If you’ve been waiting for the Honda SCL500 to make its way to the States, your wait is officially over. On May 30, 2023, American Honda formally introduced the SCL500 as a 2023 model. Powered by the same 471cc parallel twin that’s found in all of Honda’s current 500cc range, the newest middleweight scrambler on the block is ready to join Honda’s American stable. Additionally, Honda introduced the updated 2024 Shadow Phantom and ADV160, as well as the returning 2024 Shadow Aero, Grom, and PCX. Let’s dive in, shall we? 

The 2023 Honda SCL500 is powered by a 471cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, eight-valve parallel twin engine. Bore and stroke are 67.0mm x 66.8mm, and American Honda does not list horsepower or torque figures for this machine. It’s mated to a six-speed gearbox and gets a slipper assist clutch. 

Suspension is similarly simple, with a 41mm telescopic fork up front offering 5.3 inches of travel, and twin shocks in the rear that offer 5.7 inches of travel and two-step preload adjustability. As for braking, ABS comes standard on the SCL500 at both ends. Up front, there’s a single caliper and a 310mm brake disc, and in the rear, there’s a single caliper and a 240mm brake disc. Alloy wheels consist of a 19-inch front and a 17-inch rear, both wrapped in Dunlop rubber. 

Gallery: 2023 Honda SCL500 and 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom and Shadow Aero

What sets the SCL500 apart from the other 500cc Honda range with which it shares an engine? Styling, of course. Ergonomic positioning is fairly neutral and upright, which isn’t uncommon on other bikes in the range. However, the SCL500 gives you a high-mounted muffler, blacked out engine and exhaust pipes, black knee pads, a ruggedly styled two-up saddle, and of course a round headlight with a black bezel.  

Modern touches include the fact that all lighting is LED, and the meter display is an LCD unit with an included gear-position indicator and fuel gauge. (Have you ever ridden a Honda without a fuel gauge? I’ve ridden plenty. It may sound like an extremely basic thing in 2023, but it makes a difference. 

If you’d prefer to cruise rather than scramble, the 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom is here with a two-tone gas tank, new styling elements and handlebar, an updated single seat and an available passenger seat and foot pegs, available ABS, and a shiny new rear disc brake into the bargain. The 2024 Shadow Aero also gets a rear disc brake on both standard and ABS trim levels. (Please note in both cases that the non-ABS bike is not available for sale in California.) 

Pricing varies, but American Honda lists availability for the 2023 SCL500, 2024 Shadow Phantom, and 2024 Shadow Aero as sometime in June 2023. The 2023 SCL500 will come in your choice of two colors: Candy Orange or Matte Laurel Green Metallic. The 2024 Shadow Phantom will come in two colors as well: Deep Pearl Gray Metallic or Orange Metallic. The 2024 Shadow Aero only comes in black, thank you very much.  

MSRP on the 2023 Honda SCL500 is $6,799. MSRP on the 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom is $8,399 or $8,699 if you opt for ABS. Finally, MSRP on the 2024 Honda Shadow Aero is $7,949, or $8,249 if you opt for ABS. 

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