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ADV NewsHonda’s New CRF300L & CRF300L Rally Coming To America

Honda’s New CRF300L & CRF300L Rally Coming To America

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

Published on 01.07.2021

Ever since Thailand announced a host of upgrades for 2021 to its CRF250L dual sport line last November, which included a 15 percent (36cc) increase in engine displacement, we’ve been anticipating a similar announcement from American Honda. Europe followed suit in early December announcing the CRF300L and CRF300 Rally but the new year came to pass and we still had no news for the US market, leaving us wondering what was taking so long. Well perhaps it was just the holiday season getting in the way of things, but we finally received confirmation that the new models will be coming to our shores. 

2021 Honda CRF300L and CRF300L Rally

Since its launch in 2012, the CRF250L has offered all-round value in the small-displacement dual-purpose category. In 2017 it was joined by the CRF250L Rally, featuring Dakar Rally looks and a focus on longer range adventures. Model year 2021 sees major upgrades for both motorcycles, underpinned by a new, larger-capacity powerplant, now mounted in a lighter chassis, delivering an improved power-to-weight ratio. No engine output specs have been released by American Honda but the European version is rated at 26.9 HP (20.1kW) @ 8,500 rpm with 19.6 ft-lbs (26.6Nm) @ 6,500 rpm. The version slated for the Southeast Asian market is reported to have more ponies at 31 horsepower.

What’s New: 2021 Honda CRF300L & CRF300L Rally

Now 286cc, the liquid-cooled DOHC 4-valve single-cylinder engine features increased power and torque across the rev range. Engine ‘breathing’ has been improved thanks to new inlet cam timing, and revised air intake and exhaust systems. Shorter ratios for the first five gears amplify the benefits of the increased torque and power, while 6th is taller for more relaxed high-speed cruising. An assist/slipper clutch now manages the rear wheel and offers 20% less load at the lever along with smoother downshifts.


Highlights & Changes:

  • New longer-stroke 286cc engine increases power and torque across the rev range.
  • Revised air intake and exhaust systems.
  • Wet weight reduced by 13 lbs on the 300L and 9 lbs on the 300L Rally.
  • New frame, higher ground clearance, revised steering geometry and riding position improve all-terrain handling and agility.
  • New LCD display for both models.
  • Extra fuel capacity for CRF300L Rally for improved long-haul capability.
  • Longer travel suspension for the CRF300L.
  • New rear-brake master cylinder.
  • A new assist/slipper clutch provides improved performance during aggressive downshifting.

A redesigned steel semi-double cradle frame, aluminium swingarm and bottom yoke are major contributors to the weight loss of both machines and feature revised rigidity balance – with more lateral flex – for increased feedback and feel. Steering geometry has been adjusted in detail to match, alongside gains in ground clearance. 

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

Both models also get a new, easy-to-read LCD instrument display. The riding position, too, has been improved to encourage light-steering maneuverability – the handlebars are pulled back slightly, the foot pegs lowered and moved rearwards. Suspension settings are also revised, and a new rear link and connecting rod are used. 

In addition, the standard CRF300L receives longer travel suspension, resulting in 10.2 inches of wheel travel front and rear, an increase of .4 inches and .6 inches, respectively. Conversely the Rally model loses 0.8″ of suspension travel in front and 0.1 in the rear. 

2021 Honda CRF300L

The CRF300L also receives fresh new bodywork with styling cues carried over from Honda’s CRF Performance line. It also features a slimmer 2.1 gallon (7.8L) fuel tank and seat. Seat height grows 0.3 inches (7.6mm) to 34.7 inches (881mm).

At 35.2 inches (894mm) the Rally’s seat height is the same as last year’s model. The seat gets a new rubber mounting cushion, and it has been widened compared to the standard model, though the front remains narrow to facilitate the rider’s feet touching the ground when needed. In addition, the fuel tank grows from 2.7 gallons to 3.4 gallons (12.8L). Its handlebars feature internal weights (5.8 ounces each) to minimize vibration and the foot pegs are topped with rubber inserts, while LED indicators are now flexibly mounted for improved durability. 

The CRF300 Rally receives a bigger 3.4 gallon tank.

Altogether, the CRF300L and CRF300L Rally remain value-minded, do-it-all, dual-purpose motorcycles as per the original formula. And, with all of their 2021 improvements, they are more versatile than ever.

“Honda listens to its customers,” said Lee Edmunds, Senior Manager of Powersports Marketing for American Honda. “The 2021 iterations reflect improvements that were highly requested by people who ride them every day, and the motorcycles are better as a result.”

