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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is still a possibility that I'll decide on the CB500X over the CTX700. Neither model is at dealers yet. Both are set to arrive in July. I've already got a pretty good idea on the CTX, because I've sit and fitted on the CTX700N but not the actual model I'm interested in.

Pros of the CB500X. (1) It's got like a 4.5 gallon tank for range nearing 300 miles at an estimated 71 mpg. The CTX has 3.17; (2)It's only 430 lbs versus 594 for the CTX; (3) It's $1800 cheaper; (4) It's possible that it will be more comfortable to ride with an absolute, upright stance with feet underneath my knees; (5) I've read that the 700 requires valve clearance adjustment every 8000 miles. I don't know for sure if this is true. I read a review yesterday that stated the 500 requires a valve clearance check only every 16,000 miles. If it is true about the 700, that's enough to make me change my preference.

According to the specs., the CB500X (which looks alot like the NC700X but does not have the storage space), has a seat height about 1" lower than the NC700X.

The cons are pretty obvious compared to a 700 with a fairing and a very low center of gravity and low seat height, however, I don't think power/performance is an advantage for the 700. From what I've read from other riders, they're about equal in performance, but I may like the slightly better torque a little further down the RPM range with the 700 over the 500's ability to turn more RPM. It seems more my style.

As for mpg, I'm calling it a toss up. Honda says the CB500s get 5 more mpg, but based on reviews and reporting on fuelly.com, I think they'll be pretty equal in the real world.
 

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Also, have you looked at the new Yamaha FZ-09? 850cc triple and only 414 lbs wet. One heck of a bike for the price, IMO.
 

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I'm looking at my owner's manual for the CTX700N, and it shows the valve clearance inspection frequency as every 8k miles.
 

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If you want a valid comparison about valve maintenance you have to ask what it cost to get the service and can you do the service. I just picked up a red CTX today and rode it 50 miles home. I would rate the power of the CTX close to a stock Hawk GT but at lower rpm ranges. Now for valve service if nut and screw you could easily do that yourself. If shims, probably not. The shim service on my VFR I traded in was 7.5 to 8.0 hours from 2 different Honda shops. My Hawk GT was nut and screw so cost was only my time. A few hours at most. I was thinking of a used FZ8 Yamaha with only 5k on it and the service manager said 6.0 hours for valve service at 70.00 per hour plus parts.

so Honda 500, don't know but you should ask. for the 1800.00 difference over a 3-5 year loan is little cost for the added power.

Good luck with what ever you choose. Just do your homework.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
If you want a valid comparison about valve maintenance you have to ask what it cost to get the service and can you do the service. I just picked up a red CTX today and rode it 50 miles home. I would rate the power of the CTX close to a stock Hawk GT but at lower rpm ranges. Now for valve service if nut and screw you could easily do that yourself. If shims, probably not. The shim service on my VFR I traded in was 7.5 to 8.0 hours from 2 different Honda shops. My Hawk GT was nut and screw so cost was only my time. A few hours at most. I was thinking of a used FZ8 Yamaha with only 5k on it and the service manager said 6.0 hours for valve service at 70.00 per hour plus parts.

so Honda 500, don't know but you should ask. for the 1800.00 difference over a 3-5 year loan is little cost for the added power.

Good luck with what ever you choose. Just do your homework.
Thanks.

Actually the weight and power difference are not that big a deal to me, because the 700 has such a low center of gravity and either has plenty of power for what I need. A bigger deal for me regarding performance is how many RPM does each turn at, say, 65 mph. I found a review on the 500 that states what it turns @ 60 mph. I don't remember what the reviewer stated and can't find it now, but it was way up there. But I'm pretty MC stupid, so it may not be that high for an MC. I think it was over 5000. This factor is still not too big a deal though. I just wanted to identify all the factors and non factors that I was looking at. From what I can tell so far, performance is pretty much a non factor despite the difference in displacement.

As for as other brands go, I wouldn't even consider them. I've not seen a single motorcycle I would want until Honda came out with this 500 power train and the 700 power train. MPG is a big factor to me. It's like a prerequisite before I even start looking at a vehicle, and if it weren't for Honda producing all-road-ready MCs at such a good price and 10 mpg higher than everyone else, I'd still be a scooter guy.

