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Blog Date 12 November 2019

The phone rings - "Mr Withnell, you purchased a CB500X from us about 3 or 4 years ago..." Yes, yes I did. "Wigan Honda is merging with Blackpool Honda and all the stock at Wigan must go..." 

No, no, Wigan Honda is not "merging" with Blackpool Honda. That, sir, that is sales speak. What you mean to say is The Cox Group that owns Lancaster, Blackpool and Wigan Honda motorcycles has already closed the Lancaster shop and now you're going to close the Wigan shop too. 

I'm not interested in another new bike. My interest is tweaked when he suggests I at least take a test ride on the new 2019 CB500X. I'd be curious to know if a 19 inch front wheel and a new engine mapping makes any difference. "I'll see you Saturday morning then Mr Withnell."

The new CB500X is "better". The engine is still A2 legal but it is just a little crisper, cleaner and peppy. The new clocks are trendy but more importantly have more information, particularly the engine temperature which I think is wise. It features a slipper (and gripper) clutch which makes the clutch action very light, as light as my 125. It looks fresher too. 

However it is taller so if you're short you'll struggle. The 19 inch front wheel made no discernible improvement on the tarmac and will reduce tyre options if like myself you're 99% road based. I reported back to the salesman. "It is better, but it's not so much better I'm ready to throw cash at you."

Ahhh... but the demonstrator I've just ridden is for sale at £5,500, could we do a deal?

OK, maths time. I paid 5k for my '16 CB500X. I'd expect it to last 100,000 miles. That means every 10,000 miles stands me at £500. I have covered 39,000 miles, say 40k so I've "used" £2,000 worth of my bike leaving £3,000 to be used. If you Mr Salesman give me £3,000 for my old bike then maybe.

I know he's not going to bite. My bike is likely worth after a damn good clean about £2,300 retail maybe? That means to the dealers it's worth about £1,500. The salesman turns white then goes "to have a word with my boss" as they all do. He comes back with a maximum offer of £2,300. That means I'd have to find £3,200. Nope, it's good but not that good.

While he was away I spotted an '18 CB500X. 860 miles ex demo but it's the old model like mine save for losing the belly pan. This is on at £4,300. I'm a cruel man when it comes to salesmen, let's try this for a laugh...

I have "used" £2,000 worth of my motorcycle. If I could reset my miles to (almost) zero for £2,000 I'd think that would be a fair exchange. You have an (almost) zero miles CB500X for £4,300 and you've offered £2,300 for my bike, leaving a balance of 2 grand. You're trying to sell me the wrong bike Mr Salesman.

He'll not go for it. Oh. No. He will. Damn.

So it seems I am now the owner of an '18 plate Honda CB500X in Silver. Just like Ross' who I met in Kent not 2 months ago. Who'da thunk it!

New CB500X with all Ren's crappy accoutrements
So errrrr, yeah.

We're always looking to test and review bikes here at Bikes And Travels. Contact ren@bikesandtravels.com

Reader's Comments

Snod said :-
I seem to have stumbled across some rich bloke's humblebrag blog!? Bring back Sharon and her down-to-Earth Tour-A-Plank/Angle-Iron-Screen-Mover-Upper engineering!
14/11/2019 07:52:22 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
OH NO! Oh poop Snod you've found me out. Yes I'm an eccentric millionaire who likes to spend his days pretending to be poor. I am living Pulp's "Common People".
14/11/2019 07:58:14 UTC
Borsuk said :-

okay. Where is Ren and who are you.
Sharon, Ren`s been replaced by a pod person.

14/11/2019 10:01:55 UTC
Borsuk said :-
Forgot to ask, did he offer more if you removed the hand guards and screen. :-)
14/11/2019 10:26:30 UTC
Sharon said :-
Yes things have gone very strange around here. Because when I went for a ride with Ren the other day his new shiny bike was cleaner and shiner than mine, as I had neglected to clean mine from the previous ride. It's all so wrong.
15/11/2019 02:00:20 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
The conversation went like this if I recall Borsuk

Can I keep my centre stand?
Urgh, well, hmmmm, OK.
Can I keep my front mudguard with the DIY fender extender?
Urgh, well, hmmmm, OK.
Can I keep my rack and top box?
Oh jeeez, well it is a bit rusty, OK.
Can I keep my shortened and drilled sprocket cover?
Urgh, well, hmmmm, OK.
I'll remove the charging socket under the seat shall I?
Urgh, well, hmmmm, OK.
And my fork protectors, them rubber bits?
No, we want them...
Well what about the extended screen?
Urgh!! Well look OK but that's it for goodness sake. WE ARE KEEPING THE HAND GUARDS!
No you ain't mate, them's is patented.

