Honda XR150L: What To Expect?

The Honda XR150L has been sold in other countries for years, and is finally coming to Canada. Photo: Honda

Honda showed off its new XR150L dual sport at the MMIC show circuit this year, it was a machine that many didn’t expect to see here. But now that we know it’s coming (and we even know the price!), what can we expect?

Modest specs for modest pricing

This is a carbureted air-cooled single-cylinder with SOHC, two-cylinder head, 9.5:1 compression and 149 cc capacity—it is not made for highway speed runs. Max output is a claimed 12.5 hp at 7750 rpm (or even less, in some markets) and 8.9 lb-ft of torque. Curb weight is 129 kilograms. In other words: That’s not much muscle behind a bike that weighs as much or more than the DR200 and other similar dual sports.

However, for a $4,590 “selling price,” which includes $669 for freight, PDI and other fees, most buyers won’t complain. Some naysayers will naysay away, but a realistic-minded buyer knows what they’re getting here.

Sensible commuter

The reality is that these bikes are not built for MX or Harescramble racing. They are made as budget-friendly commuters for the bad roads in Asia and South America, or for agricultural duty. The XR150L was originally a joint project between Honda and a Chinese company, intended to produce low-cost machines for developing markets. Now, they are made in several countries, including the Philippines and Mexico. Some options differ between markets; the made-in-Mexico machine imported to Canada does not apparently get a kickstarter.

Because the XR150L is a practically-minded machine, there are also many practical-minded accessories available through either Honda or third-party manufacturers, including racks and luggage.

Budget-minded travelers will quickly realize that as a result, this machine can be not just a grocery-getter, but also a continent-traveler on the cheap, as long as you don’t mind life in the slow lane.

A proven formula

The good thing about the XR150L is that it’s been on the market for about 15 years in developing countries. If you have a problem with the machine, you should be able to access a deep knowledge base for a DIY solution! And that also means there are not only basic utilitarian accessories available, but big-bore kits… install at your own risk, of course! But, we are looking forward to hearing about riders who trick these things out for a bit more capability.

Find more details, specs and photos at Honda’s Canadian website.


  1. Yeah, I get that Honda want to make a profit and get rich, but that price is too high. The exact same motorcycle retails in Mexico for 49,000 pesos – about $3800 CND. Maybe labour prices and taxes are different, but that still seems like quite the markup.

  2. The TW200 is also a farm bike… The question is, is it worth ~$1800 difference in selling price to shave off 3 kg, add 50 cc and get fatter tires for sand/mud/snow etc.? That’s a surprisingly large price difference. The secret super power of the XR150L is its price.

  3. XR150L what to except ? Gee in Mexico the same thing sell for around 2 grand out the door . What I except is honda Canada well up the price and pocket another 1500 bucks over what they cost to make . It’s the same bike as Mexico but the price is gone up and it’s honda being greedy. They treat Canada like a cash cow market for 40 years . It’s not like honda sell the passport , adv 160 , 350 or forza 350 here.

  4. This is now the best bike for a pan American adventure. Being available in every market along the way means you’ll never have an issue finding the parts you need.

    Finally. a bike I can replace my Scarabeo with 🙂

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