As far as motorcycles go, the genres are endless and discovering something like the Honda CB500X is always an interesting and eye-opening experience.

What is it?

Well, Honda says it's a mini adventure bike, and we wouldn't disagree, but it's also so much more. Although we couldn't find any suitable bush to traverse on the CB500X during our test period, its design and style says it can do the mild adventure run if ever called upon to do so. It gives you an upright riding position, wide handlebars and a long travel suspension. We would even say that CB500X would make a great commuter or first bike for a novice rider.

 

Ride & handling

One of the first things you'll notice about the Honda CB500X is how light it is. Although it has a high saddle, the lack of weight makes it less intimidating for those with limited riding experience or those not gifted with height. Its light weight translates to incredible nimbleness and agility on the road. The CB500X can change course at a moment’s notice and is effortless to flick around. With this setup, it would make for an easy bike to handle offroad. As a commuter, its narrow width and upright seating position are all you need to confidently slice through peak-hour traffic on William Nicol. 

On-road Performance

Firstly, we must commend the Japanese on the raspy and lively exhaust note delivered by the 471cc motor, despite muffling EURO5 regulations. It sounds good at low rpm and on the upper end if you're able to hear it against the wind noise. Most of the bike's torque is found on the low end, making it lively and zippy around town. This is where it'll spend the bulk of its life in any case. It's fun and pleasant to ride in urban/commute settings because of its light and positive clutch lever, which doesn't induce hand cramps. The shift action is short and precise on every shift, eliminating any shifts into neutral when going from first to second. With short gear ratios and a torquey motor, it's easy to short-shift your way to 5th or 6th gear and quickly settle into a cruise. The motor is good for 35 kW and 43 Nm

On the tech front, the Honda CB500X doesn't come with any rider modes besides its standard setting which we'll call "torquey". However, you get an LCD screen with a speedo, rpm gauge, fuel gauge and consumption, as well as a trip-meter. Of course, you can go to town with accessories here like heated grips, pannier mounts and cases, knuckle guards and a charging socket, to name but a few.

Price – R119 999

 

 Gugu Masuku – proudly CHANGECARS