LATE last week Honda Philippines Inc. (HPI) launched the all-new CRF300L and CRF300 Rally, officially marking its place in the mid-displacement, multi-surface, dual sport motorcycling arena.
Bringing in this new generation of design and performance for off-road riding, the two new motorcycles replace the CRF250L and CRF250 Rally, with a substantial increase in power, range, and ride height as well as price. The bikes are HPI said these bikes will “stand as the aspirational model for other on and off-road motorcycles. It is the perfect bike for riders looking for a powerful yet comfortable and maneuverable ride.”
“The year 2020 clearly showed us what motorcycles can do for us in our lives other than daily commuting, paving way to endless possibilities for motorcycle innovations. For Honda, there is no end of the road to creating a better normal for Filipinos,” HPI President Susumu Mitsuishi said in a statement to the press.
But is there really a market for these on- and off-road bikes? Judging from the rather lukewarm sales of the previous CRFs in the Philippines, the market is niche and possibly open only to the moneyed enthusiast. Globally, however, there is a substantial following for this dual-sport bike.
Priced at P259.9K for the CRF300 and P300K for the Rally, these bikes are not cheap, but Honda is confident of their ability to deliver a “stronger, lighter, and sharper image, appealing to daring riders who see an endless motorcycle riding possibilities.”
The previous 249.6 cc DOHC single cylinder, 4-stroker increases output by a longer stroke—from 55 to 63mm—to deliver the extra 36.4 cc to total 286cc. The longer stroke provides a smoother power deliver, not the punchy kind that happens when piston diameters increase. The added displacement bumps power from 24.8 to 27.3 hp at 8,500 rpm. It is the torque however that benefits from the “36.4 calories” increase in displacement–from 16.7 lbs-feet at 6,750 rpm to 19.6 lbs-feet at 6,500 rpm.
On paper, the torque curve is substantially improved and is much flatter from 2,000 rpm up. Compression ratio is unchanged at 10.7:1. To achieve Euro 5 compliance, (which applies globally, by the way) the cam motion and injection timing have been adjusted. This new internal configuration gets the full performance ranges, improves fuel consumption (29.5 Km/L for a longer and more efficient ride), and better tailpipe emissions. The transmission has also been upgraded with the adoption of an assist-slipper clutch for smooth gear switching operation and to prevent wheels from locking while changing gears.
Both variants have a Digital Meter with a gear position indicator to help riders have precise gear information and controlled riding.
On one hand, the CRF300L features a new light-designed thin headlight for improved vision on the road, an upside-down gold shock absorber for safer and better riding, and a pro-link rear suspension for excellent balance when maneuvering. Weight was reduced by 6 kg. The bike is designed similarly to its big brother, the CRF450L.
On the other hand, the CRF300 Rally’s new headlight design and winkers also come with a large rally bike-style windshield for safety from small projectiles while off-road. This variant also has a new 12.8-liter fuel tank capacity, giving riders less worry about fuel when riding off-road. For both bikes weight was reduced by 5 kg. Both rides come in with “Extreme Red premium.”
As a point of reference, the weight reduction comes from changes in the front downtube, cradle tubes, and the upper cross tube (by 20mm). A new cast aluminum swingarm cuts the weight by almost 3 kilos.
The CRF300L and CRF300 Rally arrived at all Honda dealerships nationwide on March 24, 2021.
“The CRF300L and CRF300 Rally is only one of Honda’s vast array of motorcycles made to improve every Filipino’s riding experience. It is in line with the company’s “ONE DREAM” campaign, which aims to fulfill every Filipino’s dream through the joy of mobility,” the Honda president said.
2021 Honda CRF300L & CRF300 Rally Specs
|Model name||CRF300L||CRF300 Rally|
|Engine Type:||Fuel injection system PGM-FI 4-stroke DOHC water-cooled||Fuel injection system PGM-FI 4-stroke DOHC water-cooled|
|Cylinder volume (cc):||286.01||286.01|
|Cylinder width x Stroke (mm.):||76.0 x 63.047||76.0 x 63.047|
|Power:||31 HP @ 8500 rpm||31 HP @ 8500 rpm|
|Torque:||19.3 ft-lbs @ 7000 rpm||19.3 ft-lbs @ 7000 rpm|
|Compression ratio:||10.7: 1||10.7: 1|
|Clutch system:||Wet multi-plate clutch, stacked||Wet multi-plate clutch, stacked|
|Transmission:||6 gears||6 gears|
|Ignition system:||Full Transistor Digital||Full Transistor Digital|
|Dimensions Width x Length x Height (mm.):||819 x 2,208 x 1,161||920 x 2,229 x 1,419|
|Wheelbase:||1439mm (56.7 in.)||1453mm (57.2 in.)|
|Ground Clearance:||244mm (9.6 in.)||277mm (10.9 in.)|
|Seat height:||830mm (32.7 in.)||895mm (35.2 in.)|
|Caster angle / Trail distance (° ‘/) (mm):||27 ° 30 ‘/ 109 mm||27 ° 30 ‘/ 109|
|Fuel capacity:||7.8L (2.0 gallons)||12.8L (3.4 gallons)|
|Frame Type:||Twin Tube Steel||Twin Tube Steel|
|Suspension system (front):||Telescopic type upside down, size 43 mm.||Telescopic type upside down, size 43 mm.|
|Suspension system (rear):||Pro-link||Pro-link|
|Net weight:||138 kg (304.2 lbs)||150 kg (330.7 lbs)|
|Brake system (front):||Disc brake||Disc brake|
|Brake system (back):||Single piston disc brake||Single piston disc brake|
|Wheels:||Front spokes size 21 inches / back spokes size 18 inches||Front spokes size 21 inches / back spokes size 18 inches|
|Tire size (front):||80 / 100-21M / C 51P||80 / 100-21M / C 51P|
|Tire size (rear):||120 / 80-18 M / C 62P||120 / 80-18 M / C 62P|
(compiled by Malaya Business Insight)
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