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Honda CB500X (2013-2023): Review & Buying Guide

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Honda CB500X Review Details Used Price Spec_1305
Honda CB500X Review Details Used Price Spec_1601
Honda CB500X Review Details Used Price Spec_1907
Honda CB500X Review Details Used Price Spec_2200


Price: £2500-£6799 | Power: 46.9bhp | Weight: 199kg | Overall BikeSocial Rating: 5/5


Launched in 2013 as an accessible and easy to ride adventure bike with a degree of sporting ability (we now call that a crossover bike), the CB500X is one of those machines that doesn’t shout loudly about its pros and cons but is actually a brilliant bike. A hugely popular model in Honda’s range, the A2-legal CB500X is powered by the parallel twin CB motor and has gone on to become one of Europe’s best-selling bikes. Easy-going and incredibly practical, the CB500X has been replaced by the NX500 in Honda’s model range for 2024 but the truth of the matter is that the NX is simply a CB with a bit of a restyle, so if you want to save a chunk of cash, buying a used CB is well worth considering.


  • Wonderful easy-going nature

  • Very frugal to buy and run

  • Comfortable and roomy

  • It does lack traction control, not that it really needs it

  • The screen is quite small

  • It struggles with a pillion onboard


Honda CB500X (2013-2023) Price

The CB500 range, which consists of the naked F and sporty R as well as the crossover X, have always represented good value for money, helped by the fact they are built in Thailand and not Japan. When it was initially launched the X cost just £5099 however over the years this has crept up to its final RRP of £6799, which is still good value. In the used market you can get a high-mileage early X for around £2500 however spending around £3500 will secure you a much better example. Although it has been updated a few times, there isn’t a huge amount of difference when it comes to the actual performance of the bike, it’s mainly things like inverted forks or radial brakes adding kerb appeal (although in 2019 the front wheel was swapped from a 17in item to a 19in one). Buy on condition more than year. The top end for a CB500X is £6799, which is a brand new 2023 model but as they are plentiful, a bit of haggling should see this come down to under £6000. Possibly even less...



Engine and Performance

The CB500X is powered by a 471cc parallel twin motor, which in 2013 was completely new for life in the three CB models. Featuring a DOHC design, the four-valve head motor has a 180-degree firing order for a bit of character as well as a primary couple-balancer to ensure everything remains nice and smooth (some owners do grumble about vibes, but generally most are happy with the bike). Small and compact, aside from a bit of emissions-reducing gubbins added here and there the fuel-injected motor has remained virtually unchanged throughout the CB’s lifespan (and also in the NX). And for very good reason.

A really lovely motor, the CB makes an A2-legal 46.9bhp with of torque (and does so in every incarnation of CB, including the new NX) which is more than enough for life in the modern world. Happy to hold 70mph, it can just about top 100mph if you thrash it but there is no real need. Keep to a steady 70mph and it is a delight with lots of mid-range power when requested, a slick gearbox and very light clutch action. If you want effortless motoring, it is a joy and while it is A2-legal, it never feels underpowered or sluggish. Well, unless you add a pillion into the equation when its lack of capacity does see it struggle a bit.

When it comes to buying used, there are very, very few issues. A couple of owners report leaky seals on the water pump but these are few and far between and basically you can buy with total confidence. Just watch out for service history as the CB needs its valve-clearances checked at 16,000 miles and a minor service every 4000 miles but it’s not a major worry as they are fairly cheap and easy to work on. Always give the bike’s consumable items a good check over to see if there’s lots of life left in the chain and sprockets, tyres, pads, discs etc as these are the small costs that quickly add up on a budget used bike and also check the radiator isn’t damaged as it is costly to replace. The exhaust generally doesn’t hole, it just looks a bit tarnished quite quickly. Some owners experiment with gearing changes to add a bit of zap but generally, this isn’t worth the effort.



Honda CB500X (2013-2023) Handling & Suspension

Here is where it can get a bit confusing with CB500X ownership. The original CB500X came with a 17-inch front wheel (120/70-17) as well as conventional forks and two-piston sliding calipers. In 2019 Honda swapped this out for a 19-inch wheel (110/80-19) but stuck with conventional forks and brakes until 2022 saw inverted forks added with radial brakes, which are also two-piston in their design. ABS was always standard fitment, and the shock has always had adjustable preload, but preload adjustment was added to the forks in the 2016 update. The X’s tank was also slightly enlarged in 2016, but only by a very marginal amount. Ok, got that? Good...

To ride the CB is a really delightful machine, combining a relaxed riding position with fairly sporty handling thanks to its light weight. The later models certainly benefit from their improved suspension (the 2022 bike’s Showa SFF-BP forks are excellent) and arguably the 17-inch front wheeled bike is a touch more agile (and has a 20mm lower seat height at 810mm) but that’s splitting hairs a bit. Overall, the CB500X makes for a lovely commuter that zips through traffic and is easy to manoeuvre due to its low weight while once out and about retains this agility to make B-roads great fun to ride.

