1,651 Mile Fly-and-Ride on a 2014 Honda CB500F

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by radare, Jul 3, 2019.

  1. radare

    radare Tryin' to get out of the box

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    1,651 1,796 Mile Fly-and-Ride on a 2014 Honda CB500F

    This is going to be a ride-report in real time as I'm getting ready to head for the airport here in a few minutes. If you'd like to follow my progress near real-time, you can see my FindMeSpot page below:

    http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0HQFIevq7XjSijy9yL2OC4qDgZCLVSegh

    I haven't shared it with you all yet but I did a 1300 mile ride on the Scrambler over Memorial Day weekend. On that ride, I put enough miles on my XJ600 scrambler to notice some things that really bugged me about it. Things I've known for years and always lived with but that became irritating when using the bike on long rides. The biggest one, carburetors. The carburetors are finicky and the fueling gets really bad with big elevation changes. It makes the bike's performance notably inconsistent. Aside from that, vibrations. The engine resonates at 4k rpm and sends these high-frequency vibrations down your arms and up your feet. This wouldn't be a problem except that 65mph cruising speed holds the engine right at that 4k rpm range. To get some relief, you can either slow down or downshift and rev the engine above 5k. I don't like either option. After tens of thousands of miles on these bikes, I've finally tired of this.

    [​IMG]

    On that trip, I lost two of the nuts which hold the exhaust manifold to the cylinder head. I was lucky and had a couple of nylock nuts that I made work, to get me home. But those nuts are special to the Seca II and they are now obsolete.

    [​IMG]

    I have to wait weeks for used parts to crop up on eBay before I can fix the bike the right way. Parts availability for the Seca II is getting worse and parts that are still available are expensive.

    After a long, hard, think, I've decided its time to retire the XJ.

    I've been giving some thoughts as to what I want to do for my next bike. I like small displacement, light, agile, slow bikes. That's why you see so much of my Royal Enfield CL500.

    One bike that kept cropping up as a replacement is Honda's CB500F. It is powered by a parallel twin engine, 441 cc, with fuel injection. The engine is rated at 49 HP and 31 ft-lbs of torque which is similar to the power output of the XJ600 that I'm used to. The CB500F has a digital gauge cluster which includes a fuel gauge, a pair of trip meters and a MPG readout. Parts are cheap and readily available. And the styling is tolerable. The CB500F hasn't really been much of a consideration as I can't find one locally for much under $4500.

    I will periodically do an eBay search for motorbikes within a 500-mile radius around Denver. While doing this the other night, I stumbled across a beautiful, white, 2014 Honda CB500F in Albuquerque. It was a bid-only auction and I bid $2700 as my max bid. I figured I could drag the trailer to Albuquerque and bring it home on a Saturday. My bid was good and I won the bike. Exciting.

    When I went to pay for the Honda, though, I noticed that it WASN'T in Albuquerque but in Appling Georgia. Seriously. Georgia. 1700 miles away.

    How the hell did I make that mistake? I went back and took a look. There IS an identical CB500F on eBay in New Mexico. What I think happened is this; I did the search and viewed the bike in New Mexico. A few days later, eBay showed me the one in Atlanta as a 'recommended' result and I thought it was the one I'd looked at in NM. I didn't notice that the Atlanta bike wasn't the Albuquerque bike when I bid.

    Now I have to find a way to get a bike home that's 1700 miles away.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I put up a request on UShip, eBay's recommended shipper, to see if I could get some inexpensive shipping. This site works by posting up your request and letting shippers quote on it. It's not a guaranteed thing despite what eBay might lead you to believe. So I put out a request to ship the bike from Appling to Denver. I received several quotes though the best one was for $1300, about half the price of the bike.

    The reality of what I'd done hit hard. With no other option, I decided I'd have to fly out and ride it home. I don't really have much time to take off of work so I had to make the trip in four days or less. A plan formed. I would fly to Atlanta, hop a rental car to Augusta, pick up the bike and then ride home.

