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Hill Rider
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Today I finally got the chance to take this new little run-around for a test ride. Nearest Honda dealer to me is some 75 miles away in Aberdeen, so with an eye on the weather throughout the preceding week, I ventured east on my first free Saturday (free now that the shooting season is over).
Even avoiding the higher route east, I still encountered heavily frosted verges at 10am as I rode out over the hills to Aberdeen.

1[SUP]st[/SUP] stop was LWR’s place to give up a sacrificial meat offering that I had promised him. After a re-heat over a coffee, and a lovely wood burning stove, I headed for the city centre – not the best place to start a test ride from, but it did give the opportunity to assess the filtering abilities of both my F800GS going into town and the little CB500X on the way out!

After the formalities of license and dis-claimer and a brief intro to the machines controls – the latest “standard” set up that moves the horn to where the indicators used to be!, I headed into the midday Saturday traffic that inhabits Aberdeen streets.
Benign would be my first impression of the 500X as we trundled through the throng. Easy controls (even if I did sound the horn a couple of times instead of indicating), easy power delivery (did I mention that the bike only had 37 miles on the clock!), good seat to floor measurements for my 29inch inside leg measurement.

City traffic dispatched with a bit of tooting instead of indicating, and I was out of the “burbs” and onto some drying but gritty roads. The newness of the engine led to a sympathetic twisting of the throttle by me, and that, aligned with some restraint whilst using the rev range, still saw several easy 5[SUP]th[/SUP] gear overtakes from a 50mph start. Very capable for a mere 500cc I thought. The gearing helped with this ability to go “zoom” in 5[SUP]th[/SUP] gear (there are only 5 gears on this machine), but once faced with an un-obstructed road in front of me and moving to the NSL, I found myself, on many occasions, lifting my left toe, searching for a cruising gear that wasn’t there – I was in top!
With new tyres (37 miles) and gritty roads, I was fairly cautious with the taking of bends, but the little machine is really flickable when making progress.

I only did 30 miles on the bike, due to the time it took to get out of the city on the route I’d chosen, but the enduring feeling I was left with was of a nice little machine that is going to please many new owners, be they new to bikes or just down-sizing seasoned riders.
Fit and finish appeared good for a machine finished to a price – it is not made in Japan but Malaya, I think. The aluminium heel plate/footplate hanger, even after just the 37 miles the bike had covered before I set eyes on it, the lack of protective coating on said aluminium parts was showing in the form of the start of salt induced corrosion! This mirrored the poor attention to such detail that I observed on the NC700X demonstrator that I rode not long after they were released 2 years ago.

I know owners will take more care of a bike than a dealer gives to a demonstrator, but it would still rankle me if I’s shelled out my own cash for such a bike and corrosion started after my journey home from the dealership!

Overall I preferred the machines ride and rider involvement over that of the NC700. I think the engines freer revving nature involves the rider more than the 700’s does. One other surprise was the wide seat – I ended up with only a little more floor contact with my feet than I have on the much taller F800GS!

Would I buy one? Mmmmmm! The jury’s still out on that one ;)

 

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Thanks for the report Steve, I can't make my mind up if they'd make a good allrounder like an Alp replacement or whether they are just a bit 'budget!'
I'd still be interested to try one after the rather underwhelming nc700(s).

Phil

sent from my 'phone
 

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Ah well, I might take a run over and have a go as well soon, just out of curiousity.
I don't think many of them like the winter salt nowadays. A lot of parts on my Africa Twin were white and furry after a trip in the salt covered roads last weekend.
 

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OVALTEENY !!!
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Nice report Steve

I think they look nice
 

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Hill Rider
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Discussion Starter #7
I forgot to mention in the essay at the beginning of this thread - I asked the "Africa twin" question whilst kicking tyres in Aberdeen.

The salemen - both of them, told me that 2015 should see the @ "re-born". They have no idea of the engine format - V4, parralel twin - but it seems it will be of the 1000cc variety :rolleyes:

Now I for one think the market has enough "Tall Tourers" for Joe Public to choose from. What they don't have is a real alternative to either the F800GS or the Triumph Tiger 800XC.

Lets hope that Honda don't duplicate what they already have in the CrossTourer, but step boldlly forward with a real competitor for the above named machines.

Here's hoping eh!

