Rally-Raid Products Honda CB500X

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

  1. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Mark - at this point nothing is fixed, as the final specification (and lead time on production of the various elements etc.) is yet to be confirmed...

    As I mention above, the idea is to offer a range of parts that you can pick and chose from as your needs, budget or desires require - tick every box and yes, you are likely to be spending a not insignificant amount of money! - however, there will also be the option to phase the various purchases, as the plan is to have every element forwards and backwards compatible.

    Initially, we would hope to be able to offer the spoked 'Adventure' wheel-set (typically in 17" rear and 19" front with rim width optimised for the 150/17 rear and 110/19 front TKC tyre or comparable brand) for around £600 GBP or thereabouts.

    Typically if you are going to fit those, then you are likely to need* the +1" rear shock which will offer a wider range of travel and adjustment, including the option of a remote preload adjuster. The price of this is yet to be confirmed with Tractive, but we hope a ball-park figure is going to be in the region of £400-500 GBP - it's not going to be a race shock, but it will offer better damping performance and adjustability than stock.

    Then the only other thing you'd really need would either be the simple bracket set to lift the stock low fender, or a high fender conversion - neither of which are likely to be expensive.

    note. *It is yet to be confirmed until we have test-ftted and measure the various options, but it is possible that by specifying the 18" rear rim option together with the correct tyre choice (and by that I mean a big fat and tall tyre), and coupled with dropping the stock forks in the triple clamps a little, that you might even get away with just a wheel-set and the necessary brackets to raise the stock front fender.

    HOWEVER, until we are certain this will not affect the handling of the bike, we are not in a position to recommend this... and fundamentally of course, the replacement rear shock is not only going to give you more adjustability and overall travel, but it will maximise the ground clearance front and rear if you don't drop the forks though the triple clamps of course.


    Should you wish to add further improvements, then any fork inserts (for damping adjustment) are likely to cost a similar amount to what is already available.

    Similarly, a full-length skid plate is likely to cost a similar amount to the ones RRP make for the 690 and Tiger - although unlike their 'Rally' bashguard, the CB500X version is likely to be as simple and compact as possible in an effort to maximise ground clearance, possibly saving a little cost (in materials and fabrication time) there.

    Obviously as the project evolves to include further modifications - such as the proposed replacement rear silencer and high-level link pipe option; plus a CRF Rally style screen and cockpit fairing, and perhaps a full graphics kit too - then those prices will have to be decided closer to the actual production time.

    Hope that helps!

    Jx
    #21
  2. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Nose Job

    Regarding the 'new nose' concept - I thought I might open this up for discussion here...

    While we imagine there are a significant number of owners who simply love the styling of the CRF Dakar bikes (as do we!), at the same time, we are very conscious that any significant purchase or upgrade needs to be made with your head and your heart...

    [​IMG]

    As such, while we certainly plan to ape the styling of the [1st generation] CRF Rally bikes (photo above) - it actually also has a number of discernible and practical benefits:

    1. A taller, wider and more upright [one piece] wind-shild is likely to offer a significant improvement in wind & weather protection.

    2. By creating more space behind the windshield, we plan to incorporate a mounting bracket/bar so that a GPS or similar device/s can be mounted directly above the stock instrument panel. This will of course typically also include a 12v power and/or 5V USB charging socket ;o)

    3. A one-piece clear screen/nose fairing will also double up as a headlight protector.

    Indeed, other than styling and better weather protection, the main reason for developing a new nose for the bike is to incorporate various lighting options - and/or the facility for owners to add auxiliary HID or LED lamps in conjunction with a traditional combined (or split) low/hi beam assembly, but at this point in time we are unable to confirm the actual specification.

    note. personally, I would hope to be able to retain the stock headlamp unit itself - not only from a cost point of view, but to help keep an OEM visual connection with the original bike and the current Honda design ethos as a whole.

    One option could be to incorporate a supplementary Zenon driving lamp below the main hi/low lamp - visually something akin to the CB1000F for example (keeping it 'in the family' so to speak):


    [​IMG]

    I hope that gives you all some food for thought?

