Rally Raid CB500X vs DR 650

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by NOrrTH, Nov 15, 2019.

  1. NOrrTH

    NOrrTH Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2019
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    I'm kinda diggin on a 2016 Rally Raid CB500X (Stage 3) I saw in the dealer tonight. I love all the bells and whistles, range, premiumish suspension, comfort, etc. It looks pretty capable off road.

    Tomorrow I'm supposed to look at a 2014 DR 650 with the big tank, aftermarket seat, bush bars, etc but stock suspension. So I'm kind of torn. Do I want to give up 80 lbs difference and and get the more rudimentary DR?

    I guess what I'm asking is how comparable off road is the RR CB500X compared to the DR 650 because I know I'll like it alot better on the hwy?
    #1
  2. Al-X

    Al-X Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    379
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    We do not have the CBX Raid in South Africa where the DR is a very reliable single, but then we have the KLR, XR650L, which only came to us in 2010_2012 I think.

    And what type of riding you gonna do?

    With your distances you can ride I think the twin will be better suited, less vibrations, is it not lower than the DR as well?

    Lower centre of gravity then.
    #2
  3. NOrrTH

    NOrrTH Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2019
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    I'd say 50/50 street/offroad
    #3
  4. Al-X

    Al-X Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    379
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    Both are good choices.

    Singles are vibrators on higher speeds.
    The twin will sort that. Here in South Africa there are CB500's used as delivery bikes with 800 000km's and more on the clock.

    We have DR's but swears at Honda for not bringing us the CBX...But, your gut will tell you, test drive the DR and go with your gut.
    #4
    NOrrTH likes this.
  5. Dean Ohlin

    Dean Ohlin inner city elite Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    7,902
    Location:
    Gympie (Inner City)
    I'm in Australia. I've owned a DR650 and currently have a stock 2019 CB500X. (so extrapolating a bit for the Rallyraid modifications)

    The DR is lighter (as you've pointed out) has a bit more suspension travel (though the quality of that suspension is not as good as the Rallyraid) and a bit more ground clearance. Are you going to be in genuine offroad situations where these factors will be a significant advantage? On a narrow steep loose trail where you need to do a U-turn for example, the lesser weight may well be an advantage, or if you anticipate regularly being in a situation of crossing logs or picking the bike up. The 500x is heavier but has a nice low C.O.G. and is well balanced. On gravel roads and slightly rougher forest roads (where your in the lower 3 gears most of the time) you'll barely notice the extra weight and may even due to above mentioned COG and balance etc find the CB a bit easier to handle than the DR. The DR's power characteristics etc are pretty well known and the CB, though different is at least as good, tractable, torquey etc. I regularly ride with people on DRs and have yet to find a situation on gravel roads and reasonably formed forest tracks where I wished I could swap bikes with one of them. We are not doing hard trails.

    On the road, there is no comparison. The DR is pretty good for what it is. The CB500X is very good for a 500cc road bike.

    all in my opinion/experience...etc
    #5
    Dale402, lvscrvs, No-Fret and 2 others like this.
  6. 32dgrz

    32dgrz Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    313
    Location:
    Ankeny Iowa
    #6
    Tangor, No-Fret, NOrrTH and 1 other person like this.
  7. The_Precious_Juice

    The_Precious_Juice 2019 DL650XT Touring

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2013
    Oddometer:
    9,667
    Location:
    SW VIRGINIA

    I would lean toward the CBX Rally Raid Stage 3.

    Why?

    If you do not like the DR, then when you go back to the Honda, good luck finding another one if this one was sold.

    If you go with the Honda, then it would be easy to find another DR. Especially one with stock suspension.

    Also, if you get the Honda, you can always just buy a really cheap dirt bike and thrash it to get your fix.

    __
    But if you are going on forest roads for that 50%, then go Honda.
    If that 50% are rough jeep trails, get the DR and upgrade the suspension. This assumes the engine has virtually no vibes on the Interstate. Some mileage will vary on this. So try and get a demo ride.
    #7
    cyclopathic and NOrrTH like this.
  8. NOrrTH

    NOrrTH Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2019
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    Excellent replies. Exactly what I was looking for. thank you so much. :clap
    #8
    No-Fret likes this.
  9. No-Fret

    No-Fret Tanker

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    Oddometer:
    874
    Location:
    Peoples Republik of Washington
    CBX-RR is awesome.
    #9
    Tangor, NOrrTH and The_Precious_Juice like this.
  10. ddlewis

    ddlewis Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,479
    Location:
    South/central Va
    I have a well set up DR and ride around with a buddy on a rally raided cb5x. (Also have a jdrocks style 650 versys similar to the cb5x) Surprisingly compatible rigs for bdr type riding. lots of capability overlap. Gravel riding is a wash with twins better towards pavement and thumpers on the rock garden end. Just like you already know.. but it's not dramatic at either end. just pick the one you like best.

    I think at least half of the d/s thumper advantage off road is that you know you can throw it down on a pile of rocks with no fear where the Honda/Kaw will probably break something.

    Here's a picture of the cbx, versys, DR's, XRL and a wr-x at a fire tower on the ID BDR called "burnt knob" which was a pretty tough climb even for thumpers. but all bike made it.

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. NOrrTH

    NOrrTH Adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2019
    Oddometer:
    35
    Location:
    Nanaimo, BC, Canada
    Great shot :clap
    #11