Honda’s introduction of the CL500 Scrambler at EICMA 2022 was yet another instance of Team Red resurrecting a beloved old model designation. Sure, Honda hadn’t made a CL-series bike since the mid-70s, but if anything, that was all the more reason why the CL badge was ripe for a resurrection in the 2020s. A reimagining. A full-scale renaissance, if you will—on the order of either Michelangelo and/or Beyoncé (take your pick).
In April 2023, we caught a glimpse of the 2023 Honda CL500 in full production form at the 2023 Makina Moto Show in the Philippines. As an international manufacturer, Honda frequently rolls out new models (particularly small-to-mid displacement ones) in various markets across Asia and Europe before they come to the US. So, for US fans, one question seemingly remained: Should we expect the CL500 to make its way to our shores?
As of mid-May 2023, and thanks to US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) vehicle certification documents, we can say with certainty that American Honda Motor Company has filed documentation for the CL500 as a 2023 model. The only model listed is “CL500A,” which seems to indicate that it will only be offered with standard ABS in the US market.
The bike will be manufactured by Thai Honda. In this application, the 472cc parallel twin (also found in the Rebel 500) makes a claimed 34.2 kilowatts (or 45.8 horsepower) at 8,200 rpm. It will also come with a six-speed gearbox. So far, all these figures line up exactly with those filed with the EPA for the 2023 Rebel 500.
Looking ahead to certifications filed for the 2024 model year, American Honda also filed new documentation for the ADV160, as well as an updated Grom and Grom ABS. The 2024 Honda ADV160 as offered in the US will be powered by a 157cc four-valve single-cylinder engine that makes a claimed 11.7 kilowatts (or just under 15.7 horsepower) at 8,250 rpm.
Like the CL500, the ADV160 originates from the Thai Honda factory, as do the updated Grom and Grom ABS. Interestingly, both the CL500 and ADV160 EPA filings indicate standard ABS by the use of “A” in the documentation, and there will seemingly not be any option to purchase either model without ABS in this market. However, since the documentation mentions both a Grom and a Grom ABS, presumably that bike will be available without ABS if a rider chooses.
In any case, in the US, the 2024 Grom and Grom ABS will be powered by a 124cc two-valve single-cylinder engine that makes a claimed 7.5 kilowatts (or about 10 horsepower) at 7,250 rpm and is mated to a five-speed gearbox. Those figures should sound pretty familiar, as they’re all congruent with the current Grom and Grom ABS.
As you may recall, the facelifted third gen Grom first rolled out in Europe in 2020, then came to the US as a 2022 model. Could the EPA’s new Grom designation be a fourth generation Grom debut, or is it simply reconfigured to meet increasingly stringent emissions requirements? We’ll have to wait and see what Honda reveals when it decides the time is right.