EICMA 2022: Honda Adds A 500cc Scrambler To Its Lineup
The 2023 Honda CL500 scrambler looks ideal for India
Globally Honda has a delightful range of 500cc motorcycles of which India currently has only the CB500X adventure tourer. Just as our wait for the arrival of the CB500F, CBR500R and Rebel 500 was getting us impatient, Honda has rolled out the CL500 scrambler.
Built on the backbone of Rebel 500, this urban scrambler takes its design inspiration from Honda’s CL range of bikes from the 60’s and 70’s. Just look at that scrambler style side slung exhaust pipes! But underneath the retro theme is the same 471cc, liquid-cooled, parallel twin motor we have thoroughly enjoyed on the CB500X. It makes a familiar 46.7PS and 43.4Nm and features a six-speed gearbox with a slip and assist clutch.
The CL500 has been positioned as an urban scrambler with mild off-road capabilities. Yes, it’s running on off-road friendly 19-/17-inch rims front and back, the CL500 gets alloys and not wire-spoke rims. The bike is suspended on a 41mm telescopic fork and twin rear shocks with preload adjustment. The saddle is at an accessible 790mm and the weight a manageable 192kg (kerb). Braking is handled by a 310mm and 240mm single disc front and back with dual channel ABS offered as standard.
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In terms of features the CL500 gets LED lighting around and basic monopod LCD display giving out all the basic readings, but it misses out on smartphone connectivity. The CL500 also misses out on features like riding modes, traction control and switchable ABS.
Honda is allowing for three customisation packs on the CL500- Adventure pack, Travel pack and Style pack. Here’s what you get in each one them:
Adventure: Knuckle guards, high front mudguard, rear shock cover, and rally footpegs.
Travel: Soft saddlebag, heated grips, ACC socket, adjustable brake lever and tank pad.
Style: Headlight cowl, cowl stripe, wheel stripes, rear side cover, rear side cover stripe and high seat.
In a recent development, Honda BigWing Bengaluru announced that it has a CB500F streetfighter on display to gather customer reaction. This has made us a bit hopeful of the fact that despite COVID-19 interrupting Honda’s plan of launching its 500cc range in India, these bikes including the CL500 could one day make its way here!
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