Honda Announces All-New 2023 Honda SCL500, Updated 2024 Models

2023 Honda SCL500 Candy Orange
2023 Honda SCL500 in Candy Orange

In a reported nod to Honda’s history, dating all the way back to the 1960s when the CL72 and CL77 were offered, American Honda recently announced a new 2023 Honda SCL500 scrambler-style motorcycle that is coming to the U.S. market and is based on the Rebel 500 platform. Honda says the SCL500 “combines modern ride quality and comfort with authentic retro styling, and delivers the result at an attractive price.” 

Honda also announced the return of several other models, many of which have received improvements, including the bobber-style 2024 Shadow Phantom cruiser, the 2024 Shadow Aero classic cruiser, and the 2024 ADV 160 scooter. The 2023 PCX scooter and 2024 Grom miniMOTO will return unchanged.  

Related: Honda Announces More 2023 Returning Models

“More than any manufacturer, Honda has consistently demonstrated an ability to deliver fun, retro motorcycles that scratch a nostalgic itch while offering the performance and reliability for which Honda is so well known,” said Brandon Wilson, American Honda manager of Sports & Experiential. “That’s the case with the all-new SCL500, and we’re confident it will be a hit with American customers. ” 

2023 Honda SCL500

2023 Honda SCL500 Matte Laurel Green Metallic
2023 Honda SCL500 in Matte Laurel Green Metallic

The all-new SCL500 features all the key “scrambler” styling elements – upright riding position, high-routed exhaust, block tires, ample suspension travel and a retro aesthetic – in a bike that Honda says will be enjoyable for both new riders and more seasoned enthusiasts. 

2023 Honda SCL500

The SCL500 shares the liquid-cooled 471cc parallel-Twin engine of the Rebel 500 and is mated to a 6-speed transmission and slip/assist clutch. A 41mm front fork provides 5.9 inches of travel, and in the rear, a Pro-Link single shock with nine-position spring preload adjustability offers 4.5 inches. For stopping power, a 2-piston caliper grabs a 310mm front disc and 240mm rear disc, and ABS is standard. 

2023 Honda SCL500

Related: 2020 Honda Rebel 500 ABS | Road Test Review

The SCL500 rides on multi-spoke cast-aluminum wheels, 19 inches in the front and 17 inches in the rear, wrapped in Dunlop Trailmax Mixtour tires. It has 6.1 inches of ground clearance and a 31.1-inch seat height. With a 3.2-gal fuel tank, the bike comes in with a curb weight of 419 lb.  

2023 Honda SCL500

Because personalization is vital to many fans of the scrambler genre, a wide range of Honda accessories is offered for the SCL500. 

The 2023 Honda SCL500 will be available in June and will come in Candy Orange or Matte Laurel Green Metallic starting at $6,799. 

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom Deep Pearl Gray Metallic
2024 Honda Shadow Phantom in Deep Pearl Gray Metallic

For the 2024 model year, the Honda Shadow Phantom cruiser will return with the same liquid-cooled 745cc 52-degree V-Twin, 5-speed transmission, and shaft final drive, but it will include updates to its bobber styling and improved performance.  

Styling updates include a two-tone gas tank, new handlebar, handlebar clamps, headlight cover, air-cleaner cover, display instruments, turn signals, and machine-cut cylinder-head fins. The Shadow Phantom also has an updated single seat, and a passenger seat and footpegs are offered for those who want to bring a plus-one along for the ride.  

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom Orange Metallic
2024 Honda Shadow Phantom in Orange Metallic

From a performance standpoint, a new ABS version is available for the new model year, and a 276mm rear disc brake replaces the drum brake of the 2023 model. Otherwise, braking in the front will still be provided by a 2-piston caliper gripping at 296mm disc.  

Travel in the front has been increased by half an inch (from 4.6 inches to 5.1 inches) but remains the same 3.5 inches in the rear courtesy of dual shocks with five-position spring-preload adjustability. 

Seat height has dropped slightly, from 25.8 inches to 25.6 inches, and the 2024 model shaved 6 pounds off the curb weight for a total of 543 lb. And at 3.9 gal, the fuel tank holds an additional two-tenths of a gallon over its predecessor.  

2024 Honda Shadow Phantom

The 2024 Honda Shadow Phantom comes in Deep Pearl Gray Metallic or Orange Metallic starting at $8,399 for the non-ABS version (not available in California) or the $8,699 for the ABS version.

