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The New CB 500 X

Blog Date - 28 November 2012

There are lots and lots of motorcycles on show at the NEC this year but only 2 things grabbed my undivided attention.  One was a rather lovely young lady being paid to be a lovely young lady on one of the various stalls.  The other was the new collection of Honda CB 500's. 

Montage of CB 500 and CBR 500
Honda CB 500 on the left, CBR 500 on the right.  They share the same least what is visible on the outside.

The first ever "big" bike I rode was a CB 500, what I would call one of the modern CB 500's, a parallel twin model of 1996 or 1997 vintage if memory serves me well.  The 500 was a commuter, fast enough to get around yet definitely not able to challenge a sports bike, steady, reliable and fairly simple in construction.  Twin shock, that told you where the handling was aimed at then a plain old motor in a plain old frame.  Designed to take you from A to B with the least fuss.

So when I saw 3 rather lovely looking bikes perched up on a platform on the Honda stand I took interest.  I took even more interest when I saw the "CB 500" on the side of the street machine, got a little giddy when I saw the same motor in the CBR 500 next to it then almost had a trouser accident when I saw the big trailie styled CB 500 X.  Oh my sweet heavens!  It's like Honda had read this blog and produced my perfect model.  500cc is enough for two-up touring and a teeny tiny bit of speed, small enough to be economical (hopefully), light enough to get around traffic and the one on show had a full luggage compliment.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrr......

the new and fully dressed cb 500 x
Shexy...Yeah I know it looks like EVERY other big trailie, but this is a little big trailie, right up my street, or dirty track.

To be honest, the one on show was probably the "top flight" spec.  It had the crash bars complete with the dinky little spot lights that are popular with the big trailie types.  It had the full hard luggage set to the rear.  Honda, like several of the other manufacturers, had gone to the effort of fitting an Akropovic end can, I can only assume all the original silencers must be pig ugly.  So in my humble opinion I think it looks great and could be an impressive compromise between the comfort, handling and touring ability of a big trailie and the ease of everyday use of a mid range commuter. 

the cb 500 x from the rear side
Mag wheels, so it's not REALLY going to go off road is it.

There is of course one fly in the ointment.  Honda's NC 700 X.  It is in fact a huge massive big fly.  You see it's like this.  I estimate the power output of both machines will be similar.  I estimate the 700 will weigh a bit more but have more torque to compensate.  The 700 can also be supplied with a full big trailie touring kit, fancy lights and a crash bar.  The 700 will be lower revving and possibly a little more relaxed to ride.  It is quite possible, in fact I'd say probable, that the 700 will use less fuel too.  Apart from the 700 weighing more there is much in it's favour.

honda's nc 700 x with panniers at the nec bike show
And the CB 500's biggest competitor? Honda's own NC 700 X.  

It will be interesting to see the prices when the CB 500 X finally comes on sale.  If the NC 700 x and the CB 500 X are similarly priced, similarly specified, have similar fuel consumption and similar riding experiences, then Honda would appear to be in competition, with itself!  Still, I think it's a lovely machine, I think they're both lovely.  I used to be indecisive, I'm not so sure now... 

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Reader's Comments

Tom McQ said :-
Very attracted to the new CB500 range. They were featured in a recent mag and looked amazing - all of them! Can't wait to steal a second-hand one from someone who's fell upon hard times, LOL.
asad ali said :-
Nice write up. Those engines get great mileage. ...
09/01/2018 08:42:41 UTC

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