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 Chris!

    As we're both former advocates of the XT660Z, I thought this project might appeal to you - experience teaching us that actually what is required in the real world of 'all road' traveling is often very different (and far less) than a dream tech spec sheet so beloved of internet forums (the current '2014 Africa Twin' thread a classic case in point... ahem).

    As you say, there is nothing wrong with the cast 17" rear wheel on the CB-X - other than wanting them to match visually of course, which I imagine almost everyone would want, as you concede. If anyone were on a really strict budget, then of course you could retain the stock rear wheel and fit a Tubeless TKC - although I think you'll also agree that for most people, you can cover thousands if not tens of thousands of miles without a puncture these days, if you're on good quality tyres at the correct pressures...

    Certainly the Excel rims and HD spokes that Talon use to build their wheels are far better quality (and stay truer longer) than typical OEM spoked hoops... I never had a problem with my Tenere (other than one broken spoke), but I know others have wished those wheels were tougher.

    You make a very good point about the side stand and centre stand. I'm currently in the US at the moment and have been taking a few measurements on Lisa's CB-X that is fitted with a centre stand - certainly once the new wheels are fitted it would be touch and go if the bike would be lifted off the ground (certainly enough to change a wheel for example), and with the fork and rear shock travel increase, certainly the stock centre stand will need to be replaced, or at least extended.

    Similarly the side stand will need a good couple of inches increase once the 17/19" wheels and +30mm kit is fitted. I've already considered your idea of a replacement side-stand with 'sand foot' attached - that would make perfect sense.

    Similarly, rather than try and fabricate an extension to (or a whole new) centre stand - which will always result in ground clearance limitations if fitted - I'm going to talk to John about creating a prop leg (similar in concept to those adjustable ones already commercially available) that can be used on the RHS of the bike in conjunction with our [suitably strengthened] replacement side stand, to lift the front or rear wheel as required.

    I would hope this prop could be compact enough to fit inside one of the tool-tubes (that in turn will fit on the inside face the Rally Raid soft luggage racks), or indeed have a mounting bracket that secures the prop to either the inside of the luggage rack directly, or even along the LHS of the swing-arm for example?

    Certainly as the project progresses it would be good to get your impressions once we have a demo bike available - lets keep in touch ;o)

    Jenny x
  2. Jud

    Jud Long timer

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    I was actually wondering if you will be selling the front wheel by itself as well. Aesthetics ranks pretty low on my needs list. I have bent two of the front wheels on my DL650 but haven't yet managed to bend a rear so I would be fine to run mismatched wheels.

    As for the side and center stand goes, I had the same issues with my DL650 when I added nearly 2 inches of travel and height to it. The side stand was an easy fix, cut and weld. The center stand was a pain to lengthen as the legs became too long and would interfere with my swing arm which was also at a greater at-rest angle due to the longer shock. Since the center stand already added weight and ate up ground clearance I just removed it and sold it. Like you, I made a third leg stand from a crutch.

    Will also be interested in your 30mm spacer for the front damper and any re-valving options.
  3. Chris S

    Chris S Been here awhile

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    Jud - you sound like some kind of Brit ;-)

    Have to say I've always regarded buying a side stand prop as another bit of adv bling. As Jud says they are easy enough to make - or even just find a stick/rock/log on the trail - or a tree/other bike to strap to, or use a U-lock/q-d hard case.

    So if RRP going to make one, why not make a device that is more secure than a stick shoved under the footrest. The problem I find is that when alone and battling to get some back wheels out, the stick/rock can slip.

    What I have in mind is something like a short vertical tube with holes drilled through and incorporated unobtrusively into the forthcoming RRP heavy duty CB-X bash plate - for example. A pole with spring pins - like the adjustable crutch mentioned - slips into the tube from below and clicks in at the required height. On the bottom of the pole is a spike and plate (like on walking poles or skis) to limit sinking on soft ground.
    This solid, unpivoting location of the support pole against the bike will stop any slipping when wobbling the machine. A similar tube location further forward will enable secure front wheel removal.

    On the matter of main stands, added weight aside, Jud reminds me that lengthening it can actually disturb the balance and lifting leverage which you realise is actually carefully calculated on a bike. I found that out on my raised 'GS500R' running on 19s and a DR fork. The stand legs were elongated as described, but it was a big struggle to get it up there, and even then neither wheel was off the deck. The pivot point would need to be further back and who can be bothered with that?

