Rally-Raid Products Honda CB500X

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

  1. novaman64

    novaman64 Some sumo guy

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    Thanks for the info. I was jsut curious if they were as wide as flat track rims, as that would be a nice tire to run on a 19". I know on 17's, when I was racing SM used to like a 4.5" rim, though it was hard to find, most companies made a 4.25 or 5". the 5" was nice as well with a wider tire (170) but the 4.5" with a 150-155 was the absolute perfect profile.... :D

    Let me know if you need any state side testers, though most likely would be for the read end, was probably going to bolt up a set of inverted forks off my CRF450 and run that front end setup... Though would be interesting to toy with the stock noodles with upgraded springs and valving...
    #41
  2. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    sweet! you kept the ABS.
    unlike RAD mfg who has hubs for spoked 650 vstrom wheels, but no chance of keeping ABS. 2012+ strom owners have zero interest in losing their ABS & i'd imagine nor would ABS 500X owners.
    #42
  3. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Thanks eakins - yes, quite apart from the fact (as you rightly point out) that if you've chosen the ABS version then it's because you want it, here in the UK (and the rest of Europe) we have no choice - Honda only sell the CB500X with ABS here... so while it might be possible to ultimately disconnect it perhaps, why would we?

    Obviously for those owners who have a non-ABS version, the adaptor ring for the OEM front disc works in exactly the same way, you just don't have the ABS sensor/ring fitted as well.

    [​IMG]

    Similarly at the rear - while it would have been feasible to swap out the whole rear assembly for a MX derived hub and new calliper & hanger (like the Thai bikes did for example) - we felt early on that by retaining the the stock cush-drive on the left and the existing brake calliper/mount and ABS sensor & ring on the right was fundamental - not only would the rear wheel be a straight swap/bolt-in and out, but all the OEM service items such as pads, rotors, sprockets etc. would be retained - keeping things simple and cost-effective to convert.

    Jx
    #43
  4. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    No problem - we've not taken the stock tyres off the stock rims yet, so not measured exactly - but certainly it is something we'll keep in mind... as I mention above - we feel that the vast majority of people are going to want to run either a 150 or 170 rear TKC or similar, so the production spec rear wheel width will be optimised for that profile.

    That said, while RRP will hold an initial stock of wheel-sets, the design using our custom rear hub means various options could always be built to order (such as an 18 rear option in our prototype bike), so it's quite feasible to ask for a specific rim width at the point of purchase.


    As for Stateside testing - I'm actually planning on being over in the US in November, with a wheel-set for a bike we have there - with the idea to put some proving miles on them... and I won't be a million miles from you in Placerville (hope you're not on fire at the moment?), so maybe that can be a 'beer stop' destination one day? ;o)

    Thanks for your enthusiasm, and I like your CRF 450 front end idea - obviously the Rally Raid rear wheel conversion (coupled with a significantly longer shock) is going to be essential for that, and kind of what we would base any 'rally' version on ourselves... although for simplicity and availability of parts a WP front end would seem the obvious choice, personally I'd prefer a set of forks that don't need their seals changing all the time eh? ;o)

    Jx
    #44
  5. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi NorADV84! - Thank you for your enthusiasm!

    I'm sure you can appreciate that if we had to swap the complete front end for a USD set of fork legs and triple clamps (never mind the caliper, and try and sort the ABS sensor where applicable), then the cost of any 'Adventure' conversion would be huge in comparison - hell, the forks and triple clamps alone would be costing £1800 on their own for new parts - and fundamentally, we don't feel you ultimately need that level of price/performance on what is still effectively a budget* 'adventure' machine?

    * And by budget we mean 'affordable' of course - we are not simply swapping one style of low-end component for one of a slightly different shape, but aiming to offer an appreciable upgrade in performance of those parts, at a realistic price.


    To give an example, in 2008/09 I took a bog-stock Yamaha XT660Z Tenere to the USA, rode it from the west coast to the east and back again, including the Trans-Am Trail... all over the desert south west, the Colorado Rockies, Moab - effectively everywhere and anywhere you might want to take a big adventure bike on your own?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Based on that experience, when I brought it back to the UK I decided it could also make a half-way decent rally bike - so together with a number of aftermarket product manufacturers, built it into this:

    [​IMG]

    And promptly raced it from Paris to Dakar on the Heroes-Legend Rally 2009:

    [​IMG]

    Yep, even Stephane Peterhansel thought it was 'the bomb' too ;o)

    [​IMG]

    The point being, together with a complete WP USD front end, new triple clamps, Talon rally wheels, Ti exhaust, power commander, skid plate, steering damper, and all the custom navigation gear mounting and retro Tenere paint-job... even with some generous discounts from the suppliers, this bike cost me over £4000 GBP (so around $6500 USD) to convert, on top of the original purchase price!

