Dual-sport and touring riders, Honda has a little news for you this week.
First, the much-anticipated CRF300L and CRF300L Rally models have been confirmed for the U.S. market. Then there’s the latest Gold Wing update with additional luggage space and other improvements. In both cases, Honda seems to have taken customer feedback pretty seriously. There have been calls for larger displacement (CRF300L, Rally) and more luggage capacity (Gold Wing) since the last versions of those models debuted.
2021 CRF300L and CRF300L Rally
At last! Honda just confirmed that the CRF300L and CRF300L Rally will be available in the United States for 2021. Many fans of the old CRF250L and CRF250L Rally called for a bump in displacement since the last-gen models were released, especially for the Rally, but when the replacements were announced in late 2020, U.S. market availability wasn’t mentioned.
The slightly longer stroke adds a bit more power, but more importantly, it helps Honda keep the CRF-Ls compliant with EURO 5. Check out our full first look article for more details on the CRF300L and the Rally variant.
After years of relative stability, the small dual-sport space is shifting and changing once again. The KLXes and CRF-Ls have gone to 300 cc, the WR was discontinued without an immediate replacement, and with sales of small off-road bikes on the rise, maybe we’ll see some more action from the segment in the near future.
MSRP for the CRF300L is $5,249 ($5,549 ABS), or $5,999 for the Rally ($6,299 ABS).
2021 Honda Gold Wing and Gold Wing Tour
Even though the last-generation Gold Wing and Gold Wing Tour models came out just a few years ago, Honda’s making a few changes and updates for 2021. (Read our full review of the sixth-gen 'Wing here.) The largest and most significant update is an increase to the luggage capacity for the Tour. Its top box is 11 liters bigger and now fits two XXL helmets, which remedies an issue that Lemmy noticed in his first ride review of the bike.
“There was no way [an M and an XS helmet] were going into the top box," Lemmy wrote. "I don’t ever need to carry two lids in a top box, but it is sort of the gold standard for, ‘Man, that’s got some capacity.’ Here’s how you did this on the fifth-gen ‘Wang: open box, toss in helmets.”
It wasn't just him. Honda’s decision to significantly reduce luggage volume was a controversial one among many fans of the model, and now short-lived.
Moving to comfort and entertainment, the Tour gets an updated passenger seat with more foam and a taller seat back, plus a suede-style cover for both seats. There’s a new XM radio antenna, better speakers, and new automatic volume-level adjustment. The biggest improvement might be the addition of Android Auto; previously, the ‘Wing just had Apple Carplay, which only works with Apple devices. The 2021 Gold Wing starts at $23,900, and the Gold Wing Tour starts at $28,300.
Both bikes should be hitting dealerships by spring. It's nice to see Honda taking customer feedback seriously. What would you drop in their suggestion box for 2022?