– Detailed 2018 CB500X Buyer’s Guide / Overview with Development Info | Specs, Price, MPG, HP & TQ, Accessories + More! –
| Everything you need to know about the 2018 500 cc Adventure Bike from Honda! |
It’s now 2018 and 1/3 of Honda’s famous trio of 500cc motorcycles are back again to offer you a pretty exceptional bang-for-the-buck if I do say so myself. If you’re not familiar with the CB500X, I dive deeper into what it is exactly below but for a short and quick to the point explanation – the CB500X is an adventure “style” motorcycle from Honda. The CB500X still shares the same platform for 2018 as the CBR500R and CB500F too. It’s not that one of them is any better than the next, it just depends on what flavor you’re into and whether you want the naked CBR sport bike also known as a streetfighter and then the CB500F is right up your alley or if you like the more traditional CBR sport bike styling then the CBR500R is for you and then we have the motorcycle that we’re covering on this page, the adventure-ready CB500X.
2018 CB500X Changes / Model Updates: Is the 2018 CB500X VS 2017 CB500X any different? Technically, that would be a yes and no… The CB500X adventure motorcycle received quite a few upgrades for 2016 with improved wind protection and taller screen; other upgrades included a larger fuel tank, LED lighting, spring preload adjustable front forks and adjustable brake lever. Then, in 2017, the CB500X was revised to become EURO4-compliant (doesn’t affect USA models) as well as getting a new exhaust muffler and the lower fairing below the engine was tweaked as well just so slightly. For 2018, there are no changes to the actual specs on the CB500X but you do have new colors to choose from.
2018 Honda 500cc Family Reviews:
- 2018 CB500F Review – Click Here
- 2018 CBR500R Review – Click Here
Other Honda Adventure Motorcycles & Dual-Sport Bikes:
- CRF250 Rally
- Africa Twin / CRF1000L
- Africa Twin Adventure Sports / CRF1000L2
- VFR1200X / CrossTourer
2018 CB500X Review Contents:
- 1. | Introduction / Overview
- 2. | Key Features
- 2.1 | Styling / Equipment
- 2.2 | Engine
- 2.3 | Chassis
- 3. | Quick Overview of Features
- 4. | Development (CB500X / CB500F / CBR500R Trio)
- 4.1 | Photo Gallery
- 5. | Technical Specifications
1. | Introduction / Overview
What is the CB500X? It’s an adventure styled 500cc class motorcycle from Honda.
There are lots of great bikes in Honda’s 2018 lineup, but the CB500X as well as its cousins (CBR500R / CB500F) have to be among my favorites. Why? Because it ticks a lot of boxes, a lot of the ‘right’ boxes. You get plenty of pep, thanks to the torquey 471cc parallel-twin DOHC engine that you don’t have to rev too terribly high in the RPMs to get moving. Also while on the topic of its engine, its free-revving, flexible engine performance – with internal design derived from the CBR600RR and CBR1000RR – has gained approval not only from riders stepping up to an A2 licence overseas (many countries have a tiered license setup, something we don’t have here in the USA), but also from experienced motorcyclists looking for a fun, practical and economical all-rounder that not only sees 70+ MPG but has plenty of performance to keep you entertained no matter what your skill level is. The CB500X’s upright handlebar naturally accommodates a wide variety of riders. Heading out on a longer trip? You can adjust the compact windscreen to varying heights, and the larger-capacity fuel tank is carefully shaped to give the rider an unrestricted riding position. One of the best boxes that it ticks comes to the price-point on the CB500X, you don’t have to save up for 20 years to afford one and or go in debt up to your eyeballs to bring one home.
While its 471cc DOHC engine – producing 49.6 HP / 35kW and returning 71 MPG – and steel diamond-tube frame remain unchanged, the CB500X’s outlook was revised for recently to make it better than ever with a much larger windscreen, and the premium touch an LED headlight and taillight. A slightly larger fuel tank extended range between fuel fill-ups, and detail improvements such as the hinged fuel cap, adjustable reach brake lever, redesigned seat and ‘wave’ style ignition key elevate the overall owning experience. The ride was also improved with the addition of adjustable spring preload in the front forks, new damping rates for the rear shock and redesigned shift drum for smoother gear changes. A new exhaust muffler brought in a more modern feel (now it’s the same as the CB500F / CBR500R that were changed in 2016), and the CB500X also now meets the stringent EURO4 requirements. The allowable limits for exhaust tailpipe pollutants such as carbon monoxide, hyrdrocarbons and nitrous oxide specified by EURO4 are approximately half of those for EURO3. We don’t have to worry about those ratings here in the USA but whether or not a model can pass EURO4 regulations can determine whether or not a model even makes it to production for the rest of the world so it’s rather important that they abide by the guidelines.
