CRF250L vs CRF300L banner CRF250L vs CRF300L banner

So you’re thinking about getting a dual sport bike? I feel you. Picking between the Honda CRF250L and CRF300L is tricky cuz both are popular for good reason and i should know – I’ve done a crap ton of research trying to figure out which one to get myself!As you probly know, dual sports are made to handle both on road and off-road riding.

Beyond just looking at the specs, you gotta think about what kinda riding you’ll actually do and what you can afford. In this post Ill give you the low down on the history and features of the Honda models to help ya decide. And I found this rad video review online that’ll add another perspective.Ready? Here we go!

CRF250L vs CRF300L Comparison Summary

CRF250L vs CRF300L comparison table:

FeatureHonda CRF250LHonda CRF300L
Overview, History, PopularityDebuted in 2012, 250cc engine, Second most sought-after bike in 2020Introduced in 2021, 286cc engine, Gaining popularity
Performance Metrics24 horsepower, 16.7 lb-ft torque, Top speed: 80 mph27 horsepower, 19.6 lb-ft torque, Top speed: 85 mph
Engine Changes250cc engine286cc engine,Longer stroke improves low-end torque by 18%
Gearing, Usability, On-RoadLinear gearing, Softer suspension, Top speed: 80 mphClose-range transmission for 1-5 gears,Stiffer suspension,Top speed: 85 mph
Off-Road CapabilitiesSofter suspension, Less low-end torqueStiffer, more off-road-oriented suspension, 18% more low-end torque
Features, Aesthetics, DesignSlightly heavier, Classic designLighter weight More aggressive design, Optional ABS
Practicality, Value, MaintenanceLong service intervals, Strong resale valueLong service intervals, Slight price increase ($250)
Final VerdictLighter, beginner-friendly, Less powerHigher horsepower, Better off-road capabilities

Read more: 

Honda CRF250L vs CRF300L (Full Comparison) Is it Worth it? (view video click here)

Overview, History, and Popularity

The Honda CRF250L was first introduced in 2012 as a way for riders to explore the world of dual sport motorcycles. With its engine it quickly became a choice, for both new and experienced riders. Moving ahead to 2021 Honda unveiled the CRF300L, an upgraded version with a 286cc engine that aims to offer increased power and versatility.

CRF250L vs CRF300L CRF250L CRF250L vs CRF300L CRF250L

When it comes to market positioning the CRF250L has proven to be a competitor. According to Kelly Blue Book it was the sought after motorcycle in 2020 in terms of value and search volume on their website. Although the CRF300L is newer it is also gaining popularity rapidly. Is expected to follow in its predecessors footsteps.

Both motorcycles provide a combination of on road and off road capabilities. The CRF300L takes things further with improved torque and suspension making it suitable for a variety of terrains. These bikes are not about specifications; they have earned their popularity through their reliability, versatility and, by fostering a community of riders.

Performance Metrics and Engine Changes

The CRF250L and CRF300L both have strengths when it comes to performance. The CRF300L is clearly better in some key areas though. The CRF250L’s engine puts out about 24 horsepower and 16 and 7 lb-ft of torque. The CRF300L has a bigger 286cc engine making around 27 horsepower and 19. 6 lb-ft of torque.

The upgrade from the 250 to the 300 is more than just slapping in a bigger engine. Honda refined the whole riding experience. They didn’t just bore out the 250 motor. They increased the stroke length too, getting 18% more low-end torque. You really notice this when cornering or climbing steep hills where the 300 has more snap to get you through.

Top speed isn’t too different. The 250 will do 80 mph or so and the 300 can get to 85. But its the improved acceleration that makes the CRF300L more flexible for street and dirt use. It just has more usable power.

Gearing, Usability, and On-Road Experience

At glance the CRF250L and CRF300L may appear similar. Their gearing reveals a distinct difference. The CRF300L has a close range transmission, for gears one through five giving it a dirt bike feel particularly when riding, off road. On the hand its sixth gear is designed for fuel efficiency and comfortable highway cruising. In contrast the CRF250L has a gearing setup that provides a consistent but less dynamic experience when accelerating towards its top speed.

CRF300L 1 1 CRF300L 1 1

When it comes to the experience, on the road the CRF300L has an advantage. It is more comfortable and agile on tarmac due to its suspension and better power to weight ratio. With its capability to reach speeds of up to 85 mph compared to the CRF250Ls 80 mph it offers an improvement. However it’s important to note that the softer suspension on the CRF250L provides a ride over bumps giving riders a sensation to riding on “pillows ” as some describe it.

If you are considering commutes, neither of these bikes is ideally suited for highway travel. For journeys exceeding 20 minutes exploring adventure bikes, like the KTM 390 or Suzuki V Strom would be advisable. These options offer enhanced comfort. Are specifically designed for long distance riding.

