Honda CB500X

Do Anything…

Everything that you need to know about Honda’s new CBX:

Last month, Honda launched the new CBX550 and our Sean went along and did a big Adventure feature for our sister magazine Dirt And Trail. Did you catch that story?
No? Well neither did we because between the lot of us, somehow, the feature did not make it into the pages. Eep!

How? No idea, but we have seen weirder stuff like the time we did a story on a 16000cc Hayabusa (It was actually a 1600), so sometimes things do go pear shaped in publishing. 
Anyway. This month, the launch feature is in Dirt And trail Magazine – and RideFast got to use the newcomer on the road for a day or two.

Now here’s the interesting thing.

Honda SA is touting the bike as a baby adventure machine – and we’d never disagree with that, because according to Sean, it tackled everything that mother nature could throw in her path, chewed it up and spat it out with far more finesse than many bigger machines could. But.
It’s a road going bike too and to prove it, we didn’t even take it near a dirt road.
We used it out and about on Joburgs roads and took a flip out to Redstar and back.

It’s a normal sized bike:

Very often, a smaller capacity machine means a smaller chassis and all that. Well this one is normal sized. Big and comfy enough for a rider and passenger.

It’s powered by a fuel injected 471cc liquid cooled Parallel Twin:

The days of small capacity four cylinder beastys are coming to an end we’re afraid. Twins are cheaper to make (less moving parts), more Ozone friendly (Two pistons instead of four), ridiculously fuel efficient (read on), and manufacturers have managed to get them to go quite well. A parallel is also significantly narrower and lighter than a four which means that twins are generally lighter and more compact.

It’s comfortable:

No question. Honda engineers drew on their vast experience with the ergonomics and made a bike that fits everyone. It’s not overly tall, so its easy to get your feet on the ground. The seat is well shaped and nicely cut. The bars are high so there’s no slouching or crouching while you ride.


LCD instruments—set in a multi-surfaced and textured surrounding. It tells you everything that you need to know like speed, revs, fuel consumption, gear selection and a trip metre. It even tells you the time. Cool huh? A few people have asked why they have not gone with a TFT screen and all of the blue tooth magic that goes with it – well you’ll need to ask Honda – although we suspect that the idea was to bring an affordable bike to market. All that technology costs extra cash.

Electronic Interventions:

ABS. LED lighting. That’s it.

Brakes, Suspension and wheels:

Dual Nissin radial-mount four-piston calipers bite 296mm rotors. Spoked wheels. Adventure-oriented wheel sizes (19-inch front and 17-inch rear), dual-purpose-style tyres. Up front you’ll find  inverted Showa 41mm SFF-BP forks with 5.9 inches of cushion stroke.Out back you’ll find Honda’s adjustable Pro-Link mono setup. All of this stuff works very well together.

More stuff:

The 500 has an almost 18 litre tank. it weighs in at 199KGs wet.

Whats it like to ride?

The low seat height and centre of gravity means that she’s easy to roll out of the garage. The single push starter is a nice little touch. The clutch is soft and there is a very quality feel to the gear changes.
You get what it says on the box. It’s a 500cc parallel twin, nice and smooth. The power wont blow your hair back if you are a superbike afficionado, but that doesn’t mean that its not fun to ride.

In and around town, it really is excellent, nippy with peppy power to get you around and through the traffic. Exactly what you expect. We did not notice any excessive heat from the engine – and you can spend the entire day visiting your mates  without needing a chiropractor at the end of the journey. Quick away from the traffic lights – and you can pop her up on the back wheel if you need to.
This one has a slightly larger screen fitted and that worked perfectly .On our run out to Redstar and back she manages a happy 140KPH with a big guy in the saddle and a top speed at the 160KPH mark. The bigger bikes along on the day did not need to wait too long for the little Honda.
She’s not slow or slouchy at all.


Pay attention. Here are the magic figures.
We did 305 Km’s over 2 days. We didnt slouch about, we used it like a bike should be used. We used 11.710 litres. That’s 26 litres per kilometre OR – dependant on whether the guvment drops the price or not – 90c a kilometre.


There is a list of stuff available longer than your grandads beard like luggage, crash bars and all sorts.
Chat to your Honda dealer about accessorizing.


Starts from R119000.00
This is a great do anything bike.
Pop some luggage on – go touring. Hit some gravel.
Commercial vehicle? Absolutelly.
Day to day runaround so that you can unleash the Blade on the weekend?
For sure! for your closest dealer.


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