Honda’s popular adventure cross-over option – the CB500X – for new and experienced riders alike receives an update for the new model year with a host of revisions and updates to further improve what is already a very appealing and affordable package. More grunt and a move to a new 19-inch front wheel along with improved longer travel suspension adds a bit more off-road credibility to the CB500X for 2019. The updated CB500X is expected to arrive in Australia early in the new year.
The CB500X’s slips between the role of short hop commuter to weekend tourer thanks to long travel suspension, wide handlebars for leverage and an upright riding position offering both comfort and a wide field of view for the rider.
2016 saw the first CB500X upgrade as the machine received a larger fuel tank, more wind protection and a taller screen. It also gained LED lighting, spring preload adjustable front forks and an adjustable brake lever.
Now 2019 sees an evolution for the CB500X, with new, more sophisticated adventure style, more engine performance and a number of chassis upgrades that ensure the CB500X remains a versatile machine with wide ranging abilities.
Styling now takes cues from the Africa Twin, complemented by longer travel suspension, a high specification single tube shock absorber, enhanced rider ergonomics and a 19-inch front wheel.
While the CB500X’s engine already maintains the 35kW peak output required for A2 licence holders (and Australia’s similar LAMS requirements), it now makes 4 per cent more power and torque between 3000-7000rpm, with revisions to the inlet, exhaust and valve timing.
A new dual exit exhaust muffler also features an enhanced exhaust note and the engine now also features an assist/slipper clutch. New LCD instruments include a Shift Up and Gear Position indicator, and the indicators are LED to match the rest of the lighting.
2019 Honda CB500X highlights
New adventure styling
New tapered handlebars and more steering lock
Longer travel suspension and 19inch front wheel
New LCD instrument display, with Gear Position and Shift Up Indicators
Boosted twin-cylinder power & torque
Revised inlet, exhaust and valve timing
Sportier sound from new dual exit muffler
Updated styling & chassis
The 2019 CB500X has been rerestyled with Honda’s development engineers extending the radiator shrouds and fairing to offer a less pronounced beak and more refined fairing profile. The fuel tank now also interlocks with the side covers for a better overall flow from nose to tail.
Thanks to improved aerodynamic performance, the high pressure air flowing around the fairing and screen has been reduced, improving wind protection for the rider at highway speeds. The seat profile, too has been slimmed by shaving the shoulders at the front, allowing for easy movement around the machine, and aiding comfortable ground reach.
To help the CB500X’s manoeuvrability the steering angle has increased by 3-degrees and is now out to 38-degrees from centre to full lock.
New LCD instruments – set in a multi surfaced and textured surround – now feature a Gear Position and shift-light indicator; this is set to a default 8750 rpm but can be adjusted in 250 rpm increments between 5000 and 8750 rpm. The tubular screen stay can also mount a GPS above the instruments.
The 35 mm diameter steel diamond tube mainframe is unchanged for 2019, proving light and strong, with a tuned degree of yield that gives plenty of feedback to the rider as road
surfaces change. The shape and position of the engine mounts, plus the frame’s rigidity
balance also help reduce vibration.
Wheelbase is 1445 mm and rake and trail are set at 27.5-degrees and 108 mm respectively, aiming at giving nimble, yet confidence inspiring steering.
Mass centralisation, with the engine in close proximity to the swingarm pivot point, delivers turning agility and optimum front/rear weight distribution for stability. Kerb weight is 197 kg.
Seat height is 830 mm; overall dimensions are 2155 mm x 825 mm x 1410 mm, with 180 mm ground clearance.
The fuel tank holds 17.5L including reserve, and combined with the engine’s fuel economy of 27.8km/l (WMTC mode) gives a claimed touring range of 500 km.
The 41 mm preload adjustable telescopic forks feature an extra 10mm travel, up to
150mm; while rear wheel travel has been raised from 118m to 135mm and a new single tube rear shock absorber (as found on larger capacity sports bikes) replaces the double tube design of the previous model; its large diameter piston ensuring suspension response and temperature management.
