The new Honda CL300 and Honda CL500 will likely be based on the corresponding Honda Rebel models and made in Thailand.
The design may not be completely inspired by the 1960s Honda CL250
Honda is reportedly working on a new modern classic scrambler-style motorcycle based on the Honda Rebel 300. But that’s not the only scrambler, Honda is also planning a slightly larger CL 500 scrambler that has been rumored for a few months now. In fact, earlier this year Honda filed trademark rights for the CL500 name essentially confirming the model. The CL500 will use the chassis and engine of the Honda Rebel 500. But that’s not all, a smaller Honda CL250 could also be introduced based on a single-cylinder Honda Rebel 250 sold in Asian markets.
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The latest confirmation, however, is for the Honda CL300, with a trademark application filed by Honda in Thailand for the rights to the CL300 name. And Thailand is where the Rebel 300 and Rebel 500 are made. Meanwhile, Honda has also applied for the CL500 brand in countries like Thailand, Australia and New Zealand, and the two models could be launched closer to each other later this year as than 2023 models.
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The Honda CL300 is likely to use the Rebel 300’s 286cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-valve engine, which produces around 27.4hp and 27Nm of peak torque, with a top speed of around 135km/h . Like the Rebel models, the CL300 is expected to get twin rear shocks and will likely be based on the same chassis, with a taller frame and reinforced subframe to match its retro-style scrambler design. The design is likely to be inspired by the 1960s Honda CL250 pictured above, but more neo than retro, with modern touches. Honda CL500 and CL300 are expected to be launched in western market and international market later this year as 2023 models. Although there is no confirmation on the launch of these models in Indian soil, given that they will be made in Thailand, the prices will not be too high with the free trade agreement (FTA) that India enjoys with Thailand.
Honda’s decision to introduce these two scrambler models seems to be a direct result of the growing attention being paid to modern classic models around the world, especially in the entry-level and mid-size space. Honda already manufactures the Honda H’Ness CB 350 and Honda CB350RS in India, and Royal Enfield, the undisputed king of the segment in India, is making rapid inroads into this segment across the globe. Small and medium-sized jammers seem like models that are likely to catch the interest of consumers across the globe.
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In India, we currently have the Yezdi Scrambler and the Royal Enfield Himalayan Scram 411, but one of the first models of the upcoming Bajaj-Triumph alliance products, is also likely to be an entry-level scrambler. If Honda decides to introduce the next Honda CL300 in India, this segment of scramblers could see a lot of action in the coming years.
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