Honda Trademarks Hint at New Scrambler and Dual Sport 500 Models

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

CL500 and NX500 in the works

Honda has filed new trademark applications for the names “CL500” and “NX500“, suggesting it may be preparing to expand its 500 range with new scrambler and dual sport models.

The trademark for CL500 was filed March 17 with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, while the NX500 trademark was filed May 2 with the EUIPO as well as with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The 500 in the names suggest the two models will use the same 471cc Parallel-Twin engine as the Rebel 500 cruiser, CB500F standard, CBR500R sportbike and CB500X adventure bike. The engine claims about 50 hp (with a bit less on the Rebel) and has already proven itself to be versatile, applied across different segments.

The engine hasn’t been used thus far in a scrambler, but the CL500 moniker may fill that role. The CL name goes back pretty far in Honda’s history, starting with the 1962 Dream CL72 Scrambler (pictured below), a 247cc model based on the CB72 Hawk but beefed up to handle off-road usage. Honda produced several more CL models over the years, most recently with the CL400, a 397cc Single-cylinder model introduced in 1998. With this lineage, it should be apparent the CL500 name is intended for a scrambler.

The NX line also has a rich history with a series of dual sport models. The most well known model is probably the NX650 Dominator which was produced from 1988 to 2003. The Dominator was only offered in the U.S. for a couple of years, but its 644cc air-cooled engine lives on today with the XR650L.

Honda already has a 500-series adventure bike in the CB500X, but the NX500 may turn out to be more off-road focused with wire-spoke tires like its predecessors. The NX name also has ties to Honda’s Dakar racers like the NXR 750, so it may borrow some styling from the current Africa Twins. It’s also possible the NX500 may serve as a replacement for the long-running XR650L in markets where it’s no longer offered due to tightened emissions standards.

There’s no indication of when we might expect to see either the CL500 or NX500, but we’ll have the latest information as it becomes available.

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Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the 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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8 of 14 comments
  • T L T L on May 07, 2022

    I rode a CBR500x for about 10k. It handled surprisingly well on the street and did OK-ish as an ADV bike. It wasn't a bad bike, but there's no denying that motor is an absolute turd.

    See MO's own Ninja 400 vs KTM RC390 vs CBR500R. Compared to those bikes the Honda is porky and underpowered and just can't keep up.

    Curious to see what these bikes look like, but 43 hp from a 500 twin is pathetic.

    • See 4 previous
    • GreggJ GreggJ on May 09, 2022

      Hello T L,
      The aftermarket can give you more performance if you like everything else about the bike. I found this site on my first try; there are probably others: Honda Rebel 500 MAGNUM Dyno-Boost Motorcycle Performance Chip.

  • Patriot159 Patriot159 on May 10, 2022

    When KTM finally comes out with the 490 twin ADV they'll need competition. To me a dual sport is more of a streetable dirt bike, can't see the NX going that route. More ADVish I presume. Would like to see a 7-800 cc Transalp too.

    • Denchung Denchung on May 10, 2022

      This may shed some light on what to expect from the NX500:

      The design appears to be for a 200cc version. Honda recently trademarked the name "NX200", so if this is it, we can expect the NX500 to have a similar look and capability.