Honda's learner legal CB500X is one of the best bang-for-buck options in the adventure touring segment, and for the 2022 model year that bang-for-buck is getting better with Big Red adding important performance upgrades to the little parallel-twin adventurer.
While the CB500X still misses the mark in some regards for those wanting a 500cc adventure unicorn, namely spoked wheels and engine protection, the 2022 updates add some dynamic upgrades to the model that further shift it closer to that mythical middleweight status.
Headling the 2022 updates, the CB500X will now be suspended by a 41mm Showa Separate Function Big Piston USD fork rather than the conventional telescopic fork of the 2021 bike. The new front suspension is a big step forward for adventure tourers with the simplicity of potentially upgrading the fork with stiffer springs if the factory pre-load adjustment on the fork doesn't do the trick for them.
The rear shock has also received new settings and also offers pre-load adjustment with five stages now rather than the nine of the outgoing model. Both ends offer 135mm of travel to soak up the bumpy road ahead.
In a more subtle change, Honda has revised the swingarm as well which is now constructed from 2mm steel (rather than 2.3mm). It also employs a hollow cross member and is stiffer rotationally, and also more flexible laterally to improve handling, according to Honda. The wheelbase remains 1,445mm with rake and trail of 27.5°/108mm.
Honda has also slightly tweaked the weight bias of the CB500X, with a front/rear split of 48.7%/51.3% compared to the previous 48/52 split. The overall kerb weight is 199kg, which is right on the money in a class where weight is the enemy
Visually there is plenty to talk about starting with the new wheel combo. Honda has retained the 19 and 17-inch wheel sizing but has redesigned the wheels to utilise thinner spokes in an effort to reduce unsprung mass. This may be partly an effort to offset the weight gained on the front end by the move to a twin-disc brake setup as well, with the 2022 models running a pair of Nissin 296mm wave-pattern discs and axial mounted two-piston calipers.
While the overall styling remains the same, Honda is adding a new colour option in Pearl Organic Green for 2022 and has upgraded the lighting to more powerful LEDs.
The engine has been largely left alone for 2022, and still produces the same 35kW (46.9hp) of peak power. The only tweaks of note appear to be new settings for the PGM-FI fuel injection which Honda is claiming improve torque feel and character without compromising performance, while the radiator has also been changed. Honda says the new cooling system is more aesthetically pleasing while also saving 92g in weight.
Currently, we have no word from New Zealand's Honda motorcycle distributor, Blue Wing Honda, on an expected local delivery of the 2022 CB500X or what pricing might look like. Watch this space.
2022 Honda CB500X Gallery
2022 Honda CB500X Specifications (Specs)
Type: Liquid-cooled, parallel twin
Bore and stroke: 67mm x 66.8mm
Compression Ratio: 10.7: 1
Max. Power Output: 35kW @ 8,600rpm
Max. Torque: 43Nm @ 6,500rpm
Oil Capacity: 3.2L
Carburation: PGM FI electronic fuel injection
Fuel Tank Capacity: 17.5L (inc reserve)
CO2 Emissions WMTC: 82 g/km
Fuel Consumption (WMTC): 3.6L/100km / 27.8km/l (WMTC mode)
Battery Capacity: 12V 7.4AH
ACG Output: 25A/2000rpm
Clutch Type: Wet multiplate
Transmission Type: 6 speed
Final Drive: Chain
Type: Steel diamond
Dimensions (L´W´H): 2155mm x 830mm x 1410mm (Low screen) 1445mm (High screen)
Caster Angle: 27.5 degrees
Seat Height: 830mm
Ground Clearance: 180mm
Kerb Weight: 199kg
Type Front: Showa 41mm SFF-BP USD forks, pre-load adjustable
Type Rear: Prolink mono with 5 stage preload adjuster, steel hollow cross swingarm
Type Front: Multi-spoke cast aluminium
Type Rear: Multi-spoke cast aluminium
Rim Size Front: 19 X MT2.5
Rim Size Rear: 17 X MT4.5
Tyres Front: 110/80R19M/C (59H)
Tyres Rear: 160/60R17M/C (69H)
ABS System Type: 2 channel
Type Front: Dual 296mm x 4mm disc with Nissin radial-mount two piston calipers
Type Rear: Single 240mm x 5mm disc with single piston caliper
INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS
Instruments: LCD Meter with Speedometer, Bar Graph Tachometer, Dual Trip Meters, Fuel Level and Consumption Gauge, Clock, Water Temp, Gear position, Shift UP Indicator
Security System: HISS (Honda Intelligent Security System)