Random Roads on a CB500X

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by Cro59, May 8, 2018.

  1. Wilde

    Wilde Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2018
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    West Covina CA
    Sounds like you're having a great time. Good for you.

    I'm interested in hearing how you think the RR kit has affected on-road ride quality and how your tires (TKC80? Shinko 805?) compare to the street tires you had before (on-road).
    #81
  2. Manray

    Manray Killing Time

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    328
    Location:
    North America
    I've got the same Mosko BC35 bags and agree they are like anchors and much "hyped". They cost and weigh as much as hard luggage without the security. The only real advantage is that they are "soft". For tarmac it's fine but for dirt the Giant Loop style Coyote bags are a much lighter and cheaper option. Since you're heading to Croatia (EU), you can pick up this "coyote" style bag for a fraction of the price from this Polish vendor:

    http://www.21brothers.eu/21brothers.eu/ROGAL_XL.html
    #82
    Cro59 likes this.
  3. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    #83
  4. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    I’d say the road manners are improved. Very stable in turns. I went with the TKC80s this time. They add a little vibration but nothing major. Problem is they don’t last long by all reports.

    The big difference is the drop in fuel economy and top speed. I suspect it is the panniers. With mods and luggage, I’m about 75 pounds heavier than my trip from Florida. I’ll experiment a bit and report back.
    #84
  5. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Day two turned into a marathon, although the riding was great so I can’t complain. Even after 14 years in Arizona, there are plenty of neat towns, sights, and amazing roads left to discover. When our sights are set on traveling, it is easy to forget about the richness of our own backyard.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    My first stop was for breakfast and coffee in Camp Verde. The Verde Valley was once the home of thousands of Native Americans and was an important trade hub for goods flowing from as far away as the Colorado plateau and the Baja region. Pueblo ruins cover the canyon walls (one every 1.8 miles on average, by some estimates), unfortunately most of them have been heavily looted.

    [​IMG]
    Stop in at the Verde Valley Archeology Center if you are in the area. They have a nice collection of exhibits, and the volunteers are passionate about sharing their knowledge of the area’s history.

    [​IMG]
    Montezuma Castle was established as a National Monument by Teddy Roosevelt, and is one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in the country. Sorry, but this is as close as you can get.

    I slabbed it up to Flagstaff for a coffee. Yeah, that’s a long way to go for coffee, but I figured I might as well. Maybe next time I’ll use Flagstaff as a hub to explore northern Arizona. From there I headed south on 89A. Add this road to your list. Great scenery and lots of twists and turns. Traffic is inevitable through Sedona, but it is worth it.

    [​IMG]

    South of Sedona, you wind your way through the hairpins and sweeping turns up and over the mountains, through Jerome, AZ. Like many small towns in Arizona, Jerome was built on copper and has become an eclectic, artsy town that is worth a visit. Perched on the side of the mountain with streets and houses laid out along steep ridge lines, just driving through is a cool experience. Regrettably, I didn’t have much time to explore.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    This former mechanic’s shop has been converted into shops and artist’s studios. Wedged on the side of a hill, they had an elevator to raise the cars from the entrance level to the workshop.

    More twisting mountain roads deposited me into the Prescott valley in time for dinner. Prescott is another historic town that I haven’t had time to explore properly, but that would have to wait for another day.

    [​IMG]
    Yavapai County Courthouse

    I wasn’t ready to turn the wheels towards Tucson, however I had an appointment the next morning and I was still four hours away. The thought of slabbing it on the Interstate the whole way wasn’t very appealing. The alternative was to follow 89 through the mountains to Winkleman. This would add time to the ride, but would cut out some highway time and give me some more mountain roads to carve. The mountain roads won out of course, and it was nearly midnight before I rolled into my friend’s house. It was a long day on the bike without much dirt, but over the past couple of days the CB proved herself a capable touring bike on both dirt and tarmac.
    #85
  6. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Leaving tomorrow for another three months, so here are some final thoughts.

    I’ve put about 3500 miles on the bike in the last couple of weeks. The bike and Rally Raid components get two thumbs up. The stock bike was good, but the suspension and handling difference is notable. If you don’t want or need the higher clearance, then definitely consider the Level 1 upgrade.

    Traveling on a timeline sucks. I’ve seen a lot and met some cool people, but the time pressure was always there and I passed too many random roads that looked interesting. As much as possible, don’t over plan your trip and allow time for serendipity.

