Who needs an Africa Twin

Griff

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Have a look at this........

YouTube

A friend of mine has just purchased the little CB and the fettling has started. This guy is a former Enduro National Champion in this country but is now in his early fifties. He is very short at about 5' tall but that has never held him back no matter how tall the bike and his antics to mount tall bikes over the years have amused me endlessly, including running alongside the moving bike in first gear and jumping on the left peg, with the same procedure jumping off before coming to a halt. He was finding his Triumph Tiger 800 a bit tall and top heavy of late though, which it is also for many folks. That came to a head recently when he had a close shave holding on to it on a ferry when the ferry gently nudged the pier at the landing ramp. As such I thought he would swap it for the new Yamaha T700. However he shocked me by announcing the purchase of a 2019 CB500X. "Perfect bike for a small Chap" are his words. He accepts that it is low powered but on the roads we ride and with good rider input that will not be a problem. I already have my eye on one for the future but am not ready to part with my X-Adv just yet for one.

Y'all can see in the video where the presenter has ridden one and tbh with a little bit of fettling I am firmly of the opinion that this bike would be a better adventure bike than most of the behemoths on offer out there, not least because of its light weight, reliability and ability to make progress at a rate that most of us would be happy with. Nope, I am not a Honda employee
 

670cc

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The CB500X has always been one of my favorites, and now it looks even better. I’m holding out for a mini AT, but if Honda never builds a true mini Africa Twin, the new CB500X with some suspension mods just might have to do.
 

Dellaster

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The 2019 CB500X was on my short list right up until I read that the best (Rally Raid) skid plate precludes a center stand. The manufacturer claims any other option won’t give sufficient protection. That tipped the scales and it left my list. Otherwise I still admire the bike. :)
 

TigerDude

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The 500 would be better offroad for all of us without trophies on the mantle. The AT would be better for the slab ride to get offroad.
 

use2b

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after selling my XR650R i never wanted another tall bike and the Af Twin was just as bad. am 6' but still do not want to depend on level ground.
the 500X was what i was about to buy but found this new left over NC700 for $4700 new in the create so went for it am happy with it as we do not have rocks in Florida.
just for kicks this is what i used off road in the day and brought Deer down the highways with hooves dragging while some gave me the thumbs up , some the middle finger and some hid their kids eyes as the little Honda chugged on down the road8 point.jpg
 

Griff

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As the originator of this thread I now feel obliged to update it in relation to the CB500X, having gotten custody of my Friend's bike for 2 weeks. To date I have put 500kms on it on the roughest backroads and everything in between those and a motorway. However my principal place of worship was on the rough backroads.

In short I will not be purchasing one any time soon. I say that despite having enjoyed the bike immensely over the past week or so. The bikes that I would normally use on the same backroads would be either my X-Adv or my CRF250L but primarily the 250, so they are the direct comparison for the purpose of my testing. Furthermore if I were to proceed with the purchase of a CB500X 2019, one of them would have to go.

This particular CB had also been fitted with Anakee Adventures. They are excellent tyres for most conditions, and in the wettest going I could not fault them as against the OEM's which were poor on the original test bike that I had a short run on. In summary the little CB was an excellent ride. Its suspension is firm but that will ease a little with further mileage. It handles really well at speed or on rough roads. It can be ridden very briskly. It never gave me a moments anxiety when the going got slippery. Lovely neutral steering. Willing motor that ran very smooth. Its best torque was made between 4 and 6/7000 rpm. I have always been of the opinion that torque is far more useful than outright horsepower over rough twisty roads. Handlebar to seat relationship was good. However the footpeg position left me feeling a little cramped and that could be an issue over longer distances. I was comfortable standing. I am 5'8" tall but I do have long legs. Range and fuel consumption were good. In short the CB lived up to expectations.

So why not purchase one ? Where did the 750 and the 250 win out over it ? To start with the NC750 motor in the X-Adv is simply a better motor. It is stronger and much torquier and I like torque. The CB cannot compare with the X-Adv for roominess and variety of foot positions, all of which are important long distance. The CB would be slightly more nimble in the twisties but not by much. All in all the X-Adv is a better bike albeit longer and heavier.

That brings me to the 250. I had actually considered parting with it for the CB on the basis that I was cutting back on the level of my offroading and the CB would easily cope with the little bit of offroading that I would still do. However while riding the CB I couldn't help feeling that I would miss the CRF too much if I parted with it. While both bikes are low powered at about 23 and 48 bhp approx I seem to be happier with that low HP on the CRF than on the CB, but tbh I can't really explain why. I also feel better balanced on the CRF when say doing a feet up U turn. The CRF also has a roomier cockpit and I am ok with it long distance. It is actually a noticeably longer motorcycle from wheel tip to wheel tip. It is also much more competent offroad of course. Needless to say on motorway going the CB would be much better where it would sit comfortably at 6000rpm/125kph all day. But that's not what I am about.

In summary I am very grateful to my friend for lending me his bike when He was away. The experience has been very useful in bringing me down to earth with regard to what I have. The other two Hondas stay and indeed I am lucky to have them.
 

davidc83

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Griff; another case where you guys on the other side of the pond gets a bike we dont in the USA...we cant buy the X-adv scooter...the biggest scooter from Honda we can buy is the PCX150...if we want a big scooter, we have to go to something like the Suzuki Burgman 650 (which is almost $12,000 US).
 

TigerDude

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The CRF is geared so that it will feel like more power at all dirt speeds, plus it's super light weight. On the highway it will have screaming rpm.
 

Griff

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Griff; another case where you guys on the other side of the pond gets a bike we dont in the USA...we cant buy the X-adv scooter...the biggest scooter from Honda we can buy is the PCX150...if we want a big scooter, we have to go to something like the Suzuki Burgman 650 (which is almost $12,000 US).
In fairness the X-Adv is pricey enough too at €12900.00 here.
 

Griff

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The CRF is geared so that it will feel like more power at all dirt speeds, plus it's super light weight.
I suppose that is a point to consider albeit at 144Kg I wouldn't classify the CRF as super lightweight.
 

670cc

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Thanks for the review of your 500X experiences, Griff. I, too, have longed to own the CB500X, but ultimately feel that it falls in between other bikes I already own, including the NC700X and the CRF250L Rally. I suppose if I needed to own only one bike, a modified 500X might be the answer. But in a multi tool collection, the CB500X doesn’t have a place. Still, I’m going to lust after the mid sized “mini” Africa Twin that I hope Honda will build someday
 

DCTFAN

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I was hoping the new AT would be the "baby AT" or at least its smaller brethren.
But looks like that is not going to happen due to models like the CB500x and the NC750X.
One could put a 19" wheel on the NC and do the rest of DIY "RallyRaid kit" upgrades.
But that would cost as much as a new AT.
Guess what I bought New Years?
My new avatar is a giveaway :)
 

superdedooperman

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after selling my XR650R i never wanted another tall bike and the Af Twin was just as bad. am 6' but still do not want to depend on level ground.
the 500X was what i was about to buy but found this new left over NC700 for $4700 new in the create so went for it am happy with it as we do not have rocks in Florida.
just for kicks this is what i used off road in the day and brought Deer down the highways with hooves dragging while some gave me the thumbs up , some the middle finger and some hid their kids eyes as the little Honda chugged on down the roadView attachment 41573
I love everything about this!!! Haha
 
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