HONDA CB500X adventure bike becomes NX500 for 2024


NX500 The letters NX have a long history with Honda, thanks to the 1988-'89 NX650 adventure bike. NX means "New X-over," which is a perfect description for the NX500 (previously called the CB500X). Fun on a winding road or a gravel trail, and ready to go the distance, the machine's all-around credentials are reinforced with an impressive update to its adventure styling. The wheels are lighter, and the suspension settings have been upgraded to improve ride quality. The slipper-clutch-equipped twin-cylinder engine also benefits from the addition of Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC). * Color: Matte Black Metallic * MSRP: $7,399


Originally launched in 2013, the CB500X brought crossover adventure style to Honda's fun-focused twin-cylinder "light middleweight" engine platform. The model's usefulness was down to a straightforward equation—a perky, well-regarded twin-cylinder engine that produced real torque and drive from low rpm, and revved hard up top, plus a chassis that gave a comfortable ride around town and on the open highway, all wrapped up in distinctive adventure styling.

Driven by customer feedback, the CB500X has become more adventurous over time. A 2016 upgrade included a larger fuel tank and more wind protection via an adjustable screen. The bike also gained LED lighting, a spring preload-adjustable fork and an adjustable brake lever. Another evolution happened in 2019, with a switch to a 19-inch front wheel (from 17 inches) injecting even more "True Adventure" performance, and the CB500X has delivered competence and adaptability for a wide variety of owners, effortlessly slipping between the roles of short-hop commuter and weekend tourer. Long-travel suspension ironed out irregular road surfaces, a wide handlebar provided leverage and the upright riding position delivered comfort and a wide field of view. In other words, the CB500X has been an all-rounder in every sense of the term. Having proved its popularity, the CB500X received additional improvements for the 2022 model year, including a high-quality 41mm SFF-BP USD fork, dual front disc brakes, a lightweight swingarm and a redesigned front wheel.

For the 2024 model year, Honda's equation for this bike is improving, but not changing in its essence. The name is new, however. The NX500 is carving out its own identity, with aggressively redesigned styling, premium technology and a variety of detail upgrades that are sure to continue its journey into the hearts and minds of American riders.

NEW FOR 2024

  • Overall weight is reduced by 7 pounds, from 439 to 432.
  • An ECU update improves acceleration feel.
  • Honda Selectable Torque Control is now standard.
  • New wheels save 3.3 pounds of unsprung weight.
  • New suspension settings for the single shock and 41mm Showa SFF-BP inverted fork.
  • Brand-new LED headlight brings improved nighttime visibility.
  • New 5-inch TFT screen operated by a simplified and backlit four-way toggle switch.


Directed by the design theme of "Daily Crossover," the NX500 looks the part wherever it goes—city block, winding road, highway or gravel trail—with new styling that mixes compact, adventure-ready usability with an imposing silhouette and solidity of form. A new LED headlight design maintains beam penetration but throws out wider light distribution for increased visibility at night. It's matched to a new LED taillight, and all other lighting is also LED.

Premium technology—in the form of a brand-new, 5-inch full-color TFT screen inherited from the XL750 Transalp—uses optical bonding to improve visibility in bright sunlight, a first for a Honda motorcycle. By sealing the gap between the cover glass and TFT screen with resin, glare is reduced, and backlight transmittance improved. It's customizable between Bar, Circle and Simple display patterns.

A slim seat profile allows for free movement around the machine and aids easy ground reach and, to help maneuverability, the steering angle is 38° from centered to full lock. A gunmetal gray tapered steel handlebar elevate control further still. Seat height is 32.8 inches and the upright riding position is very accommodating, while providing excellent visibility. Overall dimensions are 85.2 inches long x 32.7 inches wide x 56.8 inches tall, with 7.1 inches of ground clearance. The fuel tank holds 4.7 gallons including reserve.


