Updated: This story has been updated to reflect new info coming to light in regards to the Australian availability of the CRF300L.
Honda Europe has confirmed the brand‘s fully revised CRF250L replacement - the CRF300L - will become available next year alongside the new CRF300 Rally.
While Honda’s trusty CRF250L platform has been given a refresh for next year and will be sold in Japan and select markets, Honda Thailand (where the CRF250L is made) stole the show from the brand’s trusty 250 thumper with a surprise - if long-overdue - upgrade.
Released in November for the South East Asian market, the new Honda CRF300L and CRF300L Rally utilise Honda’s CB300R engine, itself a 286cc single pushing 31hp and 26Nm of torque, mated to a 6-speed gearbox backed by a slipper clutch. That’s up a significant margin on the 24hp claimed for the current 250L Rally and should make a world of difference to riders trying to keep up with friends on 1000cc bikes.
Along with the new engine comes a revised frame, which has helped drop the weight of the new 2021 CRF250/300L models to the tune of nearly 5kg. Still heavy compared to others in the market, but many of those are soon to leave the market due to their lack of ABS.
Fuel range has also been increased with a 12.8-litre fuel tank on the Rally (up from 10.2) while the L gains an LED headlight in line with the larger CRF450L.
Both models receive an updated digital dash which now comes with a gear position indicator, as well as revised bodywork to accommodate the new fuel tank, while the Red/White/Blue paint updates the look further.
Suspension comes in the form of 43mm USD forks and a Prolink rear shock, though no word as yet on whether Honda has tweaked the settings to get away from the notoriously soft suspension of the 250L models.
For Australian CRF fans, it appears that our initial info was incorrect with Honda Australia confirming the new CRF300 models will be heading Downunder.
Blue Wing Honda, New Zealand’s Honda Motorcycle distributor, is currently looking at the new 300L models for the New Zealand market to replace the 250L, but as yet has not locked in availability at the time of writing.
If the CRF300 models did make it to New Zealand it would give riders looking for a road legal adventure bike on the more enduro side of the spectrum a solid option, with Kawasaki confirming the KLX300 models won’t be coming here and the future of the Yamaha WR250R and other older pre-ABS dual sports in serious doubt due to the full force of NZ’s ABS laws coming into effect next year.