2022 Honda CB500X
by Brian Robinson
If you’ve got the adventure bike bug, but are on a tight budget, Honda’s got the ride you’ve been waiting for.
The CB500X has been in Honda’s lineup for few years now; but in a short amount of time, it has transitioned from being an adventure-styled bike to an adventure-capable machine.
The 471cc liquid-cooled parallel twin that sets it in motion is fed by revised fuel-injection for ’22 and gets a lighter radiator. It has a cool thumper-like vibe when you fire it up; and while its 40-plus horsepower will certainly not be enough for adrenaline junkies, it’s plenty for those of us going through life at a more relaxed pace, provided you aren’t the type who likes to over pack.
It had no problem keeping up with highway traffic, and even stays relatively smooth despite revving at around 7 or 8-grand. The rest of the drivetrain is typical: 6-speed transmission, through chain-drive; with a double-sided swingarm and 17-inch rear wheel and tire. The most significant upgrade for the ’22 CB500X is a new inverted Showa big piston fork, which holds a 19-inch front wheel and an additional brake rotor, with ABS standard. It combines with the Pro-Link rear shock to provide more than 5-inches of suspension travel and deliver a surprisingly plush ride. In fact, some engine buzz felt through the seat is the only thing that keeps the overall experience from being almost BMW-like.
The riding position is also near-perfect; and the windscreen is quite effective at keeping both wind and bugs off of you. It is adjustable, but not on the fly, as it requires tools to do so. Mirrors are great; vibration free, and set wide enough to provide a good rear view.
While not a true dual-sport, it’s plenty capable off-pavement; though if you plan on doing much of that, you’ll want more aggressive tread for the tires, and certainly some protection for the exposed exhaust pipes.
In simpler times we would have called this paint job Army Green, but now we get names like Pearl Organic Green and Black. It’s your only choice for ‘22, and there are no other trims or options per se; just the usual add-on accessories.
The full LCD gauge cluster provides just the basics, but does so in a clear manner that’s easy to read even in direct sunlight. On the practical front, at less than 33-inches, the seat height is not as tall as most adventure bikes, and you can easily get more than 50 miles-per-gallon out of this 500, which is something we can all appreciate these days.
Priced at just $7,199 means that after buying it, you’ll still have plenty of money left over for going on actual adventures with your adventure bike.
So yes, the value proposition is indeed very high, but the fun factor is up there, too, as Honda’s mid-size CBs have always provided a fun and frugal gateway to the joy of motorcycling. This 2022 Honda CB500X is outfitted and ready to take you even farther.