The CB500X, originally launched in 2013 alongside the naked CB500F (now CB500 Hornet) and fully faired CBR500R, injected crossover adventure style to Honda’s fun-focussed twin-cylinder ‘light middleweight’ trio. Right from the start it was a motorcycle that, without fanfare, quietly got on with the job of being supremely competent and adaptable for a wide variety of ownersThe usefulness was down to a straightforward equation. The 500NX is a well-regarded twin-cylinder engine which produced real torque and drive from low rpm while revving hard up top – plus a chassis that gave a supremely comfortable ride both around town and out on the open highway, all wrapped up in distinctive adventure styling.
It slipped between the role of short-hop commuter to weekend tourer effortlessly. Long travel suspension ironed out irregular road surfaces, wide handlebars provided leverage, and the upright riding position offered both comfort and a wide field of view for the rider. In 2016 a first upgrade brought with it a larger fuel tank, more wind protection and taller screen, as well as LED lighting, spring preload-adjustable front forks and adjustable brake lever. The 19YM evolution delivered more sophisticated adventure style, more engine performance and a number of chassis upgrades. 22YM saw the addition of high-quality Showa 41mm SFF-BP USD forks, dual front discs, lightweight swingarm and redesigned front wheel.
Power and torque remain the same for the 471cc engine – at 35kW and 43Nm – while an ECU update improves acceleration feel and Honda Selectable Torque Control is now standard. New wheels save 1.5kg of unsprung weight, adding to an overall weight loss of 3kg.
For 24YM Honda’s equation for this bike is improving, but not changing in its essence. The name is new, however. The NX500 is carving out its own identity, with aggressively redesigned styling, premium technology and a variety of detail upgrades that are sure to continue its journey into the hearts and minds of European riders.
The letters NX have quite a history with Honda and the single-cylinder NX650 Dominator – which debuted in the late 1980s with unique mix of road and off-road style – is fondly remembered across Europe. NX means ‘New X-over’ which is exactly what the new NX500 is. Fun on a winding road, fun on a gravel trail and ready to go the distance, its all-round credentials are reinforced with an impressive update to its adventure styling. The wheels too are lighter, and the suspension settings front and rear have been upgraded to improve ride quality.
The A2-compliant, slipper clutch-equipped twin-cylinder engine benefits from the addition of Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) as well as ECU updates to improve acceleration.
The 24YM NX500 will be available in the following colour options:
Grand Prix Red
Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic
Pearl Horizon White