Honda CB500X claims hat-trick of Motorcycle News Best Sub-500cc award in 2021

13/10/2021

The Honda CB500X was named Motorcycle News’ Best Sub-500cc for the third year in a row, with the mini-adventurer continuing to earn plaudits for its all-round ability.

MCN provided plenty of evidence as to why the CB500X finished top of the pile in the category: “The Honda CB500X is a winner for the third year running and it’s easy to see why. Comfortable, affordable, and now tweaked for Euro5 compliance, the easy-going mid-sized adventurer has been a hit with both novice and experienced riders since its inception in 2013.”

CB500X

“Producing around 47bhp out of the crate, the beaky CB is A2-licence friendly without restriction, yet provides more than enough performance for everyday errands, weekend work and even the occasional dusty off-road trail – surging forwards like a bike with 20 ponies more.”

“Although only receiving subtle tweaks for 2021, the practical Honda got a decent overhaul for 2019 – boasting an easy-to-read colour LCD display, more midrange pull from the burbling parallel-twin engine, a better turning circle, plus longer travel suspension and a 19in front wheel to allow it to venture off of the beaten track. The bike has ruled the roost since.”

“That’s not to say it doesn’t perform on tarmac as well though and ridden alongside its upright CB500F and sporty CBR500R stablemates, the X is actually more engaging – with impressive amounts of grip from its semi-knobbly Dunlop tyres and room for taller pilots. A light clutch, anti-stall features and an ample slice of usable torque also make things easier for newer riders – with a thinner tank making it less hassle to move around and feel in control.”

“Decent wind protection and a comfortable seat also mean less fatigue over distance, with some owners known to head on multi-day tours in the UK and beyond (who needs a GS anyway?!).”

“Not only great to ride, the CB500X is put together with typical Honda quality. What’s more, as well as being kinder to the planet, the 2021 machine comes available in a fresh choice of colours all with a red subframe – a nod to the larger-capacity Africa Twin range at a fraction of the price.”

This latest accolade coincides with the arrival of the new 2022 500cc trio with the CB500X receiving major performance-focussed improvements led by Showa 41mm Separate Function Fork Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks, dual disc front brakes and axial-mount calipers. Handling is further improved by a new swingarm, which is lighter with more lateral flex. The rear shock has new settings to complement the new forks. A redesigned front wheel and lighter radiator save weight and new fuel injection settings improve engine character. More powerful headlight LEDs and front indicator position lights offer greater visibility plus a new Pearl Organic Green colour scheme alongside the Grand Prix Red, Matt Gunpowder Black Metallic completes the updates.

Neil Fletcher, Head of Motorcycles at Honda UK said, “Motorcycle News is a leading authority on motorcycles, so accolades don’t come much better than an MCN Award. We are delighted the highly successful CB500X has once again retained its title as the bike represents a perfect all-arounder for both new and existing riders. Plus, with the latest updates just announced for the 2022 model, we really hoping that the CB500X will be able to win this award for a fourth consecutive year!”