Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Thumpers' started by Anthiron, Sep 2, 2017.
I have both. A 2019 CB500X and a 2020 Himalayan.
He probably want to know how they compare---------!
Ace Solera as beemerboff said how do they compare super interesting to hear from someone who's had both narrowed it right down to the himmy or the cb500x
Forum member BigDogAdventures has both and has posted on them in this thread in April.
Lots of posts describing the power (or lack of power) or our Himalayans. I just go with the mindset our bikes are in "rain mode" 100% of the time. I've read bike reviews of 100 + H.P. where you get to select the driving mode. Buy a $15,000+ motorcycle, pay for the driving mode electronics, and then press a button to restrict the power. Better to have a bike where you can extract all the power it's capable of and not get into trouble. At my stage of life, rain mode suits me fine!
Also cheaper than spending multiple thousands on big-bore kits, ECM tuners, exhaust, etc.! As we used to say in the software biz, "if you can't fix it, feature it!"
You have got in one. We can tell other bikers we are such good riders we just ride in one, mode full power all the time. That will confuse them. cheers Brian
I gathered that. I thought I would confirm ownership and then wait for a specific question regarding the two.
Well now,I had this massive post done in response, but I thought, way too long. A lot of what I had written was specific to me and as they say YMMV. So I'll see if I can keep it short.
I haven't narrowed it down as it were, as I still have both. That decision is yet to be made, and maybe it never will. Who knows I may move both and get something else. Was tempted by the 850GS, or V85 Guzzi.
Both are great bikes, but I don't think a direct comparison is valid as they are quite different. I bought the CB500X new in October 2019. I bought the Himalayan in June 2020. I waited as I wanted one of the new colours (mine is lake blue).
To me the CB500X is an appliance. Well designed, well built, does the job day in day out. Ride it and put it away. Stone cold reliable. Excellent commuting bike, or for someone who just wants to get from A to B. That being said its not perfect for me. I struggle with the ergonomics, mainly foot peg position. I have invested in fancy adjustable foot pegs which help but do not alleviate the issue. That plus the vibes, 5000rpm is right where I normally ride at highway speed 100 - 110Kph (here in Aus) and it kills my hands in 30 mins or so. A re-gear may help there.
To make it as dirt ready as I would like would entail a full rally raid fit out. Approx AU$5000 by the time I would have finished. If not for the ergo problem I would have done it already.
The Himalayan has that undefinable something that just makes it fun, that the Honda lacks. At my age I am no longer into go fast, stop quick, lightning handling bikes. The CB500X is transport on a ride, whereas the Himalayan is part of the ride, part of the experience if you will. Going fast is not part of that experience or needed to enjoy it for what it is. I just don't get that on the CB. I guess its just boring.
I will still likely mod the Himalayan as most of us do. Partly to rectify short comings and partly for fun. I like tubeless tyres on long trips so may look at getting a set of wheels built with that in mind. At least Hima hubs are cheap and easy to get. That being said I had tubed on my F800GS and only had one flat in 60000km. Plus from what I gather there is not a lot to be gained weight wise going alloy rims and tubeless.
If I wanted to blast up the freeway just to get somewhere quickly, I'd take the CB500X (Allowing for vibes etc). It will do it at pace far easier than the Himalayan. Which it should given the HP difference etc. If I wanted to just cruise the back roads or take the long way via dirt or what have you, the Himalayan. I love riding the torque curve on the thing. Don't notice the piddling HP output really. In rush hour freeway traffic, maybe not suitable however.
What sort of riding do you do?.
Hi Solera that's a huge help you really managed to cover pretty much everything I was wondering about between the two didn't ask a question as I wasn't sure what I was trying to sus out between them an it's really interesting on what you said. Especially as part of the experience and with regards to the vibes, my last bike was the f800gs to.
With regards to the ergonomics what size boot do you have if you don't mind me asking?
The vibes is one thing that's caught my attention on the cb500x would you say the himmy's smoother at 110kph that's around the motorway speed I tend to ride at over here 65mph ish I don't speed as I like to chill an take in the ride. I'm hoping to do some more off road something I've only tried a handful of times on the 1200gsa te I had which was a disaster do to the size of the bike over here. Hoping to do my dream motorcycle trip from Cheshire in the UK to Iceland an to Norway an my dad's gonna be picking the identical bike to whatever I choose if I can prise him of his gsx-r 750 k9.
I tend to do a mix really most is hilly country roads over here like the cat and fiddle etc the peak district an I'm hoping to do some 7+ hour rides to Scotland and Cornwall on whatever I get :) did Manchester to Cornwall on my old gsa 1200 te in a day when I had that. An did to the Scottish borders an back on the 800gs in a day (dad did it on his 750gsxr)
Just to add on the vibration with the cb500x what gear are you in at those speeds 5th or 6th when you are getting the vibes? Do you have crashbars fitted to the lower engine mounts?
