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ADV NewsHonda Launches CRF300L & CRF300 Rally Overseas, America Next?

Honda Launches CRF300L & CRF300 Rally Overseas, America Next?

 Honda’s entry-level dual sports get more CCs and other updates for 2021.

Published on 11.13.2020

While we were waiting for news this week about an updated CRF250L and CRF250 Rally coming to Japan, something even more exciting happened; Honda launched a CRF300L and CRF300 Rally in Thailand. Ever since Honda’s pint-sized Adventure bike — the CRF250 Rally — was released in 2017, many riders have been begging for a 300 upgrade. Considering the model’s longer-range intentions and the fact that Honda had a compatible motor sitting on the shelf from its CBR300R, it seemed like an inevitability that they would stuff it into the Rally.

Now it looks like the day has finally come for the long-awaited bump in displacement, not only for the CRF250 Rally but for the CRF250L as well. Currently, the powerplant upgrade has only been announced for the Southeast Asian market. And Japan is still keeping the 250cc engine, likely due to additional inspection/registration fees in the country for bikes over 250cc (even the CBR250R still exists there). 

2021 Honda CRF300L

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We still don’t know what other markets will be getting the new models but keeping in mind the CRF250L and CRF250 Rally are manufactured in Honda’s Thailand factory, we expect these announcements are likely to come soon. It only makes sense that any displacement increase they receive will be distributed out to Europe and America where there is an even larger demand for more power to better handle the high-speed highway networks. 

What’s New: 2021 Honda CRF300L & CRF300 Rally

The heart of the new CRF300 platform is a 286cc fuel-injected DOHC engine mated to a 6-speed gearbox. The engine puts out 31 horsepower and 19.3 ft-lbs of torque compared to the previous 250cc engine’s 22.8 horsepower and 16 ft-lbs of torque. That’s a 36% increase in power which is sure to give both bikes even greater long-range cruising capability for the highway, along with more hill climbing grunt for the trail. To make it even more manageable to ride aggressively, Honda has also added a slipper clutch.

2021 Honda CRF300L and CRF300 Rally
The new CRF300L and CRF300 Rally get more power, weight reductions and other notable revisions.

Along with more power, comes additional good news in the form of weight reductions. We mentioned earlier in the week that these models would receive a new frame that optimizes rigidity and helps shed pounds off the bike. The latest versions are said to have lost about 11 pounds compared to the 2020 models, which would put the CRF300L at a more competitive 304.2 pounds and the CRF300 Rally at 330.7 pounds assuming those numbers carry over to the U.S. market.

Honda CRF300L Dash
Both models receive a new digital dash with gear position indicator.

Making the 300 Rally even more long-range-ready is an all-new larger fuel tank increased from 2.7 gallons to 3.4 gallons. Range is one area this little ADV Bike struggled with in the past, but with the tank upgrade it should get well over 200 miles per fill up now. Plus Honda has announced improved fuel efficiency for both CRF300 models which should extend range even further.

2021 Honda CRF300 Rally bigger tank
The CRF300 Rally receives a bigger 3.4 gallon tank.

Both bikes still ride on a 43mm inverted fork and Pro-Link rear suspension with a 21” front wheel and 18” rear wheel. It’s not clear from the translation of the Thai marketing materials if there’s been any updates to the suspension for either model. Seat heights appear to be unchanged which would indicate the suspension travel hasn’t changed, although the standard CRF250L previously had a lower seat height in Thailand than in the US. Considering the current suspension travel numbers are generous at 9.8 inches front/ 9.4 inches rear for the CRF250L and 11.0 inches front/10.3 inches rear for the CRF250 Rally, we expect any tweaks to the suspension to be minor if and when it reaches the U.S. We just hope they increase the spring rate a bit for us beefier American riders.

2021 Honda CRF300L and CRF300 Rally

Other notable changes include a new LED headlight for the CRF300L, which gives it a more-aggressive look that resembles the CRF450L’s. Plus both models receive a new digital dash with gear position indicator, as well as revised bodywork and new Red/White/Blue paint schemes to give them a fresher look. 

Availability

At this time, the 2021 CRF300L and CRF300 Rally are currently only available in Thailand and some other Southeast Asian countries. We just have to wait patiently for word from American Honda if they’ll be bringing these highly-anticipated models stateside. We’ll keep you posted!

