Honda CL 500

Honda CL 500 Review (Baujahr 2023)

Test of Honda's new and affordable A2 Scrambler

Honda CL 500Photos:
Honda is now also sending an A2-class Scrambler into the race in 2023 with the CL500. What are the differences to Honda's other 500s and what makes the CL 500 stand out? Tanja and Dietmar have made a tour with the newcomer and describe their impressions here.


The Honda CL500 is already the fifth machine that Honda equips with the 471 cc in-line twin. In addition to the CB500F naked bike, there is also the CMX500 Rebel cruiser, the CBR500R sports car and the CB500X adventure bike - and now also a Scrambler. The CL500 is not only the youngest bike in this lineup, but also the cheapest machine at 6,400 euros (without transfer). They come in four colors: black, orange, green and blue.
Farben Honda CL 500
Dimensions and seat ergonomics Honda CL 500
The seat height is a low 790 mm. This also enables smaller pilots to stand safely. The CL500 weighs only 191 kg and is extremely easy to manoeuvre. A2 beginners in particular should also take this aspect into account, because a motorcycle that is too heavy is often a nuisance, especially for beginners. You sit upright, as is typical for Scrambler, the high mounted and wide handlebars fall into the hands of the rider as if by itself. The pillion footrests are mounted very high, so the pillion passenger has - as is so often the case with this type of motorcycle - the knees almost between the ears. So the two of you will rarely want to plow through the area with this bike.
Sitzprobe Honda CL500That's how it sits on the Honda CL500.

360 degree tour around the Honda CL 500

Beleuchtung vorneBeleuchtung hintenCockpit

Technology of the Honda CL 500

The CL500 is limited to the essentials when it comes to technical equipment. There is only a 2-channel ABS, driving modes and traction control are missing as well as mobile phone connection or other Tüdelüt. This can be seen as a disadvantage, but purists will counter that you can fully concentrate on riding a motorcycle here.

In our opinion, the display is much too dark. After all, it shows the gear and the fuel level and Honda has also integrated a small on-board computer, which can be tilted through with a button on the cockpit.

The lighting again makes a good impression: LED all around and also in the CL 500 Honda has again installed the ESS emergency braking signal: In the event of strong deceleration, the turn signals automatically start flashing, which should prevent one or the other rear-end collision.

Scrambler Auspuff

That's how it drives

The laterally raised silencer, which is provided with a stainless steel cover as heat protection, is very successful. And that actually works very well, so the passenger doesn't have to worry about a burned right leg. The sound of the CL500 is pleasing and not too raucous (sound check top right). The stationary noise is 89 dbA, which is compatible with neighbours and village passages.
The engine of the CL500 is almost unchanged compared to the CB500F. Here, too, 47 hp at 8,500 rpm and 43.4 Nm at 6,000 rpm are at the start. That doesn't make the Scrambler a fighting pig, but you can still make fast progress. The gearbox shifts smoothly and the idle is virtually self-sufficient. You can tell that the bike is based on the CB500F: it's a very mature machine without any major quirks. Except for the footrests, which at least Tanja were constantly in the way. The fact that the levers are not adjustable is annoying to incomprehensible (is it really that expensive, Honda?), but you also want to be able to upgrade your sweetheart a little...
The brakes are only poor on paper - in practice, the Nissin stoppers have no problems with the low weight of the CL 500. The chassis of the Honda is not adjustable except for the spring preload of the stereo struts - who is surprised, at this price?! The conventional telescopic fork tends to be rather soft and likes to dive deep, but it is also very comfortable to ride. And honestly, with 47 hp, you simply don't need a sporty, taut rebound and compression adjustable suspension, do you? You won't want to set lap records with this bike, that's not what it's meant for.
500 ccm Motor
In Honda's accessories shop, there are three equipment packages that complement the machine visually and functionally. In our opinion, however, there is not really much that needs to be retrofitted, except perhaps heated grips and fancier and adjustable levers. If you want your Honda CL500 to look a bit "rougher", you should think about Michelin Anakee tires, which would underline the Scrambler look even more.
The warranty on the Honda CL 500 is two years, as is customary for Honda. Every 12,000 km the bike has to be serviced or once a year. The only competitors we can think of are the Fantic Caballero Scrambler 500, the Benelli Leoncino 500 and the Royal Enfield Scram 411. Scramblers in the A2 class are still rather rare...


The Honda CL500 is an easy-to-ride and very accessible bike that is a lot of fun to ride. It is simply equipped, does not pose any puzzles to the driver and works very well. As usual with A2 bikes, you shouldn't expect any performance miracles. The CL500 is more of a leisurely bike with which you consciously enjoy every kilometre.
The test machine was kindly provided to us by motofun . motofun is a large Honda dealer in Kaltenkirchen, north of Hamburg. There, the CL 500 is a demonstrator - and almost every other current Honda can also be test-driven there. Let's go to motofun!

Price/Availability/Colours/Years of Construction

  • Price: 6.400€
  • Availability: since 03/2023
  • Colors: orange, green, black, blue

Zubehör für die
CL 500

  • Moneta
  • Polo
  • Amazon

Pro & Kontra

  • very accessible, easy-to-ride motorcycle
  • manoeuvrable and agile handling
  • Easy to use, sit on it and drive off
  • Footpegs in the way
  • dark display
  • Lever not adjustable within reach
Von unserem Team geprüft:


6.400 €


2,153 mm
1,137 mm
192 kg
790 mm
1,484 mm

Driving Performance & Range

Tank contents
12 l
3.6 l
333 km

Motor & Power Transmission

Engine design
Number of cylinders
471 cc
67 mm
66.8 mm
47 HP
43.4 NM
Number of gears

Suspension & Brakes

Suspension front
Telescopic fork 41 mm
150 mm
Strut rear
Stereo struts
145 mm
Suspension rear
Two-arm swingarm
Brakes in front
Single disc, two-piston brake caliper
310 mm
Tyres at the front
110/80R19M/C 59H
Brakes rear
Single disc, single-piston floating saddle
Rear tyres
150/70R17M/C 69H