Thanks again for the reply it's a huge help.
I currently own a 2018 Himalayan and had a fully Rally Raided CB500X. Hands down the better road bike is the 500X. It will cruise 70 mph easily all day long. I don't remember vibes being an issue at all. Ive done the TAT on both bikes and prefer the Himmy with its tractable easy going power delivery. It's simply a better off road bike than the 500X, even with $3000 in RR upgrades.
So if your looking for a daily street bike for commuting and trips to the grocery store with occasional forays off road, then I think the 500X is the better bike.
If your looking for a distance bike that is at home on and off road and not concerned about cruising above 65mph then the Himalayan is a good choice.
As a side note. I do all my own maintenance and can change the oil and adjust my valves on the Himmy quicker than it takes to take the plastics off the CB.
@steelerd , if your looking to cruise all day long at 65 mph on the Himalayan you may be a bit disappointed, it is a bit buzzy at 65mph. It's really the most comfortable st 60 mph and less.
Thanks Wolftrax really appreciate the reply Ideally I'd put both the bikes in a blender a mix of the two would be good.
Guess it's down to sussing out what's gonna be the best comprimise between the two as you say it's mainly as a travel bike im looking for.
Travelling from the UK round Europe Iceland to the opposite ends of the uk 8 hours each way from where I am of motorway slog.
Was saying to my old man though when I came back from cornwall on the gsa 1200 I just sat at 60mph did it in one hit on the tank for 7 hours of riding or so. my cousin sped off on his Harley an I got in 2 hours before him much to his disbelief lol he had to stop quite a few times for fuel haha.
I came back from a trip to France and i found by fitting a 40t rear sprocket my Himi cruised happily on the Motorways at 68 MPH. As the revs were lower the buzziness is far reduced. The only additions i have for comfort are a pair of foam grips and a Chinese copy of a cool cover mesh cover. I don't have the rubber inserts on the front pegs as i do a lot of green lanes and to be honest, i get very few vibes through them. As for power modes, my bike has various drive modes. The item is called my right wrist. The main thing for me about the bike is it has bags of character were the jap bike are very watered down feeling at all and that includes my Tiger. People put these bikes down saying they're slow and unreliable. These comments mostly come from people that just read forums and probably have never had a ride on one, less owned a Himmie. The bike is what it is. Nothing flashing, not pretending to be the quickest or the best handling bike since sliced cheese. I bought mine without a test ride, i sat on it in the shop and bought it straight away. OK, I've had a couple of problems. 1 leak from the valve covers. Some idiot forgot to put a seal there. 2. Valve/head knock. This is a known problem and a completely new head was fitted. 3. The battery died. Ali covered under warranty except for the battery.
I know i can push the handling to the limits without worry and i do regularly. I can take it off road without worrying things are going to fall off. It the Land Rover of bikes. Parts are dirt cheap(5 oil filters with seals from India for £20.00) Servicing is cheap at the shop even cheaper if you DIY. Tyres not being oversized monsters are cheap. I been riding for over 40 years and have owned lots of bikes and i mean lots and 2 or 3 standouts in my memories, one is the Himmie the other a Cossak combo and the CX500. Ive owned bikes from 50cc to 1300cc including a just about street-legal track bike. Loads of power but you can't use it on the street. I love BMW GS1250, KTM1250 adventure and few more of that style, don't get me wrong i had the funds to buy them at the time that i bought the Himmie and still have but they are way too complicated and overweight, also my 31" inseam is a bit on the short side for them but there are ways around that.
If you want a bike that will last, that is easily customizable, cheap on fuel and by going through the second hand ads you will see that they keep a good resale value. Then the answer is the Himmie. Only you can decide which bike is for you. I know I've gone on a bit but there is just something about the bike, i know it only produces 24.5bhp but it's all useable. The frame by Lester is untwistable even at the riders limit. My track bike had a Lester frame and it was way better than am a rider. The suspension works on the road and off even with my 17 stone lump. The bikes quirky, it has bags of character, people say it's so ugly that its mother would throw it away. But answer me this why are more people interested in my bike when parked up than any of the other bikes I've owned with the exception of the Cossack combo. Even riders that own pucker trail bikes want to know more about the bike. Will you get that with a 500X?. Just look at the people that have travelled the world on one. Would they do that if they think the bike is underpowered or unreliable i think not? My Himmie is a keeper and that's a lot coming from me.
I apologise for going on but i have a great passion for my little Himmie and how it brings a smile to my face every time i ride out. I think wow did i just converse those lanes on this.