    So a secure prop pole is the way to go, IMO.
  4. Chris S

    Chris S Been here awhile

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    While I'm on and full of such brilliant ideas, if there is talk of a pipe, I would be pleased to see a smaller, lighter more compact can of course.
    One that slips onto the OE exhaust so if it's cat-free, the original pipe can be refitted to pass annual roadworthy/emissions tests.
    But it would be great to see the RRP pipe high but levelled off. I got this done on my GS500R, below. This way side bags like my Mags can not only slip in close to the subframe, but hang low and forward too - a big benefit to centralising the mass and so handling, IMO.

    One of the annoyances with high pipes is how the pipeside bag/rack must stick out - sometimes wider than the bars. On narrow mountain trails I've found that a problem when you want to keep close to the cliff side not the precipice. The sticky-out bag gets ripped or worse still, pushes you over.
    I think it's fair to say even adv-ing CB-Xers won't be entering their bikes in the ISDT so the lowish pipe will only take the odd knock like the rest of the machine. Needs to correlate with rear wheel spindle removal of course. Don't know if it comes out on the pipe side on a CB-X.

    [​IMG]
  5. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    I agree Chris - no point in making something that is already available (although I would add that the universal style is useful for not just your own bike, but anyone else traveling with you for example?)

    Certainly having something that locates to the bike more securely would be the intention - as you say, it could be relatively easy to achieve with a couple of suitably located holes in the RRP skid plate... watch this space as they say ;o)

    Hell, with a bit of designing in, the prop leg itself could probably be stored in the skid plate when not in use.

    Jx
  6. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Chris - interesting idea... for info, on the CB-X, the Cat is actually in the mid-pipe section of the header (under the sump), not in the end can - so you can swap out the silencer and retain the cat is desired, or the intention is to offer a Cat-free header assembly too.

    I agree having luggage narrow and forward is a good idea - which is actually why the current position of the stock silencer is a good compromise on the CB-X - the exit is pretty much inline with the top of the wheel rim, so you'd have to be in a good 18 inches of water to worry about any ingress (not that there is much/any when the engine is running anyway) on the standard suspension, and the pip will be a couple of inches higher still once the suspension has been raised too of course.

    At the same time, the stock pipe [position] is usefully low enough so that soft panniers (or even hard cases) sit above the silencer, keeping the bike nice and narrow as you say... certainly the current silencer position effectively runs a parallel line with the seat/subframe, with plenty of space/depth above for luggage we feel?

    John is currently prototyping soft-luggage racks (see page 5 of this thread), and certainly one consideration is to ensure we can still retain the pillion footrest provision if desired, as we see this bike more of an all-rounder than a dedicated solo-overland bike?

    I agree that having a high level (enduro style) pipe on a bike like this does little except push the luggage racks out further than ideal... however, if it were feasible to create a silencer that was a similar dimension to the Tool tube, it could sit inside the current luggage rack design for those people who want a solo bike with high level pipe?

    Thanks for the ongoing input!

    Jx
  7. tonymorr

    tonymorr Malta,NY(Saratoga Spring)

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    That's what I'm after..... I want a dedicated solo-overland bike :-)

    I do realize that's not what most people want. I like what you guys are doing. Keep it up!
  8. Chris S

    Chris S Been here awhile

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    All sounds good Jen. I have to say I am a fan of the old school tubular 'sheep rack' rear carrier rather than these CNC cut plates which seem fashionable.
    The rack which Walter C designed and got made by Erik in NL for the BMW X bikes is what I'll get made + whatever's needed for the sides (below). It's wide and therefore stable; tubes are easy to grab to manhandle the bike, and cleverly, it comes round the side or the back seat to keep whatever's on the rear as forward as possible.

    But first i really ought to get me one of these CB-Xs.

    [​IMG]
  9. Maxacceleration

    Maxacceleration Off the grid

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    Here is the way I extended stands.

    [​IMG]
  10. Duke82

    Duke82 Adventurer

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    What you are doing is amazing.
    In regards to the pannier rack, will they be compatible with givi 1121fz top box bracket? I can post pictures if needed to show how the rack mounts.
    Your suspension upgrade may be the difference between me keeping ir replacing my bike
  11. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Duke! - Just had a look at a photo of the Givi rack, and it appears to mount to the rack of the bike in a similar way to the proposed RRP soft luggage racks - that is you remove the grab handles and the rack mounting plates bolt under the seat pad there?

    Whether there is a enough room for the mounting plates of the side racks and the top-box together I can't say until we can take a few measurements with both - it might be possible with the addition of a spacer between the two perhaps...