Thanks for your thoughts about the maintenance. I'll really have to study this maintenance piece. I started learning about this after the fact on my first ride, and I really want to make sure I know what I'm in for this time. In some instances, I have to weigh how often I have to deal with the aggravation irregardless of whether or not I can do the work myself; what I think I can handle; how much it cost me for my own tools; whether or not I can find a shade tree guy; and other factors. With regards to my scooter, it's pretty rough on rear tires. The longest wear life the tire will go is only about 7500 miles in the best of circumstances. Scooter tires are considerably cheaper, and I found a guy that swaps them out and balances for only $40, so it really doesn't cost more in the long run for rubber versus an MC, but I just don't like the aggravation of it. I want to go more than a year between rubber changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What happens if an owner doesn't follow the recommended valve clearance check schedule? Is it a matter of causing further damage or just something that hurts performance?

My scooter schedule is 24.9K, which is great, but it's got shims. I guess that's why it has such long intervals, but I guess shims means more expertise and more precise tools. I never dreamed that 8K was on any bike's schedule. That seems crazy. I'll ride that far in nine or ten months.
 

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greg I'm not sure why your choice is between the cb500x and the ctx700.
If you fancy a taller adventure style bike surely you should be comparing the cb500x and the nc700x?
If it's the low seat height that attracts you, then compare the ctx700 to the base cb500f which is lower and cheaper.
The main reason to choose a ctx is the cruiser type seating /leg position, if that's not an attraction then you're better off with the cb500 or nc700 ranges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
greg I'm not sure why your choice is between the cb500x and the ctx700.
If you fancy a taller adventure style bike surely you should be comparing the cb500x and the nc700x?
If it's the low seat height that attracts you, then compare the ctx700 to the base cb500f which is lower and cheaper.
The main reason to choose a ctx is the cruiser type seating /leg position, if that's not an attraction then you're better off with the cb500 or nc700 ranges.
No you misunderstand my meaning. I really want the CTX700 with money as no object and maintenance hassles taken out of the equation. I did a sit and fit on the CTX700N and I prefer it to any of the adventure and naked bikes, and I feel like the fairing model @ $800 more is worth the extra bucks over the N.

An adventure bike is not my first choice styling wise, but if it's not too tall, it's not something that I hate either. But if I settle for an adventure bike, it would be one that is $1800 cheaper than the CTX700; not one that is only $300 cheaper. The Honda CB500X is the cheapest adventure bike one can buy new that I know of, and if it's not the cheapest, it's the only one that gets 71 mpg and cost only $6K. I don't like the CB500F, because I sat on one, and although I liked it very much overall, I was leaning forward slightly. I also liked the NC700X, but it was a tad taller than I liked and too much money considering that it's not my dream machine.
 

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Theoretically the CTX700 should be cheaper to insure because it's technically a cruiser, alas, as we've discussed in the Insurance thread, some insurance companies treat the CTX as if it were a sport bike, so YMMV.
 

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Open to Suggestions

After much research and visiting dealers and taking test rides I have made a tentative choice.
My next motorcycle will be the 2014 Honda CTX 700 DCT ABS or the CTX without the auto transmission and the ABS brakes. I have not ridden a CTX 700 with the auto transmission. None of the CTX with auto tranny and ABS brakes is available yet where I live.
I researched the Kawasaki Versys, Suzuki V Strom, Yamaha Bolt, HD Sportster, 2013 Honda NC700X, and a used 2010 Honda NT 700V which is no longer imported. I was not able to find a Moto Guzzi V7 Special.
In my old age I find that I like a motorcycle with more forward foot pegs. I am 6’4” and have an inseam of 35”. The motorcycles with foot pegs that are more to the rear don’t suit my creaky knees. The HD Sportster had a modification that moves the foot pegs forward but it was not comfortable for me.
My local dealer will receive a 2014 Honda CTX 700 with auto and ABS sometime in July. I could have reserved the bike for a non-refundable deposit of $500. I have decided to wait until I actually see the bike before making up my conflicted choice.
I was surprised that the CTX 700 does not have a center stand as an option. I was also surprised that the bike comes without any tools. I am revealing my age, but all of my previous motorcycles came with a small toolkit and a place to carry it. I was also not happy with all of the plastic on new model motorcycles. I was ready to write a check for the Honda CB 1100 which is very similar to most of my older bikes but again there was a problem with old knees.
The sales person at the Honda Dealership did not know the maintenance schedule for the CTX 700.
If I have missed checking any of the bikes that forum members think might be suitable for me I am still open for suggestions.
 

