2023 Honda SCL500 Announced for North America
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The Honda CL500 is Coming to the US, With the ADV160 and a New Grom
Honda announced a new scrambler model based on its 500 platform last November at EICMA, but there was no indication about whether the CL500 would be brought to America. That has now changed, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has certified the 2023 Honda CL500, and we expect an official announcement to come very soon. And it won't be alone, as the EPA has also certified the ADV160 and an updated Grom.
2023 Honda CL500 First Look
Honda is adding a new model to its 500 platform, introducing a retro-inspired CL500 street scrambler.
The new CL brings back a nameplate Honda used in the ’60s and ’70s for lightweight off-road capable motorcycles. The modern interpretation draws on that heritage with the upswept muffler with stainless steel heat shield, round tank with tank pads, and gaitered forks.
“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,” says Hiroshi Furuse, Large Project Leader for the CL500. “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.”
Honda Trademarks Hint at New Scrambler and Dual Sport 500 Models
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.