CB500X, Rally Raid Level 2 shakedown ride in Big Sur
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Thread: CB500X, Rally Raid Level 2 shakedown ride in Big Sur

  1. #1
    Senior Member bananachunks's Avatar
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    CB500X, Rally Raid Level 2 shakedown ride in Big Sur

    Wheels, tires, and suspension finally arrived and were put on a few weeks ago. This last week, the rain finally gave us a break, so I took the CBX down to Big Sur for an overnighter with 30 to 40 miles of off-road that I've had the bike on previously. Oh man, I can not even begin to explain how different of a bike it is now. 2 inches more clearance, 2 inches more travel on both ends (so 7+ each end now). And 50/50 knobbies. So nice. It started with being able to adjust the rear pre-load so that I couldn't even tell I was fully loaded with my camp gear. And before, with all the clanks and knocks and hits, I could get up to around 20mph on those trails, but with a grimace, and worried about what was going to break or fall off the bike at any time. Now, I would look down and see that I was going 35-40. If there weren't so many blind corners I would have opened it up a little more. And having tires with knobs is a nice treat. Depending on what kind of mileage/distance I get out of them, I may continue getting 50/50s (Mitas E-07 Dakar) or 70/30s (Metzeler Karoo 3) instead of my usual 90/10s even after Moab.

    I'm finally starting to get used to the new seat height. I don't wonder where the ground went when I put my feet down at stops anymore. It does make paddling through "Fred Easy" sections a little more interesting / less secure, but I can still flatfoot it with little effort.

    It was a pretty penny, for sure, but I do feel like I can do more with the bike with less threat of damage to the bike or myself. And it does look better, as always, with some dirt on it. Now let's see what kind of trouble I can get myself into with it in Moab!

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    2018 CB500XA - Rally Raid: Level 2 Suspension/Wheels, Engine guard / bash plate, Pannier racks, Wide pegs, Rear brake reservoir guard, ABS switch, Radiator screen, kickstand shoe. Barkbuster/Storm. Palmer windshield adjuster w/ accessory bar. Savage steering damper, levers, and rear rack. Givi Trekker Outback 42L Top Case and Wolfman Rocky Mountain Saddlebags. 50W 3" spot/flood pods. Scorpion Serket Taper slip-on.

  2. #2
    Senior Member sibyrnes's Avatar
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    Very nice! I test rode and seriously considered the CB500X last spring but ended up with a Multistrada instead. Both bikes are too heavy for me for any serious dirt riding - got the Ducati for longer distance touring.

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    Senior Member grewen's Avatar
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    so how much higher was the stock seat with the RR installed and can you give me a hint on cost with shipping
    Greg

    2019 honda cb500x
    2018 honda grom
    2018 suzuki dr200

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Good improvements Bananachunks.
    Am surprised more TW types don't ride many of the dirt roads down there like the Coast Ridge Road, Alder Creek, Cone Peak, Nacimiento-Furgeson Road, etc. Nice formal camping along the coast but also a lot of undeveloped primitive sites on the ridge lines above the fog belt or in nice redwood groves where the fog lingers in the side canyons. Occasional nice jade boulders (nephrite) washing down Alder Creek can be found as well as fairly fine placer gold, try panning some of the black sands above the tide line.
    Ken and joeband like this.
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  6. #5
    Senior Member bananachunks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sibyrnes View Post
    Very nice! I test rode and seriously considered the CB500X last spring but ended up with a Multistrada instead. Both bikes are too heavy for me for any serious dirt riding - got the Ducati for longer distance touring.
    Mmm, Multistrada is nice. If I wasn't still so intent on going off-pavement and trying to keep up with the likes of Fred from time to time, that is a nice one. The CB500X was the lightest I could find at the time with what I wanted (twin, EFI, 6spd, dirt capable). It's still a witch to pick up, but it will do. I'll hang on to it for a little while and then see what's going on with the likes of the Africa Twin, Yamaha 700 Tenere, and KTM 690/790. With the Rally Raid, it's definitely a keeper. But it does close to double the cost of the bike, so not many people go that route. As long as I'm in the City/one vehicle/no garage/off-pavement, I need something that can get me out to the fun, have the fun, then get me home.


