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Old 15th March 2024, 00:39   #241
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re: Honda NX500 launched at 5.9 lakhs

I can see a lot many members going gaga over NX500. Rightly so, the product being a Honda. I have a Versys 650 presently, which I feel is heavy in everyday conditions. Was looking for a more manageable bike, ideally for a one bike garage. So I headed straight to test ride NX500 at Bigwing, Lavelle Road, Bangalore. Had booked an appointment via a phone call before visiting them at 6.15PM.

First things first, I was really disappointed with Bigwing customer service. I was their only customer at that time and nobody were interested to talk (probably because I had been in an Activa wearing simple formals and flip-flops, nevermind) I then went to the reception counter after checking out the black NX500 and requested for a test drive. I was asked for to fill a form and showed them my DL and entered few details in the form given. I was handed over the keys of a red NX500 parked outside. I took out for a short spin.
Before going further, I would like to state that I have always loved Honda products for their over engineered engines which can last a long long time.

Here is my first impression on NX500:

1. I have owned two CBR250R's in the past, that being said, the fit and finish is average for a CBU. Especially the plastics are strictly average, flimsy for a bike that costs an arm and a leg. What I would call top notch is the build of Transalp which was parked outside, though it costs your kidneys. The plastics on the Versys650 feels like it is built to last.

2. The ride was quite disappointing as well. I felt the suspension on Scrambler 400x to be more plush, H450 is at a different league altogether. The 400x is so sprightly and sorted at city speeds (don't know about highway performance), the H450 is vibey but it makes up with it's beautiful suspension. The suspension on NX500 feels out of sorts at the front especially when exiting sharp ruts on the road, and there is some dive under braking. Adv390 has adjustable WP apex suspension, Versys has adjustable Showas, I just feel that Honda could have tuned it better.

3. The power on tap is not too exciting, the Adv390 felt more lively as well as scrambler 400x. No ride by wire. But the NX500 felt much more sorted at low speeds than the H450 and Adv390.

4. The toggle switch is tactile but I guess it will be difficult to operate with gloves. Braking is on par from what you expect from a Honda, adequate feedback and stopping power.

5. The biggest positive is how easy the NX500 is to ride. It just feels so natural and nimble. You can weave in and out of tight spots it the traffic, very easy to manoeuvre. You don't feel like you are riding an ADV in the city, all the controls fall into place naturally. The clutch is super duper smooth. Comparatively the Versys650 feels like riding an elephant.

6. The engine is typical Honda, smooth, tractable, very low NVH, linear power delivery. But my point is, the power delivery is too predictable, boring, sedate.

7. Honda's record in India with respect to CBU bikes is quite scary. Either the parts are not readily available or they will stop the model abruptly. The bikes from Honda as such do not demand much apart from regular maintenance but in case of a fall or accidents, you have a pretty long lead times for spares.

8. The accessories for NX500 is exorbitantly priced, and with not much encouraging signs in the aftermarket accessories space, the owners shall be left shortchanged. I feel there is no point getting the front frame bracket at around 35k when you can actually replace the damaged side of the frame at much lower than half of what the bracket costs.

9. But is the on-road price of Rs.7.53lakh justified? Let's see what all we can get at the same price, you can get two interceptors, two adv390x, two H450's, two scrambler 400x, two yezdi adventure, a pre-worshipped 2021-22 Versys650, Vstrom 650, etc. Is the NX500 twice as good as any of the above mentioned bikes? It is ultimately for us to decide. If you ask me, it's an emphatic NO. All the above mentioned bikes are fairly reliable, simple to maintain, has vast dealer service network and are comparatively quite affordable.

10. In conclusion, I feel that, for the package it offers, NX500 is rather poorly priced and Honda being Honda, can pull the plug anytime. It may be a logical investment if you are planning to keep NX500 for a considerable amount of time but if you get bored soon which I definitely feel you will, your ROI may go for a toss. And I feel that this is not a viable upgrade for those who already own a 40+ HP ADV bikes, the only saving grace being refinement from the Honda twin.

