Honda’s new CL500 strikes a rich retro vein, with inspiration from the original CLs of the 60s and 70s. Using the A2-licence compatible twin-cylinder engine of Honda’s CB500 series, it applies a new tubular diamond-structure steel frame, long-travel suspension and 19/17-inch front/rear wheel combination to good effect. It’s born ready for the rigours of urban travel as much as it is light off-road. The head-turning style is rich with details such as rounded fuel tank, knee pads, rubber fork gaiters and upswept dual-exit exhaust muffler with drilled heat shield. All lighting is LED, the dash a negative LCD display and four contemporary paint options make the CL500 stand out even further from the crowd.
The development concept used from the start of the CL500 project has been ‘Express Yourself’. Deliberately targeting a young, style-conscious demographic, it’s a bike designed to fit neatly into an owner’s lifestyle with the ability to handle the daily commute, a long weekend ride, or even some light off-road - and to catch the eye while doing it.
Of course, and just as it should be for the younger rider, it’s also eminently customisable and there are a range of genuine Honda accessories ready to go that elevate personality, practicality and style.
The 471cc parallel twin-cylinder engine is Honda’s lively and popular A2 licence compatible powerplant that produces 34.3kW of power and a healthy 43.4Nm of torque. It has unique ECU settings for CL duty, and short final drive gearing serves up smart around-town acceleration both from a standing start and through the gears. The six-speed gearbox is managed by assist/slipper clutch.
The tubular steel trellis-style main frame is both a style statement and foundation of easy handling. Long-travel suspension comprises 41mm telescopic forks and adjustable rear shock while the wheels – 19-inch front and 17-inch rear – wear block-pattern tyres. The
brakes front and rear feature ABS modulation specifically balanced for excellent performance on a variety of surfaces, including light off-road.
All lighting is LED, the instrument panel a compact negative LCD, and Emergency Stop Signal (ESS) technology operates the rear indicators as hazard lights under sudden, hard braking.
The 23YM CL500 will be available in the following colour options; Candy Energy Orange, Mat Laurel Green Metallic, Candy Caribbean Blue Sea & Mat Gunpowder Black Metallic
‘Simple, Raw and Tough’ were the three words that set the tone and direction for the CL500’s styling team. The street scrambler style looks right wherever it rolls with the added benefit of ergonomics that make for a bike that’s very easy to ride in a variety of situations.
The combination of the clean, round fuel tank shape and upswept muffler - with stainless steel heat shield - strike the nostalgia chords hard. And all the lovingly-crafted details - the tank pads and rubber fork gaiters, the wadded, smooth outer seat skin with embossed Honda logo, high-level handlebars - combine to create a look that oozes charm. The paint options, all set against blacked out engine and chassis, make each colour ‘pop’ vibrantly.
The tubular diamond-structure steel frame provides the handling ability, ride comfort and foundation of style for the CL500. It’s beautifully simple, with strong tubes and loop-shaped rear subframe. Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) was employed to get the rigidity and weight balance optimised perfectly.
A scrambler-style bike has to cope with it all – from rough city streets to uneven dirt roads and the goal for the chassis was to create light, responsive handling with suspension that can absorb the hits. Ground clearance is 155mm; rake is set at 27° with trail of 108mm and 1,485mm wheelbase. Kerb weight is 192kg.
The CL500’s 471cc 8-valve, liquid-cooled parallel twin-cylinder engine is smooth, easy to use and thoroughly engaging. The hugely popular and durable unit has made its reputation in Honda’s CB(R)500 series and the CMX500 Rebel. For the CL500, it features revised PGM-FI fuel injection mapping, and a new intake and exhaust setup that deliver the engaging torque of 43.4Nm @ 6,250rpm and peak power of 34.3kW @ 8,500rpm. For crisper acceleration through each gear the rear sprocket uses 41 teeth, versus the 40 used by the Rebel.
|Engine Type||Liquid-cooled DOHC 4-stroke 4-valve two-cylinder|
|Max Power Output||34.3kW @ 8500rpm|
|Max Torque||43.4Nm @ 6250rpm|
|Bore x Stroke (mm)||67 x 66.8|
|Front Brake||Single 310mm floating disc, 2 piston calipers|
|Rear Brake||Single 240mm disc, 1 piston calliper|
|Front Suspension||Telescopic 41mm Upright forks, 150mm travel|
|Rear Suspension||Twin shock with 45mm round pipe swingarm, 5-step pre-load adjustment|
|Front Wheel||Cast Aluminium (110/80R19M/C 59H)|
|Rear Wheel||Cast Aluminium (150/70R17M/C 69H)|
|Dimensions||2175mm x 831mm x 1135mm|
|Frame Type||Steel diamond|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||12L|
|Clutch||Wet multiplate, assisted slipper clutch|
|Gearbox||6 speed manual transmission|