2018 Honda CB500X Prices (USA):
- 2018 CB500X Price / MSRP: $6,599
- 2018 CB500X VS 2017 CB500X Price Increase: +$0
- 2018 CB500X ABS Price / MSRP: $6,899
- 2018 CB500X ABS VS 2017 CB500X ABS Price Increase: +$0
2018 CB500X Colors (USA shown below):
- Force Metallic Silver
- * USA models do not include wheel stripe decal
- * Color options vary by country
- * USA models do not include wheel stripe decal
2018 CB500X Colors (Europe / Misc other countries shown below):
- Candy Chromosphere Red
- Force Silver Metallic (for some reason they like to flip-flop the words from how it’s used in the USA)
- Matte Gunpowder Black Metallic
- * Color options vary by country
- CB500X Model History:
- 2013 CB500X: Model Introduced
- 2014 CB500X: New Colors
- 2015 CB500X: New Colors
- 2016 CB500X: New Changes (listed above)
- 2017 CB500X: New Changes (listed above)
- 2018 CB500X: New Colors
2. | Key Features
2.1 | Styling & Equipment
The CB500X in its original form struck a fine balance between a compact, easy-to-manage size and its ability to inspire discovery and cover distance in comfort. For this next step Honda’s engineers aimed to boost the instinctive sense of freedom to travel under the styling concept of ‘Feel the Adventure.’
The new LED headlight was physically small but powerful. Its angular outline is crowned by twin position lights and a silver finish on the bottom of the windscreen giving the CB500X a closer resemblance to Honda’s bigger X machines – the NC700X, NC750X, VFR800X Crossrunner and VFR1200X Crosstourer. Two-part side panels tie the front and rear design aspects together, and feature painted uppers. Black engine covers underpin the new design. Extended upwards by approx. 100mm compared to the previous model, the redesigned windscreen offers greater wind and weather protection for the rider’s upper body and features a central duct to equalize pressure and reduce turbulence around the helmet. Two height positions are possible to adjust for rider preference.
The 2018 CB500X fuel tank size comes in with a capacity of 4.6 gallons, extending tank range to over 320 miles per tank on the CB500X which is up from the previous generation CB500X. Detail upgrades on this latest generation change for the CB500X for rider benefit include a hinged fuel cap and 5-step adjustable span brake lever. A ‘wave’ key also has a smoother, more premium feel in use. The seat unit is finished with a clear-lensed rear LED light.
The comprehensive dash features a digital speedometer, digital bar graph tachometer, odometer, dual trip meters, clock, plus digital fuel level gauge and fuel consumption. Those may not seem like ‘huge’ features to some but when it comes to Honda, very few of their motorcycles actually have a gas gauge so to me that’s a nice bonus – especially when you have bikes that carry more than double the price-tag of the CB500X that are missing this feature. HISS (Honda Intelligent Security System) is built in to the ignition on overseas models. There’s space under the seat to store a U-lock and a bash-plate is fitted to protect the engine underside and exhaust pipe on rough, loose surfaces.
Genuine Honda Accessories for the 2018 CB500X include: Air Deflector; Center-stand; Hand Guards; Heated-Grips; Heated-Grip Attachment; Lightbar; Rear Tire Hugger; Tall Windscreen; One Key Cylinder (for Rear Trunk and/or Saddlebags); Saddlebags; Saddlebag Panels; Saddlebag Stays; Carbon Fiber-Style Accessories: Front Fender, Radiator Shroud, Under Cover Front, Under Cover Kit; Rear Carrier and 12v AC charging socket.