    The Level 2 CB is the bike I was naively hoping the VStrom would be. It is very manageable in the dirt and just chews up the miles on the tarmac. She’s still heavy at around 450 pounds, but handles the weight well and just tractors over the rough stuff. If you are considering RR, don’t let the wrenching put you off. It was all straightforward and was a great way to get to know the bike.

    My only complaint in the current configuration is the top end. I’ll mess around with my luggage to shed some weight and reduce wind resistance, might even have the valves checked early and add a fuel controller to remap the EFI, but in the end it is still a 471cc, 47 hp bike. At any rate, there’s not a lot of fun to be had at 85 mph on the Interstate anyway, so this is a problem I can live with.

    I love my Mosko Moto luggage, but the two panniers and mounts are around 20 pounds empty so I’ll look at alternatives.

    Leaving tomorrow. Time to wrap up and get ready.
    #86
  7. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    I’ve just added Croatia to my Moto bucket list. Wonderful country and fantastic roads. I’m sure there’s some good dirt here too.
    #87
    Socalstrom likes this.
  8. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Looks like I'll be in Thailand in January for some diving. Probably rent a bike for a few weeks. Any suggestions or advice would be most welcome.
    #88
  9. AZ Desert Dog

    AZ Desert Dog To Ornery To Quit

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    396
    Location:
    Southwest
    Just stumbled on your thread. Nice bike. You seem to get around.
    #89
    Cro59 likes this.
  10. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Ha, I used to have a hiking blog called the Desert Dog Journal. Like your YouTube channel.

    I do get around, been an interesting life. We should get together for a ride next time I'm in Tucson.
    #90
    AZ Desert Dog likes this.
  11. AZ Desert Dog

    AZ Desert Dog To Ornery To Quit

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2012
    Oddometer:
    396
    Location:
    Southwest
    Next time your back in the sand box hit me up.
    #91
  12. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Will do. Probably won't be until springtime though.
    #92
  13. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    My Thailand ride from last month is HERE for those interested.
    #93
  14. ADVATT

    ADVATT f/k/a "Heavy Cy"

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    78
    Location:
    Illnoise.Flat as a pool table.Crooked as a snake.
    ...A HALFRICA TWIN! Good idea.
    #94
  15. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Exactly! That's effectively what the Rally Raid Level 2 creates, although it's still a bit heavy (pushing 450 lbs fueled and ready to go). Not many options to cut weight (pull the luggage racks, lithium battery, remove plastics, lighter wheels) without major structural redesign. I'm still waiting for a modern dual sport in the 350-650 cc range that doesn't weigh 400+ pounds out of the showroom and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
    #95
    klaviator likes this.
  16. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,404
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    I just found this thread today and read the whole thing. It just so happened that I was on a dual sport ride yesterday and one of the guys was on this:

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, I looks like a great bike. Interesting thread. I'll be following along.

    PS, I used to fly helicopters but switched to flying rather than beating the air into submission:D
    #96
    EZMoney and Cro59 like this.
  17. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    @klaviator, I'm a career rotorhead, no hope for me now. To make it worse, I'm stuck in a time warp and seem to only fly antique aircraft. Flying Hueys now; great bird, but definitely old school.

    The CB500X (getting back to motorcycles) is one of those bikes that transcend the spec sheet. Even stock, it's way better than it should be, and more so with the Rally Raid upgrade. Looking forward to getting reacquainted with it when I get back to Tucson next month.
    #97
    klaviator likes this.
  18. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Oddometer:
    12,404
    Location:
    Huntsville , Al
    I flew Twin Hueys for a couple of years. Fun bird but also the last helicopter I flew before going to the dark side. I pretty much only flew Antique helicopters; UH-1N and CH46.

    I know what you mean about "transcending the spec sheet". I have owned a few bikes like that. My old EX500 twin was one of them.

    I have ridden with Guys on pretty much stock V Stroms (with DS tires) on dual sport rides and seen how well they did in some reasonably challenging conditions so I expect your 500X will do just great off road.
    #98
    Cro59 likes this.
  19. Cro59

    Cro59 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Oddometer:
    688
    Location:
    Tucson, Arizona
    Flew Phrogs for a while. Another good bird.

    The VStrom was nice, but didn't have the same smile factor as the CBX and was way too heavy for off road.
    #99
    klaviator likes this.
  20. LateToTheGame

    LateToTheGame Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    May 9, 2016
    Oddometer:
    152
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Sounds like it would be a challenge to get the weight down much further, though a lithium ion battery would help. Maybe custom hoops, though for an off-road bike you want them to be indestructible too. Is there any way to, uh, encourage more power from the engine? Even another 10 bhp would help...