    Jx
    #22
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  3. Falp

    Falp Been here awhile

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    Looks good but maybe 17" & 19" is a better bet ;)
    #23
  4. Falp

    Falp Been here awhile

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    Looks good but maybe 17" & 19" is a better bet ;)<br/>
    #24
  5. Mourist

    Mourist Been here awhile

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    "Beaks are for birds", I'd love to see a decent alternative for the nose-end of the bike
    #25
  6. Dave1899

    Dave1899 Been here awhile

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    Guess a hacksaw could fix that :eek1
    #26
  7. Cruz

    Cruz Lost but laughing.

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    You could have that stunning front nose off of a Versys! :lol3
    #27
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  8. markinthailand

    markinthailand Been here awhile

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    Thanks! That's exactly what I needed to know.

    Those prices are reasonable for what they are, and make sense in terms of the outcomes/ideas.

    BTW, talked with a friend who is very experienced adventure rider (Siberia, Mongolia, etc.) and he A) said if the mods are coming out from Rally Raid they'll be good; and B) that the CB500X is a great platform for this sort of modification/customizing.

    ktmmitch, could you explain why you think the 500X is so well suited for this? That is, why this bike and not another one?
    #28
  9. thms

    thms Adventurer

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    I absolutely love what you guys are working on here. I wonder why none of the big bike manufacturers comes up with modification parts themselves (except ktm?)


    Gesendet von iPhone mit Tapatalk
    #29
  10. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    So a little treat for those of you who might have been disappointed with the initial skinny test tyres fitted last week...

    I visited RRP's HQ today, and KTMmitch had just taken delivery of some Continental TKC80 tyres to fit to our prototype/test wheels:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm sure that was much more what you were thinking, right?!

    The sizes fitted are 120/70 19 on the front, and a 150/70 18 on the rear.

    I'll crunch the numbers for you in a moment (below), but after taking a few measurements, essentially what we found is that effectively the 18 inch rear rim, with a 150/70 18 TKC fitted, pretty much keeps the same relationship between the front and rear tyres as the stock wheel & tyre combo, so the good news is, if you choose the 18 inch rear rim option - it would appear they fit without having to fit an extended rear shock - although obviously until we have a) removed the springs front and rear to check clearance on full bump travel, and b) actually road-tested the bike with a production spec rear hub (rather than the bearing-less mock up which is currently fitted), we cannot be sure of this 100%.

    For the number nerds, a few figures (these are approximate, eyeballed with a tape measure):

    Stock front wheel and OEM tyre diameter = 600mm or 23.75"
    Stock rear wheel and OEM tyre diameter = 630mm or 24.75"

    So the difference in diameter between the front and rear stock tyres is a good inch or so, with the rear being a little larger than the front, as is typically the case with sport touring tyres...

    To compare...

    19 inch front wheel with 120/70 TKC diameter = 680mm or 26.75"
    18 inch rear wheel with 15/70 TKC diameter = 690mm or 27.25"

    So only around half an inch difference, with the rear slightly larger again.

    Therefore this should not upset the attitude/level of the bike too much, but as I say, these are only rough measurements at this point in time - and until we can road-test the bike with a production hub, we will not know how much adjustment might be required, and indeed if a longer rear shock is going to be essential or not... although obviously if you want the 17" rear option (which personally we feel is preferable), then a slightly longer rear shock is indeed going to be required to level the bike correctly - and in addition of course will also offer a significant improvement in rear ride quality and adjustability (something a number of owners certainly desire) - so money well spent in my opinion.

    Fundamentally though, fitting the new wheel & tyre combo has revealed some other [potential] issues which I will go into detail in a separate post below - but ultimately, the 19" front end raises the bike 1.5 inches from stock; while at the rear, the current 18" and 150/70 set-up raises the bike 1.25 inches... so the overall effect (on it's wheels) is now an underbelly clearance of 200mm/8 inches.

