– 2015 CB500X ABS Adventure Bike / Motorcycle Review (CB500XAF) –
If you could use a little more adventure in your life—and who couldn’t? — the CB500X can deliver on that idea at a surprisingly affordable price. The adventure-style CB500X delivers a fun-to-ride option with an extra dose of versatility. The compact windscreen up front can be adjusted to varying heights, and the larger-capacity fuel tank has been carefully shaped to give the rider an unrestricted riding position.
The CB500X delivers plenty of performance to adventure sport touring riders, with its thoroughly modern, torquey 471cc parallel-twin DOHC engine. Its upright handlebar naturally accommodates a wide variety of riders, and the shape and height of the seat give more rider freedom. The CB500X is an excellent choice for riders ready to move up a displacement class, or for anyone who appreciates a great middleweight motorcycle for practical in-town riding, or fun adventure-sport touring.
2015 Honda CB500X ABS Performance Details:
- 2015 CB500X ABS Horsepower Rating: 49.6 HP at 8,500 RPM
- 2015 CB500X ABS Torque Rating: 31.7 lb ft TQ at 7,000 RPM
- 2015 CB500X ABS MPG Rating: 73 Miles Per Gallon
- 1. Introduction
- 2. Model overview
- 3. Key features
- 4. Overview of Key Features
- 5. CB500X Development Story
- 6. Accessories
- 7. Technical specifications
For any rider making the move from a 125, or holding an A2 licence (overseas licensing is different from USA) the twin-cylinder CB500X, part of a new family of motorcycles from Honda that includes the fully faired CBR500R and naked CB500F, offers adventure sports style and substance in an agile, accessible package.
Sharing a common frame and engine, each machine features a riding position and a distinct design that is tailored to, and will appeal to, a wide variety of riders with performance parameters that cover a range of uses from commuting and sports, to touring.
While the CB500X, CB500F and CBR500R are focused in different directions they are all physically easy to manage, and deliver practical usability matched to excellent efficiency. As true middleweights, blessed with lightweight agility and an engaging power delivery, above all, they are enjoyable to ride in every scenario.
With an all-round ability that few motorcycles possess, matched to excellent build quality, affordable price point and low running costs, the CB500X is a great place to begin a lifelong motorcycling adventure. It’s also an attractive alternative for experienced riders looking for an extremely practical and affordable big bike that is ideal for commuting as well as fun for weekend adventures.
2015 CB500X Model Options:
- CB500X ABS (Anti-Lock Brakes)
2. Model Overview
The CB500X, with its relaxed, upright riding position and wide handlebars will give anyone looking for their first adventure sports bike an exhilarating experience on a twisty, winding road. Its lightweight maneuverability and excellent visibility also ensure it works equally well in urban environments and it’s a motorcycle designed to be ridden – and thoroughly enjoyed – by a variety of people of all shapes and sizes.
Physically taller, with longer travel suspension and a slightly longer wheelbase than its siblings, the CB500X has styling derived from the 1200cc V4 VFR1200X Crosstourer. Its DOHC twin-cylinder fuel-injected engine produces 49.6 Horsepower / 35kW (making it ideal for A2 licence holders moving up / not valid in USA) and returns an impressive 71 MPG (80.2mpg Honda WMTC figure).
Its steel diamond frame and high quality suspension – 41mm telescopic front forks matched to Pro-Link rear monoshock – provide confident, precise handling as do 17-inch cast aluminum wheels and wide 120 front, 160 rear radial tires. Powerful wave-pattern disc brakes and optional ABS is available.
3. Key Features
The CB500X’s 35mm diameter steel diamond-tube mainframe is light and strong, and has 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, and the frame’s rigidity balance, have also been carefully balanced to reduce vibration.
Wheelbase is 55.9 inches (1421mm) and rake and trail are set at 26.5°/108mm giving nimble, yet reassuring steering. 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 is 430 lbs (195kg). A seat height of 31.9 inches (810mm) makes the CB500X very easy to manage, and its relaxed riding position and high, wide handlebars offers plenty of room and comfort for longer journeys.
Overall dimensions are 2095mm x 830mm x 1290mm, with 170mm ground clearance. The fuel tank holds 4.4 gallons (15.7L), including reserve, and combined with the engine’s excellent fuel economy gives potential range of over 300 miles (420+ km).
