Top 10 Value-For-Money Hondas

Honda’s current motorcycle lineup is packed with value

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CB500X

3415-Honda_CB500X-Action-EBrasfield

The CB500X is the third model in Honda’s 500cc parallel-Twin triumvirate. With stealthy styling and matte-black bodywork, the CB500X positions itself as an Adventure-Touring model compared to the sportier intentions of its brothers.

Sharing the majority of components with the CBR500R and CB500F, the differences between the X and its F and R siblings are a one-inch taller seat height (31.9 inches vs 30.9 inches), a fuel tank with an extra 0.4 gallon of fuel (4.5 gal. vs 4.1 gal), and the highest claimed curb weight: X = 430 lbs., R = 425 lbs., F = 420 lbs.

As shown by our 5-foot 11-inch test rider, the CB500X tallish seat height, comfortably positioned footpegs and an easy reach to the handlebars lends to being a commodious seating position for riders of all sizes.

As shown by our 5-foot 11-inch test rider, the CB500X’s tallish seat height, comfortably positioned footpegs and an easy reach to the handlebars lends to being a commodious seating position for riders of all sizes.

For a motorcycle with a smallish displacement of 471cc, the CB500X attracts newer to intermediate riders because the 500X feels more substantial than its engine capacity suggests. The bike’s neutral seating position beckons all-day rides, and the fuel-sipping quality of the diminutive Twin provides an estimated 71-mpg rating to grant that request with financial frugality. Under our greedy wrists, the X returned mpg numbers in the high 50s.

Slowing the bike is a single 320mm wave front disc and a single twin-piston caliper up front, while at the rear sits a 240mm wave disc and single-piston caliper. The stopping power is far from phenomenal but adequately sufficient. ABS adds $500 to the bike’s MSRP and, in our opinion, the upgrade is worth the price for the increased safety factor. In the handling department, the X is surprisingly competent if not excellent. The front end is neutral but willingly turns into slow, tight corners as well as faster sweepers with equal aplomb.

Because of its increased suspension travel, the X has more cornering clearance than the 500R or F, but it will grind pegs when pushed hard.

Because of its increased suspension travel, the X has more cornering clearance than the 500R or F, but it will grind pegs when pushed hard.

Seat foam isn’t as compliant as we’d like for spending consecutive hours aboard the 500X, but there are aftermarket ways to amend this inconvenience. The CB500X is a versatile motorcycle retailing for the same price of its CBR500R sibling ($6,299). At this price the 500X is an incredibly affordable motorcycle for riders of varying sizes and skill levels.

+ Highs

  • Adjustable windscreen
  • Small bike with a big-bike feel
  • Comfortable for long rides
- Sighs

  • ABS is additional $500
  • Digital instrument cluster hard to read in direct sunlight
  • Shock adjustment tool not included
Honda CB500X Specs
MSRP $6,299
Engine Capacity 471cc
Engine Type Liquid-cooled parallel-twin
Bore x Stroke 67mm x 66.8mm
Compression 10.7:1
Fuel System PGM-FI with 34mm throttle bodies
Transmission Six-speed
Final Drive O-ring-sealed chain
Front Suspension 41mm fork; 5.5 inches travel
Rear Suspension Pro-Link single shock with nine-position spring preload adjustability; 4.7 inches travel
Front Brakes Twin-piston caliper with single 320mm wave disc
Rear Brakes Single caliper 240mm wave disc/
Front Tire 120/70-17 radial
Rear Tire 60/60-17 radial
Seat Height 31.9 inches
Wheelbase 55.9 inches
Curb Weight (claimed) 430 pounds
Fuel Capacity 4.5 gallons
Colors Pearl White
Warranty One Year
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14 Comments

  1. Craig Hoffman
    Posted June 29, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Yamaha is giving Honda good competition in some areas. The new FZ09 has a gem of an engine for 700X money and they are just coming out now with their twin. Hopefully Yamaha take a cue from Honda and offers their new bikes in a variety of formats. An FZ09 powered ADV variant with a roomier feel and more fuel capacity could be a big winner. Yamaha needs to get with it and produce a WR450R version of it’s excellent 250R already too.

