Honda CB500X

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by JimmieA, Nov 12, 2012.

  1. Scootrider

    Scootrider Adventurer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2012
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    81
    Location:
    Champlain Islands, VT USA
    If this works out well for you, will you share the recipe?
  2. Oyabun

    Oyabun 親分

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2016
    Oddometer:
    719
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    Sure.
    Not overly complicated ( just joking it is areal rabbit hole I went down to ;-).
    My current setup is based on the following parts:
    - YamahaTDM850 3vd front cartridge. Bear in mind, these are old and tattered by now, so I ended up using only the cartridge tube, the damper rod, and the upper seal part from the original parts. If you can find a good tdm850 fork set, you'll have an easier job as the stanchions and adjusters could be transplanted too.
    - the damping is crap in the original cartridge and does not use shim valving, so I ended up changing both compression and rebound pistons to aftermarket 20mm cartridge valves, similar to Racetech Gold valves, and calculated the proper shim valving to them.
    In order to install the new valving turned new valve holders and adjuster pin for both the bottom valve and the midvalve.
    Made compression adjuster built in the bottom assembly.
    Renewed the sliding bush in the upper cartridge seal and polished the damper rod.
    Used cbr500r stanchions as they are 18mm longer than the stock 500x units had to machine out the bottom oil ring from the CBR stanchions to fit the cartridge.
    Used the housing of cbr600f3 fork caps, and recut the thread in the housing to receive TDM adjusters, as the TDM fork caps threading is not compatible with the honda stanchions, but the preload and rebound adjuster is more robust construction.
    In order to achieve enough suspension travel, and to improve suspension action at near full extension I have changed from short external topout spring to a longer internal spring.
    Calculated necessary spring rates and got them manufactured (matching main springs, topout and adjuster springs)
    Shortened adjuster rod, assembled the forks, and experimented to achieve the proper oil level in order to avoid bottoming - as this setup doesn't have the dreaded oil lock at the end of the travel.
    Easy peasy. :-)
    Tried them yesterday very shortly - night and day difference from stock, and good improvement over anything else. Will probably continue to adjusting things, but I'm very satisfied.
    It was a great journey and I've learnt a lot. I ended up with enough parts to build a second set, but I found at the end that probably I would have been better off building brand new ones with a few readily available parts (valves and caps).
    rexelstar and Cruz like this.
  3. UKJeeper

    UKJeeper Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Oddometer:
    238
    Location:
    Essex, UK
    Nice afternoon, so took in some byways and back roads around the county.

    [​IMG]

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  4. yeendy

    yeendy n00b

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4
    500x.jpg My New steed on the byways of sunny Norfolk today
  5. Oyabun

    Oyabun 親分

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    Apr 7, 2016
    Oddometer:
    719
    Location:
    Budapest, Hungary
    OMG. Been riding some mixed terrain during the Weekend on the new suspension. Still not a dirtbike as it has way shorter suspension travel, but it is better than stock Africa Twin. It really eats up potholes, very confident in corners and feels light and planted at the same time.
    Has to play around with damping and fluid levels a bit, but it exceeds my expectations.
    rexelstar likes this.
  6. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
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    8,901
    Location:
    California
    Hee hee - so you can confirm that a well set-up 41mm conventional fork performs better than a stock 45mm USD fork... who knew? - better not tell that to the Tenere 700 crowd or they'll have a frikkin' meltdown... "43mm is not enough blah blah blah"

    Well done ;o)

    Jx
  7. pfettig77

    pfettig77 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2017
    Oddometer:
    217
    Location:
    NW Wisconsin
    Hey CBX folks. I have a 2012 G650GS and I really love it. It checks off just about all of my boxes, but I've always really wanted a CB500X and was thinking of selling the BMW and buying the Honda. The weird thing is that I can't really find any comparisons of the two bikes online. Seems like a natural rival to me. Similar weight, horsepower, purpose, etc. I know on paper the BMW has a few things the CB doesn't like standard ABS and longer suspension and a 19" front wheel. Does anyone have any experience with both? Would it be a lateral move or an up/downgrade?
  8. jojojones

    jojojones Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2016
    Oddometer:
    1,339
    Location:
    Northeast
    coming from a 17 dl650xt to a 19 cb500x abs I have a close perspective.

