Honda Canada has confirmed the CRF300L and CRF300 Rally will be available this year as 2021 models. The CRF300L is being offered at an MSRP of $6,499. We expected the CRF300L to be within spitting distance of the KLX’s $6,499 sticker, but it appears Honda opted to match the price down to the penny. Opting for the CRF300LA (featuring ABS) will run you an extra $200. The CRF300LRA (Rally model with ABS) will be available for $7,499.
The CRF300L and CRF300 Rally are the logical updates to the CRF250L and CRF250 Rally; they use the same basic engine, stroked to 286cc. It’s the same liquid-cooled single-cylinder engine that Honda used in the CBR300 for several years, although it’s got a few updates for 2021 (shorter gears 1-5, taller sixth gear, assist/slipper clutch, and probably emissions tweaking). It should make somewhere around 27 hp at 8,500 rpm, with 19.6 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm. That’s a big improvement over the wimpy rubber-band engine we had in the old CRF250L project bike at CMG.
Honda fans have been asking for this no-brainer upgrade for years; indeed, many fans home-brewed their own CRF250L machines into 300s, by mixing and matching OEM parts off Honda’s CBR300.
The CRF300L and CRF300 Rally also get new suspension, with more travel and more ground clearance. The frame is new, and the CRF300 Rally has a larger fuel tank now (12.8 L capacity should be good for around 400 km range!).
Combine that larger fuel tank with new rubber-mounted handlebars and seat, and that CRF300 Rally might just be the world’s first great Small Touring Bike. The 250 version was surprisingly competent on back roads, and able to keep up with the slow lane on the highway. Adding a few extra horsepower could make the Rally a very decent bike indeed.
Both bikes drop weight for 2021 (a much-needed improvement, as Honda’s duallies have been getting a tad too porky). Both bikes also get a visual makeover, with new plastics that are supposed to make you think of Ricky Brabec’s Dakar-winning CRF450 Rally, the CRF450L and other much faster Hondas.
We’ll provided additional details and availability once information is made available.