For 28 years we have known the Honda CB 500 as an absolutely reliable companion in the world of motorized two-wheelers. Now the Japanese have revised their CB-500 series and made it suitable for Euro 5. Thus, it remains as an interesting A2 motorcycle for all beginners and returners, but also all those for whom 48 hp are simply enough and who simply have no desire for stress. What distinguishes the CB500X?
That's how you read it in Honda's press release. For the 2021 model year, the CB 500 X appears in the three new colors: Grand Prix Red, Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic, Pearl Metalloid White. In fact, the design with a new paint finish is reminiscent of the Africa Twin due to its clear, aggressive contours and offers a pleasant comfort due to the large windscreen. However, further visual changes are sought in vain in this facelift. But there was already a comprehensive optical and technical update of the CB 500 X in 2019. The cockpit is still a monochrome LCD display, which now also includes gear indicator and upshift display. From the factory, the switching indicator is set to 8,750 rpm, but it can be set in steps of 250 rpm between 5,000 and 8,750 rpm.
Even if it is not an Africa Twin on which we are allowed to take a seat here, a certain travel feeling sets in immediately. A relaxed knee angle thanks to a seat height of 834 mm, the comfortable and wide seat for the driver and pillion, the pleasantly wide handlebars and the upright seating position behind a sufficiently large touring disc ensure this. Unfortunately, the latter is only adjustable with tools. The 17.7 liter tank capacity in combination with the surprisingly low consumption of only 3.6 liters per hundred kilometers also charge you to want to go on a big tour. After all, you can use it to get a broken 500 kilometers behind you before you have to go back to the gas pump.
The tried and tested, liquid-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke in-line engine with its 8 valves generates 48hp at 8,600 rpm and is absolutely robust. The CB500X can also be moved with the A2 driver's license and its peak torque is 43NM and 6,500 rpm. The generous ground clearance of 181 mm as well as the 19-inch front wheel and the mounted block tread tires ensure that the CB500X feels relatively comfortable in any terrain. The long suspension travel of the 41 mm telescopic fork and the rear ProLink mono strut work well away unevenness and ensure pleasant handling. The spring preload can be adjusted for both components, which ensures improved steering, especially when driving with pillion or a lot of luggage. The 310 mm disc brake with double-piston brake caliper at the front and a 240 mm disc brake with single-piston brake caliper at the rear do their job reliably, even if the brake at the front grips a little late for our feelings. The standard two-channel ABS provides the necessary control over the braking force. In addition, there is an emergency brake signal, which draws attention to the situation in the event of unexpected emergency braking through the hazard warning lights.
Whether you are a returnee, a beginner or a layman: Everyone should be able to cope with this machine! And that's a good thing, because as already mentioned at the beginning, the CB500 has stood for one thing above all else for decades: driving pleasure without stress and annoyance. And that's exactly how it feels. Already on the first meters you are quickly familiar with the bike and can therefore concentrate completely on the essentials, namely the joy of riding.
Once seated, you immediately notice that everything is in place and works perfectly. Whether you're talking about the smooth-running clutch, the anti-hopping clutch or the transmission gradation, there is simply no reason to complain here. The handling is pleasantly playful and the CB500X lies effortlessly in the curves without appearing unstable. You always have the feeling to know exactly what the Honda is up to. The high-revving two-cylinder was made fit for Euro 5 without forgetting its famously good manners. Even if some drivers may want a little more power, early pressure and the wide speed range ensure that the 48-hp Twin carries you sufficiently fast over the asphalt. In short: The CB500X works excellently as expected and has no nasty surprises in store for us.
The CB is a reliable, grateful motorcycle without unnecessary bells and whistles that sometimes invites you to longer tours. And those who can be content with this get a manoeuvrable, easy-to-use travel companion compared to the large touring machines. This is much easier to manoeuvre, is characterized by high-quality components in Honda quality and does not pose any major problems for its driver. Just fun driving and that for less than 7000 €. Combined with the low consumption and manageable sub-costs, the CB has a few really good arguments on its side!
The test bike was provided by Motofun in Kaltenkirchen.