Local manufacturing along with price correction will go a long way, maybe Honda should take a leaf out of Aprilia's RS457 pricing, but for those who don't mind paying 7.5 big ones for a 451cc twin, well, I hope that your faith is paid back with interest!
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Last edited by Legal_Eagle : 15th March 2024 at 01:05. Reason: Spacing
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Old 15th March 2024, 11:11   #242
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re: Honda NX500 launched at 5.9 lakhs

Quote:
9. But is the on-road price of Rs.7.53lakh justified? Let's see what all we can get at the same price, you can get two interceptors, two adv390x, two H450's, two scrambler 400x, two yezdi adventure, a pre-worshipped 2021-22 Versys650, Vstrom 650, etc. Is the NX500 twice as good as any of the above mentioned bikes? It is ultimately for us to decide. If you ask me, it's an emphatic NO. All the above mentioned bikes are fairly reliable, simple to maintain, has vast dealer service network and are comparatively quite affordable.
Completely agree with your thoughts from a generic point of view. 'Value proposition' of a product plays a major role in our product selection decision. Thats how we have been brought up. "kitna deti hai" was one such deciding factor for majority of us Indians when it came to two wheelers. And the NX500 does not make sense when weighed on a value scale.

But over last decade or so, this mindset is transforming and thats the reason we have such a vast and growing two wheeler market in lifestyle segment, over and above the commuters. People have disposable income, better purchasing power, and many of them look for that "differentiating / exclusivity factor". I ride a first gen 310GS which was highly overpriced product at that time (we would get 2 himalayans 410s for that price). But even today, i am happy riding the 310 as it brings some amount of exclusivity factor. Product is average, but it does give some sense of differentiation, be it aesthetics, brand roundell, visual presnese, etc. I do not get the same special feeling while riding my interceptor 650. So i guess these softer points would appeal to buyers going for the NX500 as well, and especially where budget is not a big contraint to begin with.
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Old 15th March 2024, 12:08   #243
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re: Honda NX500 launched at 5.9 lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legal_Eagle View Post
I

7. Honda's record in India with respect to CBU bikes is quite scary. Either the parts are not readily available or they will stop the model abruptly. The bikes from Honda as such do not demand much apart from regular maintenance but in case of a fall or accidents, you have a pretty long lead times for spares.
I love Honda engine for their refinement and reliability. The record of Honda with their premium bikes, especially a CBU is what would keep me away from this bike. I do not mind paying extra for a premium product which I like and can use for a *long time*. The honda reliability, comparable low service cost and twin cylinder engine refinement would make up for the high initial price over the years, if the product support is available which I doubt with their history. Hope Honda will manufacture premium bikes locally and concentrate on the after sales support, which would make it a formidable force in the segment with their brand/ product quality.

After sales support/ parts availability over long term is where Honda falls short as I am experiencing now with my CBR 250. The sales was decent when it was launched and it slowly died with the step motherly treatment of Honda and lack of spares. A guy from Bangalore met with an accident recently while touring and the honda dealership at Coimbatore denied taking the bike for repair after the owner towed the bike there saying Honda has stopped supplying spares for Honda CBR 250 and they cannot repair it. Imagine you end up in such a situation somewhere far away from home while you are touring in your premium motorcycle.

I wanted to retire CBR 250 for city duties as I am not comfortable touring on it with lack of spare support even during a minor accident, though the chance of the bike giving any issue is remote with Honda reliability. Himalayan 450 did not excite me much with its lack of refinement, top heavy nature etc. Now eagerly waiting for new KTM 390 and Hero Impulse 400 before taking a call on the tourer in the garage.

Last edited by PatienceWins : 15th March 2024 at 12:12.
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Old 15th March 2024, 17:09   #244
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re: Honda NX500 launched at 5.9 lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by nasirkaka View Post
Completely agree with your thoughts from a generic point of view. 'Value proposition' of a product plays a major role in our product selection decision. Thats how we have been brought up. "kitna deti hai" was one such deciding factor for majority of us Indians when it came to two wheelers. And the NX500 does not make sense when weighed on a value scale.

