Just when you thought Honda couldn’t possibly add something new and different to its middle-range moto lineup, it surprises us with a reiteration of a previous cult classic, the CL350, best known for paving the way for the Baja 1000 back in the 70’s. This modern version of the peppy lightweight scrambler has all the goodies of Honda’s current offerings, with all the style of the paired down desert racers of the past.
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.
Earlier this year, reports emerged that BMW had filed trademark applications for “R12”, with many predicting the name would be used on a new cruiser. The logic made sense, as the naming structure was similar to the R18, and BMW lacked a cruiser model in the 1200-ish range. We were a little less bullish on that theory at the time, and we suspected there was more to the story. And now, new evidence has emerged that may justify our skepticism.
Ducati revealed its new “Next-Gen” 803cc Scrambler lineup, featuring new styling, a new ride-by-wire throttle, a 4.3-inch TFT display, and an updated chassis. For 2023, Ducati will offer three 803cc Scramblers: the Icon, the Full Throttle, and the Nightshift. The 1100 Scrambler range will also return, unchanged, with three models: the Scrambler 1100 Dark Pro, Tribute Pro, and Sport Pro.
I’m a big fan of scramblers that can actually Scram, ya dig? When a production scrambler has the chops and capability to do what those customized rigs did back in the good ol’ days, well, that’s the real deal. Isn’t it? Royal Enfield has based this latest machine on its highly popular Himalayan ADV bike so, in theory, the new 411 should be nearly as capable as that machine while being imbued with its own style. A tweak here, some new paint there, a smaller front wheel, viola! Welcome to the Scram 411.
Last week, Ducati announced it would once again present its new product announcements in a series of online presentations. Just like in 2020 and 2021, the Ducati World Première 2023 series will take place over multiple episodes, with each part featuring a different product line.