The 2023 Makina Moto Show served as the first stomping ground for the Honda CL500 Scrambler. The new light-middleweight is now officially available in the ASEAN country, marking the Honda brand’s entry into the highly-competitive segment. 

When it comes to Hondas, there’s something for everyone, except scrambler enthusiasts. Honda’s modern scrambler takes the popular Rebel platform, which is also a descendant of the CB500F and CBR500R in a manner of speaking, and gives it a little more athletic prowess—just a tad more. With a more upright and less slumped-over seating position, the new CL500 opens up Honda’s lineup to the retro enthusiast, now available in the Philippines.

Honda CL500 - Philippines

Even with its retro styling, it still gets some rather modern amenities, thanks in part to Honda’s new parts bin pieces from the Rebel. The CL500 gets the same LED headlight, turn signals, and rear taillight that the Rebel gets. The singular gauge pod also makes a return, still displaying the same things that the Rebel can display. Apart from the technologies borrowed from the cruiser, the CL500 scrambler gets a different exhaust mounting, set higher than its cruiser brother, Honda slapped on a large heat shield to prevent either the rider or the pillion from getting burnt legs while out and about. 

Honda CL500 - Philippines
Honda CL500 - Philippines

Other than that, you get a standard array of chassis componentry which is similar to the Rebel in some ways, and unique to the CL in others. The frame is largely the same, save for a different subframe, a tweaked suspension setup, and a wheelset that is more scrambler than a cruiser. The forks are a 41-millimeter set of telescopic right-side-up tubes, and it is mated to a twin shock setup at the rear with a five-step preload adjustment. Rear wheel travel is rated at 145 millimeters (5.7 inches), and the front is allotted 150 millimeters of travel (5.9 inches). 

Braking duties are handled by a pair of discs, one in the front and one in the rear, with the front disc being 310 millimeters in diameter, and the rear being 240 millimeters in diameter. The CL’s front caliper is a two-piston unit, while the rear is a single-piston slider, both governed by a two-channel ABS unit. 

Honda CL500 - Philippines

The front wheels are 19 inches in diameter, and it wears a 110/80 size tire. The rear, meanwhile, is a 17-inch unit with 150/70-sized tires. Even with a more “scrambler” setup, Honda was able to make this bike very approachable, with a seat height of just 31.1 inches. The bike also sits 6.1 inches off the ground or 155 millimeters in metric. Adding to its beginner-friendly nature is the wet weight of 423.2 pounds (192 kg), which is quite hefty but not quite backbreaking considering the low seat height and the upright ergonomics. 

Honda CL500 - Philippines

Honda Philippines is proud to add this model to the lineup, and it did launch the unit alongside other Honda motorcycles like the Honda Transalp 750, and the Rebel 1100. The price of the CL500 is pinned at P409,000, which translates to about $7,400 USD. 

Gallery: 2023 Honda CL500 Scrambler

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