After a hiatus of almost five years……I’m back, back to the world of adventure motorcycles, and very excited about it.
Last year I started getting the itch for another bike. All my riding gear and helmets in the closet were calling out to me, time for some more two wheeled adventures.
So after Christmas I started to look for some new wheels. I loved my old Vstrom 1000, and regret selling the thing, it was stupid on my part. The Guzzi was great, but not for what I was using it for.
There is a plethora of ADV bikes out there now, most are huge, 1000cc and up seems to be the norm these days. I know I didn’t want one of those. I fell in love with the Honda 300 Rally, but after some deep thought, as deep as I can get in my thoughts, I knew this was not the bike. I had a hard look at where I wanted to ride and how I wanted to ride.
The majority of my riding would be back roads, highway and gravel roads. As much as pictured myself trail riding, I knew that was not going to happen too often. Reliability, ease of maintenance are important, more important than character. Character and reliability seldom go hand and hand.
The bike for me was going to be comfortable, not too big, good to commute on, good to take on multi day trips to far away places, be good on gas, and not cost me a fortune to buy. If you are thinking it sounds like a Honda, then you’d be right. Always been a fan of Big Red.
About six or eight years ago I sat on a CB500X at a dealership in the States. I was on a work trip killing time, and we had hit the local bike shop. It was the first 500X I had seen. I threw a leg over it, and my initial impression was “wow, this seems really comfortable for a small bike” That was it though, never really thought much about it after that.
After ruling out the 300 Rally, I kept poking around the Honda website, under the Adventure bike tab, I noticed the 500X. “Hmmm, kinda like a mini Africa Twin, at half the price” Further research was required.
So, over the next week I scoured the internet for every print and video review of the bike, and for the most part the bike gets glowing reviews, especially the revised 2022 model. It’s a very underrated motorcycle that a lot of riders ignore, and pass over because of it’s displacement.
I won’t bore you with all the details of what’s changed on the bike for this year, there could be a future owners review to come shortly.
I was like “shit man, this bike ticks all the boxes” I trudged down to my local dealer. I’m not a fan of them, I’ve seen happier people in a morgue or funeral home. But for the sake of looking it did the job. They happened to have a leftover 2021, and a new ‘22 model on the showroom floor. Loved the new ‘22 model. It did look like a mini Africa Twin. Some people actually call it the Halfrica Twin. Threw a leg over it, and right away felt at home. Very much like my old Vstrom in a smaller friendlier package.
I briefly talked to a salesman who seemed to know less about the bike than I did, and really showed almost no interest in selling something, even after I told him I was planning on buying within the next month. I figured I’d at least give them a chance before going else where. In the words of Youtuber Ozzyman, “ya, nah”
I quickly fired off an email to my prefered and Zac Kurylyk approved Honda/KTM dealer inquiring about availability of a 500X, and within an hour they responded with, yup, we have 3, two are on hold and there is a red one available. I wrote back, slide my $200 deposit on the Monkey Bike over to the 500X. Ya, a Monkey Bike, that’s another story for later.
So with spring in the air and the snow almost all gone I’m hoping to go pick this up soon. Planning a trip up to the dealer to have another look and get the buying process started.
Plans for this year…local rides, and the Fundy Adventure Rally reunion in September. That should be fun. If time allows I’d like to do a 2-3 day trip around the province later this fall
Next time will be my initial impressions of the bike, and what accessories I’m leaning towards.