Next-generation Honda CRF300L dual-purpose bike arrives for 2021

Lighter and more powerful replacement for the CRF250L.

Honda arguably changed the dual-purpose motorcycle game back in the 1970s with the launch of the iconic XL250S. Followed by a successful range of XL single-cylinder four-stroke engine bikes that were affordable, useful, and fun to ride. A true global off-road machine.

2012 saw the launch of the CRF250L — a trail-ready bike powered by a frugal 250cc engine on a chassis with a broad and capable range (and, of course, the legendary Africa Twin which got a major overhaul for 2020).

But the CRF250L needed to be ramped up, and that’s where the new 2021 CRF300L comes in, ushering in the next generation of a proven bike. A lighter, more powerful machine with added details compared to its predecessor. Or as Honda puts it, “is every bit the do-it-all, dual-purpose motorcycle the CRF250L was, just more so.”

If you’re shopping for a new adventure bike, check out our top 7 picks here.

Price

In the US, the 2021 CRF300L will start at $5,249 MSRP; and the CRF300L ABS at $5,549. In Canada, the CRF300LRA (Rally ABS) will start at C$7,499.

2021 Honda CRF300L Rally Studio
2021 Honda CRF300L Rally Studio. Photo: Honda

2021 CRF300L vs 2020 CRF250L

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Below, the 2021 Honda CRF300L’s key features to know about, followed by key specs.

  • 10% more peak power courtesy of new 286cc engine
  • 18% more peak torque
  • Engine goes from 250cc to 286cc; 63 mm stroke compared to 55 mm
  • Improved responsiveness from new gear ratios: 1-5 are shorter and 6th gear is taller
  • Assist/slipper clutch with 20% lighter lever load
  • 5 kg lighter (now 152 kg total) via redesigned steel frame, aluminum swingarm and bottom yoke
  • Slimmer tank and seat (now 10mm lower in height)
  • New positive LCD instrument display Honda says is easier to read
  • Tweaked riding position for both on- and off-road performance
  • Better low- to mid-range response via revised timing of the intake cam
  • Redesigned air filter, exhaust downpipe, muffler and ignition timing
  • Larger 12.8L fuel tank thanks to lighter, slimmer bodywork

2021 Honda CRF300L Specs:

Engine: Liquid-cooled, single cylinder DOHC, 286 cc

Carburation: PGM-FI electronic fuel injection

Fuel capacity: 12.8L

Clutch: Wet multiplate, assist/slipper clutch

Transmission type: 6-speed

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Final drive: chain

Frame: Steel semi-double cradle

Chassis dimensions (LxWxH): 2230 x 920 x 1415 mm

Seat height: 885 mm

Ground clearance: 275 mm

Front suspension: 43 mm Showa inverted forks; 260 mm (10.2 in) travel

Rear suspension: Pro-Link Showa single shock; 260 mm (10.2 in) travel

Front wheels: 80/100-21M/C 51P

Rear wheels: 120/80-18M/C 62P

ABS brakes: 2 channel ABS w/ ability to turn off ABS to rear wheel

Front brakes: 296 mm x  3.5mm disc with two piston caliper

Rear brakes: 220 mm x  4.5mm disc with single piston caliber

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