    One hurdle that I had to overcome before the ride, though, was the matter of license plates. Georgia doesn't issue temporary tags for private party sales. In that state, a bill-of-sale and a signed title are all you need while you await registration. But that doesn't do me any good for the other 8 states I'll ride through. After lots of thought, the only way I could get it to work was to pay the seller in-full, have him sign over the title and a bill-of-sale and send them to me, USPS insured, overnight. That way, I could then take them to my local DMV and get a temporary tag. I had no trouble getting a 60-day temporary tag from my local DMV.


    I spent some time thinking my way through a ride back to Denver from Augusta with several considerations: I would only have four days to make the trip, I couldn't reasonably ride more than 500 miles each day, I wanted to stay in hotels and I wanted to avoid freeways as much as possible. Throwing that list at Google maps, this is what I came up with. Nightly stops include Florence, Alabama, Fayetteville, Arkansas and Dodge City, Kansas.

    [​IMG]

    There were a couple that concern me about the first: The first is the distance; 500 miles on a 500cc bike. That's a lot of miles to cover and I'm afraid I'll have trouble with fatigue. The second is, where to carry all the stuff I think I'll need? I usually have a top bag and a pair of saddlebags on these trips and this one is longer than my others by about 300 miles.

    I ordered a couple of accessories to help alleviate those concerns. I bought a Puig windscreen hoping that additional wind protection will help give me the energy I'll need to make the long days. I also ordered a Givi rear rack. I figure I can strap my Nelson Rigg tailbag to the rear rack and then strap my Motocentric bag to that. I'll give me about the same amount of storage as I typically have on the other bikes. I figure I can bolt on each when I get to the hotel after picking up the bike.

    Logistics are going to be a nightmare. From Denver, I’ll fly out to Atlanta, I'll rent a car and drive to the hotel in Augusta. I'll drop off my stuff at the hotel and then drive to the local uHaul where I've reserved a pickup and motorcycle trailer. I'll leave the car at the uHaul and drive the truck over to get the bike. Once I have that done, I will tow the bike to the Augusta airport where I'll park it in airport parking. I'll then drive the truck back to uHaul and pick up the car. I'll finish by dropping off the car at Augusta airport where I will then ride the bike back to the hotel. Woof!

    So here we go. I'm all packed up, gear in a large, heavy duffel back, and a tail bag as a carry on, and I'm off to the airport.
    #1
  2. spoon

    spoon Rubber's gone!

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    317
    Location:
    Snow in New Mexico
    This looks good! Bring rain gear?
    #2
  3. radare

    radare Tryin' to get out of the box

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Yeah, I saw the forecast. I brought my Nelson Rigg gear with me along with a pair of rubber gloves to wear under my leather gloves. I have my Turtle Fur which should help protect my neck. My boots aren’t waterproof so I’ll probably stick my feet in some trash bags.

    The weather forecast looks a lot better when I get to Kansas. It’s really the only reason to look forward to Kansas.

    Didn’t have any trouble with security. I was worried about my heavy gear bag but it wasn’t a problem.

    D3902D84-807A-483A-AC91-2A6C8D77E67C.jpeg
    #3
  4. Todd157k

    Todd157k Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,539
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    This will be a fun trip. I think you've planned it out ok. I've done this a few times although not quite that far. I'm planning another one right now but will be on 4 wheels.
    A few things I'd bring:
    Tire repair kit and pump. (some of those places you're riding through won't have cell service)
    Water backpack.
    (as mentioned) Rain over-gear.
    Bluetooth music
    inReach (cause ya never know..) Oops.. just noticed you have a spot.
    Caffeine tabs (coffee is great, but then ya gots ta pee)
    padded under shorts (because NO seat is THAT comfortable)

    I'm sure there's tons of stuff you'll need/forget however, there are Walmart's everywhere along the way.

    Keep us posted!
    #4
  5. Chuck Pryce

    Chuck Pryce Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    514
    Location:
    western n.c.
    Post up in the southeast forum, we have some inmates down that way. There is a GA. BS. thread on there.
    #5
  6. spoon

    spoon Rubber's gone!

