Rally-Raid Products Honda CB500X

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

  1. Duke82

    Duke82 Adventurer

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    so disapointed to be away in paris when the cbx-adventure spec comes to town. and i only live 5 minutes from the ACE cafe too. Damn!
  2. Cruz

    Cruz Lost but laughing.

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  3. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    Looks like our new sister Honda CB500X in Australia, being "looked after" by David Darcy in Sydney, has been going through Dave's ruuning-in procedure.
    This also includes a full electrical water-proofing test!!!!
    This bike will be used on a 4,000km Hay River Crossing trip in late July by myself, with all our parts fitted.
    After the trip the bike will be sold in Aus, with all our Adv kit parts fitted.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
  4. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    We have been through 4 sets of side plates and 2 types of dog-bone desighs this week in order to achieve the 50mm(2") extra rear wheel movement on our Honda CB500X Adventure project.
    The starting point of our problem was that the new Tractive Suspension rear shock is slightly larger in diameter than the basic OEM unit, and therefore we had to move the lower pivot rearwards a few mm's to clear the expansion tank, which sits behind the engine.
    This in turn altered the geometory of the rising-rate linkage, which meant we had to go through 4 pairs of water-jet cut aluminium side plates in order to achieve the correct ratios.
    And we also had to redesign the dog-bone profile in order to clear the lower shock mount.........and I thought it would be easy modification!!!
    Also, notice the broken pair of plates which I left on the bike when Jenny tested it, they should have been steel, like the OEM parts.........never mind, they say you have to break a few eggs to make an omelette.
    We now have 6,7" of rear wheel movement, an increase of 2" over stock.
    [​IMG]
  5. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    To help compliment the work we are doing on the back end of the Honda CB500X, here is an update on progress with the forks.
    We have designed, and made, a set of 30mm longer damper rods, which incorporate a simple(ish) piston and shim stack to give high & low speed compression adjustment,as well as 30mm more travel.
    These are being built into a new OEM fork leg, which will be sent to Tractive Suspension HQ in Nederlands for dyno testing, this will help us find the correct shim stack arrangement to suit the CB500X, with the adventure riding it should be doing once our kit is fitted.
    Whilst the forks are at Tractive we will be getting a new spring design made, with longer springs, and varying weights of spring to suit different rider weights and luggage arrangements.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  6. OlafofOregon

    OlafofOregon Long timer Super Supporter

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    Nice video of the bone stock 2014 Honda CB500X traveling the legendary Route 66 through California by MotoGeo:

    <iframe width="640" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bL1CzJN2Qss?rel=0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  7. McRat

    McRat Long timer

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    Very nice!

    (ps - I knew alum wouldn't work :D)
  8. RCR4V3N

    RCR4V3N n00bist

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    :huh
    So Jenny, how was that ride?
  9. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Yeah, interesting... but like Nigel Tufnel "I'm a professional, I rise above it..."

    To clarify - the set of links that broke were the first set John cut to test the ride-height alterations back in January. They were cut from alloy as it is far quicker and cheaper than using steel/stainless steel for prototyping.

    I took the opportunity to put a few road miles on the bike while he was away on the Dakar, and after plenty of sucessful on-road miles, though I might try a little 'aggressive suspension testing' at speed over potholes on the perimeter track of Salisbury Plain (a military training ground in south west UK for anyone unfamiliar)...

    After hammering a succession of potholes (typically 4-8" deep) at ever increasing speeds: 30-40-50mph I was amazed how well the bike was coping - right up to the point you can see in the photo below - and the hole I hit at around 50mph (the shiny puddle in the background) that finally caused the alloy plates to rip through:

    [​IMG]

    It was an interesting sensation to say the least - a sort of instant automatic low-rider conversion.

    After grinding to a halt, I stepped off (literally) and hoiked the bike onto the stand (not easy), and this was the result:

    [​IMG]

    There was a degree of cursing I admit.