Availability and Price

Both models will be offered in ABS and non-ABS versions with pricing starting at $5,249 for the CRF300L and $5,999 for the CRF300L Rally, a modest increase of $50 over last year’s 250cc models. A number of Honda Accessories will be offered, including hand guards, a skid plate, an electrical socket, wider foot pegs, a top box, luggage rack and more. The new CRF300L and CRF300L Rally are expected to begin arriving on U.S.Honda dealer showroom floors this March. Check the Honda website for more details. 

2021 Honda CRF300L Rally

2021 Honda CRF300L & CRF300L Rally Specs

Model nameCRF300LCRF300 Rally
Engine Type:4-stroke DOHC 4V water-cooled4-stroke DOHC 4V water-cooled
Cylinder volume (cc):286.01286.01
Cylinder width x Stroke (mm.):76.0 x 63.04776.0 x 63.047
Compression ratio:10.7: 110.7: 1
Induction:Fuel injection system PGM-FI w/ 38 mm throttle bodyFuel injection system PGM-FI w/ 38 mm throttle body
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
Final Drive:14T/40Tl #520 O-ring sealed chain14T/40Tl #520 O-ring sealed chain
Ignition system:Full Transistor DigitalFull Transistor Digital
Engine Starting:ElectricElectric
Dimensions Width x Length x Height (in.):32.2 x 87.8 x 47.336.2 x 87.8 x 55.9
Wheelbase:57.2 in.57.2 in.
Ground Clearance:11.2 in.10.9 in.
Seat height:34.7 in.35.2 in.
Caster angle / Trail distance (° ‘/) (mm):27° 30’ / 109 mm27° 30’ / 109 mm
Fuel capacity:7.8L (2.1 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
Suspension Travel (Front):10.2 in.10.2 in.
Suspension Travel (Rear):10.2 in.10.2 in.
Wet weight (STD/ABS):309 lbs. / 311 lbs.333 lbs. / 337 lbs.
Brake system (front):Single two-piston hydraulic caliper w/ 256 mm discSingle two-piston hydraulic caliper w/ 296 mm disc
Brake system (back):Single one-piston hydraulic caliper w/ 220mm discSingle one-piston hydraulic caliper w/ 220mm disc
Wheels:Front spokes size 21 inches / back spokes size 18 inchesFront spokes size 21 inches / back spokes size 18 inches
Tire size (front):80/100-2180/100-21
Tire size (rear):120/80-18120/80-18
MSRP (STD/ABS):$5,249 / $5,549$5,999 / $6,299
Maintenance Interval:Oil change 8k miles/ Valve check 16K milesOil change 8k miles/ Valve check 16K miles
Warranty:12 months12 months

Author: ADV Pulse Staff

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13 thoughts on “Honda’s New CRF300L & CRF300L Rally Coming To America

    • From AdvPulsev
      Weights: KTM claims a dry weight of 321.9 lbs (146 kg) while the Husqvarna 701 is a bit lighter at 319.7 lbs (145 kg). We weighed both bikes fully fueled and got 350.0 lbs (158.8 kg) for the 690 and 344.2 lbs (156.1 kg) for the 701.

      So the Rally does not weigh more than a 690/701, but it’s not far off. However it does cost a LOT less.

      • Nice factual reply! I would like to add that even though we’re talking DS bikes there are different use cases within the DS domain.
        For example the increased fuel efficiency and decreased wear on tires and chain would appeal to anyone planning an overland route.
        The hp/weight ratio is not the only consideration to explore when choosing a bike.

  1. Pingback: Honda’s New CRF300L & CRF300L Rally Coming To America - ADVENTURE & OVERLAND MOTORCYCLE TRAVEL

  2. Pingback: Honda’s New CRF300L & CRF300L Rally Coming To America – Automobile India News

  3. 300 cc makes more sense for the US with it’s wide open spaces and highways. 250 cc seems to barely get by so its nice to have that little extra to work with.

    • Windshield, larger tank, extra bodywork, plastic skid plate, larger seat, weighted handlebars, hand shields, 296mm front brake disc…plus an extra 10lbs of gasoline. It adds up.

  4. Apologies for resurrection, but I am torn between the 300L and 650L. I used to ride (30 years and 50 lbs ago) the xl600, but want to get back into it with something more trail friendly. I can change sprockets (as I did then) but the 300 had me wondering, can it handle rocky trail meandering (not hard riding) with a 220 pound 55 year old on it?


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