Honda will bring the 2021 CRF300L dual sport and CRF300 Rally adventure bike to the US and Canadian market.
Both bikes were introduced in the fall of 2020, but Honda’s head offices in North America had not confirmed the machines would arrive here. There was no explanation of the hesitation, but it does seem the Japanese domestic market still gets a 250 version of the duallie. Perhaps Honda thought it might sell that in 2021? Or maybe it was just reticence to commit to a new model, given the uncertainty of global supply chains? Whatever the case, the 300 is now confirmed for North America.
The new 300 engine isn’t really that new at all. It’s basically the same engine as what’s found in the CBR300 and other Honda machines, but stroked to 286cc capacity. There’s also a new assist/slipper clutch, and the first five gears are shortened, with a taller sixth gear. Honda claims new engine makes 10 percent more horsepower and 18 percent more max torque. That works out to roughly 27 horsepower at 8,500 rpm, and 19.6 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 rpm. No doubt there are other changes made to comply with the latest emissions regulations.
The new 300s get more ground clearance for 2021, and updated suspension and frame. Both the CRF300L and CRF300 Rally get styling more in-line with Honda’s sporty off-road machines (CRF450L, in particular). The CRF300L is also lighter, a much-needed improvement, and has a slimmer fuel tank (presumably for better off-road handling). The Rally gets a larger fuel tank, now 12.8 litres capacity, which should give that fuel-sipping mini-tourer very decent range. It also drops weight for 2021, and gets rubber-mounted footpegs and seat for long days in the saddle.