Honda CB500X

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

  1. bbanker

    bbanker Been here awhile Supporter

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    Upgrade to the RR spoked tubless wheels, and that will get you a little extra clearance.
  2. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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    veriest1, I have considered a 120/90-17. I'll probably do it next tire change if I don't do something else first.
    DandyDoug, I think everything you say is true except the V-strom buffeting. For me a madstad took it all away.
    Full disclosure: I have a GL1500 Goldwing in the garage. It is an amazing mile eater. I use it whenever I'm going far and know there will only be pavement but the truth is it does not arise any passion in me except when my wife comes along but that's a different kind of passion. In fact that's the only reason I own it. The lovely lady like riding on the passenger seat of the wing.

    For those of you who have changed from 17inch to 19 inch front with Rally Raid level two can you describe the differences you noticed?
    Also, some say the 16 tooth helps with the snatch feeling of throttle in the dirt. I think that is part of my problem. Because I lack experience I go too slow and then it lurches when I try to correct.

    Thanks everyone for the conversation - your opinions help me break out of the ruts in my head. I probably just need to spend more time in the dirt. My ability is probably the real problem there and I don't think there is anything that will give the CB500 that little extra I crave from time to time on the highway. I know it is about the best affordable compromise I could find, but there are so many pretty things to look at!
    Adanac rider, veriest1 and MNimum like this.
  3. veriest1

    veriest1 Minimalist Gear Hoarder

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    My first gen DL650 came with a Madstad bracket and combined with the OEM windscreen I had perfectly smooth air. The best I've probably ever had but the rest of the bike was a real let down.

    I haven't changed from a 19 to a 17 but I have, and have had many, bikes with the 19" front wheel. A 19" wheel feels like a sport bike compared to a 21" front wheel but it does turn in a bit slower or, as I like to say, more deliberately than a 17" wheel and standard size tire. I hadn't ridden a bike with a 17" front wheel for about 15 years when I got the CB and the short front tire really surprised me (in a good way).

    I find that the little CB with RR level 2 suspension, even with 17" wheels and that short tire, really rails in the dirt compared to the bigger and heavier ADV bikes.

    Instead of a blingy-er big bike have you considered a small dualsport, actual dirt bike, or even a trials bike to learn some off road skills? I'd like to say I did this but my off road skills really didn't improve until I got a mountain bike (and I'm not anything special so don't get any ideas there). Mtn bike trails are about the only real single track we have around here. Obviously that skipped the whole clutch and throttle thing but the balance and body positioned I learned was huge. So yeah, you might try a lightweight dirt bike of some sort and riding single track. I'll say I found the ponderousness of the 29" mountain bike wheels to be a benefit because they forced me to really learn how to weave such a slow steering machine through tight forest single track.
    Cruz and mcpenner like this.
  4. RimBenty

    RimBenty Greg - Bender of Rims

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    I have the RR wheels (19” front) and the stock (17” front) wheels. I use the stock wheels for street riding and the RR wheels if I’m expecting anything other than paved. The 17” wheel turns better on the street but on the dirt the steering is vague compared to the 19”. Most dirt bikes have 21” front wheels and most sport bikes are 17”, the 19” front is a good compromise when riding a mixture of dirt and pavement.

    I normally run the 16 tooth front sprocket but when riding mostly off-road (like a BDR) I go back to the 15 tooth. If your bike is snatchy when off-road you need to be in a higher gear, learn to feather the clutch, or both. Like veriest1 stated, to learn riding in the dirt I would recommend getting a smaller, lighter, more dirt orientated motorcycle, they are more forgiving and easier to learn on.
    mcpenner likes this.
  5. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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    I know all about needing a 250 to learn in the dirt, but that option really doesn't fit my situation very well. Where I live everything, and I mean everything, is fenced and farmed. There is very little space for off road riding. I will ride all day on the roads, paved and unpaved, and every now and then find a gravel road that turns into a dirt road that turned into an ungraded trail that turns into grass and bush for many 400 meters or a quarter mile. I can see the road continuing up ahead but it's pretty rough going to get through on the overgrown or swampy road allowance. I'm not really into riding a 250 for 200 or 300 kms of varied road surfaces just for that occasional rough spot.
    [​IMG]
    These are not bad problems to have :-)
  6. DandyDoug

    DandyDoug Long timer Supporter

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    From the roads described and the type of riding available in your relm, it seems the CB500X is just about the perfect machine.
    ncroadtoad and veriest1 like this.
  7. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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    Yes it is DandyDoug, except when I get to go to the mountains (maybe once or twice a year). Then I like riding a mix of surfaced and unsurfaced roads I find the power weak on the pavement up the mountains into the wind with luggage. I love this kind of riding even if I rarely get to do it and it can be dangerous pulling out to pass a truck run into and gust of strong mountain wind and find it is not possible to accelerate, look in the mirror and a car is already in the passing lane behind you so you can't slow down either.

