I’ve had my 2013 Honda CB500X for over a year and in that time I’ve used it for some interesting adventures. Coming from a smaller sports bike it was a nice step up in street power and also opened a lot of doors in terms of where I could ride.
As a commuter rider the CB500X definitely ticks all the boxes. Light and small enough for filtering and manoeuvring in traffic while still packing a punch when you want it. Commuting and highway touring is so comfortable- zero vibrations and killer fuel economy from the sensible 500cc fuel injected parallel twin. That plus the fantastic ergonomics and seat mean the Cb500X is a good bet for the long haul.
As a tool for motocamping the CB500X has proven itself reasonably capable but with a few limitations. Loading all your gear on the back is not an issue at all, the X will still chew through highway and twisty roads without a complaint. Light gravel duty and forest roads are also well within its skill set. That’s said you might want to chuck on some more aggressive tyres like the Pirelli MT60s.
Where it does lack though is the ability to inspire confidence on more technical bits of track. It is by no means a dirt bike and it’s limitations with the stock configuration really show when coming up against a proven dual sport such as the Suzuki DR650. In the right hands the CB500X will get a lot of places but the weight and suspension setup don’t make it easy for a novice off-roader. There are quite a lot of options in terms of suspension, rim, and tyre upgrades out there (Rally Raid probably being the biggest) but that adds quite a bit to the cost of the bike when you could be riding something that left the factory ready for the 4WD tracks.
Summing up, the Cb500X is definitely a fantastic bike and will treat those who are looking for commuter comfort and touring ability with some light dirt work well. However if you’re getting much further off the beaten path be ready for a workout keeping upright.