Last November, we told you about the Euro-spec 2023 Honda CL500. Upon hearing the news, we lobbied American Honda hard to bring it here, and the powers that be in the US heard us. Renamed the SCL500 for the US market—though its official model number is CL500A—it is nearly identical to the European model. The most important difference—it’s available here. So, let’s give a quick rundown of the 2023 Honda SCL500 Scrambler.

  1. The 2023 Honda SCL500 is based on the Rebel 500 platform. While a cruiser may not be the most likely candidate for transition to a scrambler, it’s not unheard of. Yamaha took the Bolt and turned it into the SCR950. Even though the SCR950 didn’t last long, that hasn’t deterred Honda from giving it a shot. One feature that might help the SCL500 out is that its $6999 list price is $1891 lower than the original SCR950 tariff. However, the SCL500 is $350 more than the Rebel 500.
  2. Here’s the official pitch for the SCL500, courtesy of American Honda Manager of Sports & Experiential Brandon Wilson: “More than any manufacturer, Honda has consistently demonstrated an ability to deliver fun, retro motorcycles that scratch a nostalgic itch while offering the performance and reliability for which Honda is so well known. That’s the case with the all-new SCL500, and we’re confident it will be a hit with American customers.”
  3. Honda namedrops the CL72 and CL77 scramblers from the 1960s when promoting the 2023 SCL500Honda does acknowledge that the SCL500 is a “scrambler” in styling only. The new model is not intended to be a platform for off-roading, though nothing would stop you from taking it down a friendly dirt road. Also, Honda calls the SCL500 a Standard, a variant of the Sport line, rather than in Honda’s Dual Sport or Adventure lines.

  1. Although the main frame and DOHC motor are from the Rebel 500, the SCL500 gets its own exhaust system, subframe, suspension, wheels/tires, geometry, ergonomics (seat and handlebar), fuel tank, and side panels. Those changes turn a contemporarily styled cruiser into a neo-retro scrambler.
  2. The SCL500 gets a bit longer legs. The non-adjustable fork has 5.3 inches of travel, while the spring-preload adjustable shocks let the rear axle move 5.7 inches. The fork tubes are protected by retro-themed gaiters.
  3. The SCL500 has an ADV-style 19-/17-inch wheel pairingThat compares to the Rebel’s pair of 16-inch wheels or the 1960s Honda CL77’s dual 19-inch wheel setup. 
  4. With longer suspension travel, a different subframe, and larger-diameter wheels, the 2023 Honda SCL500 has a seat height over 31 inches. That’s nearly four inches higher than the Rebel, and an even taller seat—with a brown cover—is available.

  1. The Rebel 500 has a solo seat, while the SCL500 lets you share the fun with a passenger on a long bench-style seat. The SCL’s passenger pegs are mounted to the subframe. Also, the rider’s footpeg position is down and back compared to the Rebel. 500.
  2. The arcing fuel tank, complete with knee pads, holds 3.2 gallons of fuel. Expect the range to be around 150 miles or so.
  3. The handlebar bend is high and wide. It does lack a crossbar, however, which is a classic scrambler styling cue.
  1. While the muffler exits high, the headers run under the frameThere’s only perfunctory protection for the exhaust pipes from the twin-cylinder engine, so any non-pavement riding will have to be free of rocks, logs, and ruts.
  2. Dunlop Trailmax Mixtour tires give a bit of an off-road-ready look to the SCL500Introduced in Europe a couple of years ago, the tires are typically used on street-oriented adventure bikes. They work quite well on pavement.
  3. ABS is standard with the 310mm/240mm disc brake combo. The front disc is 14mm larger in diameter than on the Rebel 500. Also, ABS is always on, even if you plan on scrambling off-road.

  1. The morphing from the Rebel 500 to the SCL500 adds 11 pounds to the package. However, the SCL500 remains a lightweight motorcycle at 419 pounds.
  2. Two styling packages and 25 accessories are available from Honda for the SCL500. A Tour package adds a luggage rack, heated grips, and other accouterments, while the Rally package beefs up the footpegs, has a high-mounted front fender, and adds handguards.
  3. The 2023 Honda SCL500 will be available next month in two colors: Candy Orange and Matte Laurel Green Metallic. Note that the SCL500 shown in the location photos is a pre-production model. 

2023 Honda SCL500 Specs



  • Frame: Steel-tube trellis
  • Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable 41mm fork; 5.3 inches
  • Rear suspension; travel: Spring-preload adjustable nitrogen-gas shocks; 5.7 inches
  • Wheels: Cast aluminum
  • Tires: Dunlop Trailmax Mixtour
  • Front tire: 110/80 x 19
  • Rear tire: 150/70 x 17
  • Front brake: 310mm disc w/ Nissin 2-piston caliper
  • Rear brake: 240mm disc w/ Nissin single-piston caliper
  • ABS: 2-channel


  • Wheelbase: 58.5 inches
  • Rake: 27.0 degrees
  • Trail: 4.3 inches
  • Ground clearance: 6.1 inches
  • Seat height: 31.1 inches
  • Fuel capacity: 3.2 gallons
  • Curb weight: 419 pounds
  • Colors: Candy Orange; Matte Laurel Green Metallic

2023 Honda SCL500 Price: $6799 MSRP