Honda Motorcycles

Honda SCL500: The Modern-Retro Scrambler-Style Street Bike

Honda SCL500: The Modern-Retro Scrambler-Style Street Bike

1. Introduction

Honda, a significant member of the Japanese Top Four automotive manufacturers, is broadly perceived as creating the most cost-effective and rider-friendly motorcycles for the global bike market. The 2022 Honda SCL500 is a modern classic scrambler that is inspired by the iconic Honda CL72 and CL350, two iconic dirt bike-style Honda scramblers from the 1980s. It constitutes a similar powerplant platform of a 471 cc parallel-twin motor as found on the Honda Rebel 500 and other 500 cc bikes by Honda.

2. Brief Background

If we dive into the history of Honda then we come to know that in the early 1960s and 1970s, two Honda bikes including the Honda CL72 and the Honda CL350 were quite popular among bikers. Both bikes had various beneficial features including their low weight and accurate design elements for a perfect off-road experience. But today, the recently-introduced Honda SCL500 is grabbing the limelight and attention of motorcycle enthusiasts with its highly splendid scrambler style, inspired by the iconic Honda scramblers of the past like the CL72 and the CL350.

3. Honda SCL500 Detailed Technical Specifications

3.1 Basic Info

Maker Honda - Top Japanese Automobile Manufacturer
Year Model 2023
Introduced in 2022
Model ID SCL500A
Motorcycle Type Scrambler-Style Street Bike
Production Status Currently Being Produced
Available Colors Candy Orange
Matte Laurel Green Metallic
Base Price $6,799

3.2 Engine and Performance

Displacement 471 cc
Engine Type Liquid-Cooled Parallel-Twin; Four-Stroke Engine
Compression Ratio 10.7:1
Bore & Stroke 67 mm x 66.8 mm
Starting Mechanism Electric
Fuel System Programmed Fuel Injection System with 34 mm Throttle Bodies
Valve Train DOHC; Four Valves Per Cylinder

3.3 Performance

Top Speed 98 mph
Horsepower 46 hp at 8,500 rpm
Torque 32 lb-ft at 6,000 rpm
Fuel Economy 65 mpg

3.4 Power Transmission

Clutch Wet, Multi-Plate Clutch
Transmission Constant Mesh; Six-Speed Manual Transmission
Final Drive Chain Drive

3.5 Suspension and Chassis

Frame Tubular-Steel Trellis Frame
Front Suspension 41 mm Front Fork
Front Wheel Travel 5.9 in
Rear Suspension Dual Rear Shocks with Five-Position Spring-Preload Adjustability
Rear Wheel Travel 5.7 in

3.6 Braking

ABS Standard
Front Brake 310 mm Single-Disc Brake with Dual-Piston Calipers
Rear Brake 240 mm Single-Disc Brake

3.7 Wheels and Tires

Front Wheel 19-inch Cast Aluminum 14-Spoke Wheel
Rear Wheel 17-inch Cast Aluminum 14-Spoke Wheel
Front Tire 110/80-19 M/C 59H
Rear Tire 150/60-17 M/C 69H

3.8 Dimensions

Seat Height 31.1 in
Length 85.6 in
Height 44.7 in
Width 32.6 in
Ground Clearance 6.1 in
Rake 27°
Trail 4.3 in
Wheelbase 58.4 in
Curb Weight 419 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity 3.2 gal

4. Design and Look

Design and Look
Photo credit: @Honda Powersports

The Honda SCL500 provides the best and most unique scrambler style with various features enhancing its aesthetic appeal. The installation of a tubular-steel trellis frame, high-mount scrambler-style muffler, exposed machinery and parts, rugged and matte black finish, and highly functional wheels with wide rims provide a distinctive look. The Honda SCL500 comes with an adequately padded single-piece flat and comfy seat and a slim fuel tank with pads on both sides that not only look aesthetic but are also functional.

5. Engine & Transmission

The Honda SCL500 features a 471 cc liquid-cooled parallel-twin four-stroke engine that delivers 46 hp of horsepower and 39 lb-ft of torque. The power delivery is extremely smooth and user-friendly, making it suitable for new riders. A modified air intake and exhaust setup help generate refined power. The engine of this bike caters to almost all types of motorcyclists who want a mid-sized scramble-style motorbike. Six-speed transmission assists in moving the O-ring-sealed chain that offers crisp acceleration through each gear. The assist & slipper clutch reduces the clutch pull by 30% and provides better control of your motorcycle while decelerating. New riders can gain more confidence with the easy clutch operation. This engine is also fuel efficient as it delivers 65 mpg fuel economy.

Although the performance of both the Honda SCL500 and the Rebel 500 shows a resemblance. Still, this bike includes numerous distinctive features including a subframe, a larger back sprocket, and a modified air intake that is highly model-specific.

6. Suspension

Towards the front, there is a conventional and non-adjustable 41 mm fork with 5.9 inches of wheel travel. On the rear side, there are five-position spring-preload adjustable dual rear shocks with 5.7 inches of wheel travel. Regardless of its Scrambler nature, the Honda SCL500 is a more road-oriented bike with an average off-road capability.

7. Brakes

The Honda SCL500 ensures reasonable stopping power with a standard ABS, strengthening the 310 mm single disc up front and a 240 mm disc in the rear. You can also adjust the front brake lever according to your preferences and comfort.

8. Ride Quality

The Honda SCL500 is an impressive choice for riding on paved roads and maneuvering on dirt trails due to the installation of 19-inch front and 17-inch rear adventure-style cast wheels which make a perfect combination with Dunlop Trailmax Mixtour tires. The tires of this bike not only provide road stability but also maintain a great balance while overcoming off-road challenges.

9. Ergonomics

The seat is also comfortable and there is sufficient room for riders to move and adjust their body position during the ride. The upright riding position is extremely beneficial and it does not affect your backbone. The perfect riding position of this bike is extremely feasible for both daily commuting and touring.

A comparatively lower seat height also provides an advantage to riders as they can easily place both their feet down when stopped at the traffic signal.

9.1 Pros

  • Quintessential Honda quality
  • Customizable
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable
  • Fun to ride
  • Street-focused tires

9.2 Cons

  • Dim LCD brightness
  • Very basic in terms of technology
  • Not a great off-roader
  • Not ideal for tall riders
  • Non-switchable ABS for off-road riding

10. FAQs

10.1 Is the Honda SCL500 Comfortable for Two-Up Riding?

Yes, there is sufficient space on the Honda SCL500 bike for both rider and passenger to sit and enjoy the ride comfortably. The power and torque produced by the engine are also quite impressive to take a load of passengers for versatile riding on both paved and uneven terrains.

11. Last Thoughts

The Honda SCL500 is a decent entry and intermediate-level motorbike and the addition of innovative styling as well as comfortable ergonomics make it a more approachable bike for most riders. If you are striving for a scrambler-style bike that you can easily manage then this Honda SCL500 is a perfect choice for you.

If you want to increase motorcycle luggage storage capacity? Viking Bags has many luggage options available, including saddlebags, sissy bar bags, tank bags, swing arm bags, and backpacks.

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