Rally-Raid Products Honda CB500X

Discussion in 'Vendors' started by ktmmitch, Sep 22, 2014.

  1. modeselector

    modeselector Common as muck

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    Thanks Jmo - just want to add this is Non ABS weight.

    Also not sure if the wheel weight mentioned incorporates the tubes, which could add a few more Kg's.
  2. Neil_The_Wheel

    Neil_The_Wheel Long timer

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    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for taking the time to write up this review and post it over here as well as your site. Very enlightening and unbiased.

    Good to see that the little CB500X RR3 is standing up to some abuse over some really rough terrain.

    I especially appreciated your thoughts on the RR suspension. I am thinking of installing RR Level 2 on my bike here in the next month so it is good to read about the process and understand the limitations.
  3. modeselector

    modeselector Common as muck

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  4. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Seriously, if anyone is worried about a kilogram here and there, you might want to consider carbon fibre hand guards, an open face helmet and how much you ate at Christmas...

    The weight of an ABS CB500X (according to the Honda UK website) is 196Kg.

    I agree there will also be the weight of tubes to consider (the wheel weights I quotes are bare wheels, like for like), and depending on the tubes you fit and the brand/tread types, then your own weight my vary - fortunately inner tubes are not heavy (typically less than a Kilo) unless you use the UHD type, which are not recommended for high speed on-road applications.

    At the end of the day, this is the lightest weight twin-cylinder Adventure bike on the market. If anyone is obsessed by weight, you might want to look at basing your Adventure bike build on a single cylinder dual-sport machine, and be prepared to accept the inevitable limitations.

    Jx
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  5. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    I would also like to echo the other responses and thank Chris for such a thorough and detailed review after his extended trip to Morocco recently - an excellent 'real world' example of the kind of trip this bike was built for, and the perfect arena for evaluation.

    Certainly we have taken a number of the points he's raised on board as part of our ongoing refinements, and in addition I would like to clarify a couple of points he raised regarding suspension set-up.


    Preload

    Firstly both I (and Rally-Raid themselves as a company) agree that access to the rear shock preload adjustment is very inconvenient on the CB500X - moreso with the ABS model that has the ABS pump (and associated cover) hanging down behind the shock body itself, making access to the preload ring very tricky once the shock has been mounted on the bike.

    However, I do not agree with Chris the regular access to preload is what is required to improve suspension performance. Yes adding preload will result in the shock feeling slightly stiffer, but that is because it is effectively a ride-height adjuster to compensate for different loads - ie. riding solo unladen, vs. with luggage and/or a passenger - and the shock needs to be adjusted so that it can support a varying load.

    I agree that easy access/selection between effectively the two states (solo vs. loaded) would be more convenient - and certainly John and TracTive are taking steps to design a specific preload adjuster that can be accessed much more easily trail-side.

    However, what is important (and as Chris readily admits, he is no suspension set-up expert) is the facility to adjust the damping to suit the varying terrain on a much more regular basis than the preload, and to understand that relationship more fully.

    To explain in the most simple terms - it is the damping that has the most effect on how the suspension feels, when riding various terrain.


    Damping

    The damping action has two key components - compression and rebound - that is, how the shock initially soaks up a bump, and how quickly it returns back to the pre-bump state.

    Put simply, without any damping, a spring will act like a pogo stick - compressing and extending until ultimately returns to it's natural length.

    Compression damping controls how fast (ie. how 'easily') the spring can compress to absorb a bump. On the LEVEL 3 Adventure shock, this has two circuits - high-speed and low speed.

    The high-speed circuit is designed to control the spring for the smaller, regular spikes you would get when riding a washboard graded piste track for example - those regular stutter-bumps, as the shock needs to react very quickly to those, so as to minimise any vibrations transferred through to the rest of the bike.

    The low-speed circuit is designed to handle the larger bumps, where the shock is compressed much further along the length of it's travel, and needs to act progressively to stop the spring ultimately using all its travel too quickly and bottoming out.

    On the rebound side, that is very much in the name - it is the speed at which the spring returns to it's original pre compressed state.

    Without any rebound damping, the spring would shoot back to its original length, effectively bucking you and upsetting the balance of the bike. Too much rebound damping and the spring will not extend quickly enough back to it's original length to be ready for any subsequent bumps - this is typically referred to as 'bogging' or 'packing down', where the rear of the bike effectively squats with less travel available for each hit, and you need to ease off/slow down and allow the suspension to fully extend again.