The 41mm telescopic front fork, with 120mm stroke, delivers a compliant yet controlled ride and gives a great connection to the front tire. Pro-Link monoshock rear suspension features optimized leverage ratios and 9-stage preload adjustment for the rear shock. It works with a rigid swingarm, constructed from 70mm x 30mm box-section steel. Final drive is via 520 sealed chain.
Lightweight, 17-inch cast aluminum wheels employ hollow cross-section Y-shaped spokes. Front wheel width is 3.5inch with a 120/70-ZR17 tire, rear wheel width is 4.5 inch with a 160/60-ZR17 tire. A single front 320mm wavy disc and two-piston brake caliper is matched to a 240mm rear disc and single-piston caliper. ABS is an option.
The comprehensive dash features a digital speedometer, digital bar graph tachometer, odometer, dual trip meters, clock, plus digital fuel level gauge and fuel consumption. HISS (Honda Intelligent Security System / not valid for USA models) is built in to the ignition, and the headlight features a single 60/55W H4 Halogen bulb and multi-reflectors. There is space under the seat to store a U-lock.
The CB500X’s engine is a next generation power unit, looking to the future in both performance and environmental terms. The DOHC, 8-valve liquid-cooled parallel twin layout was chosen because of its light weight, all-round ability and flexible usability.
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 and peak power of 49.6 HP (35kW) arrives at 8,500rpm, with 31.7 lb/ft (43Nm) torque delivered at 7,000rpm.
The ‘triangle’ proportion of crankshaft, main shaft and countershaft is very similar to that of Honda’s four-cylinder RR engines, making for a very compact unit. The six-speed gearbox also mirrors that of its RR cousins, allowing for a short engine, and uses the same gear change arm structure and link mechanism. A deep sump reduces oil movement under hard cornering and braking; oil capacity is 3.2L. Flow analysis of the cooling system through CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) maximized efficiency and allows the use of a physically smaller, and lighter, water pump.
The DOHC cylinder head uses compact roller rocker arms; shim-type valve adjustment allows them to be light, which means 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, exhaust valve diameter 21.5 mm. CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic) was used to maximize gas flow efficiency – the route from airbox to exhaust pipe was made as straight as possible, and a plate in the airbox separates the air flow to each cylinder.
Bore size of 67mm is identical to that of the CBR600RR. CAE was used to ensure the pistons have the optimum balance between weight, strength and rigidity. The shape of the piston itself was based upon those used in the CBR1000RR. 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 AB1 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. Careful attention has been paid to their internal design to reduce 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 and allows use of a simple oil pan.
The engine itself acts as a stressed member, reinforcing the frame’s rigidity with four frame hangers on the cylinder head. The Matt Axis Grey Metallic finish on the crankcase and cylinders finish adds depth, complementing its taut overall styling.
A secondary air injection (AI) system is built into the cylinder heads, while an oxygen sensor and catalyser inside the 2-1 exhaust ensures the CB500X’s emissions are extremely low.
4. Overview of Key Features
- – Adventure-style seating position makes for unrestricted maneuvering and keeps the rider comfortable during adventure trips, commuting or short hops around town.
- – All-new 471cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin DOHC engine is thoroughly modern in design and produces a broad power spread for enjoyable and economical riding.
- – 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.
- – Programmed Fuel Injection (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.
- – 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.
- – Diamond-shaped 35mm steel tube frame is lightweight and rigid for responsive sport handling.
- – Big 41mm front fork with 4.9 inches of travel returns a plush yet controlled ride.
- – Sophisticated Pro-Link® single-shock rear suspension offers nine-stage spring preload adjustability and 4.7 inches of controlled travel.
- – Lightweight cast aluminum wheels, 120/70-17 in front and 160/60-17 rear, return sporting feel and handling traits.
- – Front 320mm wave-style disc brake and 240mm rear provides strong stopping power.
- – ABS version available for enhanced braking characteristics in less than ideal conditions.
- – Amber-tinted instrument display features speedometer, tachometer, odometer/A&B tripmeters, fuel gauge, clock, real-time and average fuel consumption.
- – Wide handlebar is designed specifically to fit the adventure-style rider ergonomics.