2.2 | Engine
The 2017 CB500X’s DOHC, 8-valve liquid-cooled parallel twin layout offers a great combination of compact physical size and flexible output. The ‘triangle’ proportion of crankshaft, main shaft and countershaft is very similar to that of Honda’s four-cylinder RR engines and much of the internal structure and engineering is taken directly from both the CBR600RR and CBR1000RR.
Bore and stroke is set at 67mm x 66.8mm; the crankshaft pins are phased at 180° and a primary couple-balancer sits behind the cylinders, close to the bike’s center of gravity. The primary and balancer gears use scissor gears, reducing noise. The crank counterweight is specifically shaped for couple-balance and its light weight allows the engine to spin freely, with reduced inertia.
PGM-FI fuel injection provides superb throttle response; the gasflow route from airbox to exhaust is as straight as possible and a plate in the airbox separates the airflow to each cylinder. Peak horsepower of 49.6 arrives at 8,500 RPM, with 31.7 lb ft torque delivered at 7,000 RPM.
The 2017 CB500X engine acts as a stressed member, reinforcing the frame’s rigidity with four frame hangers on the cylinder head. Internally the cylinder head uses roller rocker arms; shim-type valve adjustment allows them to be light, for lower valve-spring load and reduced friction. A silent (SV Chain) cam chain has the surface of its pins treated with Vanadium, reducing friction with increased protection against dust. Inlet valve diameter is 26.0mm with exhaust valve diameter of 21.5mm.
Bore size of 67mm is identical to that of the CBR600RR. The piston shape is based upon those used in the CBR1000RR to reduce piston ‘noise’ at high rpm. Friction is reduced by the addition of striations on the piston skirt (a finish that increases surface area, introducing gaps in which oil can flow for better lubrication). As with the CBR600RR and CBR1000RR, an AB 1 salt bath process, used after isonite nitriding, forms a protective oxidization membrane.
The crankcase uses centrifugally cast thin-walled sleeves, and the same bore interval as the CBR600RR helps them be as compact and light as possible. Their internal design reduces the ‘pumping’ losses that can occur with a 180° phased firing order. Using the same internal relief structure as that of the CBR1000RR, the oil pump features improved aeration performance, with reduced friction; a deep sump reduces oil movement under hard cornering and braking. Oil capacity is 3.4 quarts.
A six-speed gearbox mirrors that of its RR cousins which use the same gear change arm structure and link mechanism. In an update last year, the shift drum stopper spring load has been revised, along with the shape of the shift drum center, for smoother, easier gear changing.
- 2018 CB500X Horsepower Rating: 49.6 HP at 8,500 RPM
- 2018 CB500X Torque Rating: 31.7 lb ft TQ at 7,000 RPM
- 2018 CB500X MPG Rating: 71 Miles Per Gallon
2.3 | Chassis
The 2018 CB500X’s 35mm diameter steel diamond-tube mainframe is light and strong, with a tuned degree of yield that gives plenty of feedback to the rider as road surfaces change. The shape and position of the engine mounts, plus the frame’s rigidity balance, reduces vibration.
Wheelbase is 55.9 inches (1420mm) and rake and trail are set at 26.5°/108mm giving an agile, yet composed steering feel. Mass centralization, with the engine in very close proximity to the swingarm pivot point, delivers turning agility and optimum front/rear weight distribution ensures stability. Curb weight comes in at 427 lbs for the 2018 CB500X and the ABS only packs on another 4 pounds putting the 2018 CB599X weight tipping the scales at 431 lbs.
Seat height is low at 31.8 in (810mm), making the CB500X very easy to manage and its sporty riding position will comfortably accommodate riders of varying heights thanks to a relatively high handlebar position. Overall dimensions are 82.4 x 32.6 x 53.5 in (2095mm x 830mm x 1360mm), with 6.6 inches (170mm) of ground clearance.
The 2018 CB500X sports 41mm telescopic front forks (with 140mm stroke) up front with spring preload adjustment alongside the Pro-Link rear shock – which has 5-step preload adjustment and revised damping rates – offers the rider flexibility to adjust for loads. Final drive is via 520 sealed chain.