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I have owned a 2007 1200C Harley Sportster 1200 with forward controls and with 28 inch inseam, I find the CTX700N to be about the same reach and sitting position, The Harley is less maintenance but a heavier bike (at 65 years old and old knees this is a must) and not water cooled (it gets hot here, I like water cooled) and gas mileage is about 42mpg. I was considering the nt700V because it is somewhat Hawk based but too much plastic and weight. My Hawk GT was 400 pounds. Good luck with whatever you end up with.

You could ask dealer the maintenance schedule on the NC700X, they should be the same. Chain every 500, oil 8k, air filter 12k, plugs gap 16k (replace 32k), coolant 24k and so on.

I have a stand (see post under how to) that is less than 1/3 what a center stand costs and I use it for servicing. I have never needed one on the road.

Yes, tool kit is a joke. But metric tools are cheap at garage sales or Harbor Freight. Always best to make up the tools you wish to carry. There is room under the seat for a small bag.
IMG_2689.JPG
 

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Bill, is your pic the toolkit supplied with the bike? If so what is included?

I'm with you about a centrestand Bill. I had a cbf600 with centrestand, when I bought it I thought a centrestand was 'must have'. In practice I always used a paddock stand and the centrestand just got more and more rusty, being in the most vulnerable part of the bike. So it was a dead weight and source of corrosion, quite undesirable in fact!

Tom, you're just not going to find a modern bike without a load of plastic ... at least it doesn't rust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think one important thing to look at on the NC700X, which will also apply to the CTX700 series and something everyone who is considering one should know even though its been mentioned on other threads is the very frequent requirement to check and adjust (if necessary) valve clearance. I've been following a thread on that site about what it is all about.

The bad news: You should check the valve clearance every 8,000 miles, because it sometimes needs adjustment at those intervals. This means that the bike that some of us already own, and some are considering, requires valve clearance check and possible adjustment on every service interval.

More bad news: on the NC700X, it requires removing the radiator and valve cover to get to the valves.

The good news: It does not use shims so that simplifies the adjustment and someone on the NCX site took his time and completed the valve check, including one adjustment, in less than two hours. If you are one that does not do any wrenching, then this is both a negative and a positive. Since the valve clearance check is done every oil change, it will require more shop time than most bikes, but on the other hand, since this bike does not require the removal of many components and it doesn't use shims for adjustments, it would probably not require as much labor time as most bikes for the check.

What I don't know: I've never done a valve clearance check myself. I'm not adverse to wrenching myself, but I'm also not very mechanical by nature, and I have to build up a level of confidence before jumping in to something like that. I also don't yet know what tools are involved. I also don't know, considering that the CTX700 is more tightly put together due to the low seat height, if removal of more components will be necessary.
 

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I also don't know, considering that the CTX700 is more tightly put together due to the low seat height, if removal of more components will be necessary.
Yeah, that's a valid point. NC700X has a fuel tank in the back (under the seat), so it does not need to be removed for this job, but on many other bikes, including my Vulcan 500, the fuel tank needs to come off for a valve job. So it'd be interesting to find out what's involved on the CTX.
 

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Does anyone know when the CB500X will actually be available in the US? Honda USA wasn't able to give me a date, other than saying "this summer". However, seeing how their release dates have been slipping for their other bikes, I wouldn't be surprise if it was actually Fall (as a 2014 model).

This is an interesting bike, and I'm in no rush to upgrade from my current bike, so I'll wait around for it. While I like the CTX700's looks and engine, the far forward leg position is a bit of a negative for me, alas, I still want to test drive it once my dealer has it available.
 

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Yes, tool kit is a joke. But metric tools are cheap at garage sales or Harbor Freight. Always best to make up the tools you wish to carry. There is room under the seat for a small bag.
View attachment 210
I was dumbfounded when I opened up the toolkit, as well. What's even more strange, is if you go to the parts listing for the CTX700N toolkit, there's a lot more items listed.
2014 Honda CTX700N A TOOLS | Babbitts Honda Parts House

It's like they forgot to put everything in there...
 

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The pain in the butt part about the valve clearance check, is that the bike has to be stone cold, before doing it. That means that unlike with a simple oil change, you can't ride over to the dealership, wait an hour while they perform the maintenance, and ride back home. You have to drop it off the night before, and pick it up the next day, which involves either other people, or a trailer of some sort.
 
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