2021 Honda CRF300L Review (14 Dual Sport Quick Facts)


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We have been eagerly awaiting this bike since 2015. It was then that the Honda CBR250R was propelled into the 300 class and joined by the CB300F. We expected the CRF250L to join us soon. We waited and waited, and that sweet 286cc engine even appeared in a cruiser – the Rebel 300 – while the CRF250L looked mournfully and unchanged from its debut in 2013. Six years has been a long wait, and the Honda CRF300L 2021 is here, and Honda has done more than just stroke the engine. Let’s go on horseback!

2021 Honda CRF300L review: price

  1. Considering the scale of the changes, you can think of the 2021 Honda CRF300L as a new motorcycle. Engine displacement increased by 36cc, the transmission re-tuned, the frame and swingarm redesigned, and the suspension package improved. With all this, the friendly character of the entry-level dual-sport Honda has not been betrayed. In fact, it is improved. More horsepower and an improved chassis make the CRF300L better for every rider, no matter what their experience.
  1. Honda left 11 pounds behind when transitioning from the CRF250L to the CRF300L. It’s still not a light weight, as it hits the scale at 309 pounds with the 2.1 gallon fuel tank topped up. However, 11 pounds is 11 pounds, and it feels even lighter thanks to the increased engine power. The weight loss came from tiny savings spread across the CRF300L. The biggest single piece was five ounces from the frame, with additional weight savings from the lower triple clamp (1.6 ounces), swingarm (just over an ounce), and rear axle ( about half an ounce). Every little bit counts, and the result is an 11-pound loss through “optimization of plate thicknesses and tube sizes on a myriad of components, following the careful application of engineering-assisted analysis. computer, ”according to a Honda insider.
  1. We are familiar with the 286cc engine and it feels great in the 2021 Honda CRF300L. While a 36cc boost might not seem like much, remember we’re talking about 15%. Just like on the street bike, the increase in traction is clearly noticeable. This makes the CRF300L more spirited around town and helps considerably off-road where you need smooth torque on difficult trails. There is enough horsepower on top for highway trips when needed.

2021 Honda CRF300L Review: MSRP

  1. The new exhaust system is quieter and lighter, and Honda claims weight reduction. We didn’t have any particular issues with the CRF250L’s exhaust, and the CRF300L didn’t catch our attention – it just did its job quietly.
  1. To improve the CRF300L’s ease of use in all situations, the new clutch features assist and slip functions. The clutch force is incredibly light. It helps manage traffic, as well as technical trails. Less fatigue allows for better driving. The slipper action works well on the pavement and doesn’t feel weird in the dirt. This is a substantial improvement over the CRF250L.
  1. Honda has improved the extra horsepower with smarter gear ratios. The gear differences have been tightened in the lower gears and widened for the upper gears. Lower gears now make the CRF300L easier to ride on the trails, as the smaller gaps between upshifts are less intimidating for the new rider. More experienced runners use it as an excuse to accelerate harder. Street racers are well served by the wider gaps between top gears. Along with the more powerful engine, the new gear ratios offer more flexibility on the highway.

2021 Honda CRF300L Review: For Sale

  1. Honda has reworked the frame and the swingarm to make it more efficient off-road. The lateral stiffness of the frame is down by 25% and the stiffness of the swingarm by about a fifth, so there is more energy absorbing flex. This comes at the expense of some precision in handling, although no new driver will notice. Ground clearance is up 1.2 inches due to a combination of longer travel suspension, new frame and new engine case. Impressively, with a longer travel suspension and considerably more off-road ground clearance, the seat height only increases by 0.3 inches, which is offset to some extent by the weight reduction.
  1. The new longer travel suspension also has improved action. Honda added almost half an inch to fork travel and over three-quarters of an inch to shock travel. There are now 10.2 inches at both ends and the rear shock gets a new linkage. We’ve never been impressed with the CRF250L’s less than sumptuous suspension action, and the CRF300L is definitely an upgrade in every way. The suspension remains a compromise and focuses on new riders, as it should on an entry-level dual sport.
  1. You will experience an unusual sensation of floating off-road on the 2021 Honda CRF300L. The spring is soft, with even softer damping. The CRF300L floats over obstacles in the dirt, but not the way you’d expect from a mountain bike. Rather than being a flying carpet, it feels like you are riding gentle waves in the oceans as they are constantly flowing up and down. While you might not get a good idea of ​​the dirt beneath you, the CRF300L delivers an incredibly comfortable ride as long as you stay within its limits.

