Honda CRF300L and CRF300 Rally gain updates for 2021

The accessible side of the Honda enduro range gets updated for 2021 as the CRF300L and CRF300 Rally are revealed

the Honda CRF300L and CRF300 Rally in a studio

IF you are looking for the ability, stance and look of a big-bore enduro bike, without quite so much of the arm-wrenching speed – the CRF300L and CRF300 Rally are probably machines that should pique your interest.

Honda CRF450L Review 2019

Based heavily on the all-conquering CRF450 motocross bike, both options have been revised for 2021, growing in capacity and featuring revised internals, ratio changes and chassis updates.

2021 Honda CRF300L & CRF300 Rally

Engine

To help the CRF through the latest raft of Euro5 regulations, both bikes now sport a 286cc engine – up from 249cc of before. The extra engine size brings with it a rise in peak power, with the 2021 models both making 10% more power than before – 27bhp @ 8,500rpm. Joining the capacity increase is a revised intake and exhaust system, with the intake cam timing also being revised. The changes are claimed to be increasing mid-range torque and power, with shorter ratios from first to fifth gear helping to accentuate the improvements. Top gear is now taller, aiding open-road cruising.

The bikes also now feature an assisted slipper clutch helping to control the rear wheel under aggressive downshifts, with Honda claiming the lever is now 20% lighter than the previous model.

Chassis

The chassis of both bikes has also been under the surgeon’s knife, with the redesigned steel frame, aluminium swingarm, and new top and bottom yokes all contributing to a claimed 4kg overall weight loss compared to the previous model.

The frame has also been tweaked, and now features revised rigidity increasing feel and feedback, while the new steering geometry and longer travel suspension should aid all forms of adventure riding.

Design and ergonomics

The exterior of the bikes is also revised, and now features a slimmer tank and seat unit, while both versions of the CRF300 now include a new positive LCD instrument display. The riding position has also been altered to encourage the light steering manoeuvrability needed off-road and, although that is just as useful around town.

the handlebars are have been pulled back slightly, while the footrests have been lowered and also moved back, to make gear changes in heavy off-road boots easier. Seat height is increased 5mm, to 880mm, for a naturally upright ‘rider triangle’. The side stand too has been redesigned with a 10% larger area for its (new) folding footplate.

Honda CRF300L and CRF300 Rally specs

ENGINE

Type

Liquid-cooled, single-cylinder DOHC

Engine Displacement (cm³)

286cc

No. of Valves per Cylinder

4

Bore ´ Stroke (mm)

76mm x 63mm

Compression Ratio

10.7:1

Max. Power Output

20.1kW/8500rpm

Max. Torque

26.6Nm/6750rpm

Oil Capacity

1.8L

FUEL SYSTEM

Carburation

PGM-FI electronic fuel injection

Fuel Tank Capacity

12.8L

Fuel Consumption

32.3km/L

ELECTRICAL SYSTEM

Battery Capacity

12V-7AH

DRIVETRAIN

Clutch Type

Wet multiplate, assist/slipper clutch

Transmission Type

6-speed

Final Drive

Chain

FRAME

Type

Steel semi-double cradle

CHASSIS

Dimensions (LxWxH)

2230 x 820 x 1200mm (2230 x 920 x 1415mm Rally)

Wheelbase

1455mm

Caster Angle

27.5°

Trail

109mm

Seat Height

880mm (890mm Rally

Ground Clearance

285mm (275mm Rally)

Kerb Weight

142kg (153kg Rally)

Turning radius

2.2m

SUSPENSION

Type Front

43mm telescopic USD fork

Type Rear

Prolink

WHEELS

Wheels Front

Aluminium spoke

Wheels rear

Aluminium spoke

Tyres Front

80/100-21M/C 51P

Tyres Rear

120/80-18M/C 62P

BRAKES

ABS System Type

2 channel ABS

Brakes Front

256mm disc with two piston caliper (296 mm disc on Rally)

Brakes Rear

220 mm disc with single piston caliper

INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS

Instruments

LCD

Headlight

Bulb (LED on Rally)

Taillight

Bulb

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Loved my previous 2013 CRF250M and regretted selling it ever since I sold it to a guy in Berwick... for a giveaway price... just as they were becoming popular and holding their value :(
Couple of friends subsequently bought 'L' versions on my recommendation and can't see past them, despite them owning a 'blade and GS1200 before.
I'm in the market for the KLX650 if it does indeed come to the UK for 2021, but this is my back-up choice. A touch more power and a taller 6th gear would hopefully give it that ability to cover a bit more ground, and cruise more comfortably than the 250.
There's a real gap in the UK for a simple, cheap, mid-capacity bike like the KLX. Perfect for the sh1tty roads & mad potholes encountered on my commute. I think the KLX retails for around £6k in the States. If it can come in anywhere around that, and significantly undercut the Africa & Tenere, then it'll be a big success. If not, then I'll still be happy to settle for the CRF.

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