It’s a great motorcycle, but Rs 6.87 lakh is a little too much for this Honda
The CB500X, an entry-level superbike, has a big bike feel to it—it looks expensive, it accelerates like a superbike, it’s supremely comfortable, and the build quality is matchless. The digital instrument cluster displays gear positions, engine temperature, ABS indicator and the fuel level in litres, among other features, and both headlamp and tail-lamp are LEDs, which look premium.
It’s powered by a 471.03cc, parallel-twin petrol engine (47bhp; 43.2Nm), mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Riding position is good—the 830mm seat height (coupled with narrow seat shoulders) make it easy to put feet down at traffic lights. Also, at 199kg, the CB500X isn’t too heavy, and so constantly putting your feet on the road to balance the motorcycle in stop-and-go traffic doesn’t tire the rider either.
The power delivery of the engine, from any speed to any speed (in the right gear, of course), is surprisingly good.
Mention must be made of the gearbox; it’s so smooth that there is almost no gearshift sound or feel. The front 310mm and rear 240mm disc brakes (with dual channel ABS) work well—and it’s got the smart ESS (emergency stop signal) technology that detects sudden braking and automatically activates the front and rear hazard lights, which flash to warn nearby vehicles.
I rode it on tarmac, on gravel, and a little bit on sand as well—on all terrains it feels at home (for riding exclusively on sand, you might want to change into a separate set of tyres). The exhaust pipes are upswept (directed upwards)—this not only makes the CB500X look ‘adventurous’, but also make sure navigating water-filled trails won’t be much of a challenge (again, with the right set of tyres).
All in all, the CB500X has a premium, big bike feel to it. At the same time, even though it’s being assembled in India (it comes as a completely knocked down kit), it’s priced Rs 6,87,402 (ex-showroom), which, I think, is a bit too steep for a sub-500cc motorcycle, no matter how excellent it is.
Engine: 471.03cc, parallel-twin
Power: 35kW (47bhp)
Weight: 199 kg
Seat height: 830 mm
Fuel tank: 17.7 litres
Gearbox: 6-speed manual
0-100 km/h: Under 6 seconds
Price: Rs 6,87,402 (ex-showroom)