“This may be right next to a Honda CB500X”, I blurt out when I take a closer look at the Voge 500DSX. “They do that too”, laughs the importer. “They are built in the same factory.” I see…
Voge is the house brand of motorcycle giant Loncin, which produces literally millions of motorcycles and collaborates with a number of European brands – including Honda. For example, the Honda CB500X is not only produced by Loncin, but it also serves as the basis for the 500DSX and is therefore also screwed together by the same people. With your eyes closed you could easily confuse the Voge with a Honda, but also with a watery sun that reaches your retina, that confusion could just continue to exist.
The proportions are perfect, with the new wire wheels, the luggage rack and the fall protection giving a very mature impression. A nice detail is the short exhaust, which clearly also received the necessary attention from the design department. The spoked wheels are fitted with Metzeler Tourance tires, while Nissin is responsible for the brakes, KYB for the springs and Bosch for the motor control: each supplier with a solid reputation.
When you turn the key, the TFT dashboard wakes up. TFT, yes. In addition to the not very easy to read tachometer, it also contains a lot of information, from temperature to gear indicator to battery voltage. And to my surprise also the tire pressure with a warning function. Standard. On the Honda CB500X you don’t even get a TFT, but another LCD dashboard. I also spot a bluetooth icon, so you can connect your smartphone; a USB charging port is also there. The buttons are not as modern as the dashboard, but they do their job very well. The ABS at the rear can be switched off. There is also LED lighting on the 500DSX, which is so beautifully designed at the back that I suspect there is an Italian roaming around the Loncin house somewhere.
The seat height of 830 mm – a result of a 19-inch spoked wheel in the front and slightly more suspension travel – is quite substantial, but does not feel like it. The same goes for the weight: the DSX throws 208 kg in the running order, but seems a lot lighter. The plus side of my notes is already quite full. There must be something to note, right? Ah, the win screen is adjustable, but only by unscrewing a large screw cap along the front and not while driving. The fact that the 500DSX even has an adjustable screen is another plus, especially compared to its most direct competitors.
So it looks good, but how does it drive? I take off without a slipping clutch, without the slightest effort to find my balance and after three meters turn onto the road with the feeling as if I have already put a few thousand kilometers on the DSX. The better Honda feeling, so to speak, and that impression remains even if you sit a little longer in the saddle. The block therefore only differs in detail from the CB500X. For example, the stated figures of 46.2 versus 47 hp and 42 versus 43 Nm of torque are only very slightly in favor of the Honda, and you have to be hypersensitive to feel that difference. Of course you need some revs to get it going – exactly 500 more than on the Honda to reach maximum torque at 7,000 rpm, for example – but you can certainly not call it boring by A2 standards. The whole thing runs nicely vibration-free and even the gearbox has managed to keep the Honda feeling.
In the corners I get more of the same. The Metzelers provide confidence, and the handling seems just a little more in favor of stability – which also confirms a 32mm longer wheelbase (1,477mm) on paper, if I may refer to the Honda again. The rear suspension is adjustable, but that is not necessary for me. The confidence is there, so is the comfort. If you are dragging a passenger and suitcases with you, you may want to get started; but be sure to write down the default setting before you start tweaking, because it’s just fine.
The kilos are no longer felt while driving, the weight of the 500DSX even contributes in its way to a mature driving feeling. I can only make one comment, and that is that I would have liked a little more feel in the brake. Of course you can expect little from a two-piston thing, even if it says ‘Nissin’. The stopping power is definitely not sub par, but I just like a good feel in the brake lever.
Price is usually the deciding factor when it comes to Chinese motorcycles; but when the delivered product is as strong as this Voge 500DSX, that motivation is almost completely lost. At 6,699 euros, the Voge is also 700 euros cheaper than the quasi-identical Honda, so I’m wondering what the Honda’s advantage is? The trade-in value perhaps, because in that area Honda is and remains a brand with a ‘money back’ guarantee. And a dealer network, although Voge’s is steadily growing. In short, if you are looking for an adventurous A2 motorcycle, the Voge 500DSX should simply be on your list. Because this is one hell of a bike in its class.
Pros and cons
+ Honda quality
+ Honda driving feel
– Feeling in the brakes
– Still relative brand ignorance
– Convince people how good it is
Read the full test Motorcyclist May 2022†
Engine: 471cc, 4 k./cyl., liquid-cooled parallel twin
Bore x Stroke: 67 x 66.8 mm
Compression Ratio: 10.6:1
max. power: 46.2 hp @ 8,500 rpm
max. torque: 42 Nm @ 7,000 rpm
Weight: 208 kg (roadworthy)
Seat height: 830 mm
Tank capacity: 17 l.
Colors: red, black, white
Price Belgium: € 6,699
Price Netherlands: € 7,649
Text Pieter Ryckaert Photography Jonas Roosens
#Briefly #Tested #Voge #500DSX #Motokicx