Lightweight, 17-inch cast aluminium wheels employ hollow cross-section Y-shaped spokes. Front wheel width is 3.5 inch; the rear 4.5 inch and tires are 120/70-ZR17 and 160/60-ZR17. A single front 320mm wave disc and two-piston brake caliper is matched to a 240mm rear disc and single-piston caliper. ABS is fitted as standard in many countries but here in the USA for the 2018 CB500X, Anti-Lock Brakes are optional and extremely affordable with the bump to its price tag coming in at only $300.
3. | Quick Overview of 2018 CB500X Info / Features
- 12-Spoke Cast Wheels
- Strong and stylish, the CB500X’s lightweight 12-spoke cast-aluminum wheels—120/70-17 in front and 160/60-17 rear—are easy to keep clean, look great, enhance handling and are another CB500X feature that just makes sense.
- Disc Brakes
- The front 320mm disc brake and 240mm rear provides strong stopping power.
- ABS Brakes (Anti-Lock Brakes)
- ABS version available for enhanced braking characteristics in less than ideal conditions.
- Long-Travel Front Suspension
- The long stroke 41mm front fork yields a full 5.5 inches of travel, and a wide handlebar allows for easy steering inputs.
- LED Headlight
- With a clean, rough-and-ready look, the CB500X’s LED headlight and multi-facet reflector project plenty of light on the road for visibility.
- Digital Instrumentation
- An amber-tinted full LCD screen features digital speedometer and tachometer and more, including a clock, odometer, trip meter, real-time and average fuel consumption meters and illuminated engine diagnostic indicators.
- Adjustable Windscreen
- The CB500X’s windscreen offers superior wind protection, and is adjustable so you can fine-tune your cockpit environment.
- Unique Style
- Adventure doesn’t have to mean bottomless mud pits a continent away. Like your favorite blue jeans, the CB500X just looks right—tough, capable, no-nonsense. Plus, the adventure-bike posture and seating position let you move around freely—just like your jeans!
- Programmed Fuel-Injection (PGM-FI)
- PGM-FI continuously monitors several variables to ensure the correct fuel mixture is delivered for the existing riding and atmospheric conditions for crisp throttle response throughout a wide variety of riding conditions.
- DOHC Twin Cylinder Engine
- Honda twins are famous for their versatility, and the CB500X engine is one of our best ever. Using the same piston bore size as our CBR600RR sportbike, the parallel-twin engine offers accessible performance across all RPM ranges.
- The four-valve cylinder head design incorporates a roller rocker arm for a more compact layout along with reduced friction.
- A shim-type valve adjustment system allows incorporation of a lighter rocker arm setup that, in turn, allows for a lower valve-spring load to further reduce power losses through engine friction.
- Engine counterbalancer and 180-degree crankpin reduce engine vibration for superior rider comfort.
- Preloaded, scissors-type gears for the primary drive and engine counterbalancer gears help reduce engine noise.
- Steel-Tube Frame
- A motorcycle’s frame is the basis for its handling. A take on a classic construction, the CB500X’s diamond-shaped steel-tube mainframe ties to the engine with four mounts, offering a rock-solid foundation for superior ride and handling.
- Pro-Link® Rear Suspension
- A sophisticated chassis with Honda Pro-Link® rear suspension, with 9-stage preload and 4.7 inches of travel gives you a comfortable ride over small bumps, while capably absorbing bigger bumps to increase riding comfort and handling.
- Step Seat
- The CB500X’s 32-inch seat height and unrestricted riding position offer freedom of movement for usage in both touring and commuting. You’ll find that it’s perfect for around-town riding and also offers plenty of room for a passenger.
- Transferable one-year, unlimited-mileage limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan all the way to an additional five-years to equal six-year or 72 months total.
4. | Development (Models: CB500X / CB500F / CBR500R)
First, there’s the CBR500R, a lightweight and nimble middleweight sport bike that’s just right for riders moving up in displacement categories, as well as for experienced riders who just love riding a great-handling bike. Next, there’s the CB500F naked sport bike, a great choice for independent-minded riders in search of a mid-sized entry-level bike with extra attitude, but one that’s also a great daily ride. And there’s also a middleweight adventure-style bike, the CB500X, a bike that follows the lead of the popular NC700X introduced in 2012 and now NC750X. For riders who want to add a smaller, lighter and eminently affordable adventure-style bike to their lives, the CB500X is just the ticket.
