• 2022 Honda CB500X - Performance, Price, and Photos

New suspension makes for more off-road capability and a plush street ride

LISTEN 09:51

Honda beefed up its mid-range adventure bike the CB500X, ahead of MY2022 with new suspension, some frame tweaks to improve handling, and a new front wheel. New LED emitters for the headlight and blinker bars increase two-way visibility and tweaks to the engine, save weight and improve the CB500X’s personality.

2022 Honda CB500X Performance and Capability

2022 Honda CB500X - Performance, Price, and Photos
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Improvements to the drivetrain produce more torque and easier clutch action with fewer missed shifts.

Honda powers the CB500X with a liquid-cooled parallel-twin plant that was on the receiving end of a tuneup for this generation. A smaller battery frees up space for a larger airbox and a straighter shot for the intake funnels to improve the volumetric efficiency of this naturally-aspirated lump. They opened up the other end as well with a higher-volume exhaust system that lets the engine breathe freely.

Retuned fuel injectors have narrower spray patterns and better fuel atomization, plus the electronics that control them are also updated to improve low- to mid-range performance. Dual over-head cams time four poppets per cylinder with modified valve timing meant to improve low-end torque.

2022 Honda CB500X - Performance, Price, and Photos
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What does this get us? Well, the engine produces around four-percent more torque once you get above 3,000 rpm for a max of 31.7 pound-feet of grunt at 6,500 rpm. Power tops out at 8,600 rpm with 46.9 ponies on tap. Power flows through a new slipper-style clutch that benefits from racing engineering and adds some anti-hopping protection while reducing effort at the clutch lever by 45-percent.

New dog and pocket shapes deliver a positive shift with fewer missed shifts and safer heavy acceleration. A tough chain drive carries power to the rear wheel and the overall drive ratio turns in a CB500X top speed of around 113 mph (183 km/h).

2022 Honda CB500X - Performance, Price, and Photos
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As for the innards, the purposely-shaped pistons minimize skirt-slap noise while the vented thin-walled cylinder sleeves mitigate mechanical pumping losses as the air pushes around down in the crankcase. Plus, the pistons have striations that carry oil into the bore on the upstroke for improved lubrication and cooling.

Bore and stroke mic out at 67 mm and 66.8 mm with a 10.7-to-1 compression ratio. This gives a 471 cc total displacement, and with a 180-out firing order, it delivers relatively smooth power pulses.

Engine & Drivetrain
Engine: 471 cc Liquid-cooled parallel-twin, DOHC, four valves per cylinder
Bore x Stroke: 67.0 mm x 66.8 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
Induction: PGM-FI with 34 mm throttle bodies
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance
Transmission: Six-speed
Final Drive: #520 O-ring-sealed chain; 15T/41T

Design

2022 Honda CB500X - Performance, Price, and Photos
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The CB500X is a middle-weight machine that shows its adventure bike chops.

While the factory builds other machines like the Africa Twin for the heavy globetrotting work, the CB500X is a middle-weight machine balancing urban riding with some medium-rough capabilities. Think of it as a training bike for riders looking to work up to larger bikes. To be fair, its capabilities as a commuter/grocery-getter make it an option to the usual standard or naked-sport fare.

The bodywork is all straight-up ADV yummygoodness that boosts the X’s adventure bike chops. It starts with the usual dual-purpose front fender that doubles as a spoiler for the inverted front forks. The front fairing toes the design line with its bill-like protrusion that’s kind of like a vestigial mudguard from it dual-sport ancestors and headlight housing safely ensconced within. I don’t like the front blinker bars, but at least they are up where a drop or brush strike are unlikely to damage them, so credit where it’s due I suppose.

A tall windshield – 20 mm taller than before – makes for a large rider’s wind pocket, and it comes vented to combat the wearisome head-buffet effect where the top of the pocket meets the slipstream. The shoulders, formed by the radiator cowl that grows from the front fairing proper, provide some protection to tucked-in legs, but not so much protection that you can get away with not wearing rain gear from the waist down.

2022 Honda CB500X - Performance, Price, and Photos
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As for instrumentation, it all comes crammed into a slightly larger color digital display still using LCD technology, but it comes set up for reasonably good visibility in all light conditions. The 4.7-gallon tank contributes that now-classic camel’s hump component to the flyline and provides an estimated 300 miles per fill up, making it suitable for riding in areas with gas stations that are few and far between.

The CB500X seat height is typical of the class at 32.8 inches off the deck with a short rise to the pillion pad area that comes with large J.C. handles and fold-up footpegs to complete the passenger’s amenities. The rear lights and license plate holder mount to the mudguard, save for the taillight that’s perched up in the tip of the tail.