    This is clearly shown by the angle of the bike on the stock side stand - yup, that's going to need a little upgrade too ;o)

    [​IMG]

    Jx
    #30
  11. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    You may have noticed from the photos above, that the stock front fender actually follows the profile of the 19" front tyre far better than we had first imagined, and certainly an easy and cost-effective option will be to simply produce a set of brackets to raise the stock fender enough so that there is sufficient dirt clearance:

    [​IMG]

    However, and as I had alluded to a while back in the original CB500X thread in Beasts, it is possible that on full suspension compression, the stock fender might connect with the radiator - so that is something we are going to have to test thoroughly before signing off on that idea.

    The alternative of course is to do away with the stock low fender option completely - as I'm sure many of you with half an eye on the HRC Dakar bikes would want to do anyway, and certainly the bike looks much more purposeful without the bulky front fender?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It will certainly be straightforward enough to create a billet bracket to mount a supermoto style high fender to the lower triple-clamp - in fact it is something we offered up today (sorry, no photos!), and subsequently we have a plan that includes a truncated replacement part for the stock beak, allowing the lower profile of the headlight to flow nicely into a high fender.

    more...
    #31
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  12. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    cont.

    Regardless of the final fender issue, we will also have to ensure that the wheel/tyre itself has sufficient clearance against the radiator on full travel - this will be tested by removing the fork springs and totally compressing the front end...

    [​IMG]

    As we understand, the forks legs themselves are same as the F and R models, just with inch longer springs - so we need to ascertain whether the longer springs bottom out with enough clearance for the 19" wheel sooner than where the inch shorter F forks might bottom out with a 17" wheel - again, the proof will be in physical testing.

    Something else we will need to test to confirm is that the front ABS sensor still works correctly with the new disc carrier required for the conventional front hub:

    [​IMG]

    Obviously this is not an issue for non-ABS equipped bikes, but in the UK and mainland Europe, all CB500X's (and very soon all new road bikes) now come with ABS as standard - there is no option like in the USA and Australia for example.

    The other issue that came to light today was that regardless of the wheels fitted, there is very little swingarm clearance against the stock silencer - it is close already!

    [​IMG]

    As such, it is pretty clear that any longer shock is also going to require a different end-can to allow the swingarm to drop further...

    Now we realise a number of owners have already fitted aftermarket cans - that typically have a far narrower link pipe section into the main silencer - so this ought not to be an issue for a good number of people in the process of upgrading their bikes... however, it is point worth considering if you intend to upgrade your rear suspension - and as such, we feel a useful 2nd option would be a replacement standard-length upgraded rear shock too, for those owners who are not looking for significantly improved off-road performance.

    Of course it was always Rally Raid's intention to offer a replacement silencer (that ought offer a significant weight saving) anyway, and in turn that will allow plenty of room for an increase in rear shock length (quite possibly right up to the +3 inch of the Thai rally bikes), together with a general reduction in bulk.

    On a tangent, we have also discussed the possibility of offering a complete replacement front footrest hanger set - that would not only allow larger pegs to be fitted, but also offer multi position adjustment for the pegs and foot controls...

    But that is already more than enough to be getting on with for now - we have work to do!

    Toot toot!

    Jx
    #32
  13. aai

    aai Adventurer

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    that bike is looking good!! Thanks for the updates
    #33
  14. bhorocks

    bhorocks Been here awhile

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    These are the exact upgrades the bike needs to be made worthy. I like the 500cc of non agro and getting 3" in the back , new peg relocation set, wire wheels and some better front fork options are key. Perhaps just a set of clamps that can be used with a set of DRZ forks so you can keep the turning radius and easy to find.

    Simple but effective suspension for the bike. face it, it isn't going to be a race bike so USDs don't seem to need to be needed.
    #34
  15. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi bhorocks!

    You suggestion is a excellent opportunity for me to expand on the next stage of development...

    I/we agree - USD forks are by no means essential on a primarily 'adventure' bike like this... However, if we are talking all-new components, then the reality is these days there is not a lot of difference in wholesale price between a complete new set of conventional forks and triple clamps, or USD* forks and triple clamps - and either way, both would require a new wheel/axle, plus a brake calliper (and ABS sensor where applicable), or at least some sort of adaptor to mount the OEM Honda calliper to any new forks.

