It’s finally been confirmed people; the Honda CRF300L and Rally are officially coming to the United States of America. No official date has been given yet, but Honda USA has issued a press release with detailed specifications and prices. Let’s have a look shall we?
While we have had specifications from overseas models and leaks, we now officially have the new USA bound CRF300L and Rally specs including horsepower, seat height, weight and tons more changes and details that we didn’t have before.
Let’s start with the price. The bikes are now up on the Honda Power sports website and that’s where I’ve grabbed the prices from. The 300L is $5249 + $380 delivery and the Rally is $5999 plus the same $380 delivery fee. Both bikes are available in ABS trim which adds $300 to both models. In comparison, the recently updated Kawasaki KLX300 is priced between $5599 and $5799. I think the price is very respectable, it’s only $50 more than the previous year’s CRF250L but it’s looking like it’ll be a better bike.
The next thing I’m going to talk about is the seat height as there has been some conjecture about this based off overseas models. The seat height for the 300L is 34.7 inches (88cm) and the Rally is 35.2 inches (89.4cm). I personally don’t care about seat heights, but I know a lot of people worry about it, so now you’ve got your answer people. I’ve looked at the accessories and there is no lowering kit or low seat yet.
The power for both models is 27hp and 19.6ft/lb of torque. The Australian version was confirmed to be 27hp a couple of weeks ago, and this appears to be the worldwide figure now. I’m not sure what those crazy Thai are doing. This means the 300 has 2.6 more horsepower and 2.9ft/lb more torque than the 250. This is honestly not the bump I was hoping for, but we’ll just have to see how it rides. Kawasaki hasn’t given power figures for their KLX300, but as a comparison the KLX300R puts out roughly 32hp and you think it would be very similar.
We knew that the transmission ratios had been changed previously and Honda has now confirmed that the lower gears are closer together and the top gears wider. I think this is a good change that should help both off-road and with highway cruising. While we are speaking about the transmission, the clutch pull is about 20% lighter and they now have a slipper clutch.
Honda has also provided details on a lot of the changes that we didn’t have before.
On the 300L, the riding position has been slightly revised by changing the handlebar shape, handlebar weights have been added to reduce vibration, the foot pegs have been moved back and the right swing arm pivot cover has been slimmed down. The seat is unchanged on the 300L, but on the Rally it has been widened 20mm but still tapers in at the front. So the biggest change here really is the foot peg position, with them further back it should give you more room to change gears. I know this has been a problem for a fair few people and they end up getting aftermarket gear shifters.
We already knew the frame is one piece, but it has been changed more than I initially thought. These changes coupled with the new engine have gained them 1.2 inches of ground clearance, always a good thing if you ask me, especially when the 250L didn’t have a lot. The frames lateral rigidity has been reduced by 25%; this should give the bike more feel.
The swing arm has been lightened and lateral rigidity has been reduced by 23% and torsional rigidity by 17%. I’ll be interested to see if this causes the bike to feel much different, you would think it will. The width at the front of the swing arm has also been reduced by 0.6 of an inch (15mm) too.
So we know the bikes have lost weight in the frame and swing arm, but they’ve trimmed weight in other places too. The rear sprocket is thinner with smaller M8 bolts, the rear axle is now hollow, the new dash is lighter and on the Rally they’ve trimmed down the front guard, side covers, tool box and licence plate bracket. On both bikes the lower triple clamp has been lightened by changing it to aluminium instead of steel. This should change the feel of the bike and it’s always good to lose weight up high.
The suspension travel and ground clearance is the same as what we already knew and both bikes have nonadjustable suspension. Honda has stated the suspension has been revised resulting in much improved off-road performance, but we’ll have to see on that one.
A couple of changes that are minor but worth mentioning to me is there is a new rear master cylinder and the kick stand is stronger and has a larger foot print.
The weight on the 300L is 309lbs (140kg) wet and ready to ride and the Rally is 333lbs (151kg). So even with the weight loss, they are still fatties. What’s weird is the 300L’s with ABS is 2 lbs heavier but the Rally with ABS is 4lbs heavier, what the?
Phew, that’s a lot of information. I’ll put the specs on my website so you can read them for yourself along with the detailed frame changes.
Honda have said there will be some accessories including a top box, hand guards, skid plate, electrical socket, rack and ‘more’ but I had a look on their website and I can’t find anything yet. Maybe it’ll be added in the future, I’ll let you know if they do.
So that’s actually more changes than I thought there was going to be and I’m really happy with the tiny price increase. Sure I wish the power bump was bigger, the suspension was adjustable and the weight was lower, but for the price it’s pretty good.
Now we’ll just have to wait and see when they are going to release them and what stock numbers will be like. So is anyone keen to get one of the new 300’s? Let me know in the comments below.
Edit: A fair few people had some questions about the US models, namely in regards to their weight, seat height and the disk brakes. I reached out to Honda and they replied with some answers for us. I’ve put the response below.
“Thank you for contacting American Honda Powersports Customer Support.
– Curb Weights
o CRF300L: 309 lbs
o CRF300L ABS: 311 lbs
o CRF300L Rally: 333 lbs
o CRF300L Rally ABS: 337 lbs
– Front Brake is a single 256mm disc with twin-piston caliper across all trims of the CRF300L
– Rear Brake is a single 220mm disc across all trims of the CRF300L
– The Non-Rally trim has a 2.1 gallon fuel tank which includes a 0.5 gallon reserve while the Rally trim has a 3.4 gallon tank, including a 0.6 gallon reserve
– Ground clearance for Non-Rally is 11.2 inches and Rally is 10.9 inches
– Seat height for Non-Rally is 34.7 inches and Rally is 35.2 inches
The specifications do not indicate whether there will be additional weights for CA models. This could mean that all of these are going to be 50-state compliant without any extra weight added on for CA models.”
So there you have it, definitive answers from Honda. The only thing they don’t appear to be 100% sure on is the California bikes, we’ll just have to wait and see there.