The 471cc parallel-twin engine on the CB500X is a gem. It delivers 47 hp and a maximum torque of 42 Nm, but that is not the talk of the day. It’s the way the power comes in. The delivery is super linear and that means the performance doesn’t feel intimidating. The low and mid range is strong and in a way quite addictive to use both in the city and on the highway. This engine is also extremely tractable meaning you can be in sixth gear and still do as low as 55kmpl.
Hondas are known to have a refined engine. The one on the CB500X is no different. This one is special because it has a unique character. The deep exhaust note adds flavor to that character. The NVH is also sorted. The only time vibrations occur is when the RPM goes above 8000 rpm. The combination of a light clutch and smooth shifting made life in city traffic extremely easy and comfortable. On the highways, the CB500X is a cinch to drive. It reaches three-digit speeds with ease and stays there all day.
The CB500X offers a great riding setup. It’s not extremely plush, but it manages to provide a ride that reduces overall fatigue quite a bit, which comes with a long saddle time. The only issue we ran into was the rear, as it bounced back more than it should. The preload is standard adjustable at both ends. While with some adjustability in the front the overall ride improved especially in the corners, the rebound in the rear didn’t really change much. The CB500X likes to be in the corners. It feels light and has plenty of lean angles, but the bike doesn’t like being pushed to its limits, blame the rear suspension suspension making things nervous on mid-turn bumps.
The brakes on this Honda work quite well. The bite and progression is acceptable, but the rear end felt like it could use more power. Also, dual channel ABS is standard and unfortunately the rear ABS cannot be turned off, which makes it unexciting off-road. That said, with its extremely good balance and ground clearance, along with decent front suspension travel, the CB500X makes off-road and enduro riding approachable. The front wheel is 19-inches, yes, but the bike still does pretty good off-road riding.