– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Honda Brings SCL500 Scrambler to U.S. Market

After hearing about the European launch of the cool little CL500 Honda scrambler, we immediately wondered whether the bike would be available in the U.S. market. We now know that it will be with the slightly different name SCL500.

With an MSRP of $6,799, the SCL500 appears aimed at novice riders and experienced riders who want a second (or third) bike in the garage. With a moderate seat height of 31.1″, and a relatively flat seat and upright ergonomics, this could be a fun bike for around town, or even commuting. The 3.2 gallon fuel tank is a bit limiting, but the 471cc parallel-twin apparently provides excellent fuel economy.

Take a look here for Honda’s web site dedicated to the new SCL500. Below you will find full specifications and two videos associated with the European launch of the largely identical CL500.

2023 SCL500
Harkening back to the early ’60s, when simple, stripped-down motorcycles like Honda’s CL72 came on the scene, the all-new SCL500 features all the key “scrambler” styling elements—upright riding position, high-routed exhaust, block tires, ample suspension travel and a retro aesthetic—in an approachable package and at an attractive price. Leveraging the 500cc parallel-twin engine that has proven so successful in models like the Rebel 500, the retro-inspired SCL500 is light and nimble, making it a casual, fun entry for a broad swath of customers, from new riders to more seasoned enthusiasts. Because personalization is vital to many fans of this genre, a wide range of Honda Accessories is offered for the SCL500, enabling owners to customize their rides as they see fit.

  • MSRP: $6,799
  • Colors: Candy Orange; Mattel Laurel Green Metallic
  • Available: June


  1. Rendell Dolan says:

    I like this motorcycle a lot. This machine looks like it would be a lot of fun. Within the engineer’s designed purposes, it would flourish in town and on back roads. I never bought a scrambler motorcycle before because I do not like the hot exhaust high up under my leg. This design also impedes a saddlebag on the right side if that is important to you. Regardless, it is a cool machine. I do not care for the instrument cluster and I saw a video of a rider in the UK stating the sun makes reading the speedometer difficult.

  2. Scott says:

    3.2 gallons should be plenty for something that doesn’t have a windshield. The short suspension travel should only limit the speed you can go off-road, and it should be better on tight trails than taller/heavier adventure bikes with more travel (though clearly this is aimed much more at pavement than off-road use).

  3. MGNorge says:

    Probably because I grew up in the era, the 60’s and 70’s were the golden years of motorcycling. Scrambler style bikes became extremely popular. Delivering a modicum of off-road capability compared to their street counterparts, for many imparting an adventurous, sportiness not always imparted by street bikes. This SCL500 seems to follow that same formula but does that work today? When I was growing up there were many areas to ride on dirt trails, logging roads, and fields which seem to have all but vanished anywhere close to big cities today. Are these bikes then largely just visual variety to buyers? I mean, that’s fine, but does it work? Are they largely the equivalent of off-road inspired SUV’s and trucks which rarely, if ever, see off-road?

  4. Roger says:

    A great bike very practical, what the problem! I would buy one!

    • Stuki Moi says:

      Problem: 4.5″ of rear travel => No more “offroad ability” than a scooter.

      And: A pipe, solely for looks, where luggage is supposed to be, on any bike even remotely aspiring to be “practical”….

  5. Mr.Mike says:

    Looks nicer in the video with a person riding it than the elevation view above.

  6. ORT says:

    Hi Wayne. I would just buy the CB500X. It has better brakes, a larger fuel tank and a center stand.



  7. Wayne says:

    Make a slightly longer travel version. Slightly bigger tank and add it to the Adventure and or duel sport category….

  8. Gary in NJ says:

    This bike is homely. From the fitment/shape of the fuel tank, the rake of the forks, the use of 19/17 wheels, the exhaust. Honda can do such much better – and should. They really should be embarrassed by this part-bin machine.

    • Curly says:

      I think it’s alright. Better if the price was $5,999 which it probably will be after a few months on the showroom floor. Nothing wrong with the fatish 19”/17” tires for a dirt roader and the high pipe makes sense too. At 47hp it is A2 legal for Europe and UK and from the photos the build quality looks ok too.

  9. John A Kuzmenko says:

    Spec. sheet says Pro-Link single shock. o.O

  10. Anonymous says:

    Will it cruise effortlessly at 80 mph? That is often the going speed on the freeway here in So Cal.

  11. Harry says:

    Don’t understand, please explain this for me. My Kawasaki 400 Ninja which I sold in ’21 with much regret (moved to another state) weighed around 360+ pounds, road ready. This bike, granted its a 500, weighs 417 pounds. What gives? That about 50 pounds more dead weight.

    • Mick says:

      Thanks Harry. You noticed and commented about it.

      I’ve been doing that for decades now. Sadly, the situation gets worse every single year. If this bike survives for an update, it will gain weight. More than ten pounds of weight.

    • Dave says:

      Ehh.. It’s a 500. The Ninja grew up from a 250. This is still lighter and more sophisticated than the Royal Enfield’s it’s likely selling against. Looks like a really fun, easy going bike to me.

      If Kawasaki made a Z400 RS (that looks like the 650 version) it’d mop the floor with this on the sales floor, though.

    • joe b says:

      the little Kawasaki Ninja 400 was a special machine. It stood out from many others. Might be time to search for a nice good used one, and buy one. Why are some bikes heavier? It just costs more to make things lightweight. Often times, one manufacturer makes/sells a certain machine a ‘flagship model’, and makes little profit on it, while others are the bread and butter of the sales fleet. As much as we would like them to be, not every bike can be one of the ten best bikes of the year, like the little ninja 400 was. just saying…

  12. Reginald Van Blunt says:

    All right ! A practical thumper under 400 pounds less fluids. It will get good enough milage to make the tankage a non issue. Even a flat seat ! Yahoo ! ! ! Almost a Mike Mobile.

    OH NO It’s not a thumper. Damn.

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