Compared to the previous CRF250L and CRF250L Rally, Honda has tried to differentiate the new CRF300L a little bit more from the Rally model, so which one you go with really does depend on the type of riding you plan to do. Here's our quick little guide to helping you choose which model might suit you best.
KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO BIKES:
We've been working on our CRF300L Project Bike for the last few months so I'm pretty familiar with it. Our CRF300L Rally has not arrived yet, but looking at the specs for each bike, you can see some of the main differences. Honda has definitely differentiated the two bikes... here are some of the main differences...
• Standard model is slightly lighter (306 lbs vs 331 lbs)
• Standard model has lower seat height (34.7" vs 35.2")
• Standard model has more ground clearance (11.2" vs 10.9")
• Standard model supposedly has slightly stiffer suspension
• Rally model has more bodywork surrounding engine/frame
• Rally model has a windshield
• Rally model has a wider (more comfortable?) seat
• Rally model has a larger gas tank (3.4 gallons vs. 2.1 gallons)
• Rally model has a brighter headlight
• Rally model has larger front brake rotor, which should mean better stopping power at speed
WHICH TO CHOOSE?
So if you break down the information above you can see that the standard CRF300L model will probably be a little better in off-road riding conditions. The lighter weight, lower seat height, and higher ground clearance will just make it easier to manage in more technical off-road riding conditions. Also, since it doesn't have as much plastic bodywork covering parts of the engine and frame, there are less things you can damage when you drop the bike. So, if you plan to do mostly off-road riding, I'd definitely lean towards the standard CRF300L.
The CRF300L Rally model can still handle off-road riding, but it's definitely been spec'd to be a better all-rounder, and will be more comfortable on long rides, especially if there is street riding involved. That wider seat will normally mean a more comfortable ride, and the bodywork and windshield will make it more aerodynamic at highways speeds to keep the wind off of you. The Rally also carries almost 1.5 gallons more fuel, so you will get better range out of it, which is what you want on those long adventure rides. I also happen to think the Rally model will make one of the best low-cost commuter bikes on the market, especially if your commute involves a little highway mixed in with maybe some dirt or gravel roads!
So, in summary, the standard CRF300L seems to be aimed at the trail rider who will mostly use the bike off-road, and the CRF300L Rally is aimed more at the adventure rider who will be doing longer rides, that are a mix of street and dirt riding.
• SRmoto Honda CRF300L Project Bike at SRmoto
• Honda CRF300L / Rally Parts at SRmoto