Off-Road Capabilities and Suspension

The new CRF300L beats the old CRF250L hands down for off-roading. The engine’s longer stroke gives it 18% more low-end torque, so it can claw up steep trails no problem. And with the close-range transmission, you’ve got power anywhere in the RPMs to get you over and through.

For suspension, it’s night and day too and the 300L has better shocks made specifically for dirt whereas the 250L was more general-use. More travel in both ends – front and back – helps the 300L tackle rougher terrain. The only caveat is the suspensions dialed for lighter riders, under 175 pounds. Any bigger and you’ll probably want an upgrade.

Tire-wise, both have the right sizes: 21 inches up front and 18 back. But the stock rubber might not cut it in the muck. So if you’ll be mudding, some aggressive aftermarket tires could be a smart call.

Features, Aesthetics, and Design

These Honda bikes ain’t about crazy speed or power. They’re all about looks and bein’ useful for whatever ya throw at em. First up, specs. The CRF300L’s got a 34. 7 inch seat height so a bunch of different sized people can ride it pretty comfy and at 309 pounds it’s on the lighter side for a dual sport and holds 2. 1 gallons of gas which is a decent amount. The CRF250L’s mostly the same dimensions but loses a few pounds makin it even easier to handle for new riders.

Now style. Both bikes got upgrades over the years to keep things fresh. The CRF300L is sportin’ a hot new look fans are lovin’ while the 250 keeps that classic vibe goin’ strong and still has a loyal crew. Either way you got color options to match your personality.

Lastly lets peek at what goodies they offer. Ya get stuff like saddlebags and tank bags to haul your gear on trips or when goin’ off-road. The 300 even has ABS as an option for some extra safety cushion.

Practicality, Value, and Maintenance

Both bikes are well known for their durability. Its crucial to understand the specifics in order to make a decision. When it comes to maintenance both models have extended service intervals, which’s news, for riders who prefer spending less time in the garage. You’ll only need to change the oil every 8,000 miles or 13,000 kilometers making these bikes remarkably low maintenance. Honda has always been synonymous with reliability. These models are no exception. Additionally there are warranty options that offer a layer of security for your investment.

CRF250L vs CRF300L Maintenance CRF250L vs CRF300L Maintenance

The CRF300L got more ‘spensive even with its upgrades, going up 250 bucks. Still seems like a good deal tho. Finance plans can help for both models too. And they keep their value decently. Kelly Blue Book says the 250 was hot item in 2020.

Reliability-wise, these bikes can go the distance and riders be logging tens of thousands of miles without issues cropping up. With the maintenance intervals and being built solid, you’re not only getting a fun ride. But also a bike that’ll stick with ya for a long while.

Whether youre all about the adventures or need a ride for getting around the CRF250L and CRF300L give a killer combo of usefulness and cost.

Final Verdict and Recommendations

To start with both bikes are options, for people who enjoy dual sport riding. The CRF250L is lighter and more suitable for beginners whereas the CRF300L provides power and has a design. Both bikes are dependable although the CRF300L performs better in terms of metrics such, as horsepower and torque.

Pros and Cons:

AspectHonda CRF250LHonda CRF300L
Weight & DesignLighter, classic designMore aggressive, hot new look
Price & ResaleSlightly lower price, strong resale valueImproved performance, optional ABS
SuspensionSofter suspension for comfortUpgraded suspension for better off-road use
DurabilityKnown for reliability and durability
Power & TorqueLess power (24 HP) and torque (16.7 lb-ft)Higher power (27 HP) and torque (19.6 lb-ft)
Model Age & Top SpeedOlder model, limited top speed (80 mph)Newer model, higher top speed (85 mph)
Acceleration & Sixth GearLess dynamic acceleration, no sixth gearImproved acceleration, sixth gear for efficiency

Read more:

HONDA CRF250L (2012 – 2018) Review(read article click here)

2023 Honda CRF300L Buyer’s Guide [Prices, Specs, Photos](read article click here)

If you’re looking for a bike that offers a blend of on-road and off-road capabilities, either of these models will serve you well. However, if you’re leaning more towards off-road adventures, the CRF300L with its better suspension and higher horsepower would be the better choice.


So basically, when you’re trying to pick out a dual sport bike, you gotta think hard about what’ll work best for how you wanna ride now and years down the road. If you’re just starting out or want something more tame, maybe go for the Honda CRF250L. But if you know youll want more power -specially for dirt and trails- then the 300’s probably your jam and either way Honda makes some solid affordable rides here. Just figure out what you’ll use it for mostly, how hardcore you plan on getting, stuff like that.And most of all, have fun on those adventures!

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