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Is Honda’s new 2022 CB500X a cross-over V-Strom Assassin?

Having proven its popularity over nearly a decade, Honda’s updated mini-adventurer offers a fun and supremely competent twin-cylinder motorcycle to challenge the versatility of the 650 V-Strom

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.

Having proved its popularity over nearly a decade, the 2022 year model of Honda’s 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 and cosmetics have been updated with a larger front mudguard, bold new graphics, and the addition of a new color – Pearl Organic Green.

“It slips between the role of short-hop commuter to weekend tourer effortlessly.”

Honda Powersports

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. The bike’s 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 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) improves 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 the fuel tank holds an impressive (for this size of bike) 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.

Best of all Honda provides a full range Genuine Honda Accessories for the CB500X so that riders who want the “farkled-out,” off-road customization of a big-bore ADV bikes don’t have to go without. Available options include a center stand, knuckle guards, heated grips, fog lights, charging socket, and a variety of carrying options, from hard cases to bags and nets.

For the rider seeking an intermediate point-of-entry into ADV riding, or who wants the user-friendly benefits of a lighter, smaller statured bike, the CB500X deserves serious consideration as an alternative to Suzuki’s venerable 650 V-Strom.

See the Honda CB500X here

Words and images provided by Honda Powersports Copyright 2021 American Honda Motor Co., Inc

Yet another fine #bikelove story of motorcycle art, craft, speed and beauty, fresh from your Editorial Team here at ‘Licious.

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