2024 Honda Shadow Aero

2024 Honda Shadow Aero

For the 2024 model year, the Honda Shadow Aero classic cruiser, which features the same engine and drive train of its Shadow stablemate, is updated with new colors, as well as the new 276mm rear disc brake for the standard version, a feature that was previously reserved for the ABS trim level. 

Braking in the front is the same as the Shadow Phantom, as is rear suspension and travel. However, in the front, the 41mm fork offers 5.5 inches of travel over the 5.1 inches of the Shadow Phantom.  

Seat height is slightly taller at 26 inches, and with a 3.7-gal fuel tank, the bike comes in with a curb weight of 560 lb. 

Black has replaced the Ultra Blue Metallic colorway on the 2024 Honda Shadow Aero, and the bike starts at $7,949 for the non-ABS version (not available in California) or $8,249 for the ABS version.  

2024 Honda ADV160

2023 Honda ADV160 Red Metallic
2023 Honda ADV160 in Red Metallic

Renamed for the 2024 model year, the ADV160 touts a new, larger-displacement engine that delivers improved performance and reduced emissions. Also incorporated are updates that Honda says are aimed at boosting comfort and convenience, but the company added that the “capable-but-rugged ‘City Adventure’ concept remains, delivering an enjoyable sense of exploration on even the most mundane urban commutes.” 

Related: 2021 Honda ADV150 | First Ride Review

The 2024 Honda ADV160 has a liquid-cooled 157cc single-cylinder, four-stroke engine. The engine, drive train, and 2.4-gal fuel tank are mounted low in the frame for a low center of gravity. It has Showa suspension, with a 31mm telescopic fork and twin shocks providing 5.1/4.0 inches of travel front/rear. When it comes to stopping, it has a single 240mm front disc with ABS and a rear 131mm drum brake. 

2024 Honda ADV160 Pearl Smoky Gray
2024 Honda ADV160 in Pearl Smoky Gray

From a practicality standpoint, the ADV160 has a low curb weight (294 lb), automatic transmission, a two-stage tool-free adjustable windscreen, ample underseat storage (big enough for a full-face helmet), and the Honda SMART key system. 

The 2024 Honda ADV160 will be available in July and will come in Red Metallic or Pearl Smoky Gray starting at $4,499. 

For more information, visit the Honda Powersports website.

See all of Rider‘s Honda coverage here.


  1. The thigh burning high exhausts of the scrambler is dumb as duck s&@@. Having scars from the first round of scramblers should recall the stupidity of that idea especially when a low slung exhaust is not needed for off road work as evidenced by many motocross racing bikes .

    The framework top rails should have been brought closer together because this design forces the weird tank.

  2. Michael, perhaps you should wait until you either ride one, or have at least seen the bike before condemning its design? The early Scramblers (1968-73) did not pose any serious burn risk, unless you were foolish enough to remove the more than adequate heat shields, which were mounted with two packing washers (one on either side of the shield) to isolate them from the actual muffler body heat. We’ve ridden CL350, CL450, and CL90 Scramblers for fifty years, and never suffered any burns on any of them. As with any motorcycle, you just have to know the machine you’re on. Honda is not known for stupid designs, for a reason.

  3. SCL500: Why did they run the exhaust lower than the engine? The bike is not conducive to any intermediate dirt road or trail riding. Not sure the bike designers have a clue

  4. Being of the Old School group, I think the new SCL500 is just right!! Enough newness to attract someone like me, and ample retro to make it acceptable to a person that has preferences and familiarity to Honda motorcycles of the past!!
    As far as the exhaust and passenger are concerned, I don’t believe your woman could burn herself on this bike even if she tried!! More than ample design for protecting the right leg of any human being that sits upon the rear seat of this fine motorcycle.

  5. I like the look of the scrambler. As far as burning legs, the pictures show heat shielding around the exhaust, so theres probably nothing to worry about. Im just glad to see a retro styling bike with an upright seating position. Also the increased suspension travel will be nice on the less maintained roads where I live. I’ve never heard of block tires though. Is it referring to big block tires? If so then I’ll probably swap them for something more suited to roads.

  6. Likely that frame design offers superior stiffness but it forces the odd gas tank shape, small capacity and higher center of gravity. And I personally think it is rather ugly, but I know some disagree. Also, for a supposed scrambler, 4.5″ of rear travel isn’t much, though I do realize most will never see use on a dirt road.


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