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ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

  1. #1

    ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid


    I've officially abandoned my delusions of second-hand Ducati's and buying a more hard-edged street bike, and only wanting to be a 1-bike-guy, have really started looking into building a bike. I want to combine everything I love from all my previous bikes into 1 bike that can do it all, and hit some single-track without being a lumbering pig, but also hit 80 on the freeway with no issue.

    I started looking at old BMW's, KTM's, KLR's, XR650L's, and nothing really gave me any desire to dig into a project. So I looked at taking a normal bike, and ADV'ing it... Something smaller than 800cc's, parts everywhere, light, but then... do I really want to have a full-on custom bike to commute and bash around off road once in a while?? No...

    Then I stumbled on what looks like the best idea Honda never built... (discounting the TransAlp of course)...




    WTF IS IT!?!?!?

    So, Honda came out with the 500 series of bikes back in 2013... the CBR500R, CB500F, and CB500X... of which, none really made my tinkle wiggle. But then Rally Raid (British Company) came out with a kit for the CB500X that upgrades the rear suspension, and front forks to give you a genuine 7.2" of ground clearance and more "plush" feedback for off-road... a 19" and 17" spoke wheel set... crash bars... sump guard... top clamp... levers, etc... etc...

    You can basically pick a package from $1000 for a basic suspension and protection pack, to a full on "LVL 3" which is everything turned up to 11 for $3200 there-abouts.

    The kits are currently on back-order until next year, sourced through North American company "Giant Loop".

    I contacted them and they said they were having trouble sourcing 19" rims, and also dealing with a couple of re-design issues on the sump guard to support a center stand.

    They should be ready to ship again come January.

    I thought this was a really cool way to liven up an otherwise boring bike.

    I, personally, would probably stick to a "LVL 2" type conversion, and keep the stock alloys. Just to keep the price tag down a bit... but in all honesty, a used CB500X will run you $3500-$5000, and the kit is $3200... so $6700-8200 when all is said and done might be worth it.

    This is the stage 2. I would probably go with a less aggressive tire.



    Probably would keep the price to $4200-$5000 on a used donor.


    Seems like a pretty good base for a do-it-all bike, no?

    Here's a video side-by-side, and his videos do a great job of walking through the install on all the Rally Raid parts.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4fZoqMqb0c

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  2. #2
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    For 4200-5000 you can certainly pick up a well equipped and cared for 950.
    At the end of the day, if having something tame and more unique is your thing, this would certainly fit the bill.

    I'll be frank, the stage 2 pictures looks like a bunch of fancy bolt ons tied to a machine, with no real increase in usability. The first pics, with the tall boingers look like what they should've built in the first place. Instead of just another ujm in adv clothing.

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  3. #3

    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    That's the thing. I would like to stay under 700cc. This seems to be the best way to get that small displacement but keep reliability and be more ADV than converted dirtbikes.

    Having wrestled a KLR650 and a Tiger 955i off road, keeping it light and nimble is the goal.

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  4. #4
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    Also, after a little more research, 7.5" of travel isn't enough for single tracking. Couple guys here were with me on a "adv" ride recently and I bottomed the fuck out of my 990 with the same length travel (now).
    This winter that'll be getting fixed, but believe me, 7.5" of proclaimed "plush" suspension is not enough.

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  5. #5
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    There's no way that thing is lighter than a klr.

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  6. #6

    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    Well, you've opened my eyes a bit. KLR650 is 460 wet, CB500X with conversion is probably 450... so splitting hairs really.

    The only thing that is a real stick-in-the-mud (so to speak) on the KLR and XL's alike, are that they only have a 5 speed trans. I went 80 on a KLR650 and that motor humming away at 4500rpm is really obnoxious.

    I'm also not talking about barreling down a single track in 3rd gear whooping every jump and root that pops up. I'm not going to hare-scramble the thing, but I intend to get it muddy and make it work.

    The total goal here is:
    50-60% Freeway
    15-20% dirt or fire road
    10-15% off road
    10-15% woods, single track, sand pit, mud exploring, rock trail

    But that 50-60% freeway I can't be wringing the things neck, to hit 80.

    The only other bikes I thought about to even come close out-of-the-box would be a Tiger 800XC, KTM 690 Enduro, BMW F800GS, or finding an old TransAlp and crying over having no spare parts... and I really don't want another European bike... not bashing them, I just prefer Japanese.

    So...

    Maybe doing the same kind of conversion to a Versys would work... I just want to stay small, p-twin, and Japanese.