2021 Honda CRF300 Rally

2021 Honda CRF300L & CRF300 Rally Specs

Model nameCRF300LCRF300 Rally
Engine Type:Fuel injection system PGM-FI 4-stroke DOHC water-cooledFuel injection system PGM-FI 4-stroke DOHC water-cooled
Cylinder volume (cc):286.01286.01
Cylinder width x Stroke (mm.):76.0 x 63.04776.0 x 63.047
Power:31 HP @ 8500 rpm31 HP @ 8500 rpm
Torque:19.3 ft-lbs @ 7000 rpm19.3 ft-lbs @ 7000 rpm
Compression ratio:10.7: 110.7: 1
Clutch system:Wet multi-plate clutch, stackedWet multi-plate clutch, stacked
Transmission:6 gears6 gears
1st gear:3.5383.538
2nd gear:2.252.25
3rd gear:1.651.65
4th gear:1.3461.346
5th gear:1.1151.115
6th gear:0.9250.925
Ignition system:Full Transistor DigitalFull Transistor Digital
Engine Starting:ElectricElectric
Dimensions Width x Length x Height (mm.):819 x 2,208 x 1,161920 x 2,229 x 1,419
Wheelbase:1439mm (56.7 in.)1453mm (57.2 in.)
Ground Clearance:244mm (9.6 in.)277mm (10.9 in.)
Seat height:830mm (32.7 in.)895mm (35.2 in.)
Caster angle / Trail distance (° ‘/) (mm):27 ° 30 ‘/ 109 mm27 ° 30 ‘/ 109
Fuel capacity:7.8L (2.0 gallons)12.8L (3.4 gallons)
Frame Type:Twin Tube SteelTwin Tube Steel
Suspension system (front):Telescopic type upside down, size 43 mm.Telescopic type upside down, size 43 mm.
Suspension system (rear):Pro-linkPro-link
Net weight:138 kg (304.2 lbs)150 kg (330.7 lbs)
Brake system (front):Disc brakeDisc brake
Brake system (back):Single piston disc brakeSingle piston disc brake
Wheels:Front spokes size 21 inches / back spokes size 18 inchesFront spokes size 21 inches / back spokes size 18 inches
Tire size (front):80 / 100-21M / C 51P80 / 100-21M / C 51P
Tire size (rear):120 / 80-18 M / C 62P120 / 80-18 M / C 62P

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Mexico, North Africa, Europe, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney
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Comments
 14

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14 thoughts on “Honda Launches CRF300L & CRF300 Rally Overseas, America Next?

  1. “ And Japan is still keeping the 250cc engine, likely due to licensing restrictions in the country (even the CBR250R still exists there).”

    Fact check false. It’s not licensing issues, it’s the lack of a need for the biannual inspection (shaken) that makes bikes under 250cc attractive to many riders in Japan.

    • Hi Haildamage. Yes, I understand its a fee to get bikes over 250cc inspected and licensed. Just using the term ‘licensing’ in a general sense to keep it light here for an international audience. But thanks for the clarification. We’ve reworded the text for clarity now.

    • japanese motorbike licence category is by engine capacity.
      …under50cc, 50-125,125-400 and over400
      also there is categorized by registration tax.
      …under 50cc,50-90,90-125,125-250 and over 250

  2. More power, lighter weight. What’s not to love? I think this move makes these bikes more viable for the N. American market (assuming they get here).

  3. That’s a great improvement, will make it a much better bike.
    So now you don’t have to drive close to the Rev limiter to have some power.
    Never understood why they haven’t put the 300 engine in, as they already had it and used it in european street bikes.
    Thanks for your explanation. Japanese laws are a good reason.

  4. There are so many smaller riders out there, I am always struck by the manufacturers not designing in an aggressive lowering option. Short riders would happily trade shock travel for seat-height specs. And being 300cc & water-cooled these new models would make great overall rides….with a 3 gallon fuel tank!

  5. The klx 300 and this seem neck and neck. Both lost ground clearance for 2021 which is odd. But for me it comes down to suspension tuning. I’d never buy the old crf250l for its mashed-potatoes suspension. Stiffer suspension, over 30hp, good service intervals, that’s what we want

    • I agree.
      i have owned a few 250’s and they are light enough but a pain on the highway.
      I have owned a few 650’s and own a DR650 right now.
      Better on highway but not great ooff road.

      The unicorn is a WR450R or a DRZ400 FI,6speed or a Honda CRF450L Rally.

      Reliable Japanese with a 6 speed and fuel injection. i will ok with a bit of added weight vs poor reliability.
      I rode the Honda 450L and was very nice, wish they added another liter of oil capacity.
      I would love to see someone attempt to double or triple the oil change interval on the 450L.
      I don’t have the money to try that so here i wait for a 450 Rally while riding my old trusty DR650 with 5 gears.

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