For next season, Honda’s popular small-bore CRF300L dual sport is getting… Bold New Graphics. Oh, and a pair of floppy plastic handguards.
Although Honda’s pint-sized duallie is extremely popular with beginner riders and even experienced motorcyclists looking for an easy-to-manage trailbike, Honda is happy to keep it simple for 2023 with no mechanical updates . It saw a very major overhaul for 2021, and Honda’s sold boatloads of them since, so why mess with a good thing?
So, for 2023, Euro customers get a new orange/grey/white paint scheme; some might see it a welcome departure from Honda’s usual red paint. While performance will certainly not be on par with the “other” orange dual spots on the market, it is good to see Honda change things up, however slightly, in the aesthetics department. Surely they’re selling enough of these bikes to justify at least some choice in the graphics department—if the entry-level Rebels can be sold with multiple bold paint options, why not the CRF300L?
As well, Honda bolted up plastic handguards for 2023. These aren’t the beefy metal handguards you’d want for proper off-roading; they’ll deflect some trailside branches and brush away from your knuckles, and that’s about it. Still, it’s good to see Honda including them for free, even as some of the Japanese competition charges obscenely high prices for these accessories. Not long ago, all Japanese dual sports came with these handguards at no cost …
Of course, back then, serious riders mostly jettisoned the plastic floppies quickly and replaced them with more rugged wraparound units, and most serious riders will today.
At this point, the 2023 CRF300L does not appear on Honda Canada’s website, but it would be inconceivable that Honda wouldn’t bring it in, especially since the 2023 Honda CRF450L is already confirmed. However, it is possible we won’t get the new paint scheme as an option for ’23—sometimes this stuff is Euro market only.