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  7. #7
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    You could gear the klr up to be better on the road, and only lose a little in the real tight stuff...more clutch work.
    And still hook up the suspension and be into it for what you'd pay for the base cbx.
    I like the hooked up cbx, with the extra travel, but it's not enough.

    You left out the te610. That has a 6spd, is a true 50-50 bike, and can likely be had in your budget used.

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  8. #8

    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    Yeah, but it's a Husky... lol.

    My friend has a te250... and I have wanted to steal it from him on occasion. My only worry, again, is that it's Euro and parts are $$$.

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  9. #9
    Get Weird! maxim_X's Avatar
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    What does a used 690 KTM go for these days?

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    7-10k, depending.

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  11. #11

    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    $7-9000 depending on mileage and condition.

    I am literally horrified of owning a KTM though... aren't they the most problem festered, maintenance hungry, wallet devouring bikes on the planet?

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    Last edited by AimlessMoto; 08-06-15 at 08:32 PM.
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  12. #12
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    Lololol. Yes they are.
    You buy one, and then all of a sudden you're buying 4-5 more. That's the problem with koolaid.

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  13. #13
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    Don't know about you but I could not handle a KLR650 or V-Strom on "real" off road. Juat too heavy.

    WR250R seems to be the state bike of Colorado. Guys are hitting 90mph on the highway with stock gearing. The electrical system can accommodate heated grips.

    "Simplify, and add lightness."
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    WR250R mega thread. Yamaha WR250R Mega Thread | Adventure Rider

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    Last edited by Garandman; 08-07-15 at 06:19 AM.
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    Lifer markbvt's Avatar
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    I was going to suggest an ADV conversion of an SV650 (there have been some awesome ones built), but you specified p-twin. So how about a conversion of a Versys/Ninja 650 instead?





    Here's the very detailed build thread:
    V649HP-Kawasaki's new gravel runner | Adventure Rider

    --mark

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Don't know about you but I could not handle a KLR650 or V-Strom on "real" off road. Juat too heavy.

    WR250R seems to be the state bike of Colorado. Guys are hitting 90mph on the highway with stock gearing. The electrical system can accommodate heated grips.

    "Simplify, and add lightness."
    Colin Chapman

    WR250R mega thread. Yamaha WR250R Mega Thread | Adventure Rider

    This is the standard response to the entire Advrider forum. They'll tell you to buy either a dr650 or a wr250r.
    There is no one bike to rule them all, or we'd all be riding it. Pick your compromise and go from there.
    I feel like there's lots of guys that have little to no "real off-road" experience saying buy this or that, that don't even ride their this's or that's off-road either.
    Not to say you've gotta be a hare scramble class champion to speak on the subject, but there are too many keyboard jockeys on some of these forums.

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  16. #16

    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    Well that was directly indirect. I've ridden 50/50 my entire life. I've never gone full motocross through the woods, and never will. I enjoy more technical riding at an average pace than I do holding on for dear life fighting whisky throttle over every whoop.

    That's why I'd like to start with a capable street bike and make it dirt worthy, rather than try to take a dirt bike and make it road worthy. I need to keep my front wheel down on the road, but clear a rock and some mud off of it.

    Purpose built dirt bikes have shit for seats, and a 250 won't get out of its own way on 495.

    The Versys idea was a thought too, only because the bike is cheaper than the cbx.... although there is no full kit, parts need to be sourced and cobbled together.

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  17. #17
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    I've ridden my wr250x on 495 plenty and it's fine. Sure, you can't shoot up to 100 to pass, but it's doable.
    Provided you don't mind being vibrated like a paint shaker, my 690 will shoot up to 100 to pass.
    The stock seats are garbage.
    I have a Seat Concepts seat on my 690 and I've put a couple 8+ hour days in on it and my ass was fine.

    But I'm one of the aforementioned keyboard jockets. I've probably got 4 hours offroad on both bikes combined.

    I have some hope that batteries will some day not suck and electric enduro and dual sport bikes will be a thing. I really love how light and agile thumpers feel, but I'd love something quiet, near-zero maintenance, and relatively vibration free.

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    go faster cdovego's Avatar
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    Dude, borrow my drz400sm for a bit. It's cheap, nimbleish, cheap and with a seat upgrade will do most everything you're looking for. Drop it in the woods, who cares? Come home, don't want to put the kickstand down - over she goes, who cares? Wheelies, stoppies, slides, dual sports, invisible to police, 193 miles to the gallon and it's not that hard on the eyes. At least ride it before you go on some wild build a bike adventure.