But over last decade or so, this mindset is transforming and thats the reason we have such a vast and growing two wheeler market in lifestyle segment, over and above the commuters. People have disposable income, better purchasing power, and many of them look for that "differentiating / exclusivity factor". I ride a first gen 310GS which was highly overpriced product at that time (we would get 2 himalayans 410s for that price). But even today, i am happy riding the 310 as it brings some amount of exclusivity factor. Product is average, but it does give some sense of differentiation, be it aesthetics, brand roundell, visual presnese, etc. I do not get the same special feeling while riding my interceptor 650. So i guess these softer points would appeal to buyers going for the NX500 as well, and especially where budget is not a big contraint to begin with.
Couldn't agree more. While it is true that NX500 is overpriced, it has it's niche in premium segment of mid-class ADV segment. As you have rightly pointed out, value proposition differs from person to person depending upon their perceived perceptions. Even the BMW 310GS was priced atrociously, but BMW corrected the pricing later. Likewise Honda is known to do price corrections after launching their products at optimistic prices. NX500 as a product does not shine exceptionally well in any one particular area, its kind of jack of all but master of none and therein lies it's USP.
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Old 16th March 2024, 13:34   #245
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re: Honda NX500 launched at 5.9 lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Legal_Eagle View Post

Here is my first impression on NX500
Very subjective impression. And PS I don't own an NX but it's peaking my interest and I've test riden one.

While you have made comparisons, most of them aren't in the same league. Here's a few pointers:

Plastics: NX500 is a global model and not one reviewer has bought up this point of cheap plastics and it isn't like they have skimped on the plastics for India.

Suspension & Engine: You like the H450 vibes the other hates it. Good suspension or no the other rejects the bike based on the vibey engine. To each his own.

Two motorcycles for the price of one NX: In the right mind no one would buy two of each. Comparing a twin cylinder with a single isn't right. The Benelli TRK is the closest in price and engine. Then the Versys comes in and changes the league to the 600s so the comparison again falls apart. Viz a Viz the Benelli one would wisely recommend the Honda.

It works for some who can 'afford' it and for some it just doesn't work.

Bashing the bike based on the price and then the value prop it brings to the table and then poke holes in the offering is a common mistake I've seen a ton of folks make on this forum and on social as well.
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Old 16th March 2024, 20:03   #246
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re: Honda NX500 launched at 5.9 lakhs

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Originally Posted by Legal_Eagle View Post
10. In conclusion, I feel that, for the package it offers, NX500 is rather poorly priced and Honda being Honda, can pull the plug anytime. It may be a logical investment if you are planning to keep NX500 for a considerable amount of time but if you get bored soon which I definitely feel you will, your ROI may go for a toss. And I feel that this is not a viable upgrade for those who already own a 40+ HP ADV bikes, the only saving grace being refinement from the Honda twin.

Local manufacturing along with price correction will go a long way, maybe Honda should take a leaf out of Aprilia's RS457 pricing, but for those who don't mind paying 7.5 big ones for a 451cc twin, well, I hope that your faith is paid back with interest!
Hey Legal_Eagle - having ridden the predecessor (CB500x) over considerable distance, all I can say is you can't put a price to the overall execution of the bike.

The NX500 is as heavy a Himalayan 450, but its weight balance is sublime. Barring the Scrambler 400x, none of the machines you have mentioned achieve this. For example - it takes huge effort to pull up the Himalayan 450 from its side stand.

Continuing the finesse of execution, the dual nature of the bike - a smooth city bike and an amazing tourer - is very hard to fault. Throws up little to no heat in the city. On the highway, offers a relaxed drive - no vibes, no wind blast and a SWEET sounding twin-cylinder burble. The off-throttle pops & bangs from the stock exhaust are amazing! The aural part of the bike is such an important factor in the overall character of the bike.

Rather than think of NX500 being twice the cost, think of it this way: Its like buying a Duke 390 for the city + Himalayan for the highways - both perform sub-par outside their comfort zone. The NX has a dual character that no other bike can match.

Value is what you are willing to pay. So, it's extremely subjective. We feel cheated because Honda chose to take the easier (lazy) route of importing it.

I can visualise the Honda management meeting:

If we import, how many can we sell? 100-150 per month @ 5.9 lakh
If we localise, how many can we sell? 300 - 400 per month @ 5.0 lakh (rough estimate)

So, should we?


Despite all the marketing focus, the Himalayan sells about 3500-4000 units per month. The market size above 3.5 - 4.0 lakh is very small. No one wants to play that game.

