Honda India might have given us the H’ness CB350 but we want the CRF300L and CRF300 Rally as well. These entry-level adventure motorcycles could prove to be a successful proposition if Honda India decides to bring them here. The entry-level ADV segment is booming in our country and Honda’s absence from the segment is surely being missed, especially when it has such worthy contenders in its portfolio. And now, Honda has updated the CRF300L and CRF300 Rally for MY2021.
Both the bikes are heavily-inspired from the CRF450 motocross bike and that goes on to explain their off-road credentials. For MY2021, they have received revised internals, ratio changes and chassis updates.
To comply with the stricter Euro5 norms, manufacturers are adopting different ways. Some are detuning the engine while some are bumping up the displacement and thankfully, Honda has taken the latter path. Both the motorcycles now benefit from a 286cc engine – up from 249cc. The slight bump in displacement has resulted in increased power as both the models now make 10% more power than before – 27bhp @ 8,500rpm. Joining the capacity increase is a revised intake and exhaust system, with the intake cam timing also being revised.
Honda is claiming that aforementioned changes have resulted in increased mid-range torque and power, with shorter ratios from first to fifth gear helping to accentuate the improvements. Another significant update comes in the form of inclusion of slipper clutch with Honda claiming the lever is now 20% lighter than the previous model.
Despite increased performance and bigger engine, both the bikes now weigh 4 kg less as compared to the previous model. This has been achieved by redesigned steel frame, aluminium swingarm, and new top and bottom yokes.
Changes related to the frame don’t end here as Honda has also tweaked it for rigidity increasing feel and feedback, while the new steering geometry and longer travel suspension should aid all forms of adventure riding. Apart from these changes, both the bikes now feature a slimmer tank and seat unit, a new positive LCD instrument display and altered riding position.
Suspension duties are carried by 43mm telescopic USD fork up front and prolink shock at the rear. The CRF300L gets a 256mm disc with two-piston calliper up front while the Rally gets 296mm disc.
Although there is no official word regarding their arrival in India, we believe that they would make great additions in the entry-level ADV sphere. Their off-road capabilities, potent engine accompanied with Honda’s reliability would provide a completely different experience to Indian motorcyclists.