    *In addition, the vogue for USD forks these days means there is typically a far wider range of sizes and specifications available for this size and weight of bike, compared to conventional forks which are typically consigned to the smaller end of the market.

    Now of course a one-off build could incorporate any number of new and used components gleaned from trawling around ebay etc. - but it has never been Rally Raid's method of business to insist you try and find suitable secondhand donor parts to complete a conversion - and in the case of the CB500X in particular, I would suggest that with a high proportion of these bikes currently having been bought new, then the vast majority of owners would prefer to be bolting brand new parts to their bikes in any case?

    As such, and fundamentally in an effort to keep the overall price affordable, we strongly feel the initial 'Adventure' 17/19 specification ought to retain the standard OEM triple-clamps and 41mm fork lower/legs at least - as these would be the most expensive parts to change... after all, the wheels you are going to have to change anyway to get a 19" front and more dirt-worthly spoked/Excel rim combination, so you are already in for a significant cost as part of the conversion.

    In the next week or so, KTMmitch is hoping to have the complete front end apart so that we can take proper measurements and decide on what the upgrade specification should be. The current forks offer 5.5 inches of travel, and while this ought to be sufficient for the vast majority of riders if the actual suspension action/damping characteristics are improved, we will also be considering a 'mild' increase in overall travel - for example a BMW F700GS has 7.1 inches of front travel - so something closer to that might be a good compromise between stock (and the usefully low seat height of the standard bike) and a full-on replacement 10"+ travel 'rally' front end* like the Thai bike conversion has?

    *For info. As previously mentioned above, the 19" front wheel, with a 120/70 19 TKC80 tyre fitted lifts the front of the bike approximately 1.5 inches over standard so we would not want to go appreciably higher as part of the initial 'adventure' kit, rather keep any significant increase in travel for the more extreme 'rally/overland' option, which would have to incorporate new forks and triple clamps.

    Once 'Mitch has finalised the front fork specification, it will be simple enough to have a correct length rear shock made to properly level out the bike and retain the same rake and trail as the existing machine.

    The key to all of this as I'm sure you can appreciate, is to not compromise the day-to-day usability of the existing bike; and to provide an affordable and appreciable upgrade in quality and specification at the same time - using brand new parts of OEM quality or better - so that it in effect becomes the "Bike Honda should have built in the first place."

    As we have suggested all along, a more extreme (and understandably expensive) conversion akin to the Thai bikes while appealing to ourselves as engineers, is likely to have a very limited appeal amongst the vast majority of owners - hence the reason for concentrating on the key 'weak points' of the stock bike [which have been typically highlighted in the main discussion forum in Beasts], and finding a cost effective solution to improving those first...

    That is before we let Franken'Mitch build his monster ;o)

    More soon!

    Jx
    #35
  16. Mourist

    Mourist Been here awhile

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    While I appreciate what you are doing with these "budget" upgrades, I would love to see a more "serious" upgrade with proper USD-forks and a proper rear shock that would make it truly an overlander bike. Also for the looks, as the stock looks flimsy and screams budget. Even if it would add a significant cost I can't really think of any bikes I could compare it to when it comes to durability and versatility within €2000-3000.

    (Keep in mind I live in Norway and everything is very expensive here. A new Honda CB500X costs $14.700 to give you an idea.)

    Besides, I need something to drool over, so come up with some crazy stuff to make this a true adventure stunner!

    That being said, you are going in the right direction here, and I cannot imagine a more interesting job than working for Rally Raid these days. Exciting times!
    #36
  17. novaman64

    novaman64 Some sumo guy

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    I may have missed it, but what are the width of the rims?

    Also, any plans to go with a moto type front fender (like whats on the Thai bikes)?
    #37
  18. Dave1899

    Dave1899 Been here awhile

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    It does look good with the stock fender. I hadn't thought about the possible 19" wheel/radiator conflict, glad you guy's did. :*sip*
    #38
  19. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Thanks Dave - certainly once we'd got the bike on it's wheels & tyres, and eyeballed it, we felt it might be touch and go - after all, the forks as standard only offer street-bike levels of travel, and for a 17 inch wheel with a street profile tyre...