    Don't get me wrong - it was an awesome machine in every regard, and quite possibly still the best example of it's kind... but fundamentally it was built to race, and spending that sort of money for such a high specification would have been total overkill as an Adventure machine, as I feel the stock Tenere had proved in those months before?

    Of course we realise the CB500X is very much a road-biased machine as standard so will need some clear improvements in ground clearance, wheel strength and suspension travel/performance - but what we are trying to do it endow it with a similar level of trail performance to an F700GS for example (or the Tenere, despite that being a little more dirt-derived to start with)... without changing it's core attributes as a great all-rounder, and fundamentally, not pushing the price of conversion into a realm that is commercially unviable?

    Ultimately I think we would all agree that if you were going to build an 'extreme' adventure bike, then you probably wouldn't start with a CB500X in the first place... and we'll leave that job up to Honda themselves and the mooted new 'Africa Twin' - which is likely to cost at least $16,000 USD if and when it finally appears...

    All that said, fear not! - 'Mitch and I have already been discussing the feasibility of actually racing a 'full-fat' 18/21 inch wheel and USD fork combo as soon as March next year... and while it is clear that such an 'extreme' conversion is going to compromise it's day-to-day usability for the vast majority of owners, and cost significantly more than the majority are willing to pay be commercially viable on it's own, we trust it will showcase just what is possible with the CB500X as a base bike.

    So save up your drool ;o)

    Jx
    #45
  6. Cruz

    Cruz Lost but laughing.

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    Interesting info about the OEM forks there Jen.

    Might have to have a poke around in there myself, I have a set of 600 Transalp forks that I can use for a full upper swap or bits and pieces too.
    #46
  7. novaman64

    novaman64 Some sumo guy

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    Fire came close, but they got it under control!

    Theres nothing wrong with the older Showa forks, I think I have only ever lost 1 set of fork seals in them, and that was after a couple seasons of zero maintenance and one heck of a muddy cross country raced followed by a dessert outting....

    We should definately meet up when you are stateside and grab a beer, there are some great breweries out here now. :freaky
    #47
  8. dogjaw

    dogjaw plays well alone Supporter

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    I weigh in on the "overlander" concept; I have my DR for dropping in the woods. A multicylindered bike capable if riding to Colorado, then doing some of the more "sensible" passes, Ophir, Engineer, etc, is exactly what I'm looking for. The possibility of Having mods available to take the build as little or far as I want makes me giddy enough to pee a little.

    Although I'm sure if the mods exist to make a full race version, I'll be in line just like everyone else:)
    #48
  9. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    We have had some more good news regarding the front end upgrades... with any luck we should have the prototype/pre-production parts ready and fitted together very soon!

    The best news is that the company we are working with here in the UK for the new springs, will also be producing a complete cartridge set for the stock fork legs - that will offer adjustable compression and rebound damping...

    At this stage it is our intention to offer effectively a basic 'lift kit' with longer [and plusher] springs to increase travel and clearance, together with a more comprehensive version that also offers full damping adjustability* for those who desire it.

    *Note. I would suggest that for a lot of adventure riders, once the front end has been set up with the new springs and oil weight/air gap etc to their personal preference, having external adjusters for the forks is by no means essential? - Whereas at the rear of course, having quick adjustment (particularly of the preload) is more important as the bike could often be ridden solo vs. with luggage and/or a passenger.

    There will also be the option of course to fit the adjustable damping cartridges to the standard length forks for those who just want improved on-road performance of the stock machine...

    ...stay tuned!

    Jx
    #49
  10. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    That is exactly the concept that is driving this project Dogjaw! - improving the 'all road' capability of this bike.

    Certainly we believe one of the key attractions of dual-sport and adventure riding is the ability to ride a range of surfaces, and have an equal amount of fun on any of them - certainly the USA particularly is blessed with some of the most diverse and stunning scenery that has both dirt road/trails and paved highways running through it - and this bike is being developed to take advantage of that equally...

    There would be no point in turning this into an outright dirt monster (that is if we even could, or anyone could afford it!), at the expense of it's current on-road 'fun' handling and performance... this isn't a bike to be left in the garage until the weekend, it's to be used every day - as so many owners already do!

