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Hey everyone,

I know the 500f has about an inch shorter ground clearance to the X, but has anyone tried slapping on a set up adventure bike tires, and a skid plate for light trails/fire roads?

And has anyone done the full rally raid kit to an F?
 

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I've owned my 2014 CB500F for some years and have dirt roads in my area - I live on one of them. I ride mostly street and have street tires which are very twitchy on dirt roads with any loose gravel.

In my opinion the CB500F is a very poor base to build an adventure bike. Too much weight on the front tire, bars too low, low ground clearance, poor suspension damping, etc.. A full Rally Raid kit ($$$) fixes many of these issues but you will never get your money back when you sell the bike.

Back in the 1970's a scrambler was a street bike with an upswept exhaust and dual purpose tires, not a dirt capable machine. So buy some 80% street / 20% dirt tires and call it a scrambler.

Or take a look at the KTM Adventure.390 if you want some dirt capability in a street bike.
 
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Hey everyone,

I know the 500f has about an inch shorter ground clearance to the X, but has anyone tried slapping on a set up adventure bike tires, and a skid plate for light trails/fire roads?

And has anyone done the full rally raid kit to an F?
I do a lot of dirt road riding on my 500f. Most of it has been on road tires, but I have a pair of Anakee Adventures at the moment that give me a bit more confidence. Apart from the tires, all is just as it left the factory, and she copes just fine. As I am 84, I maybe ride a mite slower than you choose to, but we have now covered 190,000 km, with no repairs save a set of fork seals, so it is unlikely that you will hurt yours, no matter how hard you work her.
 

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@Newrider124 you mean like this ;)


My R had a little whoopsy back in 2020 - repairable write-off. I rebuilt it into my own version that is more off-road capable.
Here's a little write up of that : Making it an Adventure Bike

I've taken the thing out on many adventures since and find it more than capable for what I do, just light trails, a couple of soft sand beach rides, and just getting up the beaten track to get to more remote camp sites. You have the benefit of starting with an F instead of an R like I did, so don't need to mess around with swapping the top bridge. But some things that might be worth your time to invest in that I would recommend:
  • Upgrade your handle bar to a 'fatbar' (28mm?) and fit bar risers. To do this you will need extra length in the cables and brake line, so just acquire ones from an X and swap them over.
  • For the suspension, I went a cheaper option than Rally Raid. I upgraded the internals of my forks with Racetech components and swapped the dampening rods from an X to gain some extra travel. For the rear I have a 2nd-hand GSXR600 shock (only compatible with non-abs models of our bike), not the best for offroading, lol! But at least compression and rebound settings on it can adjust and does give an extra little bit of height. I matched the added height in the rear, by dropping the forks further down in the tree. These suspension bits were fitted when I was building it up for street, but have kept them as they've performed better than I thought they would on the dirt I do.
  • Fit some side protection / bar work. Going off-road it's not a matter of if but when you will drop it.
  • With the increased ground clearance, you will likely need a longer stand. Mine is a 2014, so it was just a matter of buying the stand for a 2019 X, that model comes with a 19" front rim also got a longer stand.
  • Fit a side stand plate. Nothing worse than getting that sinking feeling!
  • If you can fit a steering-stabilizer, do it! It helps soooo much on the rough stuff to keep you tracking straight and your arms feel so much less fatigued at the end of a ride.

Happy riding!
 
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