    I should clarify that this in no way reflects on what John is engineering as production parts. We knew these were effectively just prototype pattern parts to test geometry - they were never designed for destruction testing in this way.

    Obviously the production parts will be made from top grade steel, and be stronger than the OEM parts they replace. Indeed, so too will the revised dog-bone linkage bar, which will be machined from billet aluminium with additional strengthening ribs designed in.

    We have no doubt that the stock CB500X linkage is already perfectly strong enough for typical dirt-road use, however, we want to take the opportunity to further improve strength in that area, together with the necessary geometry changes required for the +50mm Adventure shock (as John explains above).

    As you can probably appreciate - there is a LOT more to successfully 'Adventurising' a bike like this than simply chucking on a new shock and some wheels that you picked up cheap on ebay...

    What we have realised is that for this to be not only dynamically successful, but fundamentally for this project to be safe and commercially viable, a lot of re-engineering has had to go into the development, and we trust that your patience in that regard is going to be well rewarded.

    Jenny x
  10. Daishiknyte

    Daishiknyte I'm Me There

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    I'd rather y'all break it now, than me break it later. :)
  11. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    Pushing on today with CNC machined billet dog bone link for the Honda CB500X Adventure, with offset centre rib to clear the new, longer Tractive shock.
    We have made an extra one to send off, along with the OEM part, and have them independently tensile-tested to check our calculations, so they are more than strong enough to cope with more off-road riding, look out for the video results !!
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    OEM link on top, our billet versions below.
  12. Little General

    Little General Been here awhile

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    Awsome work you guys are doing. I envy the people that make a living doing what they love. I make a living repairing other peoples plumbing problems, I love to ride and upgrade my Honda CB500x. Thanks for making upgrades we can all enjoy installing and enjoying using while riding.:thumb
  13. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Little General - hee hee, while we certainly love doing it, we only make a living if you guys actually buy it of course ;o)

    And in that regard, I think this is something that a lot of people have been looking for...

    With limited ground clearance, and a lack of substantial bash/skid plates on the market, the CB-X can be a little vulnerable - certainly if you intend to ride on rougher terrain than hardpack trails or gravel roads.

    Of course the Adventure kit will significantly improve the ground clearance meaning contact is far less likely to occur in the first place, and while at around 9" it will be much more akin to a small trail/dual-sport bike, it's never going to have enduro bike (12"+) margins for error ;o)

    In that regard, we felt it was essential to design and produce a proper engine protector - and have taken the decision to design a single unit that incorporates both a strong under-belly skid/bash plate, together with engine bars to help protect the lower engine/side cases.

    Fundamentally this has been designed to work with both a stock bike, or our Adventure raised suspension kit - therefore offering decent protection no matter how tall (or short) you are. We have also tried to ensure that it visually compliments the styling of the bike, and in the ethos of the CB-X Adventure project as a whole, retains the minimalist and lightweight appeal that caused us to choose this particular bike in the first place.

    John has been busy in the workshop today and sent a few photos of the prototype:

    [​IMG]
    I do like a photo with a few welding sparks ;o)

    And the lower tubes in place:
    [​IMG]

    The beauty of this design, other than it's apparent simplicity, is that it bolts directly on to the frame using the two front engine mounts, and at the rear, picks up on the substantial tube that would otherwise be used for the centre-stand*.

    *Please, for the love of reading back a few pages, don't make me explain yet again why we feel a traditional centre-stand is a compromise on a bike like this...

    [​IMG]

    The tubular 'cradle' that protects the sump and lower engine cases is vastly superior to anything else that is currently available while remaining quick and easy to attach/detach - indeed, it will be possible to leave the rear bracket attached and pivot the assembly down to improve access for oil changing and servicing etc.

    In addition to the basic cradle, there will be a pair of tubular 'wings' to further protect the leading edges of the stator cover (and corresponding right hand side cover), and a lazer-cut aluminium infill panel directly in front of the engine/oil filter between the cradle and the headers, to further protect from debris and potential damage.