    Suspension Sag

    I have purposely avoided mentioning 'sag' so far in this discussion (in an effort to avoid confusion), although that itself is also a fundamental part of suspension set-up.

    Again, put simply in an effort to try and describe the action of suspension in visual terms - a wheel needs to travel both up and down to properly track the terrain and maintain grip and directional control. If the suspension was fully extended when the weight of the bike and the rider was onboard, while it might be able to absorb a large raised bump, the wheels could not drop into a hollow, and the whole machine would therefore track every undulation and/or skip across a hole, braking traction.

    By having the weight of the bike (and rider) sat somewhere* in the middle of the spring's action, it allows the suspension to both compress and extend, to better follow the ground, while keeping the bike itself level, and not least the ride 'comfortable'.

    *A rule-of-thumb is to have around 1/3rd of the suspension travel set as droop, and 2/3rds set as bump - that is, if you had 6 inches of overall travel for example, then when the bike and rider were in the riding position, the wheels could drop 2 inches, and raise 4 inches without the level of bike itself being affected in any way.

    In a nutshell, this is why the longer the travel, the better the bike will handle rough terrain - and why dirt bikes have around 12 inches of travel, allowing the wheels to drop for example 4 inches into a hole, and absorb a bump of 8 inches without breaking a sweat...

    Obviously on a bike like the CB500X Adventure (with 7 inches of overall travel) you need to ride accordingly, and why setting your sag can prove more important on a shorter travel adventure bike, to compensate for the kind of terrain you'll be riding (which is where Chris highlights the preload adjustment in his review).

    More preload will effectively reduce the amount of sag/droop travel, meaning the wheels will not drop into holes in the same way, but conversely offer a little extra bump absorption - although you then need to consider that effectively the 'stiffer' spring will not be able to absorb that bump in the same way without bucking - which brings us back to damping [adjustment] again...

    Again, in an effort to explain things in the simplest terms possible, if a spring is stiffer*, it will resist compressing and want to return to it's original length quicker too, which is why you'll need to adjust the damping.

    On the whole, a stiffer spring will need less compression damping (otherwise it will feel stiffer still), and more rebound damping to stop the spring returning to its original length so quickly, and bucking the bike.

    *and of course conversely, if you make the spring softer, the damping will need to be correspondingly adjusted to compensate too.


    Now I am aware this can be quite confusing for people to get their heads around, and that on the whole, most people will just find an overall setting they like and stick with it - whether there own preference is for comfort and traction, or larger harder bump absorption (and the inevitable compromise stiffer suspension has on overall comfort on a shorter-travel bike).

    I always say the best adjuster for when the terrain gets significantly different from what you were riding just a moment before is in your right hand - as it is inevitable that when riding off-road (ie. not on a generally consistent paved surface) and with limited suspension travel, there needs to be a degree of compromise. This is why competition dirt-bikes have a lot more travel, so that compromise is not so marked - or at least much further up the speed scale... However, they also come with the correspondingly lofty seat height and all the other shortcomings that make them less attractive as a genuine all-round and all-road travel bike.

    Hope that helps!

    Jenny x
  6. Gryphon12

    Gryphon12 Long timer

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    Good suspension explanation. Now, about the racks?
  7. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Gryphon - if you mean the section you highlighted in yellow - there is not enough room for a rotopax on the inside of the racks (they would hang down too far and the swing-arm would hit them), but you can certainly mount a tool-tube on the inside face on either side if you wish.

    I can also confirm that the Scorpion silencer does indeed fit inside the width of the rack on the right hand side - however, the bracket that mounts the rack to the right hand footrest hanger is right where the silencer and link pipe needs to be - and currently John has not had time to look at an alternative mounting bracket for that side, yet.

    However, the Scorpion silencer and a standard link pipe is available from Rally-Raid to mount it in the standard [lower] position below the racks, and for the time being that is what we would recommend if you want use a pannier based luggage system.

    Jx
  8. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    Santa's little elves have been busy CNC machining new products for the Honda CB500X adventure range over the holiday !!!
    We have developed a simple push button switch and mount that replaces the clutch perch bracket, and connects into the OEM wiring loom so that riders can disable the ABS for off-road, if required.
    Although we reckon the Honda ABS is one of the best on & off-road systems we have tested, we responded to owner's requests to have the option, which we have completed, and it can also turn it off and on "on the fly", so no need to stop and reset the ignition.
    Available from our webshop at the end of January.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
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  9. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    More Level 3 Side Stand Pivot Blocks being CNC milled on our new 4th Axis unit, this enables these to be produced in "one-hit", rather than several operations in a normal 3-axis mill process with a standard vice, we never stand still here at Rally-Raid Products !!

