Model updates: Honda’s A2-compatible mini-adventurer receives major performance-focussed improvements led by Showa 41mm Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks, dual disc front brakes and radial-mount calipers. Handling is further improved by the new swingarm, which is lighter with more lateral flex. The rear shock has new settings to complement the new forks. A redesigned front wheel and lighter radiator save weight and new fuel injection settings improve engine character. More powerful headlight LEDs and front indicator position lights offer greater visibility.
The CB500X – originally launched in 2013 alongside the naked CB500F and fully-faired CBR500R – brings crossover adventure style to Honda’s fun-focussed twin-cylinder ‘light middleweight’ trio. It is a motorcycle that, without fanfare, quietly gets on with the job of being supremely competent and adaptable for a wide variety of owners.
The CB500X’s usefulness is down to a straightforward equation – a perky, well-regarded twin-cylinder engine which produces real torque and drive from low rpm, and revs hard up top – plus a chassis that gives a supremely comfortable ride both around town and out on the open highway, all wrapped up in distinctive adventure styling.
It slips between the role of short-hop commuter to weekend tourer effortlessly. Long travel suspension irons out irregular road surfaces, wide handlebars provide leverage and the upright riding position offers both comfort and a wide field of view for the rider. In other words, the CB500X is an all-rounder in every sense of the term.
In 2016, a first upgrade saw the CB500X receive a larger fuel tank, more wind protection and a taller screen. It also gained LED lighting, spring preload-adjustable front forks and adjustable brake lever. Its 2019 evolution delivered more sophisticated adventure style, more engine performance and a number of chassis upgrades, ensuring that while the CB500X remained confident in its wide-ranging abilities, its ‘X’ factor was well and truly amplified. It gained EURO5 compliance in 2020.
Having proved its popularity over nearly a decade, for 2022 year model it receives high-quality front suspension in the form of Showa 41mm SFF-BP USD forks, plus dual front discs, lightweight swingarm, redesigned front wheel and other detail updates including a striking new colour and bold new graphics.
- Model Overview
Alongside engine changes such as revised fuel injection settings and a new lighter radiator, the chassis benefits from the addition of Showa 41mm SFF-BP USD forks, dual Nissin radial mount two-piston calipers biting 296mm discs, light-weight wheels feature new thinner spokes and redesigned swingarm – for improved rider comfort and handling performance. Compared to the previous model, weight bias also moves fractionally forward for enhanced front tyre grip and feel. Styling is updated with a new front wheel and larger front mudguard.
As before, LCD instruments feature a Shift Up and Gear Position function. All lighting is LED, with optimised high/low headlight beam and addition of front indicator position lights.
The 22YM CB500X will be available in the following colour options:
Grand Prix Red
Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic
Pearl Organic Green **NEW for 2022**
- Key Features
3.1 Chassis & Styling
- 41mm Showa Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks
- New dual 296mm discs matched to Nissin two-piston calipers
- New lighter weight front wheel and swingarm
- Revised headlight LEDs for improved high/low beam plus position lights
Light, strong and unchanged for the 2022 year model, the CB500X’s 35mm diameter steel diamond-tube mainframe 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, plus the frame’s rigidity balance, also reduce vibration.
Immediately obvious is a brand-new front end set-up. With the aim to heighten all-round handling performance the 41mm telescopic forks of the previous design have been replaced by spring preload-adjustable Showa 41mm Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks with 135mm axle travel (150mm cushion stroke), clamped by new top and bottom yokes. By dividing the functions – Big Piston pressure separation damper in one leg, spring mechanism in the other – reaction and ride quality are both improved.
The single-tube rear shock absorber (as found on larger capacity sports bikes) with its large-diameter piston and 135mm axle travel (60mm cushion stroke) ensures excellent response and temperature management; it features 5-stage preload adjustment with newly optimised spring rate and damping settings.
Handling is further improved by the redesigned, lighter swingarm. Now constructed from 2mm steel (rather than 2.3mm), it employs a hollow cross member and is stiffer rotationally, and also more flexible laterally to improve handling. A crisply redesigned chain guard completes the new look.
In line with the dynamic improvements to the chassis and suspension, the braking performance has also been improved. The single 310mm wave-pattern disc and two-piston caliper front brake of the previous design has been replaced by dual 296mm wave-pattern discs and axial mounted Nissin two-piston calipers. The introduction of the smaller discs not only keeps any additional weight gain to a minimum, but also reduces the required pressure on the lever when braking.
The redesigned 19-inch cast aluminium front wheel – lighter thanks to thinner spokes – reduces unsprung weight to aid turning ability. It’s crowned by a tough new mudguard design and heads a 17-inch rear wheel; trail-pattern tyres are sized 110/80-R19 front and 160/60-R17 rear. Weight bias has also been adjusted. with front/rear bias percentage of 48.7/51.3 compared to the previous 48/52. Kerb weight is 199kg. Wheelbase remains 1,445mm with rake and trail of 27.5°/108mm.