    s faster and feels MUCH heavier
    h much more flickable....low speed is much better too
    h way better gas mileage...I rode the strom @80 mph averaging 43 mph...h is in the 60s.
    fairing and aero are much the same for me at 6'1"...no issues..very good
    overall the h is better in every way but you must realign yourself to the power difference...I rarely meet up with a car I can't pass fast and safely on the h but the s certainly had more instant power.

    I find that short shifting up to @60mph is more of a chore on the h but once up at 60-80-85 not much difference and then all the benefits of the h hold true.

    h made some weak decisions like no spoke wheels, no lower engine fairing of an kind let alone a bash plate, no knuckle guards not even useless plastic ones, not just giving us the $20 12v port and making us wait 5 months for it, 1 color for us customers when most of the world get's 3, headlights are miserable on both bikes...must have aux lighting...but imho h's level of less than perfect design decisions does not come close to s's punt of the century...removing the hazard light switch on the 17 for no known reason...it actually cost them money to redesign the switch housing without the switch. Nobody could give any logical reason why.

    sorry no direct bmw comparison but I am very satisfied going from 650 to 500.
    pfettig77 and Wambo like this.
  9. antwon412

    antwon412 Been here awhile

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    Apr 6, 2010
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    ^^^ It took me almost that entire post to figure out h = Honda and s = Suzuki.
    McCarthy7, Jamie Z, dmski and 5 others like this.
  10. pfettig77

    pfettig77 Been here awhile

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    Nov 24, 2017
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    NW Wisconsin
    I feel like the guy from A Beautiful Mind because I cracked the code early on in the post.
  11. Johnytuono

    Johnytuono Been here awhile

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    Aug 17, 2017
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    ..........and I only realised after I'd read your post.......................
  12. SR56

    SR56 Long timer

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    Thanks everybody, I appreciate the responses...I plan to try a 17" knobby (knobbly) when it is time to replace my current front tire :-).
  13. JamesHTrotter

    JamesHTrotter Been here awhile

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    Dec 31, 2017
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    Location:
    New York
    Still stumped on the 5k rpm rattle, here is a video... any help please!!!
  14. UKJeeper

    UKJeeper Been here awhile

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    Feb 18, 2018
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    Location:
    Essex, UK
    TBF, about 1/2 of the TAT trip (from Moab west) was with a Shinko 805 on the rear. I got through 2 rear TKC80'S between Montreal and Moab. TKC80'S are a great tyre, but not the longest lasting.
  15. gavmac

    gavmac Long timer

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    Sounds like a vibration from either a bash plate or the exhaust cover down by your heel.
    Cruz likes this.
  16. JamesHTrotter

    JamesHTrotter Been here awhile

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    Dec 31, 2017
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    @gavmac Checked the exhaust plate, and pretty sure it isn't the bash plate. It sounds like it is coming from between the tank and the top of the engine somewhere. Looking to narrow it down before taking it all apart trying to find the culprit.
    Anyone else have anything in there get loose? Only at 5k does it make that sound. Once it is above ore below the sound stops.
    Thanks so much!
  17. OneAUout