Thanks Doctor T really appreciate you taking the time to reply about your experience with the Himalayan. An preaching to the converted it was all the gizmos that constantly broke on my BMW gsa back an forth to the dealer all the time. I had that with my Norton people telling me they break down etc who have never rode one my 650ss has been my most reliable bike ride it every day now an being able to rebuild the engines if they ever need it myself is a breath of fresh air. I just got a quote of 7 honda dealers about cb500x servicing 8k one is about £135 an the 16k valve check is £484 with no checks or £684 if they were all out ouch seems crazy!! My bmw gsa wasnt that Disadvantages of shim an buckets i guess.
Was just looking at the price of heads at hitchcocks if i was to self service then it went not bad really less than the Honda 16k service.
It does sound like the himmy is the sort of bike im after :)
On my Wisconsin/Iowa trip in June, I did some four-lane at 65-70mph on my Himalayan, with a full camping load. Not a full day's worth by any means, but enough to establish two things: first, that the bike will cruise at this speed as long as you want it to, and second, it ain't a whole lot of fun. If all-day motorway blasts are a major part of your riding profile, you probably want something better suited to that style of riding. Having owned plenty of bikes that will do that kind of thing (R1200GS, Harley Electra-Glides, etc.), I take the Himalayan's "limitation" as a feature: the Himma gives me an excuse to avoid the four-lane and find interesting backroads that I can explore at a more leisurely pace, possibly stumbling upon things I would not have otherwise found (I should add that even on the big, fast touring bikes, I prefer to avoid the four-lane and go explore the smaller roads; believe it or not, even Nebraska is surprisingly interesting and pretty if you avoid I-80).
The other thing I will note is that between the higher MSRP and the cost of upgraded off-road capability (e.g., Rally Raid kit), a CB500X that can match a stock Himalayan's "adventure" abilities is going to cost close to twice as much. That's enough to pay for at least one and maybe even two Epic Adventures, which is a significant consideration to a cheap old retired guy like me.
Thanks Scott I really appreciate you guys all taking the time to reply to me been a huge help. A few lads on the cb500x forum actually made that point to the sheer cost of the RR CB500X gets you into used Africa Twin territory.
I wouldn't be able to afford the cost of rally raiding the CB before the trip so would have to live with it just with a bash plate, I know there's aftermarket stuff but speaking to Honda they don't do any sort of bash plate or panniers strikes me as weird for an adv/travel bike.
Earlier in the year I was after the 650xt vstrom which is just outta my price range by quite a bit now so it's starting to look like the himmy will be the best option if I self service it an stick within it's limitations for highway stuff. Not been able to find anything else that fits within the budget an offers the same capability in the uk :) An electra glide is one of my dream bikes bet that was fun mate.
Vibes at 65mph is a function of how hard the engine works and the grade of fuel. There are vibes @65mph when I have things strapped to the front tank bars or with my big saddle bags due to the extra wind resistance. Also heading into a head wind. However with just my small saddle bags that basically tuck in behind my legs there are no vibes at 65mph. All this with 95 RON octane fuel. The engine is more viby with 91 RON octane. The engine is a single and a very smooth one for what it is, however if you ask it to work harder you will get vibes. The nature of a single cylinder engine. Lighten it's workload by lowering the speed or the wind resistance and it settles into a smooth run. I don't have the RE luggage boxes, however I suspect they have a fair bit of wind resistance, which will contribute to vibes at higher speeds or wind. That is why I like soft bags as I can collapse them when I have smaller loads or fit hard liners (aka modified water containers) for when I want to carry more load.
I enjoy doing a 700 km day trips through the Southern Alps, about 10 hours with stops. You do need a Seat Concepts seat tho as the seat will kill you. The vistas rolling past and the mix of scents does something for the soul.
OK, so I'm riding my Hima in the rural suburbs, looking at real estate around a small lake (my sister-in-law saw a house there recently). I do a circuit of the roads in and out of the lake and then head down the street to fill up with gas. The gas station is on the opposite corner, on the other side of the stoplight. I am in the left turn lane facing a police cruiser that is stopped at the light, opposite me. The light turns green, but the cruiser does not move. After a couple of seconds, I take the initiative and make my left turn and then pull into the gas station and up to the pump. The cop then turns right in behind me, follows me up to the pump, and puts his lights on.
Cop gets out, walks over to me, and waits while I take off my helmet and install my hearing aids (PIA). He then asks if I was riding with anyone else. I say, no, just me. He then says that he is following up on a complaint about a group of dirt bikes who were "stunting" in the area. I just chuckled, and said "Well, this isn't really what you would call a dirt bike." A guy filling up his car next to us starts laughing. The cop gets back in his car and goes on his way.
Yes, officer, that was me pulling wheelies on 204 Avenue on my Hima... got away with it again.
