a CR80 frame), and I can tell you it's not the easiest thing in the world, doubly so if you want to do it "right".
Swapping out or adding suspension/bodywork/controls/seat/luggage isn't that hard, but you need to start with a capable platform. I'd be hard pressed to imagine somebody being able to get 10"+ of suspension travel out of the back end of this new CB500X when the stock travel is less than 5".
Plus aftermarketeers need jobs too, nothing wrong with that!
The way the bike market seems to be going, at least here, is:
£6000: 'novice' bike, commuter bike, budget bike
£9000: mid-size sports/ADV, naked, supersports
£12000: litre sports, big ADV, base tourers, some exotic nakeds
£16,000+: All singing & dancing, pick your segment
I think what these Honda 500s do (and the G650GS/Terra/NC700X) is a create a lot more opportunity for the relatively new rider (often overlooked by us crusty old farts, but these guys and girls need some love), the returning rider, and the budget biker, at a price that isn't going to destroy your credit card or bank account.
I'm not seeing bikes broken down into catetgories anymore, just price-point. That's probably a post-2008 issue.
The 500X seems about as useful to me as a Wee-Strom; which is to say, not useful in some scenarios, but pretty decent in enough areas to be a success.
ps. I have no idea why Kawasaki don't make a Versys 800. That would pretty much perfectly blend UJM with ADViness. But that's another thread.
Afaik, which might not be much, the engine is all-new Ptwin (not the same as the Jazztastic engine in the 700X).
I don't know if the frame is though. The 'new' CBR600F is essentially a Honda Hornet.
haters gonna hate. i cant wait to get me one of these and slap some dirt tires on it for the last year or so iv been contemplating what bike to get, all the normal adventure tourers get way to horrible gas mileage and are to heavy for a twig like me to pick up when they go down. this thing is an answer to my prayers :) the only things that would make this bike better would be a shaft drive and air/oil cooling but screw it those can be overlooked lol
I am not hating it, just trying to grasp logic behind this...
Here is what I see. Someone say "oh, it's X middleweight beast, I will wait and get one and slap dirt tyres on to use for that".
Why this customer not riding CB500F with "dirt tyres slapped on" now? Or CB600F? Or Versys, NC, GS (suzuki), XJ (Yamaha) etc. etc. etc. Why not since wait for CB500X? Where such customers been looking - there are tens of models like that, regular road bike that you can slap dirt tyres on with same or very close specs? What makes people think, that Honda was targeting that niche , while they themselves position it as urban vehicles (and do good job of aiming and hitting target with new models)?
I am just curious, no offense. Or is it because of infamous lack of middleweight UJMs models released for US?
lack of models in the US, its very hard to find anything under 600 (aside from a ninja 250) here, unless its a pure dirt bike. if i lived in europe i wouldent even give this bike a second glance, there are alot better bikes out in europe that i would get over this any day (such as the africa twin or the kle500)
Thank you! This explains a lot...I never realized it is that bad with middleweights in US :eek1
So what would the cost be of adding a set of aftermarket forks and a 19 or 21" tire up front?
You'll also need to raise the arse end or handling will be in the flusher.
Are the Honda Africa Twin or Kawasaki KLE500 still available new in Europe? I understand both were good bikes, and should still be available used. Are they all beat up or are some available in reasonable condition?
PLENTY of those still available 2nd hand in rather good condition. As well as Transalps and older Teneres. DR Bigs becoming more difficult to find in good state, but still available. Old Superteneres same.
KLE500s chip as dirt here. I personally do not like that bike - in my opinion in stock state it kinda...not nice. But it is easy to modify.
As for Africa Twins - have not really noticed shortage of those, but for good state you will pay. Still no more than half of new CB500.
Hell, even more rare things available. Last year my friend picked MINT condition Aprilia Tuareg Wind 600 in Germany for about 1200 Euro.
Take a peek at today's list of offers for KLE in Germany
Bluesman - Wow! You've just proven the old adage that "the grass is always greener on the other side (of the pond)". I'd modify a KLE or restore an Africa Twin in a HEARTBEAT! A Yamah XT would work, too. Even MZ's if they are still available.
It really is true that there is almost nothing in the USA under 600cc supersports unless you ride a dual sport / dirt bike. You can get older Honda NT650 Hawks or CB-1's (CB400F's) and some Suzuki 400 Bandits, but they are rare. The Yamaha YZF-600R Thundercat and Honda CBR600 F4i are available as SPORT-tourers, but they started life as supersports.
We really need an XTZ1200 Super Tenere in a 750cc size and 100 lbs. less weight (a modern Africa Twin). That's why everyone wants to believe that a bike that looks like a CB500X will perform like an Africa Twin, even though Honda never claims it will. They say "urban" and "adventure STYLED". We see what we want to see; not what is actually there. Also, the "real deal" would be quite expensive, while the "styled" bike is a cheap modification on a basic CB500 frame, which will sell into the "ADV" trend at a low price. [American tastes and economics sux.]
Evenflo76 - You can spend anything you want on a new or modified front end:
Full Ohlins with custom triple clamps and a Marchesini front wheel will run between $2500 and $4000 US.
Take the front end from another bike (wrecked or on Ebay) for maybe $1200 if you don't have to change the wheel or brakes.
Modify what's there starting about $600 or $800. An Excel wheel laced into a hub that will fit can be $400 all by itself.
These are all ball-park prices - almost anything I buy will need some of this attention, since we can't get stock high quality front ends on any mid-sized motorcycle in the US. I watch what is being done to some bikes in Europe as examples from which to learn (e.g. the Africa Twin front end upgrades, usually with KTM / WP parts).
To our European friends, how does the KTM 690 fit into the spectrum of the CB500's on the low end and the CBR's on the higher end? I know that the Duke doesn't have real ADV suspension travel, but the light weight and power might make a good platform for suspension modification. Our friends in Australia like it so far.