Light, strong and unchanged for model-year 2024, the NX500's 35mm diameter steel diamond-tube mainframe has a tuned degree of yield that gives plenty of feedback to the rider as road surfaces change. The shape and position of the engine mounts, plus the frame's rigidity balance, keep vibration to a minimum. Wheelbase is 56.8 inches with rake and trail of 27°/108mm and front/rear bias percentage of 48.7/51.3. Kerb weight is 432 pounds – 7 pounds lighter than the CB500X.

With the aim to maximize all-around handling performance, this model uses a Showa 41mm inverted Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) fork with 5.2 inches of travel. By dividing the functions—Big Piston pressure separation damper in one leg, spring mechanism in the other—reaction and ride quality are optimized.

The single-tube shock absorber, with 5.3 inches of axle travel and five-stage preload adjustment, has new settings to match the front, and its large-diameter piston ensures excellent temperature management. 

Constructed from 2mm steel, the swingarm employs a hollow cross member that is stiff rotationally and flexible laterally to optimize handling.

Dual front 296mm petal-style rotors and axial-mounted Nissin two-piston calipers are standard. The required lever pressure when braking is minimized, but the small disc size keeps weight to a minimum. The single rear brake has a 240mm rotor.

The cast-aluminum wheels are completely new. Going from a conventional Y-shaped 7-spoke design to Y-shaped 5-spokes saves 28.2 ounces front and 24.7 ounces rear. This reduction of unsprung weight works with the revised suspension settings to improve handling and feel in all situations. The 19-inch front is matched to a 17-inch rear; trail-pattern tires are sized 110/80-R19 and 160/60-R17.


The CB500X's 471cc, eight-valve, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin-cylinder layout offers a well-proportioned balance of physical size and willing, enjoyable power output, with an energetic, high-revving character and zippy top end. The engine's overall performance and character belie its relatively small capacity. Acceleration is impressive, due to good low-to-midrange power and torque in the 3,000 to 7,000 rpm range.

New for 2024, HSTC manages rear-wheel traction for increased peace of mind. The system compares front and rear wheel speeds to detect rear slip and, when needed, it controls the fuel injection to smoothly reduce torque. HSTC can also be turned off completely if the rider wishes.

Feeding the PGM-FI fuel injection is a relatively straight shot of airflow through the airbox and throttle bodies, and the settings optimize torque feel and character without compromising performance. The exhaust muffler features dual exit pipes, giving a sporting edge to each pulse, as well as a rasping high-rpm howl.

Bore and stroke are set at 67mm x 66.8mm, with a compression ratio of 10.7:1; the crankshaft pins are phased at 180°, and a primary couple-balancer sits behind the cylinders, close to the bike's center of gravity. The primary and balancer gears use scissor gears, minimizing noise. The crank counterweight is specifically shaped for couple-balance, and its light weight allows the engine to spin freely, with reduced inertia.

Acting as a stressed member, the engine complements the frame's rigidity with four hangers on the cylinder head. Internally, the head uses roller rocker arms; shim-type valve adjustment allows them to be light, for lower valve-spring load and reduced friction.

A silent (SV Chain) cam chain has the surface of its pins treated with Vanadium, reducing friction with increased protection against wear. Inlet-valve diameter is 26.0mm, while exhaust-valve diameter is 21.5mm.

The piston shape is carefully designed to reduce noise at high rpm. Friction is reduced by striations on the piston skirt (a finish that increases surface area and introduces gaps in which oil can flow for better lubrication). The "triangle" proportion of crankshaft, main shaft and countershaft is efficiently compact. The crankcases use centrifugally cast thin-walled sleeves; their internal design reduces the pumping losses that can occur with a 180° phased firing order. A deep sump reduces oil movement under hard cornering and braking; oil capacity is 3.2 liters. The slick-shifting six-speed transmission is managed by an assist/slipper clutch to reduce rear-wheel hop under hard braking and downshifting.

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