The local launch of the Honda CL500 Scrambler took place at the 2023 Makina Moto Show. With its official availability in the Philippines, Honda is entering the fiercely competitive small to mid-displacement scrambler market, which currently includes models from Royal Enfield, Husqvarna, and Benelli. The CL500 Scrambler is a light-middleweight bike that is now available for P409,000.
The Honda CL500 Scrambler is built on the popular Rebel platform, which is in turn based on the CB500F and CBR500R models. The CL500 Scrambler has a slightly sportier and more upright seating position, which makes it more appealing to retro enthusiasts. With its availability in the Philippines, Honda has expanded its lineup to cater to this market segment.
Despite its retro appearance, the Honda CL500 Scrambler is equipped with modern features thanks to the new parts bin from the Rebel. The bike shares the LED headlight, turn signals, and rear taillight with the Rebel. The single gauge pod also makes a return and displays the same information as the Rebel. In addition to these borrowed features, the CL500 Scrambler has a different exhaust mounting, which is set higher than the Rebel's exhaust. Honda has added a large heat shield to prevent the rider and pillion from getting burnt legs while riding.
Aside from the retro-modern styling, the Honda CL500 scrambler also comes with a standard set of chassis components that share similarities with the Rebel while having unique features of its own. The frame is mostly the same, except for the subframe and the suspension setup, which has been tweaked for the CL500. It also has a wheelset designed specifically for a scrambler. The front forks are 41-millimeter telescopic right-side-up tubes, while the rear suspension is a twin shock setup with a five-step preload adjustment. The bike offers 145 millimeters (5.7 inches) of rear wheel travel and 150 millimeters (5.9 inches) of front wheel travel.
Despite its scrambler styling, the Honda CL500 remains a user-friendly motorcycle suitable for beginners. Its seat height is a mere 31.1 inches, and it has a ground clearance of 6.1 inches or 155 millimeters. The front wheel measures 19 inches in diameter and has a 110/80 size tire, while the rear wheel is 17 inches and has a 150/70 tire. The bike's wet weight is 192 kilograms, which may seem heavy but is not overly burdensome considering the low seat height and upright riding position.
Honda Philippines expressed its pride in introducing the CL500 to its lineup and showcased it together with other Honda models such as the Transalp 750 and Rebel 1100 during its launch. The CL500 comes with a price tag of P409,000, as previously mentioned.