    So today KTMmitch took the springs out of the forks to see what the clearance might be on maximum compression, both with and without the stock low fender in position - note that if the stock fender is to be retained, it needs to be around 27mm higher than the original position to allow [mud] clearance for the tyre.

    This is what it looked like:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Tight, in a word - albeit I can't imagine the forks ever bottoming quite as low as this:

    [​IMG]

    The good news at least is even at that maximum compression, there is still more than adequate clearance between the tyre and exhaust headers:

    [​IMG]

    So where does that leave us now?

    Well what is clear is that with the forks at standard length, it is realistically too tight to incorporate the stock front fender on brackets high enough to clear a 19" front wheel comfortably (as we had suspected).

    However, and to partially answer Novaman64 in the post above, it was always our intention to offer a high-fender adaptor kit* more akin to the CRF Rally and Thai bikes anyway, and we feel this ought to provide sufficient clearance even if the forks remain at stock 5.5 inch travel - but of course this will have to be tested properly too.

    *(which will offer slightly more space between the wheel and lower triple clamp than the OEM front fender does).

    Fundamentally of course, I think most people who would want to fit some more dirt-oriented wheels would almost certainly want a high-level fender too? - if only for looks eh ;o) - so this will realistically have to be part of the Adventure wheel-set kit offered - note however that Rally Raid will still be producing a set of brackets so that the stock low fender can be raised slightly to clear 17 inch knobbly front tyres, such as the 120/70 17 version of the TKC for example, for those owners who are happy with the standard diameter wheels.


    Springs and things
    However - and I think this particular nugget of news is going to appeal to a significant number of current and prospective owners - KTMmitch did not stop and removing the stock springs, he also pulled apart the standard forks (a relatively simple job with conventional and basic forks such as those fitted to the CB500X), and something very interesting transpired...

    Firstly, the stock springs are very much shorter than they could be - with a 5" plastic spacer above them. 'Mitch certainly feels that the short spring length certainly doesn't help with the overall 'budget' feel of the OEM forks - and that by replacing the stock springs with some far longer ones, we should immediately see a far plusher ride from the front end.

    And it gets better! - despite Honda [purportedly] 'jacking up' the front 1.2 inches over the 500F/R models, fortunately there is still plenty more overlap between the stock stanchions and lowers - which means it is perfectly feasible to actually increase the overall travel a little further, while retaining the stock fork leg components - which will make this initial conversion very cost-effective!

    It is therefore our intention at this stage to offer a kit that will also increase the front travel by between 30-40mm - so around an inch and a half, which means the front of the bike will now have in effect, the same amount of travel as the BMW F700GS for example - which at this stage we are using as a benchmark spec for this kind of 50/50 'adventure' bike.

    Similarly, the 'adventure' rear shock spec is now likely to offer around 40-50mm of extra travel, again providing the same rear travel as the 700GS (6.7 inches), and making this, we feel, into a true adventure bike, whilst still retaining a comparatively low seat height, and the correspondingly comfortable every-day ergonomics that makes the standard machine so attractive to a wide range of riders?

    All being well, we should have the increased travel front end sorted in the next few days, then it will be a case of simply sourcing a suitable replacement shock at the correct length to even the bike out...

    Exciting times!

    Jx
    #39
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  20. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    See above regarding the fender, but the short answer is indeed 'yes' ;o)

    As for the new spoked-wheel rim widths - the 17 rear and 19 front will effectively be the same width as the standard bike, as we do not envisage owners wanting to go appreciably narrower when there are suitable knobblies available in both 120 front and 150 (or even 170) rear width?

    For info, the current 18" prototype rear wheel is a 2.50 as typically 18" rear tyres are narrower, and certainly the 150/70 18 does look more narrow than the corresponding 150/70 17 version for some reason.

    Jx
    #40