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  19. #19
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    Quote Originally Posted by Chippertheripper View Post
    This is the standard response to the entire Advrider forum. They'll tell you to buy either a dr650 or a wr250r.
    What about the BMW, Homda, KLM, and Triumph devotees? Not the point anyway, the point was that thread has the answer to every conceivable question, 10 times.

    Advrider aside, The WR can cruise at highway speeds and I think you'll agree that 300 lbs is a lot better to wrastle than 400 or 500. I started looking based on TheOtherSean's recommendation and had a lot of fun.

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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    I say buy a DR650 for $3000, put some 75/25 on/off tires on it, ride the snot outta that for a season, and see if that tickles your fancy. If not, sell it for $3000 and move in the direction of more street worthy, or more dirt worthy.
    My 350 will do 70-75 with stock gearing pretty easily.

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    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    What about the BMW, Homda, KLM, and Triumph devotees? Not the point anyway, the point was that thread has the answer to every conceivable question, 10 times.

    Advrider aside, The WR can cruise at highway speeds and I think you'll agree that 300 lbs is a lot better to wrastle than 400 or 500. I started looking based on TheOtherSean's recommendation and had a lot of fun.
    There are none of those guys. Only people that care about the dr650 and the wr. With an occasional klr weirdo thrown in.
    I like my ktms, for sure, but I only push the woods bikes as being the best things ever, mostly because you can plate them.
    That doesn't help the op though.
    Maybe I don't get it . I thought I had a handle on this 50-50 thing, but who knows.

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  22. #22
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    Those first couple shots are hot. Google says 43 HP. I'm not sure that's enough to light my fire.

    I share the fear of European bikes. More expensive to buy. More expensive to own. That's my read anyway.
    Unfortunately the Japanese just aren't making it happen these days. Chip is right.. Honda should have made the bike in those photos. They'd sell like hotcakes!

    I've seen 90-something indicated on my DRZ. It's +1 or 2 T on the rear sprocket for off road use and shod with knobbies. It sucked, a lot.
    I love me some DRZ. Been telling people it may be the one bike I would throw out of my flock last.
    The problem is it blows for touring. The seat sucks. Even with the fancy kit I put on it my ass aches in 40-50 minutes. At speed its a death trap. Fun, but a death trap. And god damn does it shake! Thumpers.. man, I tell you.

    Problem with the KTM 690, DRZ, DR650, WR250 and all the ilk is they are shit ass thumpers. Multi-cylinder is the way to go if you want to cover miles and not hate life when you get there. Unless you can keep it to 40-50 MPH road the whole time. Tough to do here in the US.

    Someone needs to make a ~800cc twin. Wrap it in an aluminum chassis. Get the package to weigh in at like 400-450 lbs, and give it some decent boingers and stopper thingies.

    I'm still holding out hope for the CRF1000.

    PS: I went offroading with my DL650 on my way home from work today. Now that I have some dirt experience under my belt I found handling that piggie in the slop way easier. With tires I think it would have had a fighting chance on that DS ride we did Chip. Unfortunately it lacks ground clearance. I smacked the shit out of the exhaust. With a plate the exhaust at least wouldn't get its world rocked. Although I'm not sure sliding across everything in sight on a steel plate is what we call traction these days.

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  23. #23
    Lifer Chippertheripper's Avatar
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    I'm sure it would've been fine. You just have to be careful and pick your lines.
    I think boob said he brought someone on a Vee on that loop.

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  24. #24
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    The stair steps would have been bad. Skid plate required. And I'm sure I would have been turtling my way through a lot of that. No contest compared to a real dual-sport.
    On bald street tires it is a nightmare in the slop. But we knew that. Tire choice solves that, regardless of platform.
    It's a rock star on dirt roads. Even better on paved.
    For those that don't know, this is a used DL650 ABS + ~$1500 worth of suspension goodness. I can't imagine a "modified" SV being any better.

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  25. #25
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

    Well I think you should buy one and build it. Clearly you like it a lot, clearly its a fairly unknown platform. Fuck it, go for it. It's only money. You might end up with something awesome and brag worthy.


    FWIW, I like the look of the package. I have absolutely nothing to contribute to analyzing its functionality, but it looks pretty cool. Might as well find out.ADV Bug: CB500X Rally Raid

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    Last edited by loudbeard; 08-08-15 at 07:39 AM.
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