Markham, ON. Honda’s popular dual-sport machine takes advantage of a 15% increase in displacement, plus revised air intake, inlet cam timing and exhaust system that extract more peak power and considerably stronger torque across the rev-range. Shorter gearbox ratios for dynamic off-road or city riding are topped with a taller 6th gear for better performance on long twisty backroads and fire roads. Sharp new bodywork and graphics mark the 2021 upgrades, and there’s a crisp, positive LCD instrument display. Curb weight is reduced by 5 kg to 139 kg, making for a 13% improvement in power to weight ratio. The CRF300L is now also available in optional ABS.
The CRF300L’s new engine produces 10% more peak power and 18% more peak torque. A redesigned steel frame, aluminum swingarm and bottom yoke are major contributors to a 5 kg overall weight loss and feature revised rigidity balance for feedback and feel. Steering geometry has been adjusted in detail to match, alongside longer travel front/rear suspension and increased ground clearance.t
To smarten pick-up and acceleration, gear ratios between 1-5 are shorter, while 6th gear is taller for more relaxed highway cruising. 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 (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.
A total of 5 kg has been saved overall from the CRF300L’s chassis, with wet weight of 139 kg.
Ground clearance has been increased, from 255 to 285 mm The front brake uses a single 256 mm disc gripped by a two-piston caliper, the rear is a 220 mm disc and single-piston caliper. 2-channel ABS is now an available option for the CRF300L, featuring the ability to turn off ABS to the rear wheel for more dynamic off-road riding.
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. Seat height is increased 5 mm, to 880 mm, for a naturally upright ‘rider triangle’.