– NEW 2021 Honda CRF300 RALLY Review / Specs | CRF Dual Sport Motorcycle Buyer’s Guide! –
Say hello to another new 2021 Honda CRF300L RALLY! Why do I say “another”? Because, this is the second new 2021 CRF300L RALLY release that we’ve covered paired up with the new 2021 CRF250L RALLY too. Confusing huh? Well, I cover Honda motorcycles news from all around the planet as it gives us an insight as to what we’ll be seeing here in the USA – sometimes. First up, it was the new 2021 CRF250L Rally that was announced for Japan. That made us think that Honda wouldn’t be releasing a CRF300L Rally in the USA but… Then the new 2021 CRF300L Rally we covered earlier, here, was announced for the Thailand market and a lot of the time will be identical to what we see here in the USA. So now, we’re all excited thinking that we’ll be getting the CRF300L in the USA. Fast forward to today and Honda of Europe finally announced the 2021 CRF300L Rally and standard CRF300L for the European market and its specs etc. Are you behind on all of this new info? If so, you need to follow me on social media where I post updated all the time that don’t always make it here to the blog. Check me out here on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
2021 Honda CRF300L RALLY USA Release Date / Announcement Date: American Honda has not “officially” announced that the CRF300L RALLY will be coming to the USA, at the time of writing this. I will be updating this page as soon as it’s official. Do I think we’ll be getting this new CRF300L RALLY over the newly redesigned 2021 CRF250L RALLY that Japan is getting? Yes. I think we will be getting this spec CRF300L RALLY for 2021 here in the USA. I could be wrong, it’s just a hunch. Long story short, I can’t say at the moment but I will be updating this page very soon, once I’m able to “officially” spill the beans for the 2021 CRF300L RALLY release in America. Check out the rest of the 2021 motorcycle model lineup here.
Quick overview of 2021 CRF300L RALLY Changes: Increased cubic capacity for Honda’s mini-adventurer, plus revised air intake, inlet cam timing and exhaust system that inject more peak power and considerably stronger torque across the rev-range. Shorter gearbox ratios are topped with a taller 6th gear while an assist/slipper clutch maintains allows confident control of the rear wheel. Handling on any terrain is improved with a new swingarm and more laterally flexible frame, increased ground clearance, longer travel suspension and revised riding position. Increased capacity for the fuel tank extends range; the seat is now rubber-mounted and lower, and there are rubber inserts for the footpegs. The handlebars use internal weights, indicators are now flexibly mounted and the finishing touch is an easy-to-read, positive LCD instrument display. Curb weight is reduced by 8.8 lbs to 337 lbs, making for a 13% improvement in power to weight ratio. We’ll dive more into those changes below…
- Quick CRF300L RALLY Info (for those in a hurry):
- 2021 Honda CRF300 Model Lineup / Options:
- 2021 CRF300L
- 2021 CRF300L RALLY
- 2021 CRF300L RALLY Price / MSRP: TBA | Not released yet but the 2020 was at $5,949 (ABS $6,249)
- 2021 CRF300L RALLY USA Release Date: TBA
- 2021 CRF300L RALLY Colors: Red
- 2021 CRF300L RALLY Horsepower: 27 HP @ 8,500 RPM
- 2021 CRF300L RALLY Torque: 19.6 lb/ft TQ @ 4,750 RPM
- 2021 CRF300L RALLY MPG: 75.9 Miles Per Gallon
- 2021 CRF300L RALLY Seat Height: 34.8 inches
- 2021 CRF300L RALLY Weight: 337 lbs (curb)
- 2021 CRF300L RALLY Fuel Tank Capacity / Size: 3.38 gallons
- 2021 CRF300L RALLY Front Suspension: 43mm Showa USD fork with 10.2 inches of travel
- 2021 CRF300L RALLY Rear Suspension: Pro-link Showa monoshock with 10.2 inches of travel
- 2021 CRF300L RALLY VS 2020 CRF250L RALLY Changes: Yes, explained below.
