Honda NX500 Review - Worthy, But Pricey

  • May 12, 2024
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The Honda NX500 is a dual-sport motorcycle that replaces the Honda CB500X in India

The Honda NX500 is a capable motorcycle that bridges the gap between adventure touring and everyday commuting, making it an excellent all-rounder. It gets some additional features and is priced at Rs 5.90 lakh (ex-showroom). This makes it Rs 97,000 cheaper than the CB500X. We explore the capabilities of this machine to see if this Honda is now worth the asking price.

Design

When compared to the CB500X, the Honda NX500 gets a more rugged design, especially the front. The fairing is broader, larger and gets a new LED headlight as well. It also sports a new TFT screen with smartphone connectivity and updated switchgear. It continues to ride on a 19-inch and 17-inch alloy wheel configuration. As expected from Honda, the build quality is top-notch. The bike is offered in three colour schemes with new graphics: Pearl Horizon White, Grand Prix Red, and Mat Gunpowder Black Metallic.

Engine, Performance, and Mileage

The bike is powered by a 471cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin motor churning out 47.5PS at 8500rpm and 43Nm at 6500rpm. As you open the throttle, it has linear power delivery followed by a strong mid-range and a surge in power as it crosses the 6500rpm mark. It is also tractable and could do around 40kmph in fifth gear. This performance is suitable for cruising on the highway, hustling through the city or exploring off-road trails. There is always sufficient power on tap which makes overtaking an easy task. The light clutch action and slick gearbox add to the refined riding experience of the NX500. The bike has a large 17.5-litre fuel tank and a claimed fuel efficiency of 27.8kmpl. This should allow it to do over 450 kilometres on a full tank.

Handling and Ride Quality

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The NX500 is a 196kg (kerb) motorcycle but feels much lighter on the go. The suspension setup comprises a 41mm Showa Big Piston Fork and a monoshock. This setup makes it a really good handler with plush ride quality on and off the road as well. The potent motor, paired with its lightweight and flickable nature, makes it a fun bike to attack the twisties. In terms of off-road performance, it is a fairly capable machine that can blast through trails while feeling planted and inspiring confidence within the rider. The braking setup comprises twin 296mm disc brakes at the front and a 240mm disc at the rear. This is probably the best braking setup for a motorcycle in this segment. The bike comes to a halt with precision and the feedback from the lever is really good. With this setup, a rider can get on the brakes late and hard without having to worry about losing grip or stability. The only thing I wish the bike was equipped with was switchable ABS for more experienced riders to have some more fun off-road.

Comfort 

The ergonomics of the NX500 keep a rider upright with a neutral position for the footpegs and wide handlebars. The seat's padding is not the best, so the rider might need to take more stops on longer rides. In the city, the bike is easy to manoeuvre and, as mentioned, feels really light on the move. Even taking U-turns is an effortless task. The bike has a seat height of 830mm but because it’s so narrow in the middle, it was easily accessible with my 5-foot 7-inch frame. With a ground clearance of 180mm, the NX500 can take on everything in its path, making it a good bike for our unpredictable Indian road conditions. This review unit of the NX500 was equipped with the smoked windscreen that is part of the optional accessories. While it does increase the appeal of the motorcycle, I would have preferred a transparent unit as this one does get slightly distracting while riding at night.

Features 

The NX500 gets a new 5-inch TFT dash with more than ample information on display. This unit is well laid out and easy to read.  The switchgear makes navigating through the menus user-friendly and I like that there is a separate button to quickly switch Traction Control on or off even while riding. The TFT unit also gets smartphone connectivity and turn-by-turn navigation.

Verdict 

The Honda NX500 is an extremely usable motorcycle and shines as a jack-of-all-trades. But, it is priced at a whopping Rs 5.90 lakh (ex-showroom), which makes it inaccessible to most people. At this price point and considering it is a 500cc twin-cylinder motorcycle, it has no direct rivals. That said, you will get a few good 400-500cc adventure bikes in India at a much lower price point, such as the RE Himalayan 450 and the KTM 390 Adventure, these bikes with their single-cylinder motors simply won’t match the NX in terms of refinement. With its refined motor, plush ride quality and versatile nature, the NX500 proves to be a worthy companion for riders seeking adventure without compromising on day-to-day usability.

Honda NX500
Honda NX500
Rs. 5.90 Lakh
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