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    Oddometer:
    317
    Location:
    Snow in New Mexico
    Looks like the adventure has begun!!
    #6
  7. radare

    radare Tryin' to get out of the box

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Good morning from Augusta Georgia, ADVers. Yesterday was exhausting and rewarding all at the same time. As I mentioned before, logistics were a thing. I flew from Denver to Atlanta and rented a car. They gave me a Toyota Prius. I’ve never driven one before. It was a really neat car but it’s electric when you start it. No idling. So I get in, press the power button with my foot on the brake. Nothing. Confused, I do it again. Nothing. I did this half a dozen times before I stopped being dumb and realized what was going on. My flight was late leaving Denver. A guy had a camera on his lap and refused to put it away for takeoff. Denver Police ended up escorting him off the plane. I arrived in Atlanta late and then the rental car place was having computer problems. I didn’t leave Atlanta until 4.

    I was then planning to pick up a uHaul in Augusta, both a truck and trailer. But they closed at 7 and Augusta was nearly 3 hours away. I hauled some serious balls and made it before they closed.

    8C2DC145-660C-4B92-A42A-02557BABF1A7.jpeg

    From there, I drove over to his place and loaded up the bike.

    E74B953F-39C0-4C79-BF19-67C12A229677.jpeg


    AAA73071-927B-41F3-BB7D-F5F98C63DF73.jpeg

    It’s in fantastic shape for a 5 year old bike. It’ll need fork dust boots and tires when I get to Denver.

    41854B24-77EA-4C03-9866-097C9220753E.jpeg

    I towed it to Augusta airport, after dark, and unloaded it in their cell phone waiting area. I thought for sure somebody would question me but nobody even noticed. I rode it into long term parking and left it there.

    I loaded up the trailer and took the rig back to the uHaul where the rental car was. Hi traded and drove the car to the hotel so I could check in and unload everything but my motorcycle gear. From there, back to the airport to drop off the car and ride the bike back to the hotel.

    423A1EC5-0927-4694-9C9F-76BFF5E3686E.jpeg

    It made for one very long night and I settled in just before midnight. I hadn’t eaten anything all day and everything was closed. But nit Dominoes. I ordered a pizza and diet coke and all was right as rain.

    439370C6-3FE2-4AE3-B9D6-D82C355D1586.jpeg
    #7
  8. keithg

    keithg Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2007
    Oddometer:
    291
    Location:
    PRESCOTT VALLEY AZ
    IN!
    #8
  9. radare

    radare Tryin' to get out of the box

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Ill post more on this tonight. I bolted on a couple of accessories this morning. A Givi rear rack and a Puig windscreen. It took some trial and error but I did get the bags secured in a manner that I thought acceptable.

    61A184CF-13A4-4A8A-819F-6C8BB1456AA0.jpeg



    am in Monticello Georgia right now. It’s hot. Periodically, I’ll ride through a patch of air so hot it makes me cough.

    Georgia is beautiful. The architecture here is quite ornate. Many, many stately homes, often in disrepair. I could live in Georgia if not for the humidity.

    8D9EBF31-7594-4F5C-8ADD-32C920A94DF1.jpeg

    A49E25C1-F932-4664-A408-CF1406F58991.jpeg
    #9
    Stubanger, EZMoney, Todd157k and 2 others like this.
  10. Snapper33

    Snapper33 Globetrotter Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2017
    Oddometer:
    265
    Location:
    Worldwide
    Thanks for bringing us along. A good motorcycle road-trip is priceless for the soul.
    #10
  11. radare