2021 Honda CRF300L Review: Specifications

  1. The soft shock sinks hard even on moderate G-outs at modest speeds, much like the Kawasaki KLX230. You will quickly learn the importance of standing off-road on the CRF300L on anything but the smoothest road. These seemingly small openings will shake your spine if you’re sitting down, so use your legs to absorb the impact. The front suspension holds up better to dips, but that doesn’t really matter when the shock gives up its 10.2 inches of travel so freely. Needless to say, the suspension is not adjustable, other than the spring preload on the shock absorber to accommodate the passengers.
  1. Honda continues with IRC Trails GP tires on the CRF300L. They are certainly compromise tires, and probably good enough for EPA sound tests. Depending on how you use the Honda CRF300L, you will probably want to go with a set of more road or dirt oriented tires. Most novices won’t realize how much better performance is with specially chosen tires. It is up to experienced riders to give them a hand in choosing the right rubber. We will point out to all-terrain CRF300L owners the Dunlop D606 or Pirelli MT-21. Go for a street-focused ADV tire combo if you stay on the street.
  1. Street driving is a pleasure on the 2021 Honda CRF300L. It’s a fun ride through the canyons, despite the soft suspension and compromise tires – light weight and modest road power help put things in perspective. When the road opens up, the CRF300L is well capable of highway speeds. If you can handle the seat height of 34.7 inches, it offers a great view of the commuter traffic. Lower gear ratios provide additional acceleration capabilities in tight spaces. In urban settings, the flexible suspension is the ideal antidote to poorly maintained roads. However, G-outs on faster dips in the street must be respected.

  1. Braking is predictable and intuitive. The brakes work so well that it’s not even something you think about while riding. Demanding cyclists will be more demanding, but this bike is not for them. There are plenty of other motorcycles to choose from. ABS is a $ 300 option, and it can be switched only on the front wheel. We haven’t tested it, so we’ll put it on our to-do list. Our first thought is that this is $ 300 well spent, unless your riding is largely in the mud. That only adds two pounds to the package, impressive.
  1. The 2021 Honda CRF300L is a better bike for everyone, and the price has only increased by one US subsidy. It’s not easy to make improvements that make everyone happy, but it is with the new CRF300L. Experienced riders looking for higher levels of performance on the dirt will always flock to the CRF450RL. Still, savvy bikers will appreciate the improved handling and power, if they need a commuter bike to do it all. New riders won’t know how much they have it, other than the fact that it’s much easier to improve their skills with a more accommodating mount.

Photograph by Drew Ruiz

RIDING STYLE

Specifications Honda CRF300L 2021

MOTOR

  • Type: single cylinder
  • Displacement: 286cc
  • Bore and stroke: 76 x 63 mm
  • Compression ratio: 10.7: 1
  • Valve system: DOHC; 4 valves
  • Refueling: EFI with 38mm throttle body
  • Cooling: Liquid
  • Transmission: 6 speed
  • Clutch: wet multi-disc with assist and slip functions
  • Final drive: 520 O-ring chain

FRAME

  • Front suspension; Travel: 43mm inverted, non-adjustable fork; 10.2 inch
  • Rear suspension; displacement: non-adjustable shock absorber assisted by linkage; 10.2 inch
  • Front tire: 80/100 x 21; IRC GP-21F tracks
  • Rear tire: 120/80 x 18; IRC GP-22R Trails
  • Front brake: 256 mm disc with 2 piston caliper
  • Rear brake: 220mm disc with single piston caliper
  • ABS: optional ($ 300)

DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES

  • Wheelbase: 57.2 inches
  • Rake: 27.5 degrees
  • Trail: 4.3 inches
  • Seat height: 34.7 inches
  • Ground clearance: 11.2 inches
  • Fuel capacity: 2.1 gallons
  • The Red color
  • Curb weight: 309 pounds

2021 Honda CRF300L Price: $ 5,249 MSRP

2021 Honda CRF300L test photo gallery


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With 50 years of riding experience, Don Williams is a fan of all kinds of motorcycles. He enjoys sport bikes, cruisers, dirt bikes, touring bikes, adventure bikes, double sport bikes and custom rides. Ask Don what his favorite bike is and he’ll say, “Whichever bike I’m on.

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