Within the final couple of weeks Honda has dropped an entire lot of Rebels on an unsuspecting world. We noticed the debut of the model new 1100T and the return of the 1100 normal mannequin, in addition to a batch of Insurgent 300 and 500 fashions returning for the 2023 mannequin 12 months, in each Europe and the US.
And it seems to be like Honda’s not performed with the Insurgent platform but. Final week at EICMA the agency rolled out the model new scrambler-styled CL500, reviving the long-lasting nameplate featured prominently on the model’s scramblers within the Nineteen Sixties-70s.
Regardless of the CL title, this new mannequin relies on Honda’s Insurgent 500 cruiser platform. Although we’d heard rumors a few Honda retro-scrambler over the past 12 months, we by no means actually thought-about the Insurgent as a attainable basis. But right here we’re, a street-legal, production-ready 2023 CL500 mannequin, already formally up on the Honda UK web site as we converse.
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To be honest, Honda didn’t simply take the Insurgent 500 and match it with longer shocks, a flat seat and knobby tires and name it good, though it did add a few of these issues. Whereas the liquid-cooled 471cc parallel twin engine the CL500 shares with each the Insurgent and the CB500X is just about unchanged right here, it’s a very good match for the appliance, making round 45 horsepower and an honest 32 lb-ft of torque. Honda has tweaked it a bit, giving the CL500 revised gas injection mapping and a brand new consumption and exhaust setup. For crisper acceleration, CL’s rear sprocket additionally has 41 tooth versus the 40 utilized by the Insurgent.
However the CL500 serves up different revisions the place it counts, stuffing that twin engine into what it calls a “new tubular metal trellis-style most important body.” It’s truly pretty near the Insurgent’s, although on the CL500 there’s a brand new modified loop-shaped rear subframe to accommodate the taller shocks. That long-travel suspension additional differentiates the CL; up entrance there’s a non-adjustable right-side-up 41mm telescopic fork sporting basic black gaiters and delivering a wholesome 5.9 inches of journey. Out again you’re greeted by a pair of long-stroke uncovered twin shocks with 5.7 inches of journey and 5-step spring preload adjustment (3 up from normal, 1 down), connected to a easy however sturdy tubular swingarm. Substantial triple clamps are additionally CL-specific, whereas the 19-inch entrance and 17-inch rear wheels put on semi-knobby tires, a tough break from the Insurgent’s smaller-diameter 16-inchers. That mentioned, there’s nonetheless solely 6 inches of floor clearance on the CL, so preserving off-road forays on the gentle facet might be most secure.
The trade-off for larger wheels and longer journey suspension is invariably a taller seat, however at 31.1 inches, the CL500 nonetheless looks as if it’d be manageable for many riders. The additional room within the cockpit means there are additionally higher-rise handlebars, angled to supply higher leverage when both standing up or sitting down and fitted with off-road fashion grips
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The CL500′s brakes are set as much as match its informal off-road objective as properly, with a two-piston entrance caliper clamping a 310mm floating disc. Hydraulic strain is balanced between the entrance and the rear single-piston caliper, to serve up “higher management on a wider vary of surfaces” based on Honda. The ABS modulation can also be tweaked for quite a lot of driving situations. The six-speed gearbox is managed by an help and slipper clutch, which likewise seems to be unchanged from the Insurgent unit.
Whereas there’s no getting across the apparent Insurgent 500 design language employed on the CL500, the entire enchilada makes for a surprisingly handsome combo. The visible division will get assist from a brand new tank that’s extra rounded and extra horizontally laid out in comparison with the awkward vertical tilt of the Insurgent 500′s. Maybe the most important wart on the bike, although, is that egregiously outsized high-mounted exhaust muffler. Little question there’s a cat hidden in there, but it surely’s nonetheless the primary piece on the bike we’d change out.
Additionally borrowed from the Insurgent is the LED lighting package deal, in addition to the single-gauge LCD show perched simply above the handlebar. There’s nothing significantly difficult, however then this isn’t a tech-packed bike.
Honda additionally launched a collection of equipment and bundled kits for the bike, together with a fly display screen, saddlebags, hand guards and even a high field. The rear subframe is designed for simple fitment of components, whereas an extra rear rack will deal with the 38L high field.
With 4 vibrant paint choices to provide the CL500 some punch, Honda has additionally made it fairly clear it’s focusing on a younger and considerably style-conscious demographic. Whether or not or not which means the bike will make it into the palms of younger US riders stays to be seen.
2023 Honda CL 500 Specs
|Engine:||Liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke 4-valve parallel twin|
|Bore x Stroke:||67 x 66.8mm|
|Claimed Horsepower:||46 hp @ 8,500 rpm|
|Claimed Torque:||32 lb.-ft. @ 6,250 rpm|
|Gas System:||Digital gas injection|
|Clutch:||Moist, multiplate; slip and help|
|Entrance Suspension:||41mm standard fork, 5.9 in. journey|
|Rear Suspension:||Twin shocks, preload adjustable, 5.7 in journey|
|Entrance Brake:||Single 310mm floating disc, two-piston caliper, ABS|
|Rear Brake:||240mm disc, one-piston caliper, ABS|
|Wheels, Entrance/Rear:||Solid aluminum; 19 x 0.5 in. / 17 x 0.5 in.|
|Tires, Entrance/Rear:||110/80-19 / 150/70-17|
|Rake/Path:||27° / 4.2 in.|
|Floor clearance:||6.10 in.|
|Seat Top:||31.1 in.|
|Gas Capability:||3.17 gal.|
|Claimed Curb Weight:||423 lb.|