    Plus a bunch more of EVO2 Tank Mounts (for KTM 690 Enduro) to cope with the increased demand we have had in the lead up to Xmas.

    For latest up-to-date developments going through our workshop, check out our Facebook page:

    https://www.facebook.com/RallyRaidProducts/

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    Another development for the Honda CB500X, F & CBR500R models is a replacement folding-tip shift lever, with an extended, knurled tip, 20mm longer than stock.
    We have CNC machined the steel pivot from 20mm steel bar which will be mounted to a laser cut arm and pivot bush.
    This will be fitted with the correct M6 swivel rose joint and be a direct bolt-on replacement for the solid stock item

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  11. markinthailand

    markinthailand Long timer

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    So has anyone fit the Fatbar to the RRL3 yet? I don't yet have the Fatbar adapter from RR, so I got adapters to go from stock to fat bar and that went on fine. However, since the Fatbar doesn't have as much of a rise as the stock handlebar my Barkbusters hit the instrument panel on lock.

    I've rotated the bar forward and back so that isn't the fix. If it is back enough to not hit it is too low. Rotating the Barkbusters doesn't do it.

    Hmmm.

    I might go look for risers that set it back 20mm since that would work and there should be enough cable slack.

    Ideas?
  12. 2 Dogs

    2 Dogs 2 Dogs Supporter

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    I have the fat bar risers in the garage and am waiting on my HDB setup to show up this week before I install everything. I ordered the Pastrana FMX bend bars which was almost identical to the bars that Jenny mentioned would be a good fit. I went with the HDB set up because I like their threaded inserts, shields and bar-end mirror set-up. As far as windshield clearance, I installed some 40m spacers behind the windscreen to give me more room to rotate the bars forward. This worked well and the bars no longer contact the screen at full lock. This also calmed the buffeting behind the screen quite a bit. Since you're hitting the instrument panel than simply raise the bars as you suggested. There should be plenty of cable slack if the bars are that low and then simply install the spacers to get the shield away from the BB at the new height. I also like the looks of the Palmer bracket on Chris S's bike. You can retain the stock screen and really move it forward and out of the way if needed. I'll post up some pics once it's all installed.

    Hope this helps!
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  13. 2 Dogs

    2 Dogs 2 Dogs Supporter

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    Hey Mark- one more thing. These may be a good solution as they are infinitely adjustable- Rox Risers
  14. Drunk_Uncle

    Drunk_Uncle Long timer

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    Oh John you are making it so hard to have just one off road bike, now only suspension away from my current bike being set up. I think I will eventually have to buy a used CB500X and down the rabbit hole I go. Jenny great write up in suspension in laymen's terms. I have sent you a PM as it is not a CB500X topic. Thank you for all your hard work.
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  15. markinthailand

    markinthailand Long timer

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    Good ideas. The adapter I have moved it up about 20mm and the Rox Risers or something like that is what I'm thinking since it needs to move back. I'll take a look locally and see what I can find that is similar -- shipping to Thailand would be a long wait!

    I'm wondering now if the RR Fat Bar triple will work with the Renthal and Barkbusters or not. The Renthal isn't a problem but clearing the BB will be.
  16. Fonzaso

    Fonzaso Adventurer

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    Fat Bar vs OEM

    I'm not clear about this... which option will deliver the taller handlebars?

    I can see the advantage of wider bars and perhaps stronger bars. But will it also be taller than OEM?

    If not, will rox risers work? Will rox risers work on either option?

    Thanks.
  17. 2 Dogs

    2 Dogs 2 Dogs Supporter

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    You can add about 1 inch of rise to the stock bars before you run out of slack with your cables/electrical connections. The same would apply to any other bar set up that you choose. The fat bar risers and fat bar option recommended by RR will put you close to the limit. Any more rise will require new cables and lengthened electrical connections.
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  18. Fonzaso

    Fonzaso Adventurer

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    Thanks! In other words, the fat bar option (and installing their recommended fat bar) will result in taller (and wider) handlebars than the original bike set up?
  19. 2 Dogs

    2 Dogs 2 Dogs Supporter

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    yes, slightly. i'll have mine all fitted up this weekend and will upload some pics/thoughts
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  20. Fonzaso

    Fonzaso Adventurer

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    Without rox risers... ?