The Honda CB500X has been a mainstay in Honda’s model lineup for several years now. Indeed, it’s proven to be one of the most versatile entry-level adventure bikes thanks to its accessibility and friendly performance, while at the same time appealing to the tastes for more seasoned riders looking for a laid-back, go-anywhere machine.
With that being said, Honda has announced the return of the CB500X for the 2024 model year, only it won’t be called the CB500X anymore. For whatever reason, Honda has decided to rename its entry-level ADV to NX500, a name which pays homage to the brand’s NX650 Dominator from the late 1980s.
To accompany the name change, Honda has given the NX500 a few styling revisions, most notable of which are a new headlight and taillight. The bke also comes in new color options consisting of Grand Prix Red, Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic, and Pearl Horizon White. Nevertheless, if you see the new NX500’s styling, even from afar, there wouldn’t be any question about it: this is the successor of the Honda CB500X.
Beneath the surface, the NX500 is still very much a part of the Honda CB500 family. It’s powered by the same 471cc, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, parallel-twin engine delivering 47 horsepower and 43 Nm (30.1 pound-feet) of torque. Power is sent to the rear wheel via a six-speed manual transmission equipped with a slipper clutch for a very forgiving ride. Like the CB500X before it, suspension duties are handled by Showa Separate-Function Big Piston forks, as well as a preload-adjustable rear monoshock. Braking hardware comes in the form of twin disc brakes up front and a single disc at the back, dual-channel ABS as standard.
On the technology front, we find a large, five-inch, full-color TFT display with smartphone connectivity via Honda’s Roadsync app. It also allows the rider to toggle the Honda Selectable Traction Control (HSTC), allowing riders to switch it off for off-road and technical riding scenarios. Last but not least, the new Honda NX500 is also three kilograms lighter than the CB500X, tipping the scales at 196 kilograms (432 pounds).