Way back in 2012, Honda dropped three new midsize motorcycles on the unsuspecting public, a trio of CB500s that included the adventure-styled CB500X. It gets a refresh for 2019 according to an announcement by Big Red at this year’s EICMA show.
I say adventure-styled because the dual 17-inch wheels, asphalt friendly tires, moderate-travel suspension were all more indicative of a serious road bent than a machine built to do serious exploring on dirt roads or other more demanding areas. That’s not to say that it couldn’t, it just seemed more of an adventure-lite machine than anything.
Most people that wanted to take the former CB500X into a tricky situation had to upgrade with aftermarket accessories. Honda saw this and is trying to address some of the areas customers wanted to see improved. American Honda Senior Manager of Powersports Marketing, Lee Edmunds, explains in a company press release:
“While the CB500X has been popular in stock form, some more adventurous riders have turned to the aftermarket to suit their needs in recent years. For 2019, Honda engineers have followed our customers' lead and made a number of revisions to the chassis and engine, moving the CB500X alongside Honda's full-size and entry ADV models as a truly adventure-ready motorcycle.”
The 471cc liquid-cooled Parallel Twin gets some refinements for better torque and throttle response. These include changes to the intake tract, alterations to the valve timing, and a refreshed exhaust.
Honda also revised the suspension set-up, removing two-tenths of an inch of travel from the 41mm fork (for 5.3 inches travel total) and adding more than one inch to the Pro-Link shock out back. It goes from 4.7 inches to 5.9 inches travel.
The other change to the front end includes a larger, 19-inch wheel pared to a 17-inch wheel at the back. Wheelbase is extended an inch to 56.9 inches and seat height raised to 32.7 inches (last year’s model measured 31.8 inches).
There’s also a slightly taller windscreen, a new slip-and-assist clutch that lightens clutch pull by up to 45 percent, a new muffler for improved sound and a new seat that’s narrower for the rider but still allows for a passenger to join the ride.
And of course there’s a new colorway as well, with the 2019 CB500X coming in Grand Prix Red.
Pricing and availability are going to be announced at a later date, but for reference, last year’s CB500X rang in at $6,599.