- – Available in Matte Black Metallic on both standard and ABS models.
- – Transferable one-year, unlimited-mileage limited warranty; extended coverage available with a Honda Protection Plan.
5. Honda CB500X Development Story (Including CBR500R / CB500F)
There’s a whole new generation of young riders looking to enter the sport of motorcycling on bikes that are fun to ride, nimble and easy to handle, affordable and economical to operate, plus distinctive in appearance. For this set of buyers, Honda has hit a grand slam by creating a trio of modern-era 500cc machines that redefine the middleweight category. These three bikes take aim at three popular styles of bikes that resonate with their own identity, yet all are filled with Honda quality and value, through and through.
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. 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.
As its name suggests, the CBR500R features full bodywork much like that found on the potent CBR600RR and CBR1000RR Honda sportbikes. Sportbike riders, whether well established in the sport or still developing their motorcycling skills, always prize the excellent handling traits that come with a light and responsive mount. And the new, lightweight and nimble CBR500R absolutely delivers in that department—there’s plenty of well-rounded performance on tap here. It’s just the right size for sport riders moving up from the entry-level Honda CBR250R, but even experienced sportbike riders will appreciate the handling characteristics of this 425-pound bike. Its aerodynamic bodywork provides significant advantages in air management for added rider comfort, along with a low drag coefficient and effective engine cooling, rounding out a package that looks as good as it works.
Naked sport bikes form another distinct category of motorcycling, one that fosters the image of independence and non-conformity. And that’s especially true with the CB500F, a bike that looks like a first-cousin to the liter-sized CB1000R. This modern and sporty 500cc naked bike not only carries a full load of attitude and style, it also delivers plenty of performance and versatility. Tipping the scales at only 420 pounds, it’s got everything you need, and nothing that you don’t. Whether it’s used as a daily commuter machine, an affordable weekend ride for backroad day trips, or a bike for hanging out at the local gathering spot, the CB500F serves as a great option for just about any kind of street use. Its comfortable, neutral riding position and slim profile let riders feel right at home in the saddle. For a bike that’s affordable, stylish and fun, it’s tough to top the new CB500F.
We all understand that half the fun of motorcycling is the mental escape it provides when you’re tied down at the 9 to 5 job. For riders who love to dream about getting far away on a ride, the middleweight CB500X is a fantastic option that follows in the tire prints of the recently introduced and highly acclaimed NC700X adventure-style bike. This is a bike that begs to travel new roads and discover new sights, a fun-to-ride motorcycle with an extra dose of versatility. The compact windscreen can be adjusted in height, and it also has a comfortable adventure-bike seating position, plus a larger-capacity fuel tank that has been carefully shaped to allow the rider unrestricted movement. It features a longer-stroke 41mm front fork that produces 4.9 inches of travel, and a wider handlebar allows for easy steering inputs. And while this the CB500X works well for longer-range adventure tours, it also serves as a versatile ride to fulfill those everyday needs too. For riders seeking a little more adventure in their lives, the CB500X delivers on that idea at a very affordable price.
Regardless of market placement, all three bikes share an all-new engine and Honda’s engineers decided that a sleek parallel twin would serve best to generate sufficient torque in the low-rpm range to produce the kind of fun, easily accessible powerband that is a hallmark of all three bikes. And so this series of bikes became 500cc liquid-cooled parallel twins with a bore and stroke configuration of 67 x 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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 significantly lighter than other comparable designs, which adds greatly to the handling prowess of all three bikes.
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 31.9 inches, versus 30.9 inches for the CBR500R and CB500F. Even so, the CB500X seat is perched nearly an inch lower than that of the larger NC700X 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.
So there you have it: three different bikes, three different riding experiences for three different kinds of riders. But all three bikes are lightweight, nimble and fun to ride, and each one possesses a level of quality and sophistication that makes it a fantastic value for the money.
The following genuine accessories will be available for the CB500X ABS:
- Panniers / Saddlebags (with moving system)
- Rear carrier
- Top box
- Inner bag
- Deflector kit
- Fog lights
- Knuckle guards
- Radiator shroud
- High windscreen
- Seat cowl
- Under cowl
- Meter visor
- Chain case
- Tank pad
- Heated grips (12A)
7. Technical Specifications