    radare Tryin' to get out of the box

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    This is going to be unpopular, but fuck Alabama. I was going to write and tell you how awesome the roads were with the forest canopy growing over them or how I enjoyed swapping motorcycle stories with an old guy in Piedmont. But than as I rode through Snead, I saw a woman lowering and folding her confederate flag, without care, as if she’d done it a thousand times before and I was instantly brought into reality. This is the land of racists.
    #11
  12. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,748
    Location:
    The Bluegrass
    Fly & ride =good.
    I just don't understand the rental truck boogie.
    Did you ask the seller if he might follow you to the airport to turn in the rental car ?
    The way I see it you go to the sellers house to see the bike , if it's what you want you load your stuff to the bike , pay for it and then have the seller follow you to turn in the rental car then he gives you a ride back to your bike. You ride away.
    That's exactly how I did it in Salem ,Ore. last November. When I left the sellers house , I headed home to Kentucky and in 6 and a half days I added 3200 miles to the 3400 that were on the bike when I picked it up.
    #12
  13. radare

    radare Tryin' to get out of the box

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    78537498-E51D-4F8C-8EE9-02B5A9EE4903.jpeg

    Welcome to Mississippi. It’s hot.
    #13
    Todd157k and TownPump like this.
  14. radare

    radare Tryin' to get out of the box

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Yeah, it was a pain. The guy broke his leg and was in a cast. He said he couldn’t drive. His wife was out for the Forth, visiting family. I tried a taxi or Uber but neither would take me out that far. It ended up being the only way I could make it work.
    #14
  15. TownPump

    TownPump Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Oddometer:
    876
    Location:
    Huntsburg, OH
    Alabama Route 2 / Mississippi Route 72??? I was just there! You just passed the Natchez Trace Parkway.

    Have a good ride!

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. radare

    radare Tryin' to get out of the box

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    You are spot on. I rode 72 all the way into Memphis. I’m taking 63 across birthing Arkansas as I type this.
    #16
  17. radare

    radare Tryin' to get out of the box

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    02E37F4B-9C48-4B50-A32A-5B20EABDB1A4.jpeg

    Mississippi River was quite high. I really enjoyed the ride across the steel truss bridge. Wish I could have snapped a photo for you all.
    #17
  18. Karlfitt

    Karlfitt Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Oddometer:
    2,204
    Location:
    Colorado
    Good luck on the ride home.
    Hopefully your finding the little 500 isn't as small as you feared it might be (500 miles days as maybe too long).
    I've done two fly and rides, always nice getting a new to you bike.
    #18
  19. radare

    radare Tryin' to get out of the box

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2011
    Oddometer:
    189
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Thanks karlfitt. I think the reviewers of the cb500f’s were crazy. This bike has been amazing. It runs 80 well. It runs 90 well. It cruises along at 65, well. It fits like any other bike. And will slide you back in the saddle when you twist the throttle, regardless of what gear you are in. I am wholly impressed with its power and agility.

    I find myself using the hazards on it quite a bit when I pull over to take photos or clean my glasses. My other bikes don’t have this feature and I quite like it.

    I am about 75 miles from tonight’s hotel. When there, I will have already put more than 1000 miles on the bike.

    AFE49671-82A2-458A-B9BD-75482BD9A14F.jpeg
    #19
    Stubanger and Todd157k like this.
  20. Phipsd

    Phipsd Older but not wiser.

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,165
    Location:
    West coast British Columbia
    I too have a 500F. Folks who know their Honda history won't be surprised at the 500's on the road performance. In 1972 I was running up the Kootney Skyway here in BC on my Honda CB450 at 7000 revs in forth at an indicated 70 mph. On the other side I was heading into Creston on what was a beautiful early morning. I glanced down and saw that I was still at 7000 and immediately thought, " I forgot to shift ." It turns out I was in fifth doing close to an indicated 90 and the bike was running along easily. According to a Cycle test at the time that bike had quite an accurate speedo so it was probably an honest 85. I did notice that according to various electronic signs that the speedo on the 500F is more optimistic.

    Peak torque on the 500F is at 7000 rpms so that is a speed the bike should be able to sustain easily without strain. On my 500F I noticed when hill climbing that fifth is geared about where forth was on that old 450 and sixth equal to fifth. Back in the day the guys at Cycle thought nothing of running a CB450 75 to 80 mph Coast to Coast. I wouldn't hesitate to do the same trip on my 500F at 7000 rpm's.

    The reviewers aren't crazy, they're just uninformed.
    #20
    doc4216 likes this.