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Honda updates the CB500X with better suspension and brakes

This touring bike should get better road manners

The upgrades to the CB500X should make it easier to ride. PHOTO FROM HONDA

Honda’s littlest “adventure” bike has always been a likable machine with its civilized road manners, accessible seat height, and reasonably powerful motor. Before the year ends, the company has given the CB500X some much-appreciated updates to the suspension and braking system.

The front fork is now a 41mm Showa inverted fork, with separate functions for compression and rebound—an improvement over the outgoing model’s traditional telescopic unit. It’s not adjustable except for basic preload, but the bike’s emphasis on road touring probably means you won’t need to fiddle with it anyway. The rear shock absorber is a five-stage, preload-adjustable unit that’s attached to a revised, steel swingarm that’s lighter and stiffer than before. Suspension travel is 5.9 inches up front and 5.3 inches at the back.

The single 310mm brake rotor has also been ditched for two slightly smaller 296mm rotors for better stopping power and fade resistance. The 471cc parallel-twin motor continues to deliver 47hp at 8,500rpm, and 43.2Nm through a six-speed transmission with a slipper clutch. A 19-inch front and 17-inch rear tire on cast-aluminum wheels allow for some modest adventure time off road. Curb weight is a claimed 199kg.

The CB500X’s LCD dashboard features basic information such as speed, revs, fuel level, and dual trip meters.  Sadly, no Bluetooth connectivity for navigation or music. You do get LED headlamps and taillamps. The 834mm seat height should appeal to riders of average height. Honda claims fuel efficiency of 27km/L that, combined with a sizable 17.7L fuel tank, should make the CB500X a capable touring machine. The suggested retail price of P380,000 will also be a boon for budget-minded riders who’d like to go with Japanese engineering at this highly competitive price point.

Andy Leuterio

Andy is both an avid cyclist and a car enthusiast who has finally made the shift to motorcycles. You've probably seen him on his bicycle or motorbike overtaking your crawling car. He is our motorcycle editor and the author of the ‘Quickshift’ column.