Honda CB500X Specs
Wheelbase: 56.9 inches
Seat Height: 32.8 inches
Fuel Capacity: 4.7 gallons
Curb Weight: 439 pounds

Chassis

2022 Honda CB500X - Performance, Price, and Photos
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Improvements to the chassis and suspension give downright plush ride quality on the street.

Steel is the material of choice on the CB500X for the 35 mm diameter diamond-tube frame tuned for good behavior, both on-road and off. The engine itself displaces a large chunk of the frame by serving as a stressed member contributing to its final structural rigidity.

A new swingarm design completes the bones with it’s own tuning, that allows for some lateral flexion while maintaining the appropriate amount of rotational rigidity. The revised front end runs a new tripletree with 41 mm Showa SFF-BP stems opposite a large-diameter monoshock with spring-preload adjusters at both ends. It allows for a little flexibility in the ride quality.

Axle travel measures five+ inches all around to accommodate some light terrain work. It’ll also be downright plush on more civilized surfaces, especially with those front-and-rear spring-preload adjusters on board.

2022 Honda CB500X - Performance, Price, and Photos
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Newly designed cast-aluminum rims round out the rolling chassis in a 19-inch up front followed by a 17-inch wheel out back and lined with a 110/80 ahead of a 160/60. The rubber rocks a trail pattern for light off-road work as well as street use with an “H” speed rating that’ll handle this bike’s performance just fine.

Dual 296 mm discs and four-bore Nissin calipers take care of braking business up front while a single-piston anchor bites the 240 mm rear disc. Twin-channel ABS comes stock, and as of the 2021 CB500X, Honda quit offering the non-ABS version so you’ll take the ABS and like it.

Chassis & Suspensions
Front Suspension/ Travel: 41 mm fork/ 5.2 inches
Rear Suspension/ Travel: Pro-Link® single shock with nine-position spring preload adjustability/ 5.3 inches
Rake: 27.5°
Trail: 4.3 inches
Front Brake: Twin two-piston calipers with 296 mm discs; ABS
Rear Brake: 240 mm disc; ABS
Front Tire: 110/80-19
Rear Tire: 160/60-17

2022 Honda CB500X Pricing

2022 Honda CB500X - Performance, Price, and Photos
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CB500X MSRP starts at $7.2k.

You can add affordability to the list of assets for the CB500X in light of the $7,199 MSRP. There’s only the one color package in our market, Pearl Organic Green hue over basic black. Honda offers a full line of accessories that will enable you to get set up just like you like it, and for whatever purpose you have in mind.

Pricing
Model ID: CB500XA
Warranty: One year, transferable, unlimited-mileage limited warranty (Optional extended coverage available with a HondaCare Protection Plan®)
Color: Pearl Organic Green/Black
Price: $7,199

Competitors

2022 Honda CB500X - Performance, Price, and Photos
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2021 BMW G 310 GS
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This is a tough displacement to try and match right on the nose. The engine in the Beemer’s G 310 GS is too small, same with Kawasaki’s Versys-X 300 ABS. Yamaha’s Ténéré 700 is too big and set up as more of an off-road bike with less urban flexibility. Triumph's Tiger Sport 660 garners an honorable mention but again, too beaucoup in the engine department.

2017 - 2020 Kawasaki Versys-X 300
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2021 - 2022 Yamaha Ténéré 700 - Performance, Price, and Photos High Resolution Exterior
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2022 Triumph Tiger Sport 660
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Perhaps this leaves the feature-packed 2022 Honda CB500X in a class of its own for the time being. Certainly it’s capable enough for its dual-surface purpose, and as a platform, gear it up with luggage and a top case for long-distance work or some serious grocery-getting missions. The performance is plenty fast enough for the interstate, too fast actually, but at least you know you have a decent power reserve when you’re traveling at traffic speeds that can realistically be anywhere between 70 and 85 mph.

He Said

“Seems like a solid little ADV bike, even if it has an uncommon displacement. I’m a little surprised at the lack of ride-control electronics, considering that most of these bikes are probably destined to be urban commuters. To be fair, I know that’s partially to keep price down, but if Honda starts using its tech, it will make this bike a dandy indeed.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton says, “The 2019 update on the CB500X was much needed to make this adventure bike more off-road capable. It accomplished that, but I said then and I still say now, where are the spoked wheels? Up to 2021, you couldn’t even get spoked wheels in the accessories catalog. That aside this update may seem mild compared to the one in 2019, but these changes add the CB500X’s off-road chops. It’s a nice bike in that in-between displacement, between the 300s and the 700-and-ups, which makes it a viable commuter if you have to get on the interstate.”

Further Reading

Honda

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TJ Hinton
TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read full bio
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