Monday, September 25, 2023
HomeHonda Motorcycle2023 Honda CRF300L Rally Review: The Dual-Sport For Real ADV Rides

2023 Honda CRF300L Rally Review: The Dual-Sport For Real ADV Rides

Riding the Rally around town, where eminent daily rider capabilities emerge immediately, navigating traffic and turns requires little more than a hip wiggle here and there rather than countersteering and leaning hard. Not that the Rally’s knobby tires particularly want to ride edges anyway, but the 331-pound wet weight also explains part of the sensation, as does an upright and forward riding position more akin to typical dirt bikes than most city commuters.
Blasting out onto highways and freeways hoping to escape the rat race requires truly wringing the peppy single all the way out towards that 10,500-RPM redline, just to keep up with traffic. I managed to hit 91 miles per hour on the freeway almost redlining in sixth gear, but only just barely, while hustling down the steepest section of the Sepulveda Pass in a full tuck behind the Rally windscreen (and probably with a tailwind helping a fair amount, too). On flat roads, just over 80 mph maxes out the aerodynamically inefficient bodywork and significantly less-than-beefy engine.
At those speeds, though, crosswinds get sketchy quite quickly, catching the 21-inch front tire like a pizza box, plastic body cladding starting to flex a bit, and 18-inch rear tire wandering just enough to cause some serious snaking around in the lane. The matching pair of iRE Trail S GP tires, which Honda chose to split the gap between city and trail riding, definitely don’t help and, for many riders, will probably just bridge the gap between buying the bike and deciding on new rubber more specifically catered to personal riding plans.

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