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Wait For The CB500X Or Buy The Versys 650?


If you’re in the market for a mid-displacement ADV, is Honda’s upcoming CB500X worth waiting for?

 [UPDATE: Honda has launched the CB500X, its first motorcycle of the 500cc series, at an eye-watering Rs 6.87 lakh (ex-showroom). Head here for all the launch details of the mid-displacement Honda ADV.]

 

Honda is on a roll at the moment. Since the middle of last year, it’s bombarded us with all-new products like the Hornet 2.0, H’ness CB350 and CB350RS. Adding to this list will be the CB500X adventure tourer, due to launch in April. So if you are in the market for a mid-displacement ADV, should you wait for the Honda, or just go for the current segment favourite, the Kawasaki Versys 650?

 

Honda CB500X

Kawasaki Versys 650

Power

47PS

66PS

Torque

43Nm

61Nm

Kerb Weight

197kg

218kg

Power-to-weight Ratio

238.6 PS/ton

302.8 PS/ton

The Versys 650 BS6 is priced at Rs 6.79 lakh, and we expect the CB500X to arrive around the Rs 6 lakh mark, so the Honda will be more affordable. But then that’s hardly a surprise, because it’s 178cc down on displacement, as a result of which it has a pretty big deficit of 19PS and 18Nm to the Kwakker. But then again, at 197kg, the Honda is also 21kg lighter than the Versys. Nevertheless, a quick look at the calculator reveals that the Kawasaki still has the higher power-to-weight ratio of the pair.

What it lacks in outright performance, the Honda makes up for in features, coming with LED lighting and fully-digital instrumentation, compared to the Kawasaki’s halogen illumination and semi-analogue gauges.

Neither of these bikes are hardcore off-roaders -- they’re more like soft-roaders. But the CB500X gets a 19-inch front wheel compared to the Versys’ 17-incher, so if you are going to venture off the beaten path, it should be the better option. The Kawi’s response is in the form of an upside-down front fork that’s adjustable for preload and rebound, compared to the Honda’s non-adjustable right-side-up unit. It also trumps the Honda in the braking department, with twin 300mm discs up front compared to the CB’s single 310mm stopper.

 

Honda CB500X

Kawasaki Versys 650

Suspension

Conventional telescopic fork

USD fork, adjustable preload and rebound damping

Brakes

F: 310mm disc
R: 240mm disc

F: Twin 300mm discs
R: 250mm disc

Tyres

F: 110/80-19
R: 160/60-17

F: 120/70-ZR17
R: 160/60-ZR17

Normally, a Honda’s refinement and build quality would be its trump cards in a comparison, but the Kawasaki is an extremely well built and refined motorcycle in its own right. If outright performance isn’t a high priority and you’d rather have a slightly more off-road focused and feature-rich motorcycle, then you should consider waiting for the Honda CB500X.

Honda CB500X Video Review

More on Honda CB500X

Honda CB500X

Honda CB500X

Rs. 6.87 Lakh Onwards
Ex-showroom, Delhi
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