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Honda CB500X Rally Raid Stage 2 off road quick test

Recording right there uh just on the cb 500x with the rally raid kit stage two on it people have asked me if it’s any good at off-road or any better so i thought i’d just do a quick video uh to let you know let me just um get straight into it i’m just gonna let this rango let him make his move so don’t confuse him we’re gonna get straight into it second gear

Let’s see how it goes up here a bit of us oh that bruh bit of an early trail this stoney rocky i think what’s really good actually the bike is quite well balanced it’s good on the clutch club on the throttle got good control of the power and actually it’s really tractable i think it’s just a bit on the clutch i’m down in first lost a bit of momentum it isn’t

Every bite there’s 209 kilos where i’ve weighed it made a bit of a meal of that to be honest i think i could have got up there a bit cleaner just bubbles a bit i tried getting up here yesterday on the gozzi v85 tt they’ve got to be honest it didn’t end very well crf 250 and 300 rally no problems at all himalayan not too bad either 500x a little bit of a handful

Gotta be honest but this is probably all on the limit of what you’d realistically do on a bike like this oh handful ah okay let’s have a quick look that’s tough going just going so you’ve got a cb 500x 2018 bike but it’s a 19 model with a 19 inch front wheel as standard so in previous models with the valley raid kit you would buy the bigger wheel or from

A 17 to a 19 and combine it with a longer travel suspension obviously with a 19 onwards model 2019 onwards model all you were simply doing was replacing like for like tubeless spoke wheels for the standard cast rims and then this has got the stage 2 fully top spec suspension so new internals and then attractive rear shock with an adjustable preload on the

Back and then a fully adjustable piggyback high low speed compression dampening so quite a lot of trick suspension i think all up about 1400 pounds on the suspension 1200 on the wheels some guard 300 or so uh or not 300 200 and something it’s got a scorpion can on it and that’s about it so yeah as i prefer hold them out i think ultimately you know can you turn

A road bike what is fundamentally a road bike into an off-road bike uh it’s always going to be difficult i think what the rally aid kit always does is just make it give a bit more uh scope to the standard bike it’s not complete transformation uh but it just allows you to do a little bit more with the bike you’ve got is it essential you know arguably not would

That come up there with the cast wheels yes it would would it come up there with a standard suspension i guess that’s a difficult one to gauge maybe it wouldn’t have just couldn’t controlled uh the the rock impacts or the the steps quite as well as this stage two kit uh whatever they’ve been coming up there on a crf250 300 yes would have rather been coming up

There on a himalayan probably yes because although the two bites weigh the same the difference is that so the himalayan uh fully fueled is 2010 or 209 and this is 210. so very similar i’ve had them on the scales at home um the difference is the honda carries a weight quite high up where the himalayan carries it low so it’s so with the himalayan it’s almost like

Coming up there on a girder that’s uh low to the ground and propelled by a good chuggable uh long stroke motor obviously the 500cc twin in the front in the cb is is a little bit more road orientated it’s still got some good low down chug though uh i was really impressed by that and the overall balance of the bike is good it’s it’s a you know it’s a mini africa

Twin let’s let’s say that uh is that kind of gnarly stuff probably a little bit at the top end of its capabilities yes but i think that’s uh quite a common sense thing really and i sometimes think we lose common sense uh when assessing a bike because anyone in the right mind would know that a bike as big as this with twin cylinder is never going to be a proper

Off-road bike uh same with the you know the guzzi that i can’t try to come up there yesterday on that got knobblies on it but at 250 kilos as soon as those tires uh get out of shape or as soon as momentum starts taking you off course it’s very difficult to rein in a bike with such such weight ultimately you can’t get around weight and so i have really come to

The conclusion that whilst i used to enjoy riding a gs 12 off road back when i had one maybe four years ago i really do think it’s an idiotic thing to do because you will always be fighting and compensating for that weight so to me sub 200 is where it’s at for anything that you might want to take off road i think in regards to the 500x and certainly with the

Relevant kit people are going to say wouldn’t you just buy a 1008 700 or something like that and i think that’s a fair point given the price of the two bikes because you could easily spend just as much on a 500x with a rallyway kit as you could uh a good television um and there you probably get almost a new one i think the difference is manageability uh as an