- 2021 CRF300L RALLY VS 2020 CRF250L RALLY Price Change: TBA
- * CRF300 Rally = CRF300L Rally. They are the same bike. Some countries use the extra L in there and some don’t, same bike though.
- 2021 Honda CRF300 Model Lineup / Options:
- 2021 CRF300L RALLY Review Contents:
- 1. | Introduction
- 2. | Model Overview
- 3. | Key Features / Development
- 3.1 | Styling & Equipment
- 3.2 | Engine
- 3.3 | Chassis
- 4. | Accessories
- 5. | Photo Gallery / Pictures
- 6. | Technical Specifications
1. | Introduction
A small capacity dual-purpose motorcycle covers many bases: it slips easily through congested city traffic thanks to lightweight and slim proportions matched with superb maneuverability, while its suspension, ground reach and seat height deliver a fun and comfortable ride on rough tarmac and trails. In essence it opens up a whole new range of two-wheeled opportunities, whatever the rider’s experience level.
With styling DNA drawn directly from the HRC CRF450 RALLY Dakar racer, the CRF250 RALLY, based on the trail-ready CRF250L, brought something new to the market on its launch in 2017. It not only looked ready to compete in a desert stage, but also delivered a real taste of adventure to riders who prefer a light, easy-to-manage machine.
For 2021, alongside the CRF300L, the CRF300 RALLY makes its debut. Lighter, more powerful and even better equipped to explore – around the world or around the block – the CRF300 RALLY is good to go.
2. | Model Overview
Now 286cc, the CRF300L RALLY’s new engine produces 10% more peak power bringing the CRF300L RALLY horsepower to 27 HP @ 8,500 RPM, and 18% more peak torque at 19.6 lb/ft TQ @ 6,500 RPM. Inlet cam timing has been revised, alongside both air intake and exhaust system for much stronger mid-range torque and power. Gear ratios 1-5 are shorter, for improved response, while 6th is taller for more relaxed high-speed cruising. An assist/slipper clutch now manages the rear wheel under hard down changes and offers 20% less load at the lever.
A redesigned steel frame, aluminum swingarm and bottom yoke are major contributors to a 8.8 pound overall weight loss and feature revised rigidity balance for feedback and feel. Steering geometry has been adjusted in detail to match, and the forks have an extra .4 inches of suspension travel (10mm).
Sharp-edged bodywork features a larger, 12.8L capacity fuel tank and comfortable, broad seat, distinctive asymmetric dual LED headlight and new, positive LCD instrument display. The riding position, too, has been altered to encourage the light steering maneuverability needed off-road and, just as usefully, around town.
3. | Key Features / Development
3.1 | Styling & Equipment
- Lighter, slimmer bodywork incorporates larger 3.38 gal. fuel tank
- Broader seat for comfort, now rubber mounted and 10mm lower in height
- Positive LCD display even easier to read
The CRF300 RALLY is designed to cover distance and its styling reflects this. Derived from the parts used by the CRF450 RALLY, the ‘floating’ screen, upper/lower fairing and side shrouds effectively shield the rider to offer excellent defense against the elements. Hand guards come standard on the RALLY and offer further protection, both for the hands and the brake and clutch levers. A skid plate protects the machine’s underside and the gear lever features a folding tip.
From the machine’s mid-section back, the refreshed style is MX-sharp; the rear number plate bracket is much smaller, for a 300g saving; further weight has been saved by the aggressive shape of the front mudguard. The fuel tank grows in volume by .71 gal., to 3.38 gallons (2.7L to 12.8L); with 76 MPG (32.3 km/l) achievable, a cruising range of 250 miles is possible (410km).
The seat is rubber mounted for comfort and the footpegs also now feature rubber inserts. Seat height is 34.8 in. (885mm), .2 inches (5mm) taller than the CRF300L and .4 in. (10mm) lower than the prior generation CRF250L RALLY. It features the same narrower profile up front as its sibling, but with an extra .8 in. (20mm) in width across the seated area for long riding days.