The CB500X wears an aggressive, ‘ready for the wild’ adventure style, with the long radiator shrouds and fairing giving a strong three-dimensional texture front to rear, linked by interlocking side covers and fuel tank. But this is a bike as much about function as form; high-pressure air flowing around the fairing and screen (with two available height settings – 1445mm and 1410mm) is managed to improve wind protection for the rider at highway speeds. The sharply-chiselled headlight is now even more piercing with extra-powerful LEDs, plus there’s added visibility from front indicator position lights.
A slim seat profile allows for free movement around the machine and aids easy ground reach. And to help manoeuvrability the steering angle is 38° from centred to full lock.
Gunmetal grey tapered steel handlebar elevate control further still. Seat height is 830mm and the upright riding position is very accommodating, while providing excellent visibility. Overall dimensions are 2155mm x 830mm x 1410mm, with 180mm ground clearance.
LCD instruments – set in a multi-surfaced and textured surround – feature a Gear Position and Shift Up indicator; this is set to a default 8,750rpm but can be adjusted in 250rpm increments between 5-8,750rpm.
The fuel tank holds 17.5L including reserve, and, combined with the engine’s excellent fuel economy of 3.6L/100km (27.8km/l) (WMTC mode), gives a range of 485km.
- Lively twin-cylinder powerplant delivers usable power and torque across the rev-range, plus sporty sound from its dual-exit muffler
- New PGM-FI settings improve torque feel and character
- New radiator design more stylish and lighter
- Assist/slipper clutch eases upshifts and manages downshifts
- Homologated for EURO5
The CB500X’s A2-licence friendly 471cc, 8-valve liquid-cooled parallel twin-cylinder layout offers a well-proportioned balance of physical size and willing, enjoyable power output, with an energetic, high-revving character and zappy top end. The 2019 upgrades created faster acceleration through a 4% boost in low-to-mid-range power and torque in the 3-7,000rpm range. It’s very much an engine whose overall performance and character belie its relatively small capacity. Peak power of 35kW arrives at 8,600rpm, with 43Nm torque delivered at 6,500rpm.
Feeding the PGM-FI fuel injection is a more-or-less straight shot of airflow through the airbox and throttle bodies and for 2022, new settings improve torque feel and character without compromising performance. The exhaust muffler features dual exit pipes, giving a sporting edge to each pulse, and a rasping high-rpm howl. A new more aesthetically pleasing radiator design contributes a 92g weight saving, with no loss of cooling efficiency
Bore and stroke are set at 67mm x 66.8mm with compression ratio of 10.7:1; the crankshaft pins are phased at 180° and a primary couple-balancer sits behind the cylinders, close to the bike’s centre 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.
Acting as a stressed member, the engine complements 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 wear. Inlet valve diameter is 26.0mm with exhaust valve diameter of 21.5mm.
Piston shape is carefully designed to reduce piston ‘noise’ at high rpm. Friction is reduced by striations on the piston skirt (a finish that increases surface area, introducing gaps in which oil can flow for better lubrication). The ‘triangle’ proportion of crankshaft, main shaft and countershaft is efficiently compact. The crankcases uses centrifugally cast thin-walled sleeves; their internal design reduces the ‘pumping’ losses that can occur with a 180° phased firing order. A deep sump reduces oil movement under hard cornering and braking; oil capacity is 3.2L.The slick-changing six-speed gearbox is managed by an assist/slipper clutch.
A range of Genuine Honda Accessories are available for the CB500X. They include:
Side wind deflectors
35L top box
Tubular fairing frames
- Technical Specifications
|Liquid-cooled, parallel twin
|Bore and stroke
|67mm x 66.8mm
|Max. Power Output
|35kW @ 8,600rpm
|43Nm @ 6,500rpm
|L-urban 74dB L-wot 76.7dB
|PGM FI electronic fuel injection
|Fuel Tank Capacity
|17.5L (inc reserve)
|CO2 Emissions WMTC
|Fuel Consumption (WMTC)
|3.6L/100km / 27.8km/l (WMTC mode)
|2155mm x 830mm x 1410mm (Low screen) 1445mm (High screen)
|Showa 41mm SFF-BP USD forks, pre-load adjustable
|Prolink mono with 5 stage preload adjuster, steel hollow cross swingarm
|Multi-spoke cast aluminium
|Multi-spoke cast aluminium
|Rim Size Front
|19 X MT2.5
|Rim Size Rear
|17 X MT4.5
|ABS System Type
|Dual 296mm x 4mm disc with Nissin radial-mount two piston calipers
|Single 240mm x 5mm disc with single piston caliper
|INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS
|LCD Meter with Speedometer, Bar Graph Tachometer, Dual Trip Meters, Fuel Level and Consumption Gauge, Clock, Water Temp, Gear position, Shift UP Indicator
|HISS (Honda Intelligent Security System)
All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice.
# Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.
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