The other issue is Honda's sales & marketing set-up. Look at the CB300R. Brilliant machine. Got the necessary price correction in 2023. Hardly manages to sell 250-300 units per month. The Duke 250 sells 4-5 times that number. The Triumph 400 platform is doing ~2000 units per month, despite a small network.

Better still, look at the localised Honda CB350 platform. They manage to sell 3500-4000 units per month against Royal Enfield selling 45000-50000 units of their J-series derivatives!

I appreciate Bajaj / KTM / Triumph for making a platform that is affordable in India and yet has global appeal. Plus, Honda's India sales and marketing team needs to buckle up and start showing their head-office that they are ready for bigger bikes. Till then, we will continue to feel 'cheated'.

Sorry for the long rant!
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Old 16th March 2024, 21:47   #247
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re: Honda NX500 launched at 5.9 lakhs

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Originally Posted by Aragorn View Post
I can visualise the Honda management meeting:

If we import, how many can we sell? 100-150 per month @ 5.9 lakh
If we localise, how many can we sell? 300 - 400 per month @ 5.0 lakh (rough estimate)
The 100-150 units per month sales forecast is not happening considering the sales figure was close to 40-50 units for last month. Which is decent for an overpriced CBU but it won't be setting any sales charts on fire. Once the initial hype goes down, the sales usually plateau at a lower number. As expected, the NX will remain a niche product.
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Old 16th March 2024, 23:05   #248
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re: Honda NX500 launched at 5.9 lakhs

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Originally Posted by PatienceWins View Post
I love Honda engine for their refinement and reliability. The record of Honda with their premium bikes, especially a CBU is what would keep me away from this bike.

Hope Honda will manufacture premium bikes locally and concentrate on the after sales support, which would make it a formidable force in the segment with their brand/ product quality.

After sales support/ parts availability over long term is where Honda falls short as I am experiencing now with my CBR 250.

I wanted to retire CBR 250 for city duties as I am not comfortable touring on it with lack of spare support even during a minor accident, though the chance of the bike giving any issue is remote with Honda reliability.
I agree with you on lack of intent on Honda's part to support their customers. Honda bikes are very reliable and so are the bikes from Yamaha, Kawasaki and Suzuki. I still have my booking for H450, I refused delivery, have been caught up with work and therefore yet to cancel. Except for good suspension and better after sales support, H450 has rough edges that needs to be ironed out, may be it will be taken care of in later iterations. Honda NX500 as a whole package is likeable but for those who already own a 40 hp ADV bike, it doesn't seem like an upgrade. Well this is IMHO, other's may differ. As you have mentioned, local manufacturing is the way to go. I have owned two CBR's in the past, I can definitely relate to your experience.

@lionell @aragorn I have only stated what I felt when I rode the bike, may be it is as it is because I am coming from Versys650. I may be right or I may be wrong, it is just my perspective. I will try to make an effort to understand NX500 from your perspective as well. Will take a longer test ride if possible and try to understand NX500 once again. By the way, I have also stated the positives of NX500 in my post.

Last edited by Legal_Eagle : 16th March 2024 at 23:19. Reason: Avoiding multiple posts
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Old 18th March 2024, 13:28   #249
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re: Honda NX500 launched at 5.9 lakhs

In my opinion, If you already have an ADV (H450, 390 etc.) then it makes no sense to go for NX500. While the NX500 may offer another cylinder and Honda Quality but there is a good chance one will get bored after a year as in the engine deparment you are not getting any significant bump.

Personally all my purchases i have focused on what learning can i get out of the new bike. ex. I Purchased TBX350 after FZ25 and TBX taught me lots about managing a heavy bike and the beauty of torque. Afterwards i moved to 390 ADV which is in totally opposite direction from TBX and now i am learning off roading. For me it now makes no sense to buy NX500, but someone who has lets say a meteor 350 should definitely go for NX500 (If budget has no constraints) as he will get to learn a lot more on NX500.

So comparing the outright value proposition in terms of cost is not good but rather we should find what value the bike offers in terms of riding experience, upskilling etc.
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Old 18th March 2024, 16:15   #250
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re: Honda NX500 launched at 5.9 lakhs

A motorcycle (besides a commuter) is a heart purchase. Buy a bike that makes the heart sing everytime you ride it, budget permitting of course.

