The majority of Honda motorcycles could well be categorized as an ?adventure bike?, obviously some more than others. The 2015 Honda CB500X however, is capable of fulfilling more than one role. It is ready to serve in the capacity of commuting and urban errand-running, while being equally ready to carve some challenging canyon roads. Think of the Honda CB500X as part sport bike and also as part cruiser. It features a conveniently, but manually adjustable windscreen, a substantial fuel tank, a comfortable level of suspension travel with a longer wheelbase and greater ground clearance, which all blend, resulting in a more pleasurable riding adventure ? on pavement or off.
The Honda CB500X may be perceived as an ideal entry level bike, but may also be considered as a completely pleasurable steed for more experienced riders. In other words, it delivers totally adequate power for a variety of riding scenarios without being overpowering to the point of intimidation for novice riders.
The power comes from a new 471cc DOHC, 8-valve, liquid-cooled parallel twin motor with PGM-FI with 34mm throttle bodies and two into one right side exhaust. The motor?s energy is geared through a six-speed sequential manual transmission to the rear wheel via an O-ring sealed chain final drive. Honda traditionally does not make horsepower or torque ratings available, but the motor?s wide powerband provides a healthy dose of torque across the entire range.
The lightweight steel tube frame chassis is new as well and provides a classic upright riding position, and even though the CB500X is not truly a dual-sport motorcycle, its styling definitely smacks of adventure bike posture. The 4.5-gallon fuel tank has a 0.7-gallon reserve and the unique design allows for tucking in one?s knees, offering the ability to become more one with the bike, and to shift body weight effectively.
The wheelbase is 55.9-inches, with the overall length measuring 82.6-inches. The seat height is a comfortable 31.9-inches and the bike?s dry weight is a very manageable 434 pounds. Suspension components consist of 41mm forks with 5.5-inches of travel up front and a Pro-Link? single shock with 9-posiiton spring-loaded adjustability and 4.7-inches of travel in the rear. The Honda CB500X ABS rolls on a Pirelli Scorpion Trial 120/70-17 front tire and a 160/60-17 rear tire, mounted on six ?Y?-spoke alloy wheels (12-spokes).
Bringing the CB500X to a halt is a Twin-piston caliper with single 320mm wave disc in front and a ? Single caliper 240mm wave disc in the rear. An ABS braking system is optionally available for an additional $500.
My test 2015 Honda CB500X was equipped with the Anti-Lock Brake (ABS) system and hand guards, and sported a Matte Charcoal finish with Yellow graphics. The base sticker read $6,299., while the ABS and Dealer Prep and handling charges bumped the final price tag to $7,119. A host of additional accessories is available fro Honda, including: an Air Deflector, a Centerstand, a Carbon-style front fender, hand guards, heated grips, a lightbar, one key cylinder, a radiator shroud and a rear carrier.
SUMMARY: Riding the 2015 Honda CB500X is a delight. At first glance, it looks as though it might be too small for a 6?4? rider, but the mid foot controls, wide handlebars and one piece, well-padded seat make for a very comfortable ride indeed. The one-piece seat is extended for two-up duty with folding passenger foot pegs and molded hand grips (also good for securing light cargo). The sculpted fuel tank affords the rider flexible body positioning.
Instrumentation includes: a bar graph fuel gauge, turn signal indicators (non-self-cancelling) and a digital tachometer, speedometer and clock.. There is alas, no gear indicator (only neutral), which would make for a nice addition, as would self-cancelling turn signals.
The motor issues a pleasing, steady thrum of power and cruising through the gears in either direction is an exceptionally smooth process. The CB500X is extremely well-balanced and easy to get used to, even in tight, slow maneuvers.
In the scheme of things, the 2015 Honda CB500X is a very good-looking, affordable and efficient to operate bike that would definitely prove to be an excellent choice, if one could have but one motorcycle (perish the thought).
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[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2015 Honda CB500X ABS [/wptabtitle]
|Price as Tested:||$7,119.|
|Engine Type and Size:||471cc DOHC, 8-valve, liquid-cooled parallel twin with PGM-FI with 34mm throttle bodies and two into one right side exhaust.|
|Horsepower (bhp):||Honda does not publish horsepower ratings.|
|Torque (ft./ lbs.):||Honda does not publish torque ratings.|
|Transmission:||Six-speed sequential manual.|
|Drive Train:||Final drive – O-ring-sealed chain.|
|Suspension:||Front ? 41mm forks with 5.5-inches of travel.
Rear – Pro-Link? single shock with 9-posiiton spring-loaded adjustability and 4.7-inches of travel.
Brakes: Front – Twin-piston caliper with single 320mm wave disc and ABS
Rear ? Single caliper 240mm wave disc and ABS.Tires: Pirelli Scorpion Trial 120/70-17 front / 160/60-17 rear mounted on six ?Y?-spoke alloy wheels.Wheelbase:55.9 inchesLength Overall:82.6 inchesCurb Weight:434 lbs.Fuel Capacity:4.5 gallons including 0.7 gallon reserve.Seat Height:31.9 inches0 – 60 mph: NOT TESTED
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.