There is going to be a 2021 Honda CRF300L and CRF300L Rally, in Europe, at least. We’re getting our first look at these two dual-sport motorcycles. It’s not a surprise to see this bump, as the CB300F and CBR300R serve as a proof-of-concept for that displacement for this powerplant—we wonder why it took so long. Happily, the displacement increase isn’t the only change, so let’s dig in.
Honda went from 250 to 300 via a longer stroke. Not quite a full 300, the engine now displaces 286cc.
In addition to the additional 36cc, the motor gets other updates. The intake cam timing is new, and the air intake and exhaust systems have been revised to reflect the extra air needed by the larger powerplant.
According to Honda, that means a 10 percent in horsepower and a torque boost of 18 percent. The engine now meets Euro-5 standards, which bodes well for the 300Ls to make it to the United States. The peak power output is now 27 horsepower at 8500 rpm, and 20 ft-lbs of torque at 6500 rpm.
Acceleration should be significantly improved, as the lower five gears have shorter rations. For highway use, sixth gear is higher.
An assist-and-slipper clutch is now employed. According to Honda, the clutch lever pull is reduced by 20 percent, and the slipper function will help during aggressive downshifts.
The steel frame has been lightened, and its rigidity adjusted. Honda tells us the increased lateral flex will give the 250Ls “increased feedback and feel.”
Suspension travel is increased. Both the 2021 Honda CRF300L and CRF300L Rally get an additional 0.4 inches of front wheel travel. The CRF300L get rear-wheel travel boosted by 0.8 inches.
The taller Rally’s seat is now 0.4 inches lower, while the standard CRF300L’s seat is 0.2 inches higher.
The 2021 CRF300L has a smaller fuel tank, while the Rally gets more fuel capacity. The CRF300L is down to 2.1 gallons, and the Rally now carries 3.4 gallons—an increase of almost 3 quarts.
Ergonomics have been updated for the 2021 Honda CRF300L. The handlebar bend is now more pulled back, with the footpegs moved lower and back. This is in conjunction with the narrower fuel tank and seat.
Comfort has been improved for the 2021 Honda CRF300L Rally. The long-distance runner has weights inside the handlebar for less vibration to the hands, and rubber inserts into the footpegs to isolate the feet from vibration.
We don’t have an arrival date in the United States. We are also waiting on specs and prices, but we do have photos. We’re still holding out hope for a CRF250RL patterned after the flagship CRF450RL. Here are our tests of the Honda CRF250L and CRF250L Rally.
2021 Honda CRF300L and CRF300L Rally Photo Gallery