2021 Honda CRF300L and CRF300 Rally
Riders new to adventure will have another option to consider in 2021 with the arrival of the CRF300L and CRF300 Rally in Australia next March, 2021.
Both shod with proper off-road sized rims, 18-inch at the rear and 21-inch at the front, these bikes will be some of the most confidence inspiring once the going gets rough while the tractable engine is strong enough to propel them up the steepest of hills. Their predecessors certainly tractored up anything I pointed them at without much fuss.
The liquid-cooled DOHC engine of the previous CRF250L has grown to 286cc, gained Euro5 compliance and now produces 27 horsepower at 8,500 rpm (up from 24 hp).
Thanks to a longer stroke it also boasts 18 per cent more torque with a peak twist of 26.6 Nm climaxing slightly earlier at 6500 rpm. New cams along with revised air intake and exhaust systems contribute to the gains which add up to a 13 per cent improvement in the power-to-weight ratio.
Shorter ratios for the first five gears amplify the benefits of the increased grunt, while sixth is taller for more relaxed highway work.
An slip-assist clutch now manages the rear wheel and offers 20 per cent less effort at the lever.
A redesigned steel semi-double cradle frame, aluminium swingarm and bottom yoke are major contributors to a 4 kg overall weight loss and features more lateral flex for increased feedback and feel.
Steering geometry has been adjusted to match alongside longer travel suspension and increased ground clearance, with the CRF300L actually boasting more ground clearance at 285 mm, gaining 30 mm.
The Rally in comparison gained 5 mm to 275 mm total. Both models receive an extra 10 mm of suspension travel at the front, while the CRF300L also gains 20 mm at the rear.
The CRF300L features a slimmer 7.8L fuel tank and seat, and new, easy-to-read positive LCD instrument display. Kerb weight is also down to 142 kg.
The riding position, too, has been improved to encourage light-steering manoeuvrability – the handlebars are pulled back slightly, the foot pegs lowered and moved rearwards. Seat height grows 5 mm to 880 mm.
At 885 mm the CRF300 Rally’s broader, rubber-mounted seat is now 10 mm lower; the fuel tank grows 2.7 L to 12.8 L. Honda claim that offers a range of up to 410 km. Its handlebars feature internal weights to minimise vibration and the foot pegs are topped with rubber inserts, while LED indicators are now flexibly mounted for durability.
As on the previous CRF250 Rally, the larger 296 mm front rotor is retained, as well as the different headlight and screen setup. Weight is down 4 kg as on the CRF300L, but reaches 153 kg at the kerb for the Rally.
2021 Honda CRF300L and CRF300 Rally Specifications