    That said, while I can appreciate having the facility to have a locking trunk on the bike, I'm not sure how many people would want to combine soft panniers and a [hard] top box together? Either way, the racks will bolt on and off very quickly, so you can always swap between a top box rack during the week and the soft luggage racks for a weekend trip for example?

    The idea with the soft luggage racks is to support a minimalist luggage system - just a pair of soft panniers (or Giant Loop style banana bag) and maybe a small duffle on the rear seat? I know that John is also considering an additional rear rack (that will attach to the soft luggage rack mounts directly) for a tent bag or similar, but at this time it is not envisaged this will be large enough to support a top box...

    Once he is back from Le Havre this weekend, I know he'll be back on the CB-X project at full speed ;o)

    Jx
  12. Duke82

    Duke82 Adventurer

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    Thanks for the reply. I look forward to the future developments on this thread.
    The designs seem intelligent and well thought outand quite essential to advancing the cb500x.
    Your fuel storage and tool bag integrated behind the pannier rack are a wonderful thing and very useful for maximising touring storage capacity.

    With mention to suspension travel matching the gs post upgrade, can we expect similar performance to the the stock gs? The supension really lets the 500x down
  13. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Duke - at the very least I would hope!

    It's funny, some people find the stock the suspension perfectly adequate (particularly for the price), while others find it lacking... I guess it's what you're used to, or where you ride that dictates how much of a priority any upgrade will be, and correspondingly, how much you are prepared to pay ;o)

    Certainly we would expect the final suspension specification to offer a significant improvement over stock, and indeed be at least comparable to other good-quality mid-priced upgraded suspension.

    At the front: John has already had the stock forks apart and found that an appreciable upgrade to the overall feel ought to be attained by simply replacing the stock [short] springs and plastic spacer with a full-length and higher quality spring - either stock length or our proposed +30mm travel kit. We also intend to offer a 'stage 2' version that also includes externally adjustable compression and rebound damping cartridges.

    At the rear: the intention is to offer a good quality 'adventure' specification (ie. not a race) shock, that would feature adjustable damping and the option of a remote preload adjuster. Again, final spec [and specifically length] is still to be decided, but the idea at the moment is to offer a slightly longer version (approx 1 inch ride height) that will level the bike with the 19" wheel fitted, and a correspondingly longer version to match the +30mm fork kit.

    Now the Dakar LC4-50 has shipped, as soon as we get the production wheels from Talon, John can get the CB-X back on the road and start to finalise the suspension specification...

    More soon!

    Jx
  14. Duke82

    Duke82 Adventurer

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    Great stuff :)
  15. Stebbo

    Stebbo Adventurer

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    G'day from Australia.

    I'm bike "considering" at the moment. Can anyone comment on how strong the frame of this cb500x is for off-roading? I've been reading like the Tiger threads (not that I want a bike that big) and how people crack frames and don't get any warranty. How strong if the cb500x frame? Is it likely going to suffer cracked frames from taking off-road with these new rims and tyres? Or is damage like that from big hits?
  16. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Istehbens...

    I doubt anyone has really ridden a stock CB500X to anywhere near it's potential off-road capabilities to the extent they have damaged a frame, as the stock wheels and suspension aren't really up to it...

    However, suffice to say that we believe the Thai Honda guys have sufficiently proved the dirt-worthness of the CB500X chassis ;o)

    [​IMG]

    Obviously you need to consider that the adventure conversion is going to feature around 7" of travel, so you'll need to ride accordingly... this is not going to be built for jumping like an MX bike!

    Jx
  17. Scutty

    Scutty Talent-limited bike builder and rider Supporter

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    J

    Any updates now the Dakar bikes are shipped and away?
  18. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    The first 2 production rear billet hubs to be laced to a 17" and 18" rear rim for our Honda CB500X Dual-Sport project.
    These will be evaluated over the New Year along with the 19" front spoked wheel using some off-road tyres, to get a feel for the differences between the 17" and 18" rear set up.

    As you can see, we will be using 36 hole spoke pattern, with tangential spoke arrangement, as per KTM cush drive rear wheel.
    The recess has been checked and fits the Honda cush drive perfectly, using the OEM rubbers.



    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  19. Scutty

    Scutty Talent-limited bike builder and rider Supporter

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    Sweet!

    Watching this very closely now - if you need me to pop up and help try it out just give me a shout! :evil:evil:evil
  20. novaman64

    novaman64 Some sumo guy

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    If you want someone to do some testing.. I am due up for new tires, and dont really want to put tires on my bike if I will be buying new wheels at a date yet to be determine? ETA on release of wheels????? Late January? :D