Should You Take the Honda CB500X Off-Road?

The Honda CB500X is a brilliant all-around motorcycle, smooth on the road and even great off-road! Click here to learn more.
Written by Cameron Thiessen
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Since production began in 2016, the Honda CB500X has slotted in as the entry-level model of Honda’s “adventure” bikes—affordable touring motorcycles built to deliver versatility and capability even when driven off-road. 
With 5.5 inches of ground clearance and an engine that offers oodles of low-end torque, the Honda CB500X impresses as a fantastic all-around adventure bike, able to take you down pretty much any road.
If you’re curious about the CB500X’s off-road capabilities, come along with
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Can the CB500X go off-road?

Yes, the 2022 Honda CB500X can handle plenty of tough terrain. To be sure, you should buy a dirt bike if you want a dirt bike, but the CB500X is a good option if you need a good all-around touring bike that can handle the tougher roads demanded of long road trips.
It helps that Honda intentionally makes their 500cc motorcycles easy to ride—the clutch and brakes don’t demand much force.
Let’s take a look at exactly what makes the Honda CB500X so surprisingly good at off-road riding.
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Ground clearance

Many dirt bikes will specifically be built to support a higher ground clearance, but for a smaller adventure bike like the Honda CB500X, you’ll find that the 5.7 inches of ground clearance offers a lot of capability on dirt trails. It can even take some jumps!
Higher ground clearance allows you to clear larger obstacles jutting from the ground without hitting the bike’s chassis, but the ideal ground clearance for a bike depends greatly on the size of the bike. The CB500X’s ground clearance is considered higher than usual for 500cc adventure bikes.


The Honda CB500X’s engine generates 31.7 pound-feet of torque, plenty of force to propel a bike of its size over obstacles and difficult terrain.


The CB500X is equipped with a 160/60-17 tire on the rear axle and a 110/80-19 on the front. These may not be heavy-duty all-terrain tires, but they’ll offer plenty of versatility, which is pretty much the name of this entry-level bike’s game.


The engine available for the Honda CB500X is a 46.9-horsepower 471cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin with a 10.7:1 compression ratio and a six-speed manual transmission.

Curb Weight

Another thing about the Honda CB500X that aids in its off-roading ability? The fact that it has quite a light curb weight, weighing in at only 439 lbs.

Off-road rating: Rough and Ready

So now we’ve thoroughly assessed a few of the most notable attributes of the CB500X adventure bike in terms of its ability to rip around a track built for dirt bikes or deal with poorly maintained dirt roads. All that’s left to do is give it a letter from
industry-defining DIRT grading system.
Don’t Try It
Vehicles better suited to highway conditions
In a Pinch
Vehicles that can handle off-road conditions in certain circumstances
Rough and Ready
Vehicles designed for casual off-roading
Trail Boss
True off-road vehicles capable of tackling a range of terrain
The 2022 Honda CB500X gets an above-average R rating. It’s definitely no dirtbike, but for a road-legal motorcycle that wants to do everything, it is absolutely rough enough and ready enough for dealing with difficult terrain.
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The best off-road alternatives to the Honda CB500X

If you’re interested in looking at other options, here are some top competitors that you can consider for on-and-off-roading purposes instead of the CB500X.
Best affordable alternative
Benelli TRK 502
One of the best affordable twin-cylinder adventure tourers out there.
Best eco-friendly alternative
KTM 390 Adventure
More efficient single-cylinder engine.
Best alternative for serious off-roading
Kawasaki Versys 650
The CB500X’s top competitor.
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How to find affordable car insurance for off-road vehicles

Whether you drive an adventure bike or a 4x4 ute SUV, it’s important to make sure you know how much work your car insurance policy is doing for you—especially if you plan on looking for all those roads less-traveled.
Luckily for you, you don’t even have to get up from where you’re sitting to find yourself the perfect car insurance policy for your jack-of-all-trades Honda CB500X—
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