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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    OK then, you are probably wondering how the development of the 2019-on model specific parts are coming on? - plus what if any changes have been made to the existing range of CB500X products, so that they fit all model years.

    So in an effort to keep things as simple and clear as possible, I've taken this opportunity to summarise the model history/spec changes of the CB500X from it's introduction in 2013 up to and including the new 2019 model (which is now increasingly appearing in showrooms worldwide); before following up with how the latest Rally-Raid range of upgrades and accessories applies to the various model years.




    Honda CB500X model history and summary of key changes from 2013 introduction to date:


    With the introduction of some key and fundamental changes for the 2019 model year, we have taken this opportunity to look back at the evolution of the Honda CB500X over the years, and list the various manufacturer specification changes over the history of the model.


    The CB500X model was first introduced to the world-wide market in 2013, and shared the platform and many key components with sister models: the CBR500R (faired ‘sports’ model) and CB500F (naked street bike). Fundamentally it shares the same frame, swing-arm, forks (although the X model fork internals do offer 15mm more travel) and 17 front and rear cast aluminium wheels; with essentially only bodywork changes differentiating the three model range.


    In comparison to the F and R models, the X was ‘Adventure’ styled - a more upright seating position, windshield, larger fuel tank and one-piece dual seat - and arguably the most versatile of the three for multi-purpose and general riding, although the 17” front wheel and relative lack of ground clearance does limit it’s more serious off-road ability as standard.


    The 2013-15 model years remained unchanged other than various colours available in different world markets. In primarily North America the CB range was available in a [slightly cheaper] non-ABS version, but generally speaking the CB500X comes with ABS brakes as standard, and which work very well both on and off road.


    2016 saw the first series of updates to the X model - primarily cosmetic including a more contemporary front-end restyle which also featured a taller windshield as standard, alongside the introduction of LED head and tail lights. Other specification changes included an adjustable front brake lever, adjustable fork preload caps and a flip-up fuel filler cap. There were also minor revisions to the fork springs and gearbox components.


    The following year - 2017 - also saw the introduction of a more contemporary styled exhaust silencer and reshaped footrest hangers (now matching the F and R models which had seen those updates the year before) - although it should be noted that the foot-pegs themselves remain in the same location relative to the seat for all model years - and continue to do so on the new 2019 model.


    The 2017 and 2018 model years remain the same specification, other than colours for different markets.




    19” for 2019

    The new 2019 model sees the first real fundamental change for the CB500X, and a move away from it’s R and F model siblings - with the introduction of a 19” front wheel on the X, together with longer travel suspension (150mm/6”) both front and rear. This immediately gives the standard CB500X a far more all-terrain worthy specification, although it should be noted that the CB range as a whole is still intended to be Honda’s entry-level/budget range of mid-size motorcycles.


    The 2019 model also features another styling update to the front and fairing side-panels of the bodywork, together with a more comprehensive [multicoloured] dash display, and tapered ‘fat-bar’ handlebars as standard; and together with the introduction of a slipper clutch and the 19” front end, the general feel when onboard the new machine is that of a much more mature and genuine alternative to the larger twin-cylinder ADV bikes on the market.



    The #1 FAQ.

    Ever since the announcement towards the end of 2018 that the new version of the X would feature a 19” front wheel as standard, the #1 FAQ has been will it fit on the earlier versions of the CB500X - in the same way as Rally-Raid Products were able to reengineer the front end and raise the suspension to accommodate their 17/19” spoked wheels…


    And the answer simply, is no - not without a series of fundamental component changes (those which Honda themselves incorporated) which would entail spending a lot of money on brand new parts from Honda, which really precludes a ‘retrofittable’ conversion from a financial perspective.


    for info. The new parts from Honda would have to include new top and bottom triple clamps (and associated risers), new fork leg lowers, new axle and spacers, new abs ring, new 310mm front brake disc, new 19” front wheel, new 19” fender - never mind that the dramatic difference in front ABS sensor ring (now much smaller) would suggest there has also been some reprogramming of the ABS ECU too. note. You would also have to consider that a 19” front wheel would lift the front of the bike at least 1” higher than it was before, so you’d really need to raise the rear of the bike a similar amount to keep the rake and trail figures similar, and in the case of the 2019 model parts - this includes a completely new shock, linkage and swing-arm. Once the bike was raised, you’d also need to consider a longer side-stand too.


    Hopefully this helps to illustrate why the Rally-Raid LEVEL 2 kit (which gives 170mm travel front and rear, plus 17/19” spoked wheels) is so comprehensive, and indeed we are flattered that Honda have now seen the same potential in this bike as we did back in 2014.