    But as you point out, there will also be a menu of alternative parts and options should owners wish to bias their own bikes in a certain direction so that it becomes more appropriate to their specific needs and/or desires... and ultimately this degree of personalisation is something that can never be achieved by the mainstream manufacturers (as countless threads here on ADVrider illustrate!), which is why Rally Raid feel that offering a menu of parts and accessories that integrate with each other is the key, rather than insisting on an all-or-nothing package that would result in a much higher price from the outset.

    Jx
    #50
  11. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Ooooh, just got a little treat from KTMmitch to share with you all!

    Those of you familiar with the current range of Rally Raid products for the KTM 690 and Triumph Tiger XC will be aware of their soft-luggage racks... These essentially provide a secure mounting point for a range of aftermarket luggage such as Giant Loop, Wolfman and Kriega packs in various sizes (plus the facility to mount Rotopax and Tool-tubes should you desire) - and fundamentally stop soft luggage getting potentially tangled in your rear wheel and/or burnt on a high-level exhaust*

    'Mitch has been busy creating a version for the CB500X too - obviously these are in their raw development state at the moment, but will ultimately come powder coated in black like the rest of the range:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The beauty of the CB500X version (*compared to the KTM 690 and Triumph with their high-level exhaust silencers) is just how narrow the bike remains with the racks in place, and similarly, when your luggage is fitted...

    Here is the Triumph example, fitted with a Rotopax on the inside for comparison:

    [​IMG]

    note. that the space on the inside of the left rack on the Triumph is primarily there to mirror the right side that has the high level exhaust - so that any luggage is symmetrical... The CB500X version can be appreciably narrower (as the photos above show) on both sides due to the lower position of the exhaust.

    These should be available to order very soon!

    Jx
    #51
  12. Dillo

    Dillo Almost Awesome

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    It occurs to me that hypothetically you could use the wheels, shock, and longer fork springs to build a scrambler CB500F.
    #52
  13. Dave1899

    Dave1899 Been here awhile

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    The luggage racks for the CB500X are looking good. Too bad you still have to remove the passenger grab rails.
    #53
  14. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    Yes, it is not possible to keep the cast grab rails and have a decent thickness of steel plate to mount the racks, and still clear the underside of the seat.
    However, we may be able to add some bolt-on grab handles for those that still want to carry a passenger.
    #54
  15. Kray

    Kray Long timer

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    I like having the grab rails back there for moving the bike around and putting it up on its center stand. Really makes things easier with the heavier bike.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #55
  16. glorp

    glorp Adventurer

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    I second this. Would the upgrades essentially bolt onto a non-abs CB500f ?
    #56
  17. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    As far as I can see there is no reason why not - I'm presuming that since the fork legs are the same, then the wheel/s & swing-arm (and shock top mounting position) are the same on the F and R too - therefore everything should bolt straight on in the same way...

    Jx

    ps. ...and for anyone with an ABS version of the bikes, they will of course work with those versions too!
    #57
  18. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

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    Looking forward to know what is possible to be accomplished from the original forks but changing springs, cartridges, and adding external adjusters. Interested in knowing resulting suspension travel (close to 7 inches I suppose based on previous information?) and performance on dirt roads.
    #58
  19. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Lion! - yes, I was speaking with KTMmitch yesterday and the prototype parts - including new, longer springs and machined spacers - for the basic lift* have arrived, so he hopes to have the forks rebuilt over this weekend...

    *so that is not the adjustable cartridges just yet - these will be finalised for production once the overall travel/ride hight has been tested and confirmed.

    The spec for the moment will be an increase in overall ride hight of 40mm - that will be 30mm actual travel (so about an inch and a quarter), plus a spacer/restrictor of 10mm at the top end to ensure there is enough clearance between the 19" wheel and the rest of the bike on full compression (ie. a big hit resulting in maximum travel)...

    The reason for this decision is while we don't envisage the wheel getting anywhere close to this (this is with the stock components and the springs completely removed):

    [​IMG]

    We need to ensure that there is no chance of physical contact (with a comfortable margin) between the wheel and any other parts - including a radiator protector for example.

    Note. that while the stock lower fender is shown in the photo above, we now feel that using a high [supermoto style] fender mounted on the lower triple clamp is going to be the preferred option when using the 19" wheel - not only for looks and mud clearance, but fundamentally as it will be less bulky than the stock front fender - again, minimising the chance of anything touching on the extremes of travel...

    All being well, 'Mitch should have the forks reassembled over the weekend, and the chance to test them on the bike itself.

    Jx
    #59
  20. Lion BR

    Lion BR I'd rather be riding

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    Thank you for the update.
    #60