Each of these brand-new models has its own look and personality plus a tie-in to larger bikes in the Honda lineup, and they also share that distinctive, high-quality Honda feel. Despite their unique appearances, these three bikes share the same basic chassis components and engine—a smart move, since sharing common elements helps reduce development and production costs, resulting in a markedly lower consumer price point.
– Engine Technology
Honda’s objective when developing the engine for the CBR500R, CB500F, CB500X series was to produce a global, kind-to-the-environment parallel twin-cylinder engine that looks ahead to the next generation and, by being both sporty and easy to handle, transcends regions to appeal equally to those in both developed and emerging countries.
They kept the original advantages of a parallel-twin engine (being economic and easy to handle), but aimed to realize output characteristics that would deliver comfortable but speedy controllability. We developed a new lightweight and compact 500cc engine that operates smoothly in the low-to medium-rpm range and maintains that smoothness into the higher rpm range.
Special Engine Characteristics
As regards engine performance, we decided on a maximum output of 8500rpm, placing the usual emphasis on high-rpm output characteristics while seriously considering the low-to-mid rpm range that will be most frequently used by the entry user.
In keeping with the engine’s characteristics, and in order to maximize the effectiveness of air intake volumes in all ranges up to 8500rpm, we debated the optimum size of valves and pistons and the best number and positioning of cylinders. In the end, we opted for a liquid-cooled parallel twin-cylinder engine with a bore/stroke ratio of 67mm×66.8mm. The stroke of 66.8mm was the maximum possible, given the compact engine dimensions the engineers had also set as a priority. The 7mm bore interval in this engine is the same as the bore intervals in the CBR600RR; this tight distance results in a compact—and light weight—engine.
The cylinder head design also incorporates a roller rocker arm for a more compact layout along with reduced friction. The choice of a shim-type valve adjustment system allowed incorporation of a lighter rocker arm setup that, in turn, allowed for a lower valve-spring load to further reduce power losses through engine friction. The cams are driven by a silent-type cam chain for reduced engine friction, and the surfaces of the cam-chain pins are treated with vanadium for lower friction and increased toughness. Compression ratio is set at 10.7:1, and to reduce piston noise and friction at the relatively high top engine speeds slated for these bikes (redline is 8600 rpm and rev-cut occurs at 9100 rpm), the short 67mm piston features asymmetrical skirts that are the same length but differ in width. Using technology applied to the CBR600RR, striations on the piston skirts aid oil retention for better lubrication, and the piston pins and connecting rods are also treated with a friction-reducing special protective coating. The 180-degree crankpin design and an engine counterbalancer help smooth operation, and preloaded scissor gears are used for the primary and balancer gears to reduce gear whine/engine noise. All in all, a sophisticated package.
At the same time as keeping vibration to a minimum by using pins phased at 180°on the crankshaft and a couple balancer behind the cylinders, we also achieved an engine that looks compact and stylish.
Honda’s Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI) system delivers the appropriate fuel mixture according to existing riding and atmospheric conditions for crisp throttle response. A pair of 34mm throttle bodies feed the engine, with the injectors located within the throttle-body assembly. All of this technology helps give all three 500s an especially responsive, revvy nature and a high-quality feel.
The crank counterweight specifically shaped for couple balance, not only enabled us to obtain the crankshaft moment of inertia required to achieve the characteristics of an easy-to-handle engine, but also meant it was possible to make it thoroughly lightweight.
Flow analysis of the cooling liquid through CAE simulation maximized efficiency in cooling performance, which enabled us to make the water pump smaller and more lightweight, but still more than capable of doing its job during periods of high output.
In order to maximize air intake and exhaust efficiency, we straightened the profile from the air cleaner through the intake port to the exhaust pipe. Although the diameter of the valves was increased, along with that of the intake and the exhaust, the valve stems were made narrower, reducing friction and increasing exhaust efficiency.
Furthermore, in order to achieve easy-to-handle characteristics in the low-to mid-rpm range and sustained pull at high revs, we exhaustively analyzed air intake and exhaust mechanisms to calculate the ideal length and diameter of pipe required.
When it comes to environmental performance, in order to amply meet the basic performance requirements of a Sports bike as well as the challenging environmental performance targets we had set ourselves, a variety of technologies were introduced in all areas of the power unit.
