Red rover, red rover, let dual sports come over.
As expected, it didn’t take long for the 2021 Honda CRF250L and CRF250 Rally to paddle their way from Japan to Europe. Sorry, did I say 250? Although that’s how they launched in Japan, all that swimming apparently bumped them both up to 300s by the time they got to European shores. The CRF300L is apparently the Jason Statham of dual sports.
More precisely, the European-market CRF300L and CRF300 Rally are now powered by 286cc, Euro 5-compliant, liquid-cooled singles. Claimed output is 20.1kW (or 26.95 horsepower) at 8,500 rpm, along with 26.6Nm (19.6 ft-lbs) of torque at 6,500 rpm.
This boost was achieved by way of a longer stroke, and likely has to do with meeting Euro 5 compliance. Bumping up an engine’s displacement slightly can allow it to create more power at lower speeds, thus lowering emissions into the range of acceptability. On the rider side, who wouldn’t like just a little more power?
Apart from the change in displacement, many of the revisions present in the Japanese-market CRF250L and CRF250 Rally seem to have made it over intact with the 300s. That includes shorter ratios for gears one through five, and a taller sixth gear to help you utilize the power band to its fullest. The 300L and 300 Rally also get an assist/slipper clutch, which Honda says offers 20 percent less load at the lever. Nice.
Gallery: 2021 Honda CRF300L and CRF300 Rally
Revised frame, steering geometry, and ground clearance all come through with the 300s, as does that new, clearer LCD display. The 300L gets a slimmed-down 7.8L fuel tank, while the Rally gets a more massive 12.8L tank. The rally also gets weighted handlebars, rubber inserts on its foot pegs, and flexibly-mounted LED indicators.
What’s missing? Unlike the CRF250L and CRF250 Rally, you don’t get all LED lighting all the time. The CRF300L gets no LED head or taillights, and the CRF300 Rally only gets an LED headlight, with a standard bulb taillight. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced, so your best bet is to contact your local Honda dealer if you live in Europe and you’re interested in getting your hands on one.