If one has the budget and still buys something else to save money doing calculations and what not of how many bikes maybe purchased in the same money is sure to be disappointed in a few months. The mind will start questioning the purchase - why did I buy this, should have bought that Generally a quality product always carries a higher price.

Spend more, buy quality, cry once instead of buying something that is a compromise and crying regularly.

Cheers
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Old 18th March 2024, 18:00   #251
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re: Honda NX500 launched at 5.9 lakhs

The 500X was a motorcycle after my very heart. There is no comparison with the Himi 450. It's not just the power output, but how it delivers ... the smoothness, which matters. The clutch is the lightest on any bike. Within minutes I was on Bellary Road doing 3-digit speeds. That was the best ride I have had.
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Old 19th March 2024, 12:15   #252
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re: Honda NX500 launched at 5.9 lakhs

Quote:
So comparing the outright value proposition in terms of cost is not good but rather we should find what value the bike offers in terms of riding experience, upskilling etc.
Like Sebring mentioned, its difficult to put logical justification to a bike purchase decision. Its more of heart over mind, and at times, we are happy downscaling as well for various reasons. My case in point below:

Currently I ride an Xpulse 200, a BMW310GS and an Interceptor 650. I was contemplating selling the Xpulse and the Interceptor both, and get the NX500. My riding includes daily commute of 50 kms to work, weekend trails, breakfast rides, overnighters, etc. Because i am used to trails/adventure type riding mindset, it plays a big role in my bike purchase decision. Inerceptor is a twin and a bigger one at that, but is purely a road bike wih suspension being its weakest link. I have tried scramblising it to make it versatile for different terrain but we can only achieve so much with modifications.
Xpulse on the other hand is good for trails, but struggles on the highway. Also, due to health reasons, i am not suppose to do difficult/technical trails anymore where xpulse shines.

So for my requirement, NX 500 made sense apart from the fact that i like its looks, the ergonomics, the smoothness and reliability of Honda, the exclusivity/ novelty factor, and many other softer nuances, difficult to describe in words. But selling interceptor and Xpulse both would fetch about 4L, which is only half the cost of NX. I have other bigger financial commitments coming up, so decided not to go with the purchase.

Last edited by nasirkaka : 19th March 2024 at 12:19.
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Old 19th March 2024, 13:06   #253
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re: Honda NX500 launched at 5.9 lakhs

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Originally Posted by nasirkaka View Post
I had pinned my hopes on the Himalayan 450 but am not yet fully convinced about that bike. It is still very much under consideration but here comes the NX500 to make decisions messier.
The Himalayan 450 is brilliant with one Achilles heel. The vibes between 100 and 115 is real. There are two ways around it. Stay in 5th gear when the speedo is in between 100 and 115. Or don't go above 100.
Apart from that , the Himalayan is a no brainer. Completed 900kms in 5 days and loving every bit of it. That behemoth leans through lonavala flowing corners at 125kph like nobody's business. And the suspension is pure bliss. Everything works as it should.

Last edited by Axe77 : 19th March 2024 at 18:50. Reason: Broken quote tag.
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Old 19th March 2024, 14:59   #254
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re: Honda NX500 launched at 5.9 lakhs

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Originally Posted by The_Medic View Post
The Himalayan 450 is brilliant with one Achilles heel. The vibes between 100 and 115 is real. There are two ways around it. Stay in 5th gear when the speedo is in between 100 and 115. Or don't go above 100.
I have a H'ness and have to limit myself to speeds under 100 due to having only 5 gears and the bike being uncomfortable past 100 kmph speeds. I often think it will be nice if the bike had another gear esp. when on nice straight roads, so I can go a bit faster. I am otherwise happy with the Honda and this is the only reason why I would ever consider another bike in near future. Hopefully, in a year or so, they sort out these things, which then will be a perfect ride for me.
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Old 19th March 2024, 17:42   #255
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re: Honda NX500 launched at 5.9 lakhs

Does anyone here knows when the White version will be launched? It has been 3 months since I booked the bike and the wait is wearing me out
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