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Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by JimmieA, Nov 12, 2012.
Honda CB500X C-ABS by Keith Drummond, on Flickr
There is something I like about this bike.
As a versys owner, here are what I see as the primary differences in favor of the 500X. Economy and thusly range. Available ABS. Price. A more compliant suspension.
Agreed. Also, I suspect the Versys engine has a lot more character. You'd have to off-set that against the lower running costs of the X.
I have been looking long and hard for a comfortable, light go anywhere like exploring back roads bike for a long time. I just sold my Ulysses, had a KLR, looked at a Versys, a Vstrom, had a BMW. Looked at a Triumph Scrambler, Ninja 250, 500, 650, XT 250.
My bike had to be under 32 inch seat height due to injury I can't lift my leg very high. Upright position, a fairing and light or middle weight and not get run over on the freeway. Pretty much light the Old Honda 360 Scrambler I had except new and reliable. Yesterday I saw a CB 500X at a bike show and it is prefect.
I also looked at the new BMW 700. Close but the Honda fit better and seems just right. I don't care about posing like I just came off the Daker rally or impressing every kid with pimples.
The CB 500 is an exact fit for how most of us actually ride, not what we pretend.
I sat on the CB500x at the bike show yesterday. It seems far less top-heavy than any of the other bikes I sat on: BMW G650GS, F650GS, Versys, and Wee Strom. (I realize they have larger engines, but I feel more agile on a lighter bike.) So that was a plus in my book.
The matte black, or "primer finish" as my mom calls it, tends to make it look a bit cheap, but overall it looked well sorted.
We asked the kid working the Honda booth about the valve train. He said it was shim and bucket. I was a bit surprised at that.
For $6k the prices is right. I paid nearly that for a 600cc cruiser 17 years ago and it was uncomfortable on long hauls and especially uncomfortable on the gravel roads out to our farm.
There was far more interest in the CB500x and the NC700x than any bike at the show (not including the Spyders) as far as I could tell.
Now let's see if Honda can get the bike in the dealership before August. If not, I think I might just go ahead and get the Bonnie I've had my eye on.
The thing that would make this bike perfect is a lowering link to drop it two inches.
It's funny, because I was thinking the opposite, I'd like to see it a couple of inches taller.
uhm... missing the point? that's what the 500F and 500R is about...
It's still a friendly 810mm seat height, with a narrow tank. I'd be surprised if it doesn't fit shorter-legged riders.
I have a 29" inseam, and have handled saddles at 840mm+.
The problem is the person that is interested in this bike is 5' 0" with a 27.5" inseam...this person had a 2011 Ninja 250 that also had to have the bike lowered 2" as well as having the seat cut down simply to get the balls of her feet on the ground.... She also really likes the adventure bike styling, windscreen, upright riding position, and availability of hard bags. She has seen, and does not care much for the styling of other two CBR's despite their slightly lower seats.
If no one comes out soon with a suitable solution for lowering the X, she will be stuck with a G650GS L.S., a Kouba Link, and a reworked seat.
Not necessarily a bad place to be stuck IMHO...but options are a good thing.
probably should have specified that... it's a little different in that situation.. i'd be too worried about ruining the ride/geometry at that point.
I understand specs alone cant tell you everything you need to know about a bike. But when your dealing with a bike you cannot ride yet you have to start somewhere. So when I compare the 500X to what is IMO the standard of low cost, Adventure style 75/25 Road/Light Off Road bike the Wee Strom 650 I come up with two bikes that are very similar. The biggest differences being cost and proven track record. I will be purchasing a mid weight ADV style bike this spring. I would love to buy the Tiger 800 Road version but thats not in the budget so I am considering both the Wee and the 500X (dont think I would be happy w/ the power band / rev limit of the 700) In researching these two contenders I have some of the important specs so I thought I would share all in one place for others who may be curious.
Wee Strom 650 500X
Price $8,300 TBA approx. $6,000
Weight 472# 430#
Tire Size 19 / 17 17 / 17
Fuel Cap. 5.3 US Gal 4.5 US Gal
Approx. HWY MPG 48 54
Trans. 6 SPEED 6 SPEED
Front Shocks 43mm 5.9" travel 41mm 5.5" travel
Rear Shock 6.3" travel 4.7" travel
ABS available available
Ground Clearance 6.9" 6.5"
Seat Height 32.9" 31.9
Rear Wheel HP 65 54 US Version
Power to weight ratio 7.26#/1hp 7.96#/1hp
w/ 180# Rider 10#/1hp 11.2#/1hp
Could not find a Torque Curve for the 500X so did not compare.
I think both bikes will serve thier intended purpose well. The Wee has an outstanding track record. The Honda will save me some $$$ and historically has a pretty good record as well. Obviously I will ride both bikes and let that be the determining factor for purchase. I just wanted to attempt to add some usefull info to the thread and perhaps get some additional opinion on the similarities of these two machines.
You did a good job with these specs. Do keep in mind that the $8300 Wee price includes ABS, and I doubt the 500x will ship for $6K with ABS. US pricing hasn't been decided upon, but based on trends in the Canadian pricing and some favorable reaction to the bike, I'm betting Honda will hike the non-ABS to $6300-$6500 and the ABS will be another another $500 over this. So I'd expect the actual list price difference to be around $1500 for equivalent ABS models and the Wee will probably be available with a little more aggressive discounts that will reduce this to near $1K, at least for the first year. Not chump change, but not a deal-breaker either. If you don't want the ABS, the Honda is clearly the bike to get.
The big differences I see are price, power, weight, and the 19" front end on the Wee that will take the standard big-adventure bike touring rubber that has been shipping for a decade. I think the Wee will be the faster and more versatile bike, especially if you go off-road, but the significantly lower price and lighter weight of the Honda are big attractions for me. We'll see.
With the Honda NC700 at $6999, do you think Honda will try to sell the cb500x for the same price. I am interested in the cb500x but not at the NC700 price. If both have the same price, I will take the NC700 anytime.
They're not the same price because to get ABS on the NC, you have to spend $9K, not $7K.
I would still think that Honda would separate the bikes by more than 500.
Saw this bike today at IMS in Novi. Lots of interest from crowd. Sells for 5999 non abs. The other two bikes in Honda display with most attention were new Gold Wing and nc700 everyone looking at storage in tank area. I likes looks of 500x
Unsure if I will buy. But a good buy for this bike I believe.
I'm really sorry that there are no truely well designed factory options for shorter men and women. This discussion has been held many times, some of foreign websites where men in SE Asia express similar concerns.
Unfortunately, lowering too much ruins both ground clearance and suspension travel. Dedicated shorter riders learn to ride only putting one foot down at a time, sliding to the side of cheek or thigh. I know - no one believes that this is ideal. Most are wrong, unless the riders are old and stiff, or young and weak, or just don't have the balance required. Even men who are 5'10" tall with 31 inch inseams do this to ride enduro racers that have 38" seat heights. Work on your riding skills; don't ruin the bike.
I agree, I think the non-ABS 500x will be $6300 to $6500, so this is $500-$700 less than the non-ABS NC. Also keep in mind that the NC has been at $7K for a year now, and by the time the 500x ships, it will probably get a price hike.