Honda 2 Wheelers is currently working on bringing a new adventure tourer motorcycle to India. The Japanese manufacturer recently launched the CB350 RS which is a more sporty version of the H’ness CB350 which was launched last year in October. With the rise in the increasing touring community, it makes sense for Honda to launch a new adventure tourer. They will be launching the CB500X in India and it is expected to be priced around Rs. 5.5 lakhs ex-showroom.
The CB500X will be competing with the Benelli TRK 502. So, it sits in between the entry-level adventurer tourers like Royal Enfield Himalayan, KTM 390 Adventure and the high-end tourers like Suzuki V-Strom 650 and Kawasaki Versys 650. Currently, Honda only offers the Africa Twin which costs Rs. 15.96 lakhs ex-showroom. So, launching a more affordable entry-level tourer seems like the right decision for Honda.
Honda CB500X is powered by a 471 cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin petrol engine that produces 47 PS of max power and a peak torque output of 42 Nm. The engine comes mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox with slip and assist clutch. When compared the power outputs are in the same ballpark as the KTM 390 Adventure which produces 44 PS of max power and 37 Nm of peak torque. However, Honda’s engine will be much more tractable, smooth and reliable when compared to the KTM’s unit. Most of the power in the KTM’s engine is reserved in the top-end of the rev band which is not really suitable for highway touring or off-roading as you will have to work the gearbox and downshift whenever you need to overtake whereas Honda’s engine is expected to be tuned more for a linear power delivery throughout the rev range.
The CB500X will come with 41 mm front forks with 150 mm of travel and a mono-shock at the rear which will have 9-step adjustability for preload and will have 135 mm of travel. The ground clearance of the motorcycle is 180 mm with a 19-inch front wheel and a 17-inch rear wheel. The tyres measure 110/80 in the front and 160/60 at the rear. Braking duties are handled by a 310 mm disc up front and a 240 mm disc at the rear. Honda will offer a Dual-channel Anti-lock Braking system as standard. The motorcycle weighs in at 197 kgs and the seat height measures 830 mm which should manageable for most of the riders. The CB500x is a more road-biased adventure tourer rather than a proper off-roader. So, it is more suitable for long touring and not for proper off-road trails.
Honda is also offering a decent feature list. The CB500X will come with a tall windscreen to protect the rider from windblast. There will be a negative LCD digital instrument cluster that will be legible in daylight. The instrument cluster will also come with dual trip meters, speedometer, tachometer, fuel consumption gauge, fuel gauge and gear position indicator. It will come with LED headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lamps, LED tail lamps and LED turn indicators. It is expected that Honda will launch the CB500X will be launched in India in April 2021.