To foster easy, light control the riding position has been subtly altered: the handlebars have been pulled back slightly, while the foot rests have been lowered and also moved back, to make gear changes in heavy off-road boots easier. And the CRF300 RALLY features internal handlebar weights to minimize vibration. The sidestand, too has been redesigned with a 10% larger area for its (now) folding footplate.
A redesigned, .15 lb (70g) lighter LCD display features large black digits on a crisp white display, for instant readability. The speedo numbers are also .24 in. (6mm) larger, at .90 in. (23mm). Information includes gear position indicator, fuel mileage and consumption, average speed, stopwatch and rev-counter. The headlight is a compact, asymmetric dual LED unit, matched to a bulb taillight. The indicators, too, are LED and now flexibly mounted.
3.2 | CRF300L RALLY Engine
- Larger capacity 286cc engine puts out an extra 3 horsepower and 3 lb/ft TQ
- Revised gearbox ratios for both acceleration and cruising
- Assist/slipper clutch with 20% lighter lever load
An extra 14% cubic capacity for the single-cylinder, liquid-cooled DOHC engine – from 250cc to 286cc – is acquired by a 63mm stroke, as opposed to 55mm. Bore remains 76mm, as does compression ratio of 10.7:1. Peak power of 27 HP arrives @ 8,500 RPM (20.1kW), peak torque of 19.6 lb/ft @ 6,500 RPM (26.6Nm) (up from 24 HP @ 8.500 RPM / 16.7 TQ @ 6,750rpm | 18.2kW/22.6Nm). The full dyno graph curves tells the full story beyond the peak power and torque uplift: the new engine is considerably stronger, everywhere, from 2,000 RPM up.
To match the engine’s heavier punch and to smarten pick-up and acceleration, gear ratios 1-5 are shorter, while 6th gear is taller for more relaxed highway cruising and higher top speed on the CRF300L compared to the CRF250L. Addition of an assist/slipper clutch reduces lever load by 20% and manages rear wheel ‘hop’ on rapid downshifts – great for control, on or off-road.
Revised timing of the intake cam specifically boosts low- to mid-range response – the rpm range most used around town or off-road – and works with redesigned air filter, exhaust downpipe (1.5 lbs / 660g lighter than the previous design), muffler and ignition timing. An iridium spark plug, along with precise metering of fuel from the PGM-FI injection system, further enhances combustion efficiency and improves environmental credentials.
The engine uses an offset cylinder, reducing internal frictional losses, while the piston itself incorporates a special surface material, plus molybdenum coating. The oil pump features an internal relief structure that prevents aeration of relieved oil. The crank journal employs a half-split, press-fit metal bearing while the crank bearing uses a cast-iron bush. A primary balance shaft further reduces vibration.
The cooling system uses a 12.7kW heat-release radiator, sited on the left of the bike, protected with a polypropylene grill baffled to improve airflow. A thin guide-ring cooling fan is used to maintain even temperatures at low speeds, either in congested traffic or tricky off-road situations.
The CRF300L RALLY’s engine is fully EURO5 compliant.
3.3 | CRF300L RALLY Chassis
- Handling and agility improved on any terrain from wide-ranging updates
- Significant weight saving from a new frame and swingarm
- Revised rigidity balance for both, with increased ground clearance
- Longer travel front and rear suspension
A total of 8.8 lbs (4kg) has been saved overall from the CRF300 RALLY’s chassis, with a curb / wet weight now of 337 lbs (153kg). The steel semi-double cradle frame is completely new and contributes 4.7 lbs to the weight loss (2.15kg). Just as importantly, to promote handling feel and connection to front/rear traction, its flexibility balance has been tuned with 25% less lateral rigidity.
This has been achieved with decreased width (-30mm) for the main down tube and smaller, 25.4mm diameter lower down tubes (from 28.6mm) plus a 20mm decrease in width across the central bracing tube.
To match, the one-piece cast aluminum swingarm is not only 1.2 lbs lighter (550g) , it features a 23% reduction in lateral rigidity. It’s also 15mm narrower just behind the pivot point and smooth, cross-sectional shaping is used to create uniform deflection. Extruded aluminum is used for the chain adjustment collar. The steel bottom yoke of the previous design has been changed for aluminum; this shaves 1.6 lbs (730g) from an area high relative to the center of gravity for faster steering response.
