Honda CL500 and NX500 brands hint at new Scrambler and Dual Sport

Honda filed new trademark applications for the names “CL500” and “NX500“, suggesting that it may be preparing to expand its 500 line with new scrambler and dual sport models.

The CL500 trademark was filed on March 17 with the European Union Intellectual Property Office, while the NX500 trademark was filed on May 2 with the EUIPO as well as with the United States Office of patents and trademarks.

The 500 in the names suggests that both models will use the same 471cc Parallel-Twin engine as the Rebel 500 cruiser, CB500F Standard, CBR500R sports bike and CB500X adventure bike. The engine claims around 50 hp (with a little less on the Rebel) and has already proven itself to be versatile, applied in different segments.

The engine hasn’t been used in a scrambler so far, but the CL500 moniker may fill that role. The CL name goes back quite a long way in Honda’s history, starting with the 1962 Dream CL72 Jammer (pictured below), a 247cc model based on the CB72 Falcon but reinforced to handle off-road use. Honda has produced several other CL models over the years, most recently with the CL400a 397cc single-cylinder model introduced in 1998. With this lineage, it should be obvious that the name CL500 is for a scrambler.

1962 Honda Dream CL72 Scrambler

The NX line also has a rich history with a series of dual sport models. The best known model is probably the Dominator NX650 which was produced from 1988 to 2003. The Dominator was only offered in the United States for a few years, but its 644cc air-cooled engine still lives on today with the XR650L.

Honda already has a 500-series adventure bike in the CB500X, but the NX500 may prove more off-road focused with spoke tires like its predecessors. The NX name also has ties to Honda’s Dakar racers like the NXR 750, so it may borrow styling from today’s Africa Twins. It is also possible that the NX500 will replace the long-running XR650L in markets where it is no longer offered due to stricter emissions standards.

There’s no indication of when we might expect to see the CL500 or NX500, but we’ll have the latest information as it becomes available.

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