Unlike the motor, you do need to be a bit careful with the CB500X’s chassis when buying used but the few common faults are quite easy to both spot and fix. The first check is for rust, which can see the centre stand (if fitted) become stiff and also areas such as the suspension linkages start to seize up. A quick clean up and regrease soon sorts them out (and maybe a flash of paint) but it needs to be nipped in the bud. The two-piston sliding brake calipers seize on their slider, which is a £40 rebuild kit to sort or even just a good clean, and the frame can rust if its finish becomes chipped. The cast wheels are robust, so dents are uncommon, however the ABS sensor ring rusts, causing an ABS fault, and the sensor itself can fail, which is expensive to replace. Always check for ABS fault codes or warning lights. The final inspection, as on all new rider bikes, is for crash damage, so check form bent bars, scraped mirrors and marked pegs.



Comfort & Economy

It may be small but the CB500X is very comfortable and makes for a good mid-range tourer. The screen is adjustable on the 2019-onwards bike (with an Allen key) and you can happily soak up some miles on it, although a bigger screen is a welcome addition if you plan to do so. It is also worth adding heated grips alongside brush guards, which make the world of difference to comfort levels.

When it comes to economy the CB500X is remarkable. Ride it very hard and it will still record over 60mpg, usually about 65mpg, and if you take it steady you can see well into the 70mpg figures. That’s a tank range of between 250 and just over 300 miles, which is absolutely brilliant!



Honda CB500X (2013-2023) Equipment

As it is built to a budget the CB is quite low-tech. ABS has always been on the bike alongside the HISS immobiliser system and a fuel gauge but that’s about it. In 2019 a gear indicator was included in the new dash and that’s how it stayed until it became the NX500 and gained a wonderful TFT dash with connectivity.

When it comes to accessories, there are quite a few options. A lot of owners fit a 12V socket, brush guards, a centre stand, auxiliary lights and heated grips, which are common commuter additions. Crash bars are popular as is a taller screen and top box. A few owners alter the bike’s gearing and some fit aftermarket exhausts but these are quite rare and tend to suggest that the bike has been dropped. You can get full luggage for the CB but this isn’t a common addition. Generally, expect to see accessories that make the rider’s life easier and more comfortable on a commute.



Honda CB500X (2013-2023) Rivals

There aren’t that many lightweight crossover bikes out there and CB500X buyers tend to know what they want – and that’s the Honda!


Kawasaki Versys X-300 (2017-2019) | Approx Price: £2500-£4000

Power/Torque: 40bhp/19lb-ft | Weight: 174kg


Suzuki V-Strom 250 (2017-2020) | Approx Price: £2500-£3500

Power/Torque: 24.7bhp/17.3lb-ft | Weight: 188kg


Yamaha XJ6 Diversion F (2009-2016 )| Approx Price: £2500-£5500

Power/Torque: 77bhp/44lb-ft | Weight: 216kg



Honda CB500X (2013-2023) Verdict

The CB500X isn’t that flashy but it is a brilliant example of a bike that is so much better for keeping everything nice and simple. Light, easy-going, comfortable and very cheap to run, the CB500X makes for a wonderful commuter, fun mini-tourer and enjoyable bike for weekend blasts along your favourite B-roads. It’s just a great overall package and although the 2024 NX500 looks a bit better and has traction control as standard, there is no harm at all in saving your cash and buying a used CB500X instead.


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Honda CB500X (2013-2023) – Technical Specification

Original price


Current price range

£2500 - £6799



Bore x Stroke

67mm x 66.8mm

Engine layout

Parallel twin

Engine details

Liquid-cooled, 8v, DOHC


46.9bhp (35kW) @ 8600rpm


31.7lb-ft (43Nm) @ 6500rpm

Top speed



6-speed, chain final drive

Average fuel consumption


Tank size

17.5 litres (17.3 litres pre-2016)

Max range to empty (theoretical)

265 miles

Reserve capacity

35 miles

Rider aids



Steel diamond

Front suspension

41mm inverted forks (conventional pre-2022)

Front suspension adjustment

Adjustable preload

Rear suspension


Rear suspension adjustment

Adjustable preload

Front brake

2 x 296mm discs, two-piston calipers. ABS (320mm on pre-2022)

Rear brake

240mm disc, one-piston caliper. ABS

Front tyre

110/80 – R19 (17inch pre-2019)

Rear tyre

160/60 – R17


27.5°/ 108mm

Dimensions (LxWxH)

2155mm x 830mm x 1410mm



Ground clearance


Seat height

830mm (810mm on pre -2019)

Kerb weight

199Kg Wet


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