I'm fairly sure that's how the conversation went.

15/11/2019 08:59:15 UTC
Ross said :-
Ha! Nailed it!! You were obviously impressed with the shininess of my new bike and it subliminally drew you to opening your wallet...but good grief! Did you have to nail your 'Ren-built Adventure Accessories' to it already and spoil it's lovely lines!?

It's ok, Sharon, I'm sure normal service will be resumed soon and Envy will be the cleaner bike!

15/11/2019 09:08:34 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Yes well done Ross. And yes I was hero-worshipping you and your shiny silver bike. I just HAD to have one.

And yes I have ruined it already. In fact I spent last night extending the rear hugger. Why oh why oh why can't Honda make proper mudguards? Ah - fashion and pretty - that's why (cue Upt').

It now looks like a "Ren" bike but with some clean bits, but not for long.
15/11/2019 09:27:28 UTC
Upt'North said :-
I think 2K for 39,000 miles is a bit of a bargain sir.
It'll probably work out even sweeter as at that mileage yours must have been due some bits soon.
You could even put some nice shiny handguards and new luggage on whilst you're at it. No, OK.
Enjoy Ren and more pics please before it resemble the last one.
Borsuk could be onto something of course, have you been entered by an alien being.
15/11/2019 10:01:47 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Good heavens! You're being most agreeable Upt', have you been abducted by aliens too?

It's one of "them" things. I paid £1400 for the CBF125, I've had 80,000 miles out of it and not had to spend any serious cash on it. The previous 500 could have just kept on going or gone pop this week. Then, equally, this one could do too! Everything is a gamble there are no certainties.

I am not at liberty to discuss my being entered by an alien. This is a judicial matter and I'm bound over by the courts.
15/11/2019 01:16:46 UTC
ROD said :-
Ren, You have obviously found a bike you are happy with to buy another CB500X.
I hope you have many happy miles on the new ride.
17/11/2019 12:23:15 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Cheers Rod. The only other bike I've seriously looked at recently is the NC750, either S or X. I was always ALMOST there but that damn underseat fuel cap! It's fine under normal use but when I've got all the luggage on the bike it'd be a faff to get in there.

I was thinking have I ever had the same bike twice before? Yes, I had 2 Honda H100's when I first started out and 2 CD200 Benly's which are simply magnificent machines.
18/11/2019 09:32:52 UTC
Pocketpete said :-
Ren you are mellowing with age. Your wallet is definately getting more frequent use. Must sharon's influence.

I cant believe they gave you that much for your bike!

23/11/2019 06:08:48 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Oh poop, I've let all my readers down and even myself. Snod thinks this is a "humblebrag" (fantastically descriptive word) blog and Pete thinks I've mellowed. Oh the shame, the ignominy even the irony! I can't even look at myself in the mirror (well, not as long as I used to at least).

I'm off to cover the bike in oil and dirt in a vain attempt to hide my everlasting shame. Oh, the fact this preserves the bike so I can get a good trade in has nothing to do with it, no, not at all.

Pete - I suspect as that shop is closing down they were up for a deal to shift stock, that and the staff probably have no future with the company so why the hell not anyhow? This does mean my "local" Honda dealers are in Rochdale, Burnage (Hunts) or Blackpool. Anyone fancy opening a Honda dealership with me in Bolton/Wigan/Chorley area?
23/11/2019 09:19:15 UTC
Snod said :-
>Anyone fancy opening a Honda dealership with me in Bolton/Wigan/Chorley area?

I would! It'd be great, bikes that do better than 80MPG lined up proudly at the front while all the other dross is hidden away at the back. Shelves filled with useful things like handguards made from cut up milk bottles and pots filled with used engine oil and grease, maybe even a collection of Tour-A-Planks on offer. There could be tens of customers, TENS!!
23/11/2019 12:38:14 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Tens of customers you say? Fantastic we'll all be millionaires this time next week.

Yes, my shop might not quite fit in with the zeitgeist of shiny glass and marble floors of contemporary dealerships. I'd like to think this would be my USP (unique selling point), I suspect it may also be my downfall too. I suppose I'm 30 years too late, or perhaps too soon?

I can still envision the dirty walls, wobbly shelving, oily smells, grubby fingernails, semi-nude calendars, battered counter tops, clunking door chimes and ripped overalls of the bike shops of my youth.

23/11/2019 04:49:38 UTC

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