Yeah, I liked the 800GS. Had one for 7 years. Did what I wanted and couldn't see any point in changing as nothing "grabbed" me as it were. Until it got written off thanks to a cage driver pulling out in front of me a few years ago.
I currently wear Forma adventure boots, size 43. Should be 42, but due to permanent damage (above accident) I need slightly bigger as tight boots are unpleasant to pull on. Because of that I find the 500X a bit cramped in the gear shift and am considering mods there.
Re the vibes, they are different for everyone I think. Fast vibrations (buzz) just annoy the hell out of me, maybe I'm sensitive to that. I have yet to run the Himalayan to 65+ mph as its still in run in. But I do run up to 45 - 50 in 5th, have done from day one, as I prefer a harder run in, like to keep revs between 3k - 4k. Above 4 you can feel the engine tighten. The engine is feeling better every time I ride it.
In 6th gear on the highway always. I don't particularly like revvy engines. Rarely took the 800GS above 7k rpm. Just didn't need to.
It seems to me that the CB500X is going to be better suited to your riding needs. I plan to live on as many dirt or back roads as possible, and there are plenty here in Aus. Which means living in the sweet spot for the Himalayan. I like to go out and get lost for days, also easily done here, just got to like deserts. Only thing to worry about out there are grey nomads and road trains, or the occasional mad roo or camel. Actually the goats are worse in places.
I took early retirement at a few years ago and am fortunate that I have both bikes. One may go more due to not riding it than anything else. They were both comparatively cheap, and I find it more rewarding to play in this end of the pool.
One thing with the CB is its likely to cost more if you drop it.
I have barkbusters and a fatbar on mine, My 20yr old son took it out for a ride and dumped it on the first corner from home, (dirt bike riders, always dumping bikes). A low speed, low side I gather, probably too much front brake on cold tyres. Anyway it took out the left main footpeg and bracket, gear lever assembly, passenger foot peg and bracket, rear left indicator, left side grab rail was scuffed up, and of all things he managed to break the seat pan. The bars were ok, and the bark busters did their job. All the brackets are alloy so grind away easily. I refrained from killing him as he copped two fractures when it fell on his foot. Still waiting on a new seat thanks to covid. With the Himalayan, I don't think I will be too fussed when it goes over and gets scuffed. I think it will wear it better.
Totally agree with both posts. I will assume you had the earlier CB500X.
That's where I stopped with the CB. I only have barkbusters and a Renthal fatbar on it. To make it more off road worthy was going to cost me about AU$5k, with wheelsets, suspension, barwork etc. The Himalayan was just 2.5K more and I was intrigued enough to go that way. No regrets so far.
Ha, I hear you. Taking off the plastics just to do maintenance gets old after a while. Even though the CB has long service intervals compared to the Himalayan.
Thanks Kiwi that's really interesting :) I'll check those seats out.
Thanks Solera we sound similar tbh once back when I used to ride superbikes an do track work some resonance was driving me bannana's an a few mates at a dealer having a go on it, it took for the head mechanic to sus out what I was feeling i was picking up on the change in pad material under braking lol I think my Norton's have de sensitised me now somewhat haha compared to my inline 4 days.
That sucks about the 800 crash mate good to hear you are back out though. Fingers crossed your lads foot heals up. Over here it's the pesky sheep we have to watch out for. Must admit its a weigh up I can see the pros an cons to both bikes the himmy ready to rock pretty much just add cases a tent an I'm away with something that is slow but off road capable 2 new ones for 9k ish list if dad gets one to after having a ride on the one I get or two used ones for 6-7k.
As you guys are saying the cb takes a bit to get it more off road worthy so with dealers over here all quoting 6,200 that'd be 13k for 2 unless we got them used then panniers, then tyres, bash plates guards bars etc. But then it's got the engine performance, wish I could stick them both in a blender haha.
I did have a nosey at the ktm 390's but Ktm is one brand I know nothing about bar a mate who had a nightmare with an lc8 engine. An after my grief with a 1200gsa te having to rely on incapable dealers to fix it as I watched on after they trashed the first engine then worked there way through another 2 + lots of other faults don't wanna find myself in that situation again was a stunning bike to ride from the road aspect though when it actually worked an something else hadn't decided to fail. Not good on a bike that list was nearly 20k cash the poor lad before me took about 8k depreciation in a year mine was the 2014 which i bought in 2015.
I've been thinking over an over an talking with the old man about just what we want from the bikes an a good travel capable distance bike seems to be the sum total of it. Still waiting on my Yam rd250c to sell so until that happens least I've got some time to keep mulling it all over really appreciate you guys all taking the time to reply an give me your thought's on the bikes really is a big help an great to see your passions for the himmy reminds me of how I am with my Norton's that intangable thing that you just can't quite put your finger on. An the fact they are so great to service no irritating plastic panels like on the blade.
looks like I've got some thinking to do