Honda CB500X accessories

We dive into Honda's official aftersales accessories and parts catalogue to see what's what

Honda CB500X riding

by Adam Binnie |

The Honda CB500X is a class-leading, MCN award-winning, A2-friendly adventure bike. It’s easy to look at those accolades and wonder what it could possibly need to make it more complete.

But motorcycle riders come in all shapes and sizes, with different needs and requirements, and so Honda has an accessories catalogue full of parts to make your CB500X just right for you.

We’re going to have a look at a couple of the more popular items here and work out whether they are worth getting directly from the manufacturer, plus some aftermarket options that could be equally suitable.

Honda CB500X heated grips

Optionally available as part of the £590 Comfort Pack from new (or as a £365 single option) these warming rubber grips are an essential winter option to help keep frozen fingers at bay.

If you’ve bought a second hand CB500X without heated grips, or didn’t tick that box when speccing a new bike, these can be retrofitted afterwards. My local garage quoted me £465 – more than they’d cost you as an option, but as you can see, there’s quite a lot of work to fit them and this would be simpler to do at the factory while the bike is being assembled.

That price might be off-putting or simply not within budget, in which case a set of Oxford HotGrips can be fitted for £195.

Why pick the Honda ones?

The main reason I’d got for these instead of an aftermarket set is their stealthy look – the rubber grips themselves are identical and the only visual clues are a couple more (well hidden) wires and a small heat control switch on the left bar.

Oxford HotGrips are a very popular option but look very obviously retrofitted. The grips themselves have a different style and feel and there’s a separate, prominent control box that needs to be attached, too.

Fitting Honda's heated grips
©MCN/Adam Binnie

If you’re confident fitting them yourself this is by far the cheapest way to bring extra heat to your hands, but it’s good to know Honda can do it for you if you don’t fancy taking your bike to bits and messing around with wiring.

Are the Honda heated grips any good?

They don’t feel any different to the standard ones to hold and get very hot very quickly, so I’d say they’re a success on both counts. Personally, I’d like some chunkier grips as I think they’d fit my hands better, but that’s more my problem than the bike’s.

The button you use to activate them is big enough to use with gloves and has a positive click when you press it, plus it’s backlit green so you can see when they’re on.

You tap it once to get full heat and the button blinks three times to confirm, then you press it again to get medium heat (two blinks) and once more to get low heat (one blink). A final push turns them off.

Honda CB500X heated grips
©MCN/Adam Binnie

If you ride with thick gloves or just like really hot hands like me, the fact they come on full power with one press will appeal. However, if you only want a gentle warmth the fact you have to press it three times could become a bit annoying.

Full power is pleasingly hot – with thinner gloves on it can actually be uncomfortably so, and I found myself using the lower-powered modes as the weather got better.

What other options are there?

Well other than Oxford HotGrips you could look at a pair of heated gloves (or heated liners like these) – to give your hands more all-over warming as opposed to grips that only really target your palms, but they need wiring into the bike, or powering with a rechargeable battery.

The biggest drawback with any heated grips is the fact the back of your hand gets cold - a set of handguards would sort this out, but those won’t suit every bike or rider.

My advice would be to get the Comfort Pack when you buy your bike if you plan on riding over winter or a set fitted retrospectively – they look great, work every time and there’s no need to faff with heated clothing wires.

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