Steve T

:cool:

And no John, probably sh1te off road, but if a man on a RT1200 can get to the mast at Galloway, anythings possible :thumbup:
 

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Hill Rider
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Discussion Starter #8

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Older, but no wiser!
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I mentioned this machine when in the shop, and neither of the salesmen had seen anything about it. I suggested that they go search tinternet for some inspiration :thumbright:
Excellent and interesting report Steve, thanks muchly. :thumbup:

All salesmen refuse to look at the internet as it might upset their preconceived viewpoint.... Bit like the salesman I spoke to last week ago, he denied that there had ever been a problem with BMW 1200GS final drives..... "Never heard of such problems..." :-(

Sent from my GT-P3110 using Tapatalk 2
 

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I think they are smashing looking bikes and i'm glad there is such a nice looking practical bike that's not going to break the bank on the market how much are they new in the uk anyway ? . in a few years to come I may well be riding around on one myself or my oldest lad might have one in 15 years or the baba in 25 years . who knows they might be riding transalp 600's or 650's :toothy9: .

I allways likes the cb 500 and they were on my list of bikes I would like to have mainly for their reliability and fuel economy but they aren't too pretty parked beside the x . the future looks bright I reakon they will sell well and hopefully they will have a long production run . make it easyer to get parts down the road if they do great ride report and good to read that they are not to shabby on the road . :thumbup:
 

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So, my Transalp was booked in for a service on Friday, and due to a c*ck-up by the dealer it's only ready today (Monday). So while they've had my bike I've had the loan of a CB500X ( after having filled out all of the various disclaimers ).

My current commute includes motorways and some A roads.

First impressions are that it goes surprisingly well and certainly keeps up with motorway traffic , although it does feel like it gets a bit breathless at motorway speeds earlier than the TA does, which is hardly surprising. For me though the seat is more uncomfortable than it has any right to be, and it needs a bigger screen for motorways, even for a shorty like myself. I also hooted the horn at least twice instead of indicating.

However.... I dunno... a bit bland, pleasant enough I suppose, but probably landing on inoffensive. It would suit a newbie, and I'm sure they'd be happy , but it just seems a bit 'white goods' for me, having less character than my TA. I could personalise it by putting a bigger screen / comfier seat / luggage on it, but even after all that I'd still feel a bit short changed if I swapped my TA for one, and will be glad to get mine back.

Not meaning to offend anyone who's got one, just not for me.
 

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Just to chuck my two penneth worth in.
I have a loan bike still (as my super tenere is still being mended after my off 3+ months ago) which is a 700 transalp, plus I test rode the cb500x and the nc750x back to back.
I'm looking for a commuter so that I don't keep piling on the miles on the super ten, so this will be a second bike.
I test rode the cb500x first and I was really surprised at how big it felt, in fact in the shop I was surprised it was a 500. It rode well in town but out on the dual carriageway it ran out of puff around 85 going up a hill. Mirrors were really good and clear, clocks looked great, I especially liked the mpg it was returning! :)
Engine wise you could give it some stick and it responded well and felt great fun.
I tested the nc750x next and wow what an engine, bags and bags of torque, it was a stunning bike and I really liked it, but for me it was around £1200 more than the cb500x, and crucially it seemed you needed to ride it carefully to get the mpg and according to the dealer you could empty the tank in 140 miles, where as the cb you can thrash and will still have a range of 250 plus.
And the transalp 700, well for me that fell somewhere in the middle of the two. More powerful than the cb but it felt out dated compared to the new metal.
So I've ordered a cb500x as my commuter! :D
 

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Well, well. Interesting comparison Dave.
I'm not entirely sure how well you expect a sub 50hp 500 to accelerate up a hill at 85, the fact it does so at all sounds ok to me!

Phil

sent from my 'phone
 

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I'm not entirely sure how well you expect a sub 50hp 500 to accelerate up a hill at 85, the fact it does so at all sounds ok to me!
Yeh fair point. I'm used to the Super Ten so my expectations are high.:D If it pulls 80 thats fine anyway. We'll see how I get on.
 

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Remember Me?
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Well Dave, after a year how you getting on with the 500X. Just got one myself and after only three weeks I'm loving it. So light and nippy ,really fun to ride.
 

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Bloody Hell! You still going Bob? The Versys? Has it been that long? After the Orange Versys I bought a Bandit 1250 (Did my first overseas trip on that, Route Napoleon down to Grasse and back up via the Millau bridge) Then another Versy, black this time. Then gave up bikes and gave the Versy to my son. That lasted one month and I got a VFR800 Vtec. the 3 weeks ago got my little CB500X. Joined the 500X forum and was spotted by Vader who was lurking on there. He sent me a text last night so I thought I'd check in here to see who was still around. Sadly quite a few I see. :lol:
I reckon this is right up your street Bob.
http://www.advpulse.com/adv-bikes/honda-cb500x-off-road-kit/
 
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