Compared with SOHC, DOHC gave us free rein to choose the shape of the combustion chamber, the shape of the ports and the layout angle of the valves, and also make the valves more lightweight, so we went with DOHC. While DOHC naturally improved performance, it was also a factor in making the end-product more attractive as a Sports bike.
For the valves, by deploying a roller rocker arm extremely compactly, we were able to realize small cylinder heads with low friction valve drives. By choosing shim-type valve tappet adjustment we were able to lighten the weight of the rocker arm, which meant we could set a lower valve-spring load and so reduce friction. The valvetrain incorporates four valves per cylinder actuated by dual overhead camshafts. The intake valves measure 26mm in diameter, the exhaust valves 21.5mm, and narrow valve stems help reduce reciprocating weight and engine friction. This DOHC configuration was chosen for higher performance; it gave the engineering team greater latitude in developing the shape of the combustion chamber, the shape of the ports and the layout angle of the valves, while also allowing the use of lighter valves. Careful attention was paid in particular to creating a markedly straight-line flow from the air cleaner through the intake ports and out the exhaust pipe to maximize efficiency.
Also, by using a silent cam chain (SV Chain) with which the surface of the pins is treated with vanadium, we were able to both reduce friction and increase protection against dust.
Piston, Connecting Rod
For the piston, we chose the same φ67 bore size as employed on the CBR600RR. We also optimized the balance between piston rigidity and strength and made maximum use of CAE technology to make the piston thoroughly light weight.
We also worked to reduce friction by adding Striations on the piston skirt, and by combining the AB1* process used on the CBR600RR for the piston pin/connecting rod.
- * AB1 process: AB1 salt bath process used after isonite nitriding in order to form a protective oxidization membrane.
For the crankcase, in order to keep cylinder irregularity to a minimum we used centrifugal-casted thin-walled sleeves and as in the CBR600RR, made the crankcase more compact and lightweight by making the bore interval 7mm.
Also, through measures such as eliminating partitions in the 180° phase crankcase transmission chamber, we reduced the pumping losses that occur during piston oscillation.
For the oil pump, we used the internal relief structure used in the CBR1000RR and as well as reducing friction, improved aeration performance and simplified the shape of the oil pan.
As well as building an AI system into the cylinder heads, we also put an O2 sensor and catalyzer inside the exhaust pipe to meet the EURO 4 exhaust gas regulations and achieve our own higher environmental targets.
In order to meet regulatory requirements in Thailand and California, we have also used an evaporative emission control system (a device that inhibits the emission of fuel evaporative emissions) that satisfies the Level 6 emission gas regulations in Thailand. This is a power unit that truly respects the environment.
Top Grade Engine
Aiming for a top grade motorcycle powered by a lightweight, compact engine that is an extension of the rider’s will, we examined the engine balance from every aspect of the finished bike and increased its presence by giving it a more powerful form than conventional parallel-twin engines.
At the same time, we added 4 frame hangers to the engine head. Hangers enable part of the frame rigidity to come from the rigidity of the engine itself, which allowed us to simplify the shape of the frame and make the finished article more lightweight and compact.
Also, we reviewed the positioning of the balancer in conventional parallel-twin engines and for this machine decided to position it near the engine’s center of gravity which is nearer the finished bike’s center of gravity. This not only delivered sporty handling, but also gave us freedom in styling.
We used the same head cover cap as is being used on the CB1100 and the CB1300 Super Four.
For the first time on CB and CBR models, we used a socket bolt as the tightening bolt on covers in our pursuit of quality design down to the finest detail.
Silence and Vibration
Utilizing the noise and vibration characteristics of its twin parallel cylinders, we were able to realize an engine that is both easy to handle and very quiet, which imparts a discreet sense of quality.
Firstly, for the primary and balancer gears, we used scissors gears to achieve improved noise performance and also facilitate global roll-out productivity.
Also, the piston shape, arrived at after CAE analysis of piston balance and behavior, delivers the optimum piston balance and reduces piston-generated noise.
For vibration, we used a couple-balanced crank counterweight and a primary couple balancer. This resulted in a top grade parallel-twin engine that we were also able to make more lightweight.
