Model updates: After a major redesign in 2019, Honda's A2-compatible compact adventurer will get new designs and three new colors for 2020, including a touch of Africa Twin. The CB500X is now also homologated for EURO5.
2 Model overview
5 Technical data
The CB500X – originally launched in 2013 along with the Naked CB500F and the fully clad CBR500R – embodies the crossover adventure style within Honda's "two-cylinder middleweight trio." The CB500X does its job without much fuss, is versatile and adaptable and thus appeals to a large number of drivers.
The all-round capabilities of the CB500X are based on a simple equation: a revolving, solid two-cylinder engine, decent torque, and a comfortably tuned chassis, optimized for city and highway rides.
The CB500X is an all-rounder in every way. Short-haul commuting and weekend tours are equally possible. The suspension easily compensates for the bumps of the road thanks to the long travel, the wide handlebars allow good guidance and the upright seating position offers the driver comfort and wide field of view at the same time.
In 2016, the CB500X received a larger fuel tank, more windprotection and a higher disc during a first upgrade. It also received LED lighting, a pre-tensioning fork and an adjustable brake lever.
The further development of the CB500X in 2019 resulted in a refined adventure style, more engine power and a number of chassis improvements. With the 2020 upgrades, their X-factor continues to rise.
From commuters to weekenders, the CB500X is ready for anything. The styling with sharp adventure attitude is complemented by a suspension with a long travel, a highly specified single-tube shock absorber, comfortable driver ergonomics and a 19-inch front wheel.
The 35 kW engine of the CB500X is compatible with the A2 driver's license and benefits from the 2019 upgrades to the inlet, outlet and valve control times. Compared to the previous model, these resulted in 4% more power and torque between 3,000 and 7,000 rpm. In addition, the CB was equipped with an improved exhaust system and an anti-hopping coupling.
The LCD instruments have a switching indicator and a gear indicator, the entire lighting consists of LEDs.
3.1 Styling & Chassis
The further development in 2019 gives the CB500X an attractive "ready for the wild" adventure style. Enhanced radiator panels and the new design provide a highly three-dimensional texture and feel, including new side covers that smoothly connect the front and rear.
The redesign in 2019 not only improved the optics: Thanks to optimized aerodynamics, turbulence in the cladding and disc is reduced, which significantly improves wind protection at motorway speeds. The slimmed-down seat profile makes the floor comfortably accessible. And a steering angle increased by 3 to 38 degrees (measured from the center position to the lateral stop) increases the maneuverability of the CB500X. In addition, the anthracite grey, conified steel handlebars allow even more control.
The LCD instruments are arranged in a multi-surface and textured dashboard and take up the overall design. Recently, gear position and switching indicator are displayed. The latter is set to 8,750 rpm by default, but can be adjusted in increments of 250 rpm between 5,000 and 8,750 rpm. The tubular display holder is ideal for mounting a navigation device over the instruments.
The steel tube frame with a diameter of 35 mm is light and stable. It gives the driver good feedback when the road conditions are changing. The shape and position of the motor bearings as well as the stiffness balance of the frame reduce vibrations.
The wheelbase is 1445 mm, inclination and follow-up are set to 27.5°/108 mm, which allows direct and confidence-inspiring steering. The mass centralization, in which the motor is located in the immediate vicinity of the swinging pivot point, ensures improved manoeuvrability, the optimal weight distribution between the front and rear axles, ensures stability. The weight (fully fuelled) is 197 kg.
The seat height is 830 mm. The total dimensions are 2155mm x 825mm x 1410mm, with 180mm ground clearance. The fuel tank holds 17.5 l including reserve. The excellent fuel consumption of the engine of 3.6liters/100km (WMTC reading or measurement method) results in a range of 480 km.
The 41 mm telescopic front fork (preload adjustable) has a travel of 150mm. The travel of the rear wheel is 135mm. A single-tube rear shock absorber (as found in higher-capacity sports motorcycles) with a large diameter piston ensures excellent suspension and temperature management. It has a 9-stage spring preload setting and operates via a rigid steel swingarm with box profile, which is equipped with pressed steel chain adjusting end pieces. The final drive is via a sealed 520 chain.
The 19-inch front wheel - together with the suspension with a large travel - ensures a confident and extremely stable handling on rough ground. The lightweight aluminum rim features a 110/80 R19 trail tire, and the 17-inch rear wheel rim has a 160/60 R17 tire. A single 310 mm wave brake disc at the front with a two-piston brake caliper is matched to a 240 mm rear disc with a single-piston brake caliper. ABS is installed as standard.
In honor of the CRF1100L Africa Twin, the 2021 CB500X will be available in three new color and graphics variants, each with an eye-catching red rear auxiliary frame:
Grand Prix Red
Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic
Pearl Metalloid White
The A2-capable CB500X with 8 valves in liquid-cooled Parallel Twin offers a balance between engine size and willing, pleasant power output, with energetic and willingly rotating character to the top edge.
