2023 Honda SCL500 Announced for North America

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

A.K.A. the CL500 in international markets

Honda officially announced the CL500 scrambler for North American markets, though it will be marketed here as the SCL500. The 2023 Honda SCL500 will arrive in showrooms in June with a choice of either Candy Orange or Mattel Laurel Green Metallic, and a $6,799 price tag.

Honda didn't explain why the name was changed (the model code remains "CL500A"), though we suspect it's a trademarking issue in the U.S. Announced for international markets at EICMA, the (S)CL500 is built on the Honda Rebel 500 platform, trading in the cruiser styling for a retro scrambler look in a nod to the CL72 and CL77 models of the 1960s.

The chassis uses the same tubular steel frame as the Rebel 500, but with a different subframe to support a higher, flatter seat. Compared to the Rebel's single saddle and its 27.2-inch height, the SCL500's seat fits two, with the rider seated 31.1 inches from the ground.

The gaitered 41 mm fork offers 5.3 inches of travel, with the stanchions set at 230 mm (9.1 inches) apart to improve rigidity. At the rear, twin shocks with nitrogen gas damper tubes provide 5.7 inches of travel. Dunlop provides the tires, with a 110/80-19 up front and a 150/70-17 at the rear. The braking system is comprised single caliper with a 310 mm disc on the front wheel and a single caliper with a 240 mm disc on the rear. ABS comes standard.

The engine is the same 471cc eight-valve liquid-cooled Parallel-Twin that powers the rest of Honda's 500 series lineup. An assist/slipper clutch reduces effort in switching gears through the six-speed transmission. Befitting the scrambler motif, the SCL500 is equipped with a single high muffler positioned just right of the tail.

Other features include a round LED headlight, blacked out components, a 3.2-gallon fuel tank, and rubber tank pads. Honda will also offer a range of accessories, available a la carte or in Rally and Tour styling packs. These include hand guards, a headlight fairing, heated grips and a dirt bike-style front fender.

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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2 of 9 comments
  • Huss Huss on Jun 12, 2023

    "Honda really just hasn't been the same company since the old man died"

    Your Dad worked for Honda?

  • Larry Larry on Aug 03, 2023

    They created a styling winner by the new higher, two seat, rear subframe. I would like to hear one with two into one exhaust with an open megaphone.