    More photos to follow in the next couple of days - all being well, we will have the finished guard on the bike for testing on Saturday!

    Jx

    PS. John also included a photo of the production spec rear linkage for the Adventure suspension - this incorporates a revised pair of linkage plates together with a billet aluminium dong-bone so that the +50mm shock clears throughout it's complete range of travel:

    [​IMG]

    Sweet eh?!
  14. Ol'NumNuts

    Ol'NumNuts A Bloke and his Akita- Flynn

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    He he he...
    A 'dong-bone' eh?
    Well that certainly got my attention...
    Gave me a little tingle in all the wrong ways....
    Sorry for the 'gutter-thoughts'... As they say, simple things amuse simple minds...
    But please don't allow this to detract from the sensational work you guys are doing!
    I love it, love it, love it.....

    BTW in Aussie speak any reference to Bone(r), Dong(er), and a few more choice adjectives are well phallic in connotation and nature...
    I'm sure I don't have to draw you a picture... And yes we're a weird lot, that's why you love us so much... :tic :lol3
  15. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Ha ha! I'd not noticed that typo - how appropriate ;o)

    I think I might leave it there to amuse others! - in fact we might even call it that now in the catalogue ;o)

    Jx
  16. RazorWing

    RazorWing Adventurer

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    That skid plate is looking great! Any ETA when we might see it for sale or the final version?

    Random question I keep forgetting to post. Any idea what the expected change to seat height will be for the Adventure kit? (I'm short with a 30" inseam, so curious).
  17. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

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    I'm no mechanical engineer... I noticed the OEM dog bone link connects axle to axle via the mid part of the axle. The billet versions are off-set from center of axle. Is there a reason for it? Also, I assume being off-set is not going to stress it in anyway under tensile or compression forces.
  18. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi RazorWing!

    John is finishing off the prototype engine guard tomorrow, and if we are happy with it over the weekend, then we'll get a jig made up early next week and can schedule production immediately... similarly we've made a couple of tweaks to the soft-luggage side and tail racks, and they have been jigged already.

    The first batch of stainless steel heavy-duty foot pegs have already been cut, and ought to be welded up next week too.

    As I have mentioned perviously, we hope to have the initial batch Luggage-racks, foot-pegs and engine guards ready for sale by the end of this month - we are showing the bike at an event in London on the 22nd March, and want to have those parts (together with the standard length Tractive rear shock) available on the Rally Raid Products web-shop from that date... with the full Adventure kit to follow once we have received the first batch of production Adventure shocks, fork internals and wheels.

    Jx
  19. McRat

    McRat Long timer

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    Factory dogbone is a few mm away from the shock eye. To alter geometry to get more travel, you need more clearance.

    It's a tension load. That design is fine, very strong.
  20. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Lion BR -

    If you read what John has said in the post you quoted above again, you'll see you've kind of answered your own questions already... ;o)

    The dog-bone has to be off-set to allow sufficient clearance for the longer shock - otherwise the bottom eyelet hits the top of the dog-bone once the bike is raised +50mm. For some reason, the CB500 models have a solid single dog bone directly under the shock, rather than the traditional design of one either side so the shock can drop through the middle.

    There are likely to be different forces on the new dog-bone as you surmise (torsional rather than tensile) - how different we will know after they have been for tensile testing as John mentions.

    The company we use specialise in stretching and twisting stuff until it breaks - to give you an example, we recently introduced a billet aluminium lower suspension link for the KTM 690 to replace the cast OEM part, which has been known to break under impact... Our billet part was over 50% stronger than the OEM part.

    We have sent both an OEM aluminium link for the CB500X, together with our billet version for comparison testing - with the results due next week. On the whole, billet aluminium is far stronger than the extruded (and certainly the cast) equivalent.

    Jx