From recent developments, it is clear that Honda is developing a mid-displacement as well as an entry-level adventure bike in the form of NX500 and NX200
Honda recently filed trademarks for the names ‘NX’ and ‘NX500’ in the European Union in addition to another trademark filed by the company for ‘NX’ in New Zealand. This hints at the Japanese brand working on a new middleweight adventure bike. The NX moniker is usually associated with the Dominator range of Honda.
The Dominator series comprised dual-sport adventure bikes popular in the 1980s and 90s. The most prominent of those was NX650 Dominator which was sold in international markets until 2003. In fact, the Honda Dominator range was one of the first proper adventure bikes on offer in global markets.
Honda NX500 Adventure Bike In Making
With the global motorcycle industry seeing an influx of mid-capacity ADVs in recent times, Honda seems to go back in time and revive one of its most popular name tags. The ‘Dominator’ moniker can’t be used since Norton already owns the trademark rights to it. Therefore, trademark applications only consist of the NX tag.
The original NX500 was powered by a single-cylinder engine. The upcoming iteration of the middleweight ADV could be based on the underpinnings of Honda CB500X which itself is described as a road-biased adventure tourer. However, the upcoming NX500 is likely to be more capable off-road than its road-biased sibling with more suspension travel and dual-purpose tyres.
This means it will be powered by the same 471cc eight-valve, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine as CB500X which kicks out 47 bhp at 8,500rpm and 43.2 Nm of peak torque at 6,500rpm. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a six-speed gearbox with a slipper and assist clutch. Honda might even opt for a bigger 21-inch front wheel in NX500 instead of a 19-inch unit offered in CB500. The rear wheel is likely to remain a 17-inch unit.
Honda NX200 Also On Cards
As far as design goes, the new NX500 is expected to flaunt a similar styling as the flagship CRF 1100L Africa Twin. This can be proven through a series of design patents filed by Honda with the European Union Intellectual Property Office. However, there’s a big catch. These patents which were filed on 17 December 2021, showcase a smaller motorcycle.
From the patent images, it can be seen that the bike features a smaller air-cooled, single-cylinder engine. This unit appears to be similar to a 184.4 cc, single-cylinder motor that powers CB200X and Hornet 2.0. In fact, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) had trademarked the NX200 name in India last year but chose to launch a road-biased tourer in the form of CB200X.
This also suggests that apart from NX500, Honda is also developing an entry-level adventure bike that could take on Hero Xpulse 200. As mentioned earlier, it will be powered by a 184cc, single-cylinder motor that kicks out 17.03 bhp at 8,500rpm and 16.1 Nm of peak torque at 6,000rpm. This unit comes mated to a 5-speed gearbox.
We expect at least one of these upcoming ADVs to reach Indian shores sometime. Upon launch in India, the NX200 could take on the likes of Hero Xpulse 200, while the NX200 could lock horns with the upcoming Royal Enfield Himalayan 450.