    Quote Originally Posted by grewen View Post
    so how much higher was the stock seat with the RR installed and can you give me a hint on cost with shipping
    I have not measured actual seat height, but it did add roughly 2 inches. OEM, I could flat foot it with plenty of bend in the knee. Now, flat foot, no knee bend, preferably with foot pegs pushed back and out of the way. I'm 6' and wear a 32x32 jean (roughly 30" inseam).

    Costs incurred for Level 2 and install:

    Level 2 Suspension Kit $1494
    Tractive Hydraulic Preload Adjuster $340
    Level 2 Tubeless Wheel Kit $1536
    ABS Disc Ring $29

    Sub-Total $3,399.15
    UPS Express $204.84
    Total $3603.99

    Had a shop install it for about $1100. This price also included new fork seals, fork oil, and labor for All Balls steering bearings that I provided ($30). Bike had 18k miles on it when I added the RR.

    Leave off the preload adjuster to save $340 (being able to adjust rear preload without effort or tools definitely worth the price of admission). 2015 ABS or earlier (or no ABS) no need for ABS ring. Tubed wheels are $1186.56 ($330 less than tubeless) but I wanted to be able to take advantage of plug-and-go.

    (edit: Tires. Mitas E-07 Dakar. $318. Installed for $60.)


    Quote Originally Posted by Fred View Post
    Good improvements Bananachunks.
    Am surprised more TW types don't ride many of the dirt roads down there like the Coast Ridge Road, Alder Creek, Cone Peak, Nacimiento-Furgeson Road, etc. Nice formal camping along the coast but also a lot of undeveloped primitive sites on the ridge lines above the fog belt or in nice redwood groves where the fog lingers in the side canyons. Occasional nice jade boulders (nephrite) washing down Alder Creek can be found as well as fairly fine placer gold, try panning some of the black sands above the tide line.
    It's a fantastic area, and it's close to home. If I'd known about it before (and known about my swingarm issues) I would have taken the TW down there often. Saw several bikes on the trails over the weekend. Most were enduro style bikes, with the occasional KLR, and one pair of GSs. I've done my Prewitt Ridge/Coast Ridge Trail/S Coast Ridge Trail/Los Burros/Will Creek Rd loop twice now. Still have quite a bit of exploring to do. I really need to make a two-nighter happen and check some other trails out. Having a full day to play would be much nicer than "Get to a place to setup camp, sleep, finish the rest on the way home the next day".

    I'm getting so excited for Moab. Even if I take it easy like 2016, the ride out and back, White Rim, and any other goodies I take part in is going to be an adventure. Now I just need to figure out where everything is gonna go on the bike! I think I have most of it figured out, but haven't yet added both 22l "extra" bags, gas, soft cooler, and Helinox table to the pack-up yet. We shall see!
    Mel, TW-Brian, joeband and 4 others like this.

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    Senior Member Darth's Avatar
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    Nice setup!
    "Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death."
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    and wad up my bike somethin' awful...
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    Senior Member Leisure Time Larry's Avatar
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    Nice, George! I've often said that the Honda 500s are good stablemates to the TW. To compare/contrast for those interested, I've got a 2015 CB500X fitted with a Rally Raid Level 1 kit and wheels. Level 1 keeps the OEM geometry and suspension travel and 17 inch wheels, but still replaces the front fork internals and replaces the stock rear shock with an adjustable Tractive Suspension shock (https://tractivesuspension.com). I, too, went with the tubeless treatment on the wheels by Bartubless (https://www.bartfactory.com/bartubeless-en/?lang=en) with a 4 year warranty, as it would be nice to be able to plug and go. My wheels are fitted with 50/50 Continental TKC 80 tires (https://www.continental-tires.com/mo...-enduro/tkc-80). For more info on the kits, go to the Rally Raid website for purchasing...Honda CB500X/F/R and/or the ADV Rider vendor page that talks all about options, etc. https://advrider.com/f/threads/rally...b500x.1012021/

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    Dryden-Tdub, Ken, grewen and 3 others like this.
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  9. #8
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Nice Honda Larry! If you could bring it Moab you and George could run the White Rim together.
    Leisure Time Larry likes this.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member bananachunks's Avatar
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    Gorgeous setup Larry! I was going to go with the same setup until the last Fred Easy ride . And thanks for links to all the info. I heart those TKCs!

  11. #10
    Senior Member sibyrnes's Avatar
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    How's that engine on the trails? Lots of low end torque? Stock gearing?

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