    OneAUout Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    96
    Location:
    New Zealand
    IMG_7425.JPG Added a pair of Rigid Industries 20211 Dually LED Light 3 Inch flood lights for USD$155. Left side has a clip-on amber cover and this light is on whenever the bike is powered. The Amber light is a gem for conspicuity and safety in a the day time. In a herd of cars with bright white LED driving lights, the yellow stands out and I can see cage-drivers noticing me. Perhaps the asymmetry of the headlight with one yellow light helps? The yellow light is quite bright and a different from an indicator flasher and I am now comfortable that its not mistaken for turn signal.
    IMG_7426.JPG
    IMG_7192.JPG Right side light is linked to be on with the standard high beam using the forward options plug behind the dash. After reading how many people have issues with this plug, or at least in location it, I was pleasantly surprised how accessible it was. Easy to reach with my finger tips. I used a stepped drill bit to cut a circular hole into the dash for an on/off switch for the high beamingly extra light. Cut a perfect circular hole in a second. As you push the stepped drill bit deeper, the hole gets larger but by the time I’m at 20mm diameter hole the tip of the drill bit is now deep into the dash and getting close to boring into the wiring loom. Watch out!

    If I was doing it again, I'd purchase one flood light and one spot light. The flood just doesn't illuminate far enough down the road.
    khemist likes this.
  18. OneAUout

    OneAUout Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    96
    Location:
    New Zealand
    I like my GPS to be in the same focal plane as the exisiting dashboard and tall so that my eyes do not need to divert from the road when I want to take in data. I tried a couple of RAM mount variations but found that they positioned the GPS too far from the Honda dash. I settled on a piece of scrap aluminium that required a slight curvature at the sides and an 'L" bend to a central tab onto which I could rubber mount my car GPS. I upgraded the Garmin Nuvi in my car and relocated the outgoing unit to the 500X. The car now has a Nuvi 61 with a wider screen, better for map reading. However the older Garmin now on the bike has the better speed feature. The speedo is significantly larger on the older Garmin. Newer models crowd in additional info like elevation above sea level and time to the Queen's birthday etc. More visual clutter that makes for a lesser digital satellite speedo.
    IMG_7188.JPG IMG_7562.JPG
    The Palmer Products screen brackets is one of my favourite additions to the bike. - I thought it expensive at the time, but combined with the MRA X-Creen Sport Windshield lip from Revzilla in the U.S. creates a quiet-air space.

    Its height and shape keep the GPS dry at all times when moving.
    Singlespeed92 likes this.
  19. OneAUout

    OneAUout Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    96
    Location:
    New Zealand
    Some years ago, a London taxi driver tried to edge into the same lane that my pearlescent white, 1988, BMW R100RS occupied. A quick blast from the twin Fiamm alpine horns gave him pause to reconsider his actions. And save my bike and leg. When I sold the Beemer, I bought a spare set of Fiamms to put on a future bike. Skip forward 12 years, and finding them in my must-put-on-the-bike-someday plastic box, I decided to fit them to my 500X. With the fairing sides off, there's little space to work with and no obvious unused volume to that could take two horns, each twice the size of the original.
    IMG_7494.JPG
    No obvious unused space for 2 horns here.


    So the plan changed to fit just the low-tone horn of the Fiamm pair. Not wanting to hang the trumpet out into space under the radiator off the original bracket, where it can suck up rain water coming off the front tyre, I opted to move the horn in-board and down low for better weather protection.

    A Denali sound bomb mounting bracket carries the horn after several attempts to create my own bracket, one that could position the horn far enough aft, and support its weight. Denali bracket is just so fit-for purpose and I should not even have tried to make my own bracket. Wasted 3 riding hours.
    IMG_7558.JPG
    Sound Bomb bracket wins over home made attempts at a bracket.

    IMG_7559.JPG
    Low-tone Fiamm horn, one half of pair.

    Eastern Beaver shipped in a high-power horn wiring harness with built-in relay. This connects direct to the battery with 12 gauge wire and comes with its own 20Amp fuse. While a 20A fuse at first seems excessive, horns do make short duration high current draws on an electrical system. One of the reasons manufacturers go for low current small devices.
    William42 and Singlespeed92 like this.
  20. JamesHTrotter

    JamesHTrotter Been here awhile

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    Dec 31, 2017
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    New York
    Xchemie likes this.