All-round vehicle or bike so for me the 700 is too tall uh for really feeling comfortable on exploring it’s just a bit too tall off the ground a bit too much bike and next to a 500x oh let these guys go okay all right guys yeah yeah yeah yeah it’s a bit gnarly up there yeah i just got from stony lane yeah yeah i’m testing it off road yeah it’s off it’s quite

Quite too rocky as well at a minute up the stone opposite the house and then yeah yeah no i think that’s where i am with this no i think i’d rather be on them but no just just tested it really that’s all i came up put my foot down and what twice once or twice but where yet are you going down the woods oh nice well you’re good on your doorstep then i’m not going

Back down yeah coming onto the road isn’t it yeah yeah oh i know that’s why i don’t go down no i’m just going to go straight down over that road do that long road and then out to windmill road i’m back so yeah yeah yeah yeah a bit easier on that windmill road than that that one down yeah oh chance oh nice one take it easy cool they’d rather be on a push bike

Up there although you’ve got a pedal haven’t you so it’s uh horses for courses so there we go so this is a honda cb 500 x rally raid stage two kit i’ve got it on the fleet for people to ride down dorothy’s speed shop the unit i’ve got so you ride this back to back with a himalayan 390 ktm crf250 300 and a 310 gs which is currently out of action because the head

Bearings have gone on it and the instrument cluster is playing up six thousand miles on that one so not a great advert for the uh the 310 i’ve got to be honest so this sort of lady is far more in keeping with what the 500x uh is happy with you know you could do this sort of laying all day long what’s beautiful about the 500x is it’s got a really nice throttle

Easy to modulate to modulate the power at input you can almost feel it pulsing through the back tyre and feeling for grip we’ve got the analyst caprara x tires on this at the minute but you’ve got to say a really good tire they work well on the road and they also work well uh off-road i think got an abs warning light on i don’t think the system quite likes this

Type of terrain um so abs is non-switchable on this which i guess suggests up to the cyclist just mate got it all out tonight but it’s definitely got some squirt to it you can never completely escape the mass of the bike you always do feel as you get the highest speed that you really are pushing uh or firing along quite a heavy weight high off the ground and if

You have to stop quick you’ve got a bit of a mass to hold up or slow down got the rally raid foot pegs on which help i’ll just show you again the bike got some bark busters on it so she’s a good booking by i think she is he looks so much better with the um the spoke rims on it just looks tough looks good gets a lot of admiring glances when you’re out i think

People are really interested in in the bike and then what rally raid have done i think the rally raid have done a good job of getting a name for themselves which i think they very much deserved um i have nothing no affiliation with the company other than when i first got a job on adventure bike rider magazine in 2013 um i was in touch with john uh who’s the

Owner of rally raid about so i don’t know what it was about a feature or something and we were just chatting on the phone and he said have you ridden a 500x and i said yes i’ve just been around scotland on one uh on road and we both agree what a fantastic bike it was that all it lacked was that sort of a semi-off-road trail bike orientation i.e the bigger wheel

Because back then it had the 17 inch wheel and we both agreed what a great base bike it was um so anyway john and liz’s wife and adam the sun they kind of went away and they were doing a lot of work on the ktm uh or 640s at the time building towers navigation towers and things so he went to look at the 500x and set about doing the 19-inch front-wheel conversion

Spoke to tubeless rims and then working with tractive in holland who were a suspension expert who um came a lot of the guys came from wp when they up sticks and move up stick to move to austria uh they were originally based in the netherlands and a lot of them just thought well we don’t want to move so everyone’s out on a pushy tonight i bet they’re going where

I’m going dude cheers mate thank you oh cheers guys thank you thanks mate oh i don’t think i’ll go up this lane not if there’s a combine obviously going up it no it looks busy now it was on that lane the other day i nearly ended up under the wheels of a tractor it was coming the opposite way and i was carrying a bit too much speed on the 500x and i had to

Sort of chuck it in the edge and he had to swerve off so yeah just a reminder to be uh careful but we’re just going back to that story with the the cb500x so john went away did the wheels did the suspension uh and then got jenny uh a friend of theirs to do the marketing and i think they really showed uh a real good direction in what people wanted a middleweight