    It’s worth explaining that the key difference between the existing Rally-Raid kit and the new 2019 OEM specification (other than the extra 20mm travel the RR LEVEL 2 kit provides) is that Honda achieved their geometry revisions by increasing the fork off-set (essentially lengthening the wheelbase by 1”) in combination with reshaped top triple clamp so that the larger front wheel will fit and not hit the radiator on full compression - while the RR kit retains the original fork lower triple-clamp and off-set [primarily as a conversion cost consideration], and instead uses a deeper stepped triple clamp to achieve the same clearance.


    However, while the RR kit does ultimately still offer another 20mm more travel (and suspension adjustment) than the 2019 model revisions, it does have a correspondingly higher seat (860mm overall); so Honda should be applauded for the way they have been able to incorporate a 19” front wheel while only raising the seat height by 20mm (to 830mm), albeit with less travel and corresponding ground clearance of course.



    So where does that put Rally-Raid in the mix now?

    Despite the obvious improvements to the all-round and all-terrain ability of the new 2019 model, specification wise it is clearly still a budge model with regard to the limited performance/quality of the OEM suspension components, and the cast aluminium wheels - and it is these two fundamental elements that have been the core of the Rally-Raid upgrades in the past, and will continue to be so. The good news is that the longer travel LEVEL 2 kit for the new bike will not require as many component changes as before, so the kit itself will be cheaper than that for the previous generation 2013-18 bikes.


    Of course with the introduction of the factory 19” front end bike, we are likely to see a number of existing owners (of what is up to a six-year-old bike now) trading in their earlier examples for the latest model, which means there ought to be an increasing number of previous generations bikes available at a great price, and ripe for conversion! Don’t forget that a LEVEL 2 Rally-Raid bike has much better quality suspension (including shim valving in the forks and a fully-adjustable TracTive rear shock (with hydraulic remote preload adjuster option) and +20mm travel compared to the standard 2019 bikes. You also have the option of heavy duty spoked wheels (which accept all the existing brake/ABS and cush-drive components), and available with tube-type or tubeless rims.


    However, we have also been able to take full advantage of Honda’s own revisions to the latest 2019 model, to maximise the new bike’s potential in a similar way, and as with the existing kits for the 2013-18 models, there will be two ‘LEVEL’ suspension options to consider, while it is now of course possible to fit our heavy-duty 17/19” spoked wheels independently of any suspension upgrade if you wish.


    So in that regard, the options are far more simple for the 2019-on models, and will comprise:


    LEVEL 1 suspension kit (2019-on) - retains the standard front and rear travel (150mm) and seat-height (830mm) of the stock bike.


    This will include a complete replacement fork internal (springs, shim valves and damper rods) kit, coupled with a TracTive shock that features combined damping adjustment and the option of a hydraulic preload adjuster (manual preload adjustment is standard of course). note that as currently, the 2019 LEVEL 1/standard-travel suspension components will be available to purchase separately front and rear as desired.


    We will also introduce a simple lowering link kit (which can be fitted with or independently of the LEVEL 1 upgraded suspension) which will reduce the seat hight of the new 2019 model by -20mm, ie. back down to the OEM seat height of the 2013-18 model bikes which had a 17” front wheel, which now gives shorter riders the option of a lower seat and a 19” front wheel.



    LEVEL 2 suspension kit (2019-on) - offers and increase of +20mm both front and rear over standard specification (to 170mm), and correspondingly increases the seat height to 850mm.


    The long-travel LEVEL 2 components have to be sold as a front and rear kit, and comprise a longer-travel version of our fork kit components, together with a full adjustable reservoir shock (high and low speed compression and separate rebound damping), again with the option of a hydraulic preload adjuster. A longer side stand will be supplied, and while the 2019 models require a dedicated shock and linkage knuckle, there is no longer the requirement for the billet top triple-clamp and bar risers, so the cost can be correspondingly reduced compared to the kit for the 2013-18 bikes.



    Spoked wheel kit (pair) - there will now be just one spoked wheel kit for the 2019 bikes (featuring a 3.50x17” rear and 2.50x19” front wheel) - available with tube-type or tubeless rims.

    Since there is no longer any need to supply our own dedicated 19” front fender, again the wheel kit for the 2019-on bikes will be correspondingly cheaper than the 2013-18 kit - although for anyone with an earlier bike, our 19” front fender will now be available as a separate part.

    please note. The 2019 and 2017 front wheels are not interchangeable (see the #1 FAQ notes above), which means it is not possible to fit the previous generation Rally-Raid spoked wheels to the 2019 bikes.


    However, going forward, the 17/19” spoked wheel kit has been re-designed to fit all model years, and you will simply select which wheel spacers/disc spider and ABS ring mount required depending on whether you have a 2013-15 / 2016-18 or 2019-on model.

    note. the 2016-on model has a different shaped front ABS ring, which is why Rally-Raid supply their own for the 2016-18 ABS bikes.




