Honda unveils CL500 scrambler, new Rebel variant at EICMA 2022

    The CL500 scrambler is powered by the same 471cc parallel-twin as the CB500X, CB500F, CBR500R and Rebel 500.

    Published On Nov 08, 2022 06:25:00 PM


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    The new Transalp adventure bike may be grabbing most of the headlines at the moment, but Honda’s EICMA stall had a few other important new models, too. The CL500 scrambler, a bike that has long been keeping the rumour mill turning, has finally been shown to the world. Honda has also added a new variant to its Rebel cruiser line-up, in the form of the CMX1100T.

    • CL500 scrambler gets 471cc parallel-twin from other Honda 500s

    • 19-inch/17-inch alloy wheel combo, block pattern tyres

    • CMX1100T Rebel is a touring-oriented variant with wind protection, luggage

    Honda CL500 scrambler: details

    Honda’s 471cc parallel-twin motor already powers a great deal of motorcycles, featuring in the CB500X adventure tourer, the CB500F naked, the CBR500R sportbike and the Rebel 500 cruiser. But Honda has stretched the platform even further, now plonking it into the newly unveiled CL500 scrambler.

    Honda has tweaked the ECU maps to suit the character of the bike, and shortened the final drive ratio for peppier acceleration (handy on a motorcycle intended to do some light off-roading). Output figures are still very much in the ballpark of its siblings, at 46.6hp and 43.4Nm (slightly less power and slightly more torque than the 47.5hp, 43.2Nm CB500X that’s sold in India).

    The main frame appears visually quite similar to that of the Rebel 500, while suspension travel is almost identical to the CB500X, with 150mm at the front and 145mm at the rear (10mm more than the CB500X). Hardware comprises a 41mm telescopic fork and preload-adjustable twin shock absorbers. Interestingly, the CL misses out on the upside-down Showa SFF-BP fork that multiple other Honda 500s received recently. It also runs a single front brake disc, while the likes of the CB500X and CB500F were upgraded to a dual-disc set-up earlier this year.

    Helping with the off-road credibility is a 19-inch/17-inch alloy wheel set-up and block pattern Dunlop Mixtour tyres. However, with the fairly limited suspension travel and ground clearance (155mm), this bike is certainly going to be limited to light off-roading rather than hardcore trail-bashing. On the upside, at 790mm, the seat height is quite accessible.

    Also helping it live up to the scrambler tag are a number of neat design touches across the motorcycle, with things like the high-mounted double-exhaust exits, fork gaiters and tank pads giving it a rugged look. On the features front, you get all-LED lighting, fully digital LCD instruments and dual-channel ABS.

    Honda CMX1100T Rebel: details

    The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted the additional ‘T’ at the end of this nametag, and that stands for touring. The biggest Rebel in the range gets a new variant with a couple of touches to make it better suited to the long haul. Most of the hardware, including the 1,084cc parallel-twin engine (shared with the Africa Twin), has remained the same, but Honda has thrown in some wind protection and luggage to up the touring quotient.

    There’s a neat-looking batwing-style fairing up front, with a small windscreen on top, and also a pair of sleek-looking hard panniers. Total luggage capacity is 35 litres, which isn’t exceptional but should do well to facilitate short getaways.

    In more India-relevant news, Honda also showed a new electric scooter at its EICMA stall, kicking off the first of over 10 new electric two-wheelers that it will be introducing by 2025.

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