Gear change feeling
A six-speed gearbox complements the power output of this engine, and the triangulated layout between crankshaft, mainshaft and countershaft is very similar to that of the four-cylinder CBR-RR engines, which aids in creating a very compact unit. Engine weight, at 116 pounds, is laudably light. In addition, the gear-change mechanism uses the same gearshift structure and gearshift link design used in the ultra-high-performance CBR600RR and CBR1000RR sport bikes to yield high-quality shifting action and feel.
– Frame & Chassis Technology
The CBR500R and CB500F share the same wheelbase of 55.5 inches, while the CB500X spans 55.9 inches between axles. The X model also has one degree more steering rake than its two siblings (26° 5′ versus 25° 5′), and its 41mm fork yields 4.9 inches of travel in contrast to the 4.3 inches of fork travel with the other two bikes. All three share the same Pro-Link® single-shock rear suspension system, which offers nine-step cam-style spring preload adjustability and 4.7 inches of travel. Thanks in part to this slightly taller suspension setup the CB500X seat is slightly taller at 31.8 inches, versus 30.7 inches for the CBR500R and CB500F. Even so, the CB500X seat is perched nearly an inch lower than that of the larger NC700X / NC750X adventure-style bike, which makes it distinctly more friendly feeling for riders with shorter inseams.
All three models share the same lightweight cast aluminum wheels, a 120/70-17 front and 160/60-17 rear. These wheels follow the designs used for the latest CBR600RR and CBR1000RR wheels. The brake setups are likewise identical among all three 500s: a twin-piston caliper and 320mm wave-style disc up front, and a 240mm wave disc in back. The front brake in particular offers excellent stopping power and feel. The wave design reduces unsprung weight and it also offers excellent heat-dissipating qualities. ABS is an option with all three bikes and the ABS systems are independent, not linked, between the rear and front brakes.
Honda’s development target for the frame and chassis was to achieve a high-level fusion of flexibility and rigidity. This was to involve concentrating mass while satisfying basic operational functions, imparting a ‘sporty’ feel that is evident the moment you straddle the bike, achieving controllability and the optimum body size and dimensions for a broad spectrum of users, from the novice to the veteran, to experience the unique fun of riding a motorcycle and enjoy using the bike in daily life, for touring or for sports riding.
In order to deliver gentle and straightforward handling on a bike powered by a satisfyingly responsive lightweight and compact engine that delivers power across the range from the low-to high-rpm range, the frame that supports the engine has to be lightweight but sufficiently rigid to facilitate Sports riding. The engine hangs as a stressed frame member housed in a monocoque frame evocative of Honda’s MotoGP racing machines. The cylinder head features four solid attachment points for engine hangers, which allows the rigidity of the engine to add to chassis rigidity. Such a design lends itself to a more simplified frame shape, yielding a more lightweight and compact chassis. The resulting frame is a diamond-shaped unit with a 35mm steel tube main member, and the final design is approximately 33 lbs (15 kg) lighter than other comparable designs, which adds greatly to the handling prowess of all three bikes, and therefore that much easier to maneuver.
Meanwhile, because there is an appropriate degree of yield in the rigid steel tubes of the frame, it responds lithely to constant changes in the road surface, parrying gaps and feeding back road information to the rider, allowing him or her to take a freer line. Agreeable vibration from the engine enhances the sense of a quality ride.
Also, by optimizing the shape of the rear shock attachment components, we have been able to draw out the maximum performance from the pro-Link suspension.
Moreover, by keeping the seat attachment section of the frame on a par with that of 250cc class bikes, the seat height has been set at 30.7 inches (785 mm), a good height to keep the ground within easy reach of a rider’s feet.
Body Dimensions and Positioning of Componets
The dimensions of the bike have been set to deliver honest, reassuring handling and agility.
To achieve this, we utilized the newly developed compact engine to achieve a wheel base of 55.5 in. (CB500X: 55.9 in.), a caster angle of 25.5° (CB500X: 26.5°) and a seat height of 30.7 in. (CB500X: 31.8 in).
Mass was concentrated by positioning heavy items near the bike’s center of gravity, and by optimizing weight distribution fore and aft were able to achieve a high degree of stability and agility.