    Adventure Engine Guard and other accessories.

    The dimension changes to the 2019 exhaust has given us the opportunity to incorporate some revisions to the existing tubular cradle engine guard, and as with the wheel kit - going forward the new Adventure engine guard is designed to fit all model years, and you will just select which heat shields to be supplied depending on your model year (in this instance 2013-16 / 2017-18 / 2019-on, based on the revisions to the OEM exhaust specification over the years).

    Rally-Raid will also continue to offer various luggage, foot-peg and cockpit accessories, and you can expect some new product introductions (again retrofittable across all model years) later this season.



    Previous generation model options (2013-18).

    As mentioned earlier, both John and I immediately saw the all-terrain potential in this machine back in 2014 when we started to develop the original wheel and suspension upgrades, and the reason we are so excited about the new 2019 model is we consider it continues to be one of the best all-rounder all-terrain ‘adventure bike’ platforms available - offering a unique combination of bigger bike on-road feel, with more nimble off-road handling when the going starts to get tough.


    The improvements Honda have introduced this year - particularly with regard to the overall handing and general ergonomics have made the bike feel very much like what we achieved with the LEVEL 2 specification; and we are flattered to think that along with those of you who adopted this bike as their primary ADV machine, we have all helped to influence the direction Honda have taken with their latest revisions.


    With the introduction of the new components required to meet the demand of 2019-on model owners, we have also taken this opportunity to similarly simplify the options for the earlier generation bikes too, with the suspension specifications remaining essentially the same:


    LEVEL 1 suspension kit (2013-18) - will continue to offer the same travel (120mm rear, 140mm front) and seat hight (810mm) as the original bike, with the shock and fork kits available separately if desired.


    LEVEL 2 Suspension kit (2013-18) - will continue to offer 170mm travel front and rear, including a fully adjustable reservoir shock, longer side-stand, replacement billet shock linkage (and side plates) and billet top-triple clamp and bar risers.


    The 17/19” spoked wheel kit introduced for the 2019-on model will also be available for anyone with the LEVEL 2 suspension fitted to an earlier model bike - you’ll simply order the correct spacers/disc spider for your particular model year, plus our 19” front fender as a separate part.

    please note. we do not intend to continue with a LEVEL 1 (17” front) spoked-wheel kit option once the current stock is depleted.



    Otherwise, all the current accessories: engine guard, luggage racks, Scorpion exhaust etc. will continue in production - with any specification revisions required for the 2019-on model cross-compatible with previous model years, or with drop-down menu options if there are specific detail items (typically the exhaust changes).


    Fortunately the rear end of the CB500X has essentially remained unchanged since it’s introduction - which means all your existing luggage (from Rally-Raid or otherwise) ought to fit the latest generation machine, and therefore be transferable should you decide to trade an earlier bike for the latest model in the future. Similarly, the new wheels and engine guard will also be transferable, but you will need dedicated suspension components for the 2019-on model vs earlier iterations of the CB500X.


    I appreciate that is quite a lot of information to take in, but I trust I have covered the key changes and explained where and where not parts are cross compatible.


    As usual, feel free to ask questions here and we will be updating you all once the latest generation of parts are online and available to purchase.

    Jenny x
  2. Johnytuono

    Johnytuono Been here awhile

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    Great news ! Are the prices for the spoked wheels available yet please?
  3. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    Soon, just finalising front hub new design this weekend
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  4. Gryphon12

    Gryphon12 Long timer

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    A follow-up question on 2019 RR Level 2 specs: Does the ground clearance also increase by 10mm (from 235 mm / 9.25" to 245mm / 9.65")?

    Edit: Sorry, original values were quoted incorrectly.
    Stock GC for 2013-2018 is 170 mm, or 6.7". RRL2 30 mm lift to 200 mm or 7.9".
    Stock GC for 2019 is 180 mm, plus 30 mm lift is 210 mm or 8.3".
    Apologies. G12.
  5. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Gryphon - the LEVEL 2 suspension for the 2019 model is 30mm longer travel than stock (180mm vs 150mm), so all things being equal [tyres etc.] the ground clearance also increases by the same amount over the standard bike, as the bike is lifted the same amount front and rear.

    So yes, essentially a 2019 model LEVEL 2 bike will have 10mm more ground clearance than a 2013-18 bike with a LEVEL 2 kit fitted, as there is going to be 10mm more overall travel available than before.

    Hope that clarifies things!