    Good to see the manufacturers realizing we are not all made of money. The auto manufacturers seem to have completely lost the plot. Unlike cars, motorcycles are not vehicles to lease. There has to be an affordable value oriented option in the new market, or the used market becomes the whole market.

    • Jason
      Posted June 30, 2014 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      The FZ-09 and FZ-07 are interesting bikes but they have one glaring omission: no ABS. This is 2014 and ABS should at least be offered as an option especially considering that ABS is standard on these models in Europe.

      • The People's Champion
        Posted July 3, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        i heard the FZ09 is limited to a 132mph… that’s N650 territory and the bike is shod with poor suspension for its engine.

        • Jason
          Posted July 3, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          Limited to only double the speed limit? I think that should be adequate for public roads.

          • The People's Champion
            Posted July 3, 2014 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

            by that logic we should all be riding those 80-90mph capable 250s no?

          • Jason
            Posted July 3, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

            Top speed, engine displacement, power, and acceleration are all very different things. I have no need to go more than 132 mph but that doesn’t mean that I want to ride a 250.

  2. octodad
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    purchased CTX700n w/ABS-DCT. having a blast on this scoot. pal w/ the street glide always wants to take mine for a spin. I enjoy riding his cycle, but prefer my little Honda. slow speed handling is superlative, and it can snap my head back as I roll on the throttle. get a lot of compliments on the cool look and ergonomic seating. big Red is dominant force w/awesome motorcycles. I am a fan…

    • Sarang Borude
      Posted July 3, 2014 at 1:44 am | Permalink

      How does it do on freeway speeds, Is it easy enough to pass vehicles?

  3. sgray44444
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    Thinly veiled advertising? Not hardly- there’s no veil at all!

    • Steven Holmes
      Posted June 30, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Advertisement or not, it’s pretty nice to see that “Big Red” has so many cost effective options out there for me to try. Be nice if the other major manufacturers had similar lines to choose from. It’d make for good competition if the rest of ‘em had comparably cost effective product lines.
      Something to be said about Honda’s reliability and longevity though… that’s pretty hard to beat.

    • Posted June 30, 2014 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      You see many negative observations in advertisements? Like slow to accelerate, limitations of its suspension, etc? How about actual measured MPG instead of OEM claims? I see them in this set of short reviews, which also happen to echo the full reviews done previously on Motorcycle.com when Honda wasn’t an advertiser at all.

      • sgray44444
        Posted July 1, 2014 at 9:26 am | Permalink

        That’s what is so distasteful about the whole article. It has the appearance of genuine journalism, but it really is just an advertisement for Honda.
        Of course you can find negatives for any motorcycle. They are all built to a price point and application, so saying a cheap motorcycle does not have good suspension is just stating the obvious. Everyone knows manufacturer’s MPG claims are done under more ideal conditions.
        Hey, I don’t care if Honda is a huge sponsor and you take this route. I still like to read about motorcycles of all kinds. It doesn’t speak well to your credibility though.
        Do I believe the reviews were biased? No, actually I don’t. But, I do think that the review being about a single manufacturer’s entire product line says something.
        Everyone knows that Honda makes a good reliable bike. It’s just odd for a magazine to focus completely on one manufacturer’s product line without the word “advertisement” being on the top of each page.
        The word disingenuous comes to mind as I read this thread and the article.

        • Posted July 2, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          I have yet to obtain Honda’s specified fuel economy on either of my two Hondas. I always get much better! (no kidding)

  4. Piglet2010
    Posted June 30, 2014 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Will a Rebel really go 80-mph – most reports I have seen put top speed at less than 75-mph?

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