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ADV NewsNew Dual Sport Models Coming To US, Honda CRF300LS and XR150L

New Dual Sport Models Coming To US, Honda CRF300LS and XR150L

Two new small-displacement dual sports expected to arrive in 2023.

Published on 01.23.2023

According to recent certification data filed with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board, Honda will be bringing two more smaller-size dual-sport machines to the American market for the 2023 model year. Though yet to be announced by Honda, cyber sleuthing at motorcycle.com ascertained the new models to be a CRF300LS and XR150L. 

We already have the CRF300L and CRF300L Rally of course, and while American Honda is late to the game announcing some bikes expected in its 2023 lineup, it can be assumed both will return. If the US gets the updates that have already been released to the European market, the base L model will come stock with hand guards and be available in a new Swift Grey colorway, accented with orange graphics, a nice option that joins Honda’s usual Extreme Red getup. 

2023 Honda CRF300L dual sport motorcycle

The LS version of the popular 286cc single powered CRF300 is speculated to be code for a low seat option, an offering many will appreciate considering the L’s 34.7-inch saddle is on the high side. The S designation makes sense when you look at Kawasaki’s now standard practice of tagging its lower seat height dual sports with an S, in particular the KLX230S and KLR650S, which both offer seat height around two inches lower than their standard counterparts. Certainly there’s a market for these more approachable versions, bikes newcomers or shorter riders can feel comfortable on, without needing to source an aftermarket seat height solution straight out of the gate. 


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It’s unknown whether the adaptations would include suspension and other ergonomic changes, but it’s unlikely Honda will just slap on a different seat and call it good. Also, knowing consumers aren’t having an easy time getting their hands on these popular CRF300 models from Honda, adding a new lower seat variant might help spread out demand. When we reviewed the CRF300L and Rally upon their arrival in the US in 2021, we found them both to be viable options for average-sized riders looking for an easy to ride and accessible all-rounder dual sport or a starter mount they won’t grow out of quickly. 

Honda XR150L dual sport receives EPA certification.
The XR150L features an electric starter with a kick start back up option, an engine balancer to reduce vibrations, as well as an offset crankshaft and roller rockers.

Now the XR150L is something new to the US market. It’s already been proven in the Asian market, and in Australia and New Zealand, where it’s marketed as a farm bike. We see that it’s powered by a 149cc air-cooled, carbureted single built by China’s Sundiro Honda, an incorporated Honda subsidiary since 2001. The engine is recorded in EPA data to produce 12.5 hp at 7750 rpm. That power is transferred via a five-speed transmission and initiated with electric start or a back-up kickstarter.

Looking at current specs in countries where it’s available, the XR150L’s suspension travel is 7.1 inches up front via a telescopic fork and 5.9 inches in the rear via a mono shock swingarm. Both wheels are spoked with a dual piston caliper 240mm disc slowing a 19-inch front, and a drum brake managing a 17-inch rear wheel. The little dual sport comes with a manageable 32.4 in seat height and 284 pound curb weight, very kind for beginners. Fuel capacity is a legit 3.2 gallons, which is bigger than the CRF300L’s 2.1 gallon tank.. 

Honda XR150L dual sport receives EPA certification.

How nice to have more lightweight, dual-sport options on the way. A low seat CRF300L is bound to interest many, and we can think of all kinds of duties and mischief for the XR150L, as long as its price is equally purposeful. 

Honda XR150L Specs

Engine TypeAir-cooled 4-stroke
Displacement149cc
Bore & Stroke (mm)57.3 x 57.8
Cylinders1
Compression Ratio9.5:1
Fuel SystemCarburetor
StarterElectric and kick
Valves2
Brakes (F)1x disc
Brakes (R)Drum
Front Adjustability
Front Suspension TypeTelescopic fork
Front Wheel Travel180mm
Rear Adjustability
Rear Suspension TypeSingle Shock
Rear Wheel Travel150mm
Fuel Capacity 12L
Wheelbase 1,360mm
Ground Clearance 245mm
Overall Height1,125mm
Overall Length 2,090mm
Overall Width 810mm
Seat Height 825mm
Kerb Weight 130kg
Transmission5-speed
DriveChain
Tires (F)70/100-19
Tires (R)110/90-17
Warranty12 months

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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joe john
joe john
January 23, 2023 11:51 am

I want a 650 thumper in the mold of the xr650r from honda with a 6k service interval. That’s a bike I’d buy.

Wolfgang Hokenmaier
Wolfgang Hokenmaier
January 23, 2023 1:05 pm

The XR150L looks light it would be a lot of fund and a great learner bike. Although it manages to be 10lbs heavier than my 20 year old DR200SE, which has larger wheels and slightly more fuel capacity. Still, great to see a bike like this show up in 2023.

JFW
JFW
January 23, 2023 2:28 pm

Shame they didn’t just go for the XR190L instead. Better motor than the 150.

Joe Average
Joe Average
October 17, 2023 11:54 am
Reply to  JFW

Agree 100%. Big Americans need the extra power to get us up hills and through the mud. Carbureted Honda in 2023? WHY? Carbs are nothing but trouble. Fuel Injection should be standard across the board.

Eakins
Eakins
January 23, 2023 10:16 pm

Not understanding a carb 150 dual sport bike in the USA in 2023??? It’s not 1995. No thank you to carbs vs FI these days. The XR190L only costs another $500-600 vs the 150L in other markets and it’s fuel injected. That would be a better beginner bike, a more modern DR200. Probably better to look for a used DR200 if you’re sticking with a carb.

Jeff
Jeff
February 1, 2023 1:57 pm
Reply to  Eakins

Im not sure what a carb has to do with beginners, no offense. Grew up with thumpers all of us in the seventies/80s and we never had efi. In fact, I’d say having something basic is less likely to crap out on a beginner, leaving a bad taste in their mouth for ‘not knowing why’ the bike won’t run. Plus they’re easier to fix, even for the novice wanting to know what makes their bike run.
In addition it also encourages the aftermarket industry to offer upgraded exhaust. Looks like that carb could use new jetting for that shinny new exhaust. Think about it. Who’s gonna R&D a 125-300 exhaust for an efi bike? But heck yeah, you can easily do that when a customer will either re jet or hire a shop to do so. It’s a win win with a carb.

Joe Average
Joe Average
October 17, 2023 12:00 pm
Reply to  Jeff

Carbs are nothing but trouble. And you just answered your own question… needs jetting etc. “Most” people don’t want to work or fix their bike every time they get on it. And most people aren’t as mechanically inclined as you.They leave gas in the carb and that, like every small gas motor, will be it’s downfall.

Eakins
Eakins
January 23, 2023 10:19 pm

The CRF300L coming in a shorter seat version and an ABS is a dynamite combo. The KLX300 has neither a low seat nor ABS option. There are plenty of riders who prefer lower seats, 300 motors with FI and ABS in their dual sports. Good move if that’s all true Honda!

Eakins
Eakins
January 23, 2023 10:44 pm

Acerbis makes a 3.6 gallon tank for the 300L so that solution is already in place. No doubt Rally Raid, Cogent, YSS and others will offer suspension upgrades too at some point. A Seat Concepts fits as is plus racks, skid plates etc for this bike.

Shane
Shane
March 3, 2023 12:50 pm

The XR 150 is flogged in Australia as an Ag bike. Had two.They’re cheap and Honda’s. What can go wrong? Made in China. Complete rubbish.

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