Honda has trademarked the CRF300L in India. But will this dual-sport be launched in India? We try and get some answers.
The Honda CRF300L is unlikely to be launched in India, at least in the near future
Honda has registered a trademark for its dual-sport, the Honda CRF300L in India. The filing of the trademark has sparked off rumours of Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) looking to launch the CRF300L in India. Now, the possibility of a 300 cc dual-sport like the CRF300L being introduced in India may be exciting news for many of us, and yes, there will be many adventure and off-road hungry motorcyclists who will lap up the CRF300L in India. So, what is the Honda CRF300L and what does it offer to the Indian motorcyclist?
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The Honda CRF300L is a dual-sport motorcycle, designed with its base as a pure enduro motorcycle, but with road-legal elements, and made for the beginner off-road junkie. The CRF300L is powered by a 286 cc, single-cylinder engine which makes 27 bhp at 8,500 rpm and 26.6 Nm of peak torque at 6,500 rpm. The bike also gets a slip and assist clutch, and the gearbox has been updated with a taller sixth gear, and shorter ratios on all other gears. Honda claims a top speed of 132 kmph, which should be just enough for occasional highway duty to get to the nearest trails.
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With a lightweight package (140 kg kerb weight), long-travel suspension (260 mm travel both front and rear), as well as 285 mm ground clearance, the CRF300L promises to be a very capable, yet not very intimidating dual-sport motorcycle to begin riding off-road. The only catch, or challenge to the average Indian rider is the 880 mm seat height, which is even taller than the Triumph Tiger 900 Rally Pro (850 mm seat height). Off-road riding may be picking up in India, and considering the success of the Hero XPulse, in theory, the CRF300L could find some takers in India as well. But the question is will HMSI really launch the Honda CRF300L in India?
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HMSI has India’s highest-selling scooter, the Activa, and also one of the highest-selling 125 cc motorcycles in the Honda CB Shine. And going by past history, filing for a trademark in India has not always translated into a product launch on the ground. Filing for a patent or a trademark in India could be for a design element, technology or component which is used by Honda’s R&D in India.
Also Read: Honda Trademarks Name For 200 cc Adventure Bike In India
More importantly, HMSI is already working on a smaller adventure bike, based on the sub-200 cc Honda Hornet 2.0. In our view, it’s early days yet to think of a second adventure bike in the 300 cc segment. Any new product HMSI intends to develop for India will need to be backed by a solid business case, and potential sales volumes. In that context, the Honda CRF300L doesn’t seem very likely to be launched in India, at least in the shorter term. For now, the next adventure bike will probably be the Honda NX200, based on the Honda Hornet 2.0 platform, and not the CRF300L.
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