Honda basically has all segments covered with its motorcycle lineup. Tourers, off-roaders, city scoots, supersport bikes—the brand has it all. That said, there still are a few small gaps here and there.
Well, the motorcycle manufacturer got busy at the Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori (EICMA) this year, introducing a wide range of new bikes that fill those gaps we just mentioned. One of the new introductions is this new scrambler you see before you: the CL500.
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This stylish retro bike marks the revival of Honda’s CL badge. It bears a similar front end as the Rebel, with a round LED headlamp paired with a round instrument cluster up top. The CL’s tank looks similar as the Rebel’s, too, only the former gets tank pads and knee pads underneath as standard.
Moving towards the rear, you’ll see more of the CL500’s own design. The seat is positioned much higher—790mm, to be exact—and so is the muffler. The exhaust features a stainless steel heat guard. The handlebar is also placed a bit high to provide leverage whether standing up or sitting down.
Powering the CL500 is the Rebel’s 471cc liquid-cooled, parallel-twin gasoline engine generating 46hp at 8,500rpm and 43.4Nm of torque at 6,250rpm. This is mated to a six-speed gearbox with an assist/slipper clutch. One difference to note here is that the CL500’s rear sprocket has 41 teeth—one more than the Rebel’s. This enables crisper acceleration.
“We developed the CL500 as a machine that truly allow its owners to stand out from the crowd, and as a form of self-expression. It can be used and enjoyed casually—without hesitation—by the young generation in their daily lives and is designed to become a joyful and integral part of a lifestyle,” said Honda R&D Japan CL500 Large Project Leader Hiroshi Furuse. “In standard form, the off-road street style has a visual charm unlike any other model in the Honda range, and can really inspire owners to take it further in any direction they wish.”
We know we’d like to see this bike land on our shores. What about you guys?
More photos of the new Honda CL500 2023: