Honda was ahead of the game when it came out with the CB500 trifecta (F, R, and X). They’re each light, fun, have adequate power, and compelling price tags. But the 500X, despite being billed as a quasi-ADV, doesn’t have the necessary kit for serious off-roading. Rally Raid Products is out to rectify that.

Rally Raid has made a name for itself primarily for a series of mods that transform the KTM 690 Enduro from a barely legal dirt bike into something resembling a proper ADV. Now they’ve turned their attention to the CB500X with its new Adventure Kit.

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It couldn’t have started with a more perfect platform, with a 250-mile range, solid ergonomics, and a fuel-injected, liquid-cooled 471cc parallel-twin putting out 47 HP and 32 lb-ft of torque. It’s also great for shorter and lighter riders, and is a better every day machine than a trail-oriented thumper or massive ADV. But where it falls short is primarily in the wheels, suspension, and protection department, and that’s what Rally Raid targeted.

First, they ditched the stock wheels for a 19-inch front and 17-inch rear, each with beefed up stainless steel spokes and both an aluminum hub and rim.

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The front forks were gutted to make room for longer Tractive springs (with a choice of soft, standard, or hard rates), 30mm damper rods, and capped off with a 20mm, stepped billet aluminum top clamp with a Scotts steering damper and optional high-rise bars. The rear suspension was swapped in favor of an adjustable, long-travel adventure shock and a new billet aluminum linkage that fortifies the back, but doesn’t mess with the stock geometry.

All in, it raises the bike by about 2 inches at both ends, adding up to just under 7 inches of travel.

A range of accessories are also available, including a longer side stand, a new front fender, soft luggage, tail-pack, and pillion racks, as well as wider, heavy-duty foot rests and an engine guard with an integrated skid plate.

While all of this has been developed specifically for the 500X, because the bike series is modular, a lot of the bits will bolt up to the other models in the 500 range. Just the suspension upgrades will set you back around $1,200, with the full kit for the 500X coming in at just over $3,000. Pre-orders are going through Rally Raid’s U.S. distributors at Giant Loop Moto, and all the parts are direct bolt-ons for DIYers.


Contact the author at damon@jalopnik.com.
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