The 43mm Showa inverted fork gains .4 in. (10mm) of stroke to to make the suspension travel now come in at 10.2 in. (260mm), with spring weight and damping settings revised for precise control over a wide range of terrain and speeds. The Pro-Link rear suspension now has 10.2 inches of travel (260mm), up from 9.4 in. (240mm) on the outgoing CRF250L; the Showa shock absorber is a single tube design.
Ground clearance has been increased, from 10.6 in. to 10.8 in. (270mm to 275mm) and the frame and engine sit .8 inches higher (20mm), thanks to revisions to the lower frame, engine crankcases and oil drain plug. Rake and trail are now set at 27.5°/109mm (from 27.6°/113mm) with .4 in. (10mm) longer wheelbase of 57.3 in. (1455mm). Turning radius for the CRF300L RALLY is 7.5 ft (2.3m).
The front brake uses a single 256mm disc gripped by a two-piston caliper, the rear a 220mm disc and single-piston caliper; in common with the CRF competition machines the rear master cylinder is now a lightweight, integrated design. The discs feature a wave design – also taken directly from the CRF250R / CRF450R – with exceptional self-cleaning abilities in adverse conditions.
2-channel ABS comes as standard equipment on the CRF300L RALLY in Europe and select other countries. You can turn off the rear ABS by pressing the button shown below, on the side of the gauge display. At the time of writing this, I can’t confirm whether or not American Honda will still offer a non ABS CRF300L RALLY in the USA for 2021.
Lightweight aluminum rims further reduce unsprung mass; for 2021 the Alumite surface has been polished to a gloss finish. Block pattern enduro-style tires (front, 80/100-21 51P and rear 120/80-18 62P) provide traction in a wide range of riding situations.
The 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear increase stability on rough terrain and allow the fitment of more off-road specific tires if required. Application of a machined rear sprocket and M8 bolts (instead of M10) plus hollow rear axle saves .5 lbs (240g) and .35 lbs (160g) respectively.
4. | CRF300L RALLY Accessories
Tailor-made accessories for the CRF300 RALLY include 38L top box, rear carrier bracket and mounts. More details and pictures coming soon…
5. | CRF300L RALLY Photo Gallery / Pictures
6. | Technical Specifications
|Type||Liquid-cooled, single cylinder DOHC|
|Engine Displacement (cm³)||286cc|
|No. of Valves per Cylinder||4|
|Bore ´ Stroke (mm)||76.0 x 63.0|
|Max. Power Output||27 horsepower @ 8500 RPM (20.1kW)|
|Max. Torque||19.6 lb/ft TQ @ 6,500 RPM (26.6Nm)|
|Oil Capacity||1.9 qt (1.8L)|
|Carburation||PGM-FI electronic fuel injection|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||3.38 gal. (12.8L)|
|Fuel Consumption||76 MPG (32.3km/liter)|
|Clutch Type||Wet multiplate, assist/slipper clutch|
|Type||Steel semi-double cradle|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||87.8 in. x 36.2 in. x 55.7 in. (2230 x 920 x 1415mm)|
|Wheelbase||57.3 in. (1455mm)|
|Trail||4.3 in. (109mm)|
|Seat Height||34.8 in. (885mm)|
|Ground Clearance||10.8 in. (275mm)|
|Curb Weight||337 lbs (153kg)|
|Turning radius||7.5 ft (2.3m)|
|Type Front||43mm telescopic USD fork|
|Wheels Front||aluminum spoke|
|Wheels Rear||aluminum spoke|
|tires Front||80/100-21M/C 51P|
|tires Rear||120/80-18M/C 62P|
|ABS System Type||2 channel ABS|
|Brakes Front||256mm x 3.5mm disc with two piston caliper|
|Brakes Rear||220 mm x 4.5mm disc with single piston caliper|
|INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS|
* Specifications are subject to change. All specs are based off of the current Euro spec CRF300L.