Honda’s popular dual-purpose tool gains a new colour option and standard fit knuckle guards for 23YM. Specification includes strong, responsive single-cylinder engine and six-speed gearbox with slipper clutch control. A steel frame with tuned rigidity balance, aluminium swingarm, long travel suspension and 142kg kerb weight generate easy handling on any terrain, with generous ground clearance. Sharp bodywork is matched by an attractive positive LCD instrument display.
The essence of what makes a true dual-purpose motorcycle has long been in Honda’s DNA. In the late 1970s the XL250S was launched – a bike providing genuine on-road usability with excellent off-road performance. The entire XL range that followed became legendary, and proved that combining an economical and easy-to-use single-cylinder four-stroke engine with a competent chassis created a motorcycle that was useful, versatile and, as riders the world over found, a great deal of fun.
Over a decade ago, exhaustive discussions within Honda R&D took place about the creation of a brand-new dual-purpose machine. The company’s long history – in off-road competition and trail-ready machinery – was a useful touchstone when development of the bike first began.
Looking to the needs of customers came first. While some riders insist upon competition-level off-road performance, many others value ease of use, practicality and convenience. For weekday, urban environments they wanted a tough, practical bike with cutting-edge off-road style. But, come the weekend, it needed to provide a ticket to ride, wherever they wanted to go, on or off-road.
Honda’s new dual-purpose bike was always viewed by its development team with global perspective. It not only needed a powerful and frugal engine, its chassis also had to have a broad and capable range. And it needed to be affordable, offering high quality and outstanding value for money, with low overall running costs a priority.
The CRF250L, launched across Europe in 2012, was just that motorcycle.
And Honda’s engineers got the formula right. The CRF250L proved a fruitful base platform which, as well as spawning a RALLY version* enjoyed consistent sales success around the world. Gaining capacity in 20YM, the CRF300L’s new engine also received an assist/slipper clutch. Thanks to weight reduction in the chassis, it was 4kg lighter, with revised riding position, slimmer seat and tank and positive LCD dash.
Mechanically unchanged for 23YM, with a new paint option and standard-fit knuckle guards, the CRF300L remains every bit a true, do-it-all, dual-purpose motorcycle.
- Model Overview
The CRF300L’s 286cc single-cylinder engine produces 20.1kW and 26.6Nm. Gear ratios 1-5 are short, for improved response and acceleration, while 6th is tall for more relaxed high-speed cruising. An assist/slipper clutch manages the rear wheel under hard down changes and offers light load at the lever.
A tuned rigidity balance between the steel frame, aluminium swingarm and bottom yoke offer excellent feedback and feel. Steering geometry delivers stability and agility, while long travel front and rear suspension ensures supple bump absorption and plenty of ground clearance.
Sharp-edged bodywork features a slim tank and seat, and positive LCD instrument display. The riding position is tailored to encourage the light steering manoeuvrability needed off-road and, just as usefully, around town.
For 23YM the CRF300L will be available in the following colour options:
Swift Gray with orange detailing and black knuckle guards **NEW**
Extreme Red with red knuckle guards
- Key Features
- DOHC, 286cc single-cylinder engine producing 20.1kW and 26.6Nm
- Gearbox ratios set for both acceleration and cruising
- Assist/slipper clutch for light level load
The single-cylinder, liquid-cooled DOHC engine produces peak power of 20.1kW @ 8,500rpm, with peak torque of 26.6Nm @ 6,500rpm. Bore and stroke is set at 76 x 63mm, with compression ratio of 10.7:1.
To match the engine’s punch and for smart pick-up and acceleration, gear ratios 1-5 are short, while 6th gear is tall for more relaxed highway cruising. An assist/slipper clutch reduces lever load and manages rear wheel ‘hop’ on rapid downshifts – great for control, on or off-road.
An iridium spark plug, along with precise metering of fuel from the PGM-FI injection system, 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.
- Handling and agility ready for action on any terrain
- Lightweight frame and swingarm; tuned rigidity balance for both
- Long travel front and rear suspension, ample ground clearance
Wet weight of the CRF300L is just 142kg. The steel semi-double cradle frame’s rigidity balance is tuned to promote handling feel and connection to front/rear traction. The one-piece cast aluminium swingarm is balanced to match. Extruded aluminium is used for the chain adjustment collar. The bottom yoke is aluminium, saving weight in an area high relative to the centre of gravity for faster steering response.
Rake and trail are set at 27.5°/109mm with wheelbase of 1455mm, and ground clearance of 285mm. Turning radius is 2.3m.
The 43mm Showa inverted fork employs a 260mm stroke, with spring weight and damping settings optimised for precise control over a wide range of terrain and speeds. Pro-Link rear suspension also features 260mm axle stroke; the Showa shock absorber is a single tube design.
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 is standard.
The 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear increase stability on rough terrain and allow the fitment of more off-road specific tyres if required. Block pattern enduro-style tyres (front, 80/100-21 51P and rear 120/80-18 62P) provide traction in a wide range of riding situations.
3.3 Styling & Equipment
- Light, slim bodywork inspired by competition CRF machines
- New knuckle guards
- Riding position promotes natural control
- Positive LCD display easy to read
Drawing inspiration from the racing CRFs, the CRF300L wears a crisp set of bodywork and graphics. The 7.8L fuel tank is slim to aid movement forward and matched by a narrow forward seat section. A minimal rear number plate bracket is matched by an aggressively shaped front mudguard. For 23YM, the CRF300L now wears knuckle guards as standard.
Seat height is set at 880mm. The riding position places machine control and manoeuvrability front and centre with an ‘upright ‘rider triangle’ – wide handlebars are pulled back slightly, with footpegs set low and backward to make gear changes in heavy off-road boots easier.
The side stand too has a broad, folding footplate.
The LCD display weighs just 70g and features large black digits on a crisp white display, for instant readability with large, 23mm speedo numbers. Information includes gear position indicator, fuel mileage and consumption, average speed, stopwatch and rev-counter.
Tailor-made accessories for the CRF300L include 38L top box, rear carrier bracket and mounts and protective sump guard for the engine.
- 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||20.1kW/8500rpm|
|Noise Level (dB)||Lwot 76|
|Carburation||PGM-FI electronic fuel injection|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||7.8L|
|CO2 Emissions WMTC||73 g/km|
|Clutch Type||Wet multiplate, assist/slipper clutch|
|Type||Steel semi-double cradle|
|Dimensions (LxWxH)||2230 x 820 x 1200mm|
|Type Front||43mm telescopic USD fork|
|Wheels Front||Aluminium spoke|
|Wheels Rear||Aluminium spoke|
|Tyres Front||80/100-21M/C 51P|
|Tyres 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|
All specifications are provisional and subject to change without notice
Please note that the figures provided are results obtained by Honda under standardised testing conditions prescribed by WMTC. Tests are conducted on a rolling road using a standard version of the vehicle with only one rider and no additional optional equipment. Actual fuel consumption may vary depending on how you ride, how you maintain your vehicle, weather, road conditions, tire pressure, installation of accessories, cargo, rider and passenger weight, and other factors.
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