By optimizing the position and shape of the engine mount and the frame rigidity balance, we were able to make the bike more lightweight and deliver reassuringly honest handling at the same time as reducing unpleasant bike vibration.
The upright telescopic front suspension with an inner tube diameter of 41mm optimizes the rigidity balance with the frame.
Securing a suspension stroke of 120mm (CB500X: +20mm) delivers a soft but firm ride and gives a strong sense of connection with the road when on the move.
Optimizing the ratio on the rear Pro-Link suspension delivers powerful road adhesion and contributes to the lightening of suspension weight and the concentration of mass.
Honda also used a 9-stage preload adjuster which makes it possible to adjust the suspension to a rider’s preference or when riding tandem.
The length of the rear swing arm is 564mm. Its 70×30mm square cross-section pipe delivers high rigidity as well as appropriate toughness.
Front & Rear Wheels / Tires & Chain
The simple hollow cross-section Y-shaped spokes of the lightweight cast aluminum wheels are designed to flexibly parry changes in the road surface and so contribute to the bikes nimble maneuverability.
The chain is a size 520 sealed chain which helps control friction and reduce unsprung weight.
Tire sizes for the 2018 CB500X are 120/70/17 on the front and 160/60/17 on the rear.
Given that the bike is going to be put to use on all sorts of roads in all sorts of environments across the world, its 320mm large diameter front disc brake has been fitted with a 2-pot caliper for powerful control, while the 240mm rear disc has been fitted with a 1-pot caliper.
Wave disc brakes are used with superlative heat-dissipating qualities that are lighter than conventional discs of the same diameter, which also contributed to reducing the bike’s unsprung weight.
Honda CB500X / CBR500R / CB500F Model Lineup Pictures
2018 Honda CB500X / CBR500R / CB500F Pictures
5. | 2018 CB500X Technical Specifications
|Type||Liquid-Cooled, parallel twin|
|Bore and stroke||67mm x 66.8mm|
|Compression Ratio||10.7 : 1|
|Max. Power Output||49.6 HP (35kW) @ 8500rpm|
|Max. Torque||31.7 lb/ft TQ (43Nm) @ 7000rpm|
|Oil Capacity||3.38 qt (3.2L)|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||4.4 gal (17.5L) (inc reserve)|
|Fuel Consumption(WMTC)||71 MPG (29.4km/liter)|
|Battery Capacity||12V 8.6AH|
|Clutch Type||Wet multiplate|
|Transmission Type||6 speed|
|Dimensions (L´W´H)||82.4 x 32.6 x 53.5 in (2095mm x 830mm x 1360mm) (Low screen) 54.7 in / 1390mm (Hi screen)|
|Wheelbase||55.9 in (1420mm)|
|Caster Angle||26.5 degrees|
|Seat Height||31.8 in (810mm)|
|Ground Clearance||6.6 in (170mm)|
|Curb Weight||427.6 lbs (196kg)|
|Type Front||Conventional Telescopic, 41mm, pre-load adjustable|
|Type Rear||Prolink mono with 9 stage Preload adjuster, steel square pipe swingarm|
|Type Front||Multi-Spoke Aluminium Cast|
|Type Rear||Multi-Spoke Aluminium Cast|
|Rim Size Front||17 X MT3.5|
|Rim Size Rear||17 X MT4.5|
|Tires Front||120/70ZR – 17M/C (On-Off Pattern)|
|Tires Rear||160/60ZR – 17M/C (On-Off Pattern)|
|ABS System Type||2-Channel|
|Type Front||Single Wave Disk, 320mm, 2 POT caliper|
|Type Rear||Single Wave Disk, 240mm, 1 POT caliper|
|INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS|
|Instruments||Digital Speedometer, Digital Bar Graph Tachometer, Dual Trip Meters, Digital Fuel Level Gauge & Fuel Consumption Gauge, Digital Clock|
|Security System||HISS (Honda Intelligent Security System) European models|
|Headlight||Low 4.8W, Hi 12W x 1 light|
Hi Kevin, you carried over a typo from the 2017 CB500X review: The distance on a tank of fuel is around 230 miles, not 320 miles. Thanks for taking the time to do these writeups! I found them very helpful in making a buying decision in favor of this bike.