    Jx

    ps. for info. Broadly speaking, the two bikes will actually have the same overall seat height - since our original LEVEL 2 kit added +50mm travel to the rear of the bike (ie. 810mm + 50mm) while the new model has a 830mm seat + 30mm extra travel, so both 860mm in total - although this is mainly due to Honda having reshaped the 2019 seat to reduce the height a little too of course.
  6. Gryphon12

    Gryphon12 Long timer

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    Thanks so much for your reply. I also need to correct my original numbers, which I quoted incorrectly. Stock GC for 2013-2018 is 170 mm. RRL2 30 mm lift to 200 mm or 7.9". Stock GC for 2019 is 180 mm, plus 30 mm lift is 210 mm or 8.3". Apologies. G12.
  7. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Gryphon - to clarify, the 2013-18 LEVEL 2 suspension lifts the bike 50mm at the rear, 30mm at the front (so that both ends are 170mm) - plus the added diameter of the 19" front wheel (and taller tyres) also raises the bike another 30mm at the front of course.

    I haven't got a tape measure handy (nor a 2019 bike here in the US yet for comparison) - but your original number for the LEVEL 2 bike [under the engine guard] is not all that far off as I recall (235mm)*...

    for info. Our measurement for the 2013-18 LEVEL 2 bike was the actual distance (using a tape measure) between the ground and the bottom of our Adventure engine guard - with the bike standing on it's wheels and TKC80 tyres (150/70x17 rear and 110/80x19 front) fitted, plus the preload set the way John likes it.

    I'm not sure where Honda measure their OEM ground clearance - but obviously on the earlier bikes they had that belly pan fitted which reduced clearance (165mm according to a spec sheet from that period), while the new bike is listed at 180mm as you say.

    So until we get a 2019 bike on it's suspension and wheels/tyres, I'm not able to give you a definitive comparison answer - but as you suspect, broadly speaking the 180mm travel 2019 LEVEL 2 bike is likely to have 10mm more ground clearance than the 2013-18 bikes with their 170mm travel suspension. The only proviso is that the 2019 bike has a larger/fatter exhaust cat. which may reduce that number slightly.

    Either way, unless you're a complete animal, you very rarely bottom out a LEVEL 2 bike anyway ;o)

    Hope that helps!

    Jenny x

    *edit. I just went out to the garage with a tape measure and measured my own 2014 LEVEL 2 bike - sure enough, the leading edge of the engine guard is 235mm above the floor with the bike standing upright on it's wheels - so your original presumption was spot on.
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  8. Johnytuono

    Johnytuono Been here awhile

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    Can't get on the Rally Raid site Jenny.....is it down? I'm in the UK
  9. Oyabun

    Oyabun 親分

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    Quickly checked, it doesn't work for me either.
  10. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    John has just replied to a similar question on Facebook - the server is being updated this weekend. It should be back online asap.

    Jenny x
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  11. Johnytuono

    Johnytuono Been here awhile

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    Am thinking of buying wider footpegs.....will the ones from Rally Raid fit the 2019 model please

    Thanks
  12. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Johnytuono - yes, the footrest hangers haven't changed between the 2017/18 modals and 2019 bikes.

    Jx
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  13. Johnytuono

    Johnytuono Been here awhile

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    What about the Scorpion end can will that fit a 2019? Also will it prevent my luggage from burning.....looks close with the standard 'double' can
  14. No-Fret

    No-Fret Tanker

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    Weather is turning nice in PNW. 20190407_171659.jpg
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  15. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Johny' - yes, the Scorpion Serket Taper exhaust will also be available for the 2019-on bikes, it will just need a slightly different shaped link-pipe (mid section) to connect with the new cat/header that Honda have fitted to the 2019 bikes. The 2019-on specific exhaust will be available shortly, together with the version for the 2013-18 bikes.

    Jx
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  16. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Maybe we need a CB500X WA BDR group ride soon, once the snow has cleared ;o)

    Jx
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  17. Johnytuono

    Johnytuono Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the reply Jenny.
    Will it direct more away from the luggage on that side? I own Kriega OS32's and it's a little close for my liking when fitted to SW Motech Evo frames.
  18. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    It will be at the same angle as the current Serket exhaust... I've not heard of anyone having issues with those exhausts and luggage, although every luggage combo can be slightly different of course.

    [​IMG]

    Hopefully this photo illustrates the distance from the top of the can to the seat - basically the same height as the pillion footrest.

    Jx
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  19. Wind_Rider

    Wind_Rider Been here awhile

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    We tried that once... it was wet and cold that day as I recall... fun anyhow !
  20. No-Fret

    No-Fret Tanker

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    I will be very busy this summer. Going to the Touratech Rally West followed by a ride to ID/Yellowstone/WY and back to WA. Planning to attend the Soundrider Rally in The Gorge in August.

    Any CBX folks going to Touratech Rally?