Moderately powered bike not expensive to buy which could do um long distance adventure travel which would incorporate some off-road uh some rough riding and and then and it i think that they bought quite a success out of that really then they worked on the 310 gs which is a is very much a transformation of that stock bike if you ever get a chance to ride a 310

Gs with a rally rate kit i really do advise it because it there must have been so much potential in that chassis that was never made the most of by bmw they really undersold it with that with the suspension they put on it so with better suspension it’s a it’s such a great off-road bike uh and then obviously with the 2019 cb500x they’ve carried over the tubeless

Wheels and and everything else i think the only downside with this bike and with any bike wearing the broad tire is that once you get it on uh slowly moored really wet clay mud there’s just no traction there the tires are just too broad even with a knobbly on to really find any purchase and so what you’ll find is you’ll get a lot of lateral movement in the tire

And they’re just washing out all the time i took this bike to the adventure bike rider festival a few months back and where you could ride it round a 20 mile off-road track in the mornings it was very wet and it was mud that turned very slippy very clay-like when it was wet and going around on this i was having just as much trouble as the guys on the gs12 with

The road tyres it just was washing every way in which way and you just can’t keep it to sort of hold any traction so not not a great amount of fun i’ve got to be honest in comparison i wrote the himalayan in the same conditions and because that’s got a slender 1990 21 front tire and the 120 80 17 rear so slimmer tires and on these it just got through the mud that

Much better um and so you know these big bike these big tired bikes are great in the promotional videos and they’re great when the conditions are in their favor but they’re not universally great and can really um get you unstuck so can you make a proper off-road bike out of something that was designed mainly to be used on the road no can you make it a little

Bit better to broaden its appeal yes and then it’s for you to decide what you want if you want to ride all off roads get a crf even get a himalayan maybe if you want to do a bit a bit more tarmac if you want to combine a lot of road work with it a bit of green laning or a little bit of dirt track or back road discovery route which you’re going to do in america

And the cb500x is is a good bike and certainly with the rally raid kit has for um has easily enough potential to to take you on those kind of routes so yeah that was kind of useful i never i i kind of came up with that uh stony climb maybe a couple of months ago i seem to remember it being a little bit easier that time then that um was uh a little bit dicey i

Think the concern is always that you’re gonna drop it and um and uh break some plastics but i think what helps with the 500x is the power’s soft and the gearing is low on this which means you can chug and play with the throttle in first gear and it will keep going so you don’t have to rush your pace you can pick your way through yesterday when i came up on the

Or tried to go up on the the motorguzzi v85 tt with kenda big blocks that bike needs momentum and it doesn’t have the suspension sophistication to deal with those hard fast impact impacts and so quickly gets shunted offline and then you’re in all sorts of trouble and then the traction control on that even though you can semi disable that by putting it in off-road

Mode it still engages when it starts to get steeper and slippier so therefore it just can’t the bikes essentially shuts down when it detects too much slippage and therefore you get paralyzed midway up a slope but all i could do on that occasion would turn the bike around and coach back down so again big bikes lots of electronics can cause big problems the best

Buy for going up there that i currently have in the stable would be a honda ct-110 the posty bike would go up there no problems at all and you could put a novice rider on a pasty park and they’d most likely get up there as well so the same motto always applies if you’re new to off-roading if you’ve never been off-road if you want to enjoy your off-roading and not

Be intimidated by the bike go for something small go for something manageable go for something that doesn’t intimidate you because there’s too many people for whatever reason believing you know the marketing believing the high believing the peer pressure that you need the big bike to go off-roading because they’ve seen it in the images and and then on youtube

And it’s just a hazard the big bikes really are a hazard off-road so that’s it we’re gonna head to the pub get some food and then test the headlights on the way back it was actually on the way back from the pub last night i had not had a drink i just had food that i tried that laying on the guzzy you were getting dusk so poor visibility terrible timing really

But i thought sorry let’s give it a go you’ve got to try these things you know you’ll only find out by trying that’s it just passing through west down take it easy

Transcribed from video
Honda CB500X (Rally Raid Stage 2) off road quick test By nathanthepostman