The CB500X also now has nine-stage spring preload adjustment working through a rigid box section steel swingarm, which now features pressed steel chain adjustment end pieces. Final drive is via sealed 520 chain.
The 17inch front wheel has been replaced with a 19inch which – along with the longer
travel suspension – ensures confident, supremely stable handling on rough surfaces. The
lightweight aluminium rim wears a 110/80R19 trail pattern tyre, the 17inch rear a 160/60R17 tyre. A single front 310mm wavepattern disc and twopiston brake caliper is matched to a 240mm rear disc and singlepiston caliper. ABS is fitted as standard.
The CB500X will be available in the following colour options: Grand Prix Red; Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic; Pearl Metalloid White.
Liquid-cooled LAMS parallel twin-cylinder engine
The CB500X’s eight-valve liquid cooled parallel twin cylinder layout offers a balance of compact size and willing, enjoyable power output, with an energetic, high revving character.
Already strong off the bottom, the target for 2019 development was faster acceleration
through a boost in low to mid-range power and torque in the 3000-7000rpm range; the 4% improvement coming via altered valve timing – with ‘close’ timing accelerated by 5° – and lift increased .3mm to 7.8mm.
Feeding the PGMFI fuel injection is now a more straight shot airflow through the
airbox and throttle bodies. The battery has been repositioned further away (44.1mm
versus 13.4mm) from the rear of the airbox intake duct to allow greater airflow. The exhaust muffler also now features dual exit pipes, adding a sportier sounding edge to each pulse. Peak power of 35kW arrives at 8,500rpm, with 43Nm torque delivered at 7,000rpm.
Bore and stroke is set at 67mm x 66.8mm and compression ratio remains 10.7:1; the crankshaft pins are phased at 180° and a primary couple balancer sits behind the cylinders, close to the bike’s centre of gravity. The primary and balancer gears use scissor gears, reducing noise. The crank counterweight is specifically shaped for couple balance and its light weight allows the engine to spin freely, with reduced inertia.
Acting as a stressed member, the engine complements the frame’s rigidity with four frame hangers on the cylinder head. Internally the cylinder head uses roller rocker arms; shim-type acting as a stressed member, the engine complements the frame’s rigidity with four frame hangers on the cylinder head. Internally the cylinder head uses roller rocker arms; shimtype valve adjustment allows them to be light, for lower valvespring load and reduced friction.
A silent (SV Chain) cam chain has the surface of its pins treated with Vanadium, reducing
friction with increased protection against wear. Inlet valve diameter is 26mm with exhaust valve diameter of 21.5mm.
The piston shape is based upon those used in the CBR1000RR Fireblade to reduce piston
‘noise’ at high rpm. Friction is reduced by the addition of striations on the piston skirt (a
finish that increases surface area, introducing gaps in which oil can flow for better
lubrication). As with the CBR1000RR, an AB 1 salt bath process, used after isonite
nitriding, forms a protective oxidisation membrane.
The ‘triangle’ proportion of crankshaft, main shaft and countershaft is very similar to that of Honda’s four cylinder RR engines and much of the internal structure and engineering is
taken directly from the CBR1000RR.
The crankcase uses centrifugally cast thin walled sleeves; their internal design reduces the ‘pumping’ losses that can occur with a 180° phased firing order. Using the same internal relief structure as that of the CBR1000RR, the oil pump features improved
aeration performance, with reduced friction; a deep sump reduces oil movement under
hard cornering and braking. Oil capacity is 3.2L.
A sixspeed gearbox mirrors that of its RR cousin and uses the same gear change arm
structure and link mechanism. New for 2019 an assist/slipper clutch enables lighter
upshifts and smooths out any hard downshifts.
2019 Honda CB500X Specifications
Liquid cooled, parallel twin
Bore and stroke
67mm x 66.8mm
10.7 : 1
Max. Power Output
35kW @ 8600rpm
43Nm @ 6500rpm
Fuel Tank Capacity
17.7L (inc reserve)
2155mm x 825mm x 1410mm (Low screen) 1445mm (High screen)
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