    I know these are small complaints. I do love this bike and will likely keep it a while longer. I would love to gain just a little on either end if I could. I'll probably try the larger diameter front tire, some sprocket changes and see if anything makes me smile.

    thanks for the conversation. I'm satisfied with your input.
    DandyDoug and veriest1 like this.
  8. veriest1

    veriest1 Minimalist Gear Hoarder

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    Can you share a picture of your bike loaded down? Does the bike perform well enough in those conditions unloaded? Maybe there's a way to lighten the load?
    DandyDoug likes this.
  9. DandyDoug

    DandyDoug Long timer Supporter

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    Do you think he is telling me to buggar off in that oh so polite Canadian way :imaposer
    mcpenner likes this.
  10. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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    [​IMG]
    That's what I carry for a 5 day trip. I don't think the load is the problem. If you've ever gone up Alberta highway 11 along Abraham lake you know what strong head winds are! Now that I think about it my "problem" might be the fact that I also own a Goldwing. On the same highway and conditions the Wing is roll on throttle pass in an instant. I probably am just not using the higher rpms the CB is capable of. I can't remember?
    [​IMG]
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  11. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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    If I was from Texas I would have said, "all, ya'lls input."
    I have been convinced to stay in the CB500x club, at least for now.

    Now I just need to go out and find a big rock to run into and break my 17inch front rim. Them the lovely lady of the budget might vote in favor of Rally Raid wheels??
    DandyDoug likes this.
  12. veriest1

    veriest1 Minimalist Gear Hoarder

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    That looks very reasonable. I really like those panniers you have too. It looks like they say Dry Spec? They seem to fit on the RR racks nicely.

    Have you shared your setup in detail somewhere? I, for one, would be interested to learn more about it.

    You could be very right about the Goldwing. Power will do that to ya.
  13. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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  14. veriest1

    veriest1 Minimalist Gear Hoarder

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    Could you give your impressions of the Dryspec saddle bags? I'd like to upgrade to something like that. Specifically, how did they work with the RR racks removed? It seems weird to me that panniers that size would work at all but they sure advertise them that way.
  15. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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    I've used them with and without the RR side racks. Here they are without the racks.
    [​IMG]
    They are small, but the combination carries all I need. I tend to put camping gear in the large dry bag (hammock, down sleeping bag, compact chair), clothing in one Dryspec (shorts, layers and a nicer shirt in case I want enter someplace where sweaty wick away layers are not appropriate), and books, pump, and general stuff I want access to during the day in the other. I don't normally bring cooking equipment or food with me when solo. I use a feast and fasting approach.
    Rabid rider, veriest1 and DandyDoug like this.
  16. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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    The whole package seems much more stable on rough roads when the Dryspecs are lashed to the RR side racks.
    veriest1 likes this.
  17. 4PawsHacienda

    4PawsHacienda Long timer

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    Three years ago I dropped two teeth on my rear sprocket by using one from a NC750, made a big difference in the VA Blue Ride Mtn roads that I ride, both paved and unpaved. Recently started riding more of the less paved and unmaintained "roads" so I switched back to stock gearing, again a big difference in performance. RR level 1 suspension, stock wheels, Shinko tires. Day rides only, no multi-day trips on the CBx.
    Simple and extremely inexpensive method to modify performance and experiment. It is a 500cc machine, in my opinion an excellent one.
    RR Level 1 made a huge difference, the Level 2 with wheels could be a game changer.
    ncroadtoad, gehart and veriest1 like this.
  18. veriest1

    veriest1 Minimalist Gear Hoarder

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    I found another member who mounted theirs without racks lower and down towards the passenger foot pegs and that pushed me over the edge. For the money I decided I couldn't go wrong even if I have to add a bar or something back there to mount them against. So I ordered a set. Fortunately they had orange in stock but I really wanted black.

    I picked up some DT mirrors to try and cure my droopy mirror syndrome too.
  19. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    I don't know if I can put up with this badmouthing KLRs :dirtdog

    krikey, it's a 35 year old design, cut 'em some slack.
    Had many trouble free years on one, worst part was the big single drone on the highway.
    mcpenner likes this.
  20. ncroadtoad

    ncroadtoad No Use to Society Supporter

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    I got out last week for a few days camping - sorta - along the Blue Ridge of NC/VA.

    [​IMG]
    Tent camping and cold weather, my bike looked like a Far East family mover. It was bad enough cabin camping.

    [​IMG]
    Lots of views

    [​IMG]
    Better than a dry cabin

    [​IMG]
    Found some nice gravel roads

    [​IMG]
    It was so nice I'm going back on Thursday for three more days and break in my new Corbin seat :D

    Cheers, happy riding
    KennyV, Rabid rider, ross and 4 others like this.