The 2019 engine upgrades improved acceleration by increasing performance and torque in the lower to medium speed range from 3,000 to 7,000 rpm; an improvement of 4% due to a changed valve control - with 5° earlier closing control times - and an increase of 0.3 mm to 7.8 mm now.
The PGM-FI fuel injection is fed almost straight through the airflow through the airbox and the throttle housings - during the 2019 upgrade, the battery was positioned further from the back of the inlet channel of the airbox to allow for greater airflow. The exhaust pot has double output tubes, which give every impulse a sporty-sounding touch. The peak power of 35 kW is reached at 8,600 rpm, the torque of 43 Nm is 6500 rpm.
The bore and stroke are 67 mm x 66.8 mm, the compression ratio is 10.7:1; the crankshaft pins are offset by 180°, a more primary balancing shaft sits behind the cylinders, close to the center of gravity of the motorcycle. The primary drive as well as the drive of the balancing shaft use scissor wheels, which reduces the noise. The crankshaft balancing weight is specially designed for moment compensation and its low weight allows the motor to rotate freely and with reduced inertia.
As a loaded element, the motor contributes to the stiffness of the frame by means of four frame suspensions on the cylinder head. Roller tilt levers are used inside the cylinder head; which can be particularly light due to the valve clearance adjustment via shims, which in turn reduces the valve spring load and reduces friction.
The smooth-running control chain (SV Chain) is manufactured with vanadium-treated bolts, which reduces friction and increases wear protection. The inlet valve diameter is 26.0 mm and the outlet valve diameter is 21.5 mm.
The piston shape is based on the piston used in the 2019 CBR1000RR Fireblade to reduce "piston noise" at high speeds. Friction is reduced by grooves on the piston shirt (a finish that enlarges the surface and optimizes oil lubrication). As with the CBR1000RR, an AB1 salt bath process, which is used after isonite nitration, forms a protective oxidation membrane.
The "triangular" ratio of crankshaft, main shaft and feed shaft is very similar to that of Honda's four-cylinder RR engines, much of the internal structure and technology was taken over directly by the 2019 CBR1000RR.
The crankcase uses thin-walled rotary cast bushings, the inner design of which reduces the pump losses that can occur in a 180° ignition sequence. The oil pump is characterized by an improved ventilation performance with reduced friction; a deep swamp reduces the oil movement during hard cornering and braking. The oil capacity is 3.2 L.
The six-speed transmission of the CB500X is very close to that of its RR cousin and uses the same shift arm structure and the same connection mechanism. An anti-hopping clutch introduced in 2019 makes it easier to switch up and smooths hard shutdowns.
Like its 500cc stable companions, the 2021 CB500X is homologated for the EURO5 standard. This entered into force on 1 January 2020 and, compared to the EURO4 standard, requires significantly stricter exhaust emissions for engines. These requirements include a significant reduction in permitted carbon monoxide emissions, a reduction of more than 40% in total emissions of hydrocarbons, stricter detection of misfires and the introduction of a limit value for particulate matter.
A range of original Honda accessories are available for the CB500X. These include:
Side wind shields
Top Case 35 litres
Packing bag holders
Rear packing bag
Liquid-cooled Parallel Twin
Bore x Stroke
67mm x 66.8mm
35kW at 8600 rpm
43Nm at 6500 rpm
Engine oil quantity
PGM FI Fuel Injection
17.5 litres (incl. reserve)
Multi-discs in the oil bath
Steel tube frame
Dimensions (L x W x H)
2155mm x 825mm x 1410mm (low windshield) 1445mm (high windshield)
Steering head angle
Weight (fully fuelled)
41 mm telefork, spring preload adjustable
Box swingarm with pro-link suspension, spring preload 5-fold adjustable
Aluminum spoke wheels
Aluminum spoke wheels
Rim size front
19 X MT2.5
Rim size rear
17 X MT4.5
Tyre size front
Rear tyre size
310 mm Wave brake disc with 2-piston brake pliers
240 mm Wave brake disc with single-piston brake pliers
Digital rev counter, digital bar speedometer, two day-hour meters, digital fuel and consumption indicator, digital clock, gear display
HISS (Honda Intelligent Security System)
Dipped beam 4.8W, high beam 12W (LED)
All information is non-binding, subject to change.
Please note that the figures given are results obtained by Honda under standardized test conditions prescribed by the WMTC. The tests are carried out on a free country road with a standard version of the vehicle, with only one driver and without additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on driving style, vehicle maintenance, weather, road conditions, tyre pressure, accessories, luggage, driver and passenger weight, and other factors.