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Honda has launched the new CL300 scrambler in China

Would this entry-level, retro-inspired scrambler make for a good addition to Honda’s local lineup?

Honda CL300

In the entry-level to middleweight market, Honda's 500cc model series is undoubtedly a formidable competitor. The parallel-twin powered 500cc range of Honda-badged big bikes is frequently the choice of people searching for a dependable and trustworthy platform, while being okay with performance and tech taking a back seat. Indeed, you could say that Honda's 500cc lineup sort of blurs the lines between the 400 and 650 class, and holds a position of its own in today's fiercely competitive big bike market.

Honda offered four 500cc models in their portfolio up until EICMA 2022: the CBR500R, CB500F, CB500X, and Rebel 500. With the CL500, a laid-back scrambler style motorcycle that leans more toward the cruiser side of the spectrum than the naked/enduro side, Honda joined the neo-retro scrambler market at EICMA. The Rebel 500, on which it was based, used a low seat height, a sloping frame, and a relaxed seating position. Honda has unveiled the CL300, its smaller brother, in the Chinese market in conjunction with the debut of the CL500 for the international market.

Honda CL300

In fact, Honda also offers a smaller, more beginner-friendly 300 range alongside its 500cc portfolio. In markets outside of our own, new riders used to prefer the Honda CB300R, CBR300, and Rebel 300. There's a potential that this smaller neo-retro scrambler might make its debut in countries where the rest of Honda's 300cc lineup is offered, with the arrival of the CL300 in China. It naturally has the same 286cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, fuel-injected engine and structural foundation as its cruiser sister, which is capable of 26 horsepower. This results in a top speed of 125 kilometers per hour.

Honda is offering the CL300 in two trim levels for the Chinese market: Standard and Premium, with the two being distinguished by different graphics and design cues. Additionally, the CL300 has dual-purpose tires mounted on 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels, just as the CL500. The bike also receives a two-up, tuck-and-roll seat, fork gaiters, and an upswept exhaust system.

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