The new Honda CMX 500 has arrived in Australia, and the 2020 version of the LAMS cruiser comes with new features, as well as a new model variant.
A firm favourite with Aussie riders since its local launch in 2017 (746 sales in 2018 and 309 sales for the first six months of 2020), the CMX 500 combines boober-inspired cruiser looks with a smooth, responsive engine, easy handling and a comfortable riding position.
The engine, frame and most of the cycle parts are unchanged for 2020, which means a 471cc liquid-cooled DOHC parallel twin, connected to a six-speed transmission and chain final drive, producing 34kW and 43.3Nm maximums.
The slim engine is combined with a steel diamond frame that’s narrow, too, designed to enhance rider comfort in the saddle, which sits at a low 690mm. The die-cast aluminium subframe is also unchanged for 2020.
The wheels - 16-inch alloys at each end on a 130/90 front and 150/80 rear tyre - are unchanged, as are the brakes - 296mm front disc and 240mm rear disc with standard two-channel ABS.
While there is a lot of carryover, the new additions for the 2020 CMX 500 are notable and start with a full LED lighting package – headlight, tail light, indicators and licence plate light. The headlight is a funky-looking four-element unit, as seen on some larger cruisers and adventure tourers, while the indicators are now round instead of diamond-shaped. The tail light has had a makeover, too: lower, slimmer and better incorporated into the mudguard.
The instrument pod retains its circular shape, but the information within has been shuffled. An LCD display occupies the upper two thirds, with the usual warning lights below. The speedo remains big and bold, but fuel level has been moved to a horizontal strip at the bottom of the display, with a gear position indicator – new for this model - added in its place.
As with the older CMX 500, there’s no rev counter, but an odometer, two tripmeters and clock are included.
The other major addition for 2020 is a slipper clutch. Normally seen on bigger sportsbikes, but becoming more common on small- and mid-size motorcycles, the slip/assist clutch on the CMX 500 reduces lever action by a claimed 30 per cent.
Suspension is still based on a 41mm tele fork front end and twin shock rear, but spring rates have been revised and the Showa rear shocks are now nitrogen filled for a firmer ride. However, with a listed travel of 121mm on the front and 95mm on the rear, the ride is far from bone-jarringly firm. Rear preload adjustability remains.
In terms of colours, Graphite Black carries over for 2020, but Axis Grey Metallic has been replaced with Matte Armored Silver, while a new Matte Jeans Blue Metallic option has been added.
Joining the base CMX for 2020 is a new ‘S Edition’ that’s essentially a cosmetic package, bringing some retro-look style.
The S Edition is defined by a cowl and smoked lens for the headlight, full blackout treatment and old-school gaiters for the forks, and a diamond-stitched finish on the saddle.
All the other MY20 CMX 500 upgrades apply, but the S Edition will only be available in Matte Axis Grey Metallic.
Ready to Ride
With its removable pillion seat and footpegs, the CMX 500’s versatility as a solo and two-up ride remains. Fuel capacity is still 11.2 litres and kerb weight is unchanged at 190kg, with the new S Edition tipping the scales at 191kg.
Now available at Honda dealers Australia-wide, the LAMS-legal 2020 CMX 500 is priced from $8,599, with the new CMX 500 S Edition listing at $8,999.
See your Honda dealer for more details.