The Honda CRF300L first appeared as the CRF250L in 2017 before getting a major update for 2021. The stroke has been increased by 8mm to 286cc. It got new camshafts, and the airbox and exhaust were redesigned. The finish is excellent, the brakes are made by Nissin and the rims are aluminum. You have to get close to see the cheap stuff. Suspension is as basic as possible. The rear has adjustable spring preload, and that’s it; no reservoirs, no clickers. The handlebars are ⅞-inch steel with no handguards or frame guards. Weighs 286 lbs without fuel.
The Honda has the advantage in mid-range power and ground clearance.
The Kawasaki KLX300 has a very different backstory. Since 1994, its presence and disappearance has been flickering. In its early days, it was one of very few small-bore off-road four-strokes. In terms of technology, it was far ahead of the Honda XR250R and Suzuki DR250 of the time, both of which were SOHC and air-cooled. The off-road version of the KLX lasted about 15 years – mostly 300. The dual-sport KLX250 was introduced in 2006 and continued into 2014. It disappeared briefly, then came in the form of fuel injection. The version of the bike you see today arrives in 2021 when displacement increases to 292cc. One field where Kawasaki was profligate was in suspension. The fork has adjustable rebound damping, and the piggyback shock has adjustable preload, rebound and compression damping. On our scale, the Kawasaki is 282 pounds without fuel.
Kawasaki is better than Honda in the suspension department. It’s also a more compact motorcycle.
Both bikes are taller than you might think. With the unladen suspension, the lowest part of the Kawasaki seat is 36.5 inches. Honda’s is 37.2. This changes once the bike stabilizes under its own weight. They are soft – very soft. The Kawasaki is more stable than the Honda, making it easier for the short inseam crowd to hit the ground. In contrast, the Honda has more ground clearance. Both bikes come with very street-oriented tires. For off-road riding of any substance, you’ll need to replace them with full knobbies. We installed Dunlop’s new Geosport EN91 for a test drive and they are DOT approved knobs.
First, you must understand these What is a bicycle. They are designed for street traffic and mild off-road riding. One-on-one, though, they’re great off-road buddies. They behave so much alike that you can’t help but enjoy riding them together—just don’t invite those guys to a 300 two-stroke. Both the Honda and Kawasaki make around 23 horsepower at about 9500 rpm. That’s more than enough to get you going at a decent speed on smooth and rough roads. They struggle when you get into the dunes. You have to convert like a madman. If you try to stretch the gears by abusing the clutch, both bikes will fall over. If you really pay attention, you can see that the Honda has slightly more low-end power. It also has lower first and second gears. Both bikes could use a lower final drive and be happier on the track. Overall, though, the two bikes’ motor performance is so similar it’s almost creepy. Seat height is more important. Not only is the Honda taller, but the seats are wider. This means that shorter riders will have a hard time straddling it. On the other hand, taller and more experienced riders will appreciate the Honda’s extra ground clearance. It’s not just about clearing rocks and stumps, it’s about how close your feet are to the ground. On the Kawasaki, you’re nervously wiping your feet clean off the tiny, cramped footpegs.
The Honda CRF300L weighs 286 lbs without fuel. The Kawasaki KLX300 is 282 without fuel – both measured on our scale.
In the suspension department, neither bike is set up for true off-road riding. They’re comfortable and comfortable around camp; that’s it. A ride that feels so comfortable and plush on the road can turn into a bumpy, diving affair, even on the gentlest of off-road terrain. With the Kawasaki, you at least have the option to do minor fine-tuning. You can increase the preload on the rear shock and increase compression and rebound damping. This gives you more security, but has limited adjustability. The Honda, on the other hand, has no adjustability and desperately needs more damping at both ends. You can improve these two bikes by spending money, but all the money in the world won’t turn them into race cars. Now we’re trying to learn more about the bike to determine the overall winner. You can check out the February 2023 print edition of Dirt Bike for a comparison.
Beta 350RR’s Priced at $10,499.
Another new test bike for the team this week is the Beta 350RR. It’s a new model that we don’t know much about. We’re familiar with the 350RR-S Dual-Sport and 350RR Race Edition, but now there’s one that can tell the difference in performance. It also costs less than any other Beta 350 — though it’s still not cheap. Stay tuned; we’ll report back on what we’ve learned as we spend more time on the bike.
Now off-road vehicles The stage of the debate to choose the next winner of the Caselli Cup. We don’t really think of it as a “Rider of the Year” award because we don’t like looking backwards. Here’s our ranking of the top 25 drivers as of the start of the 2023 season. Naturally, the previous year’s results played a big role in this decision, but we tried to look back at past injuries and mishaps. In 2022, there are many such things. Here are the drivers under consideration and their 2022 results.
GNCC XC1 1 Jordan Ashburn 267 2 Craig B DeLong 225 3 Ricky Russell 181 4 Benjamin · Kelly 180 5 Trevor Bollinger 148 6 Joshua Toth 135 7 Grant Baylor 133 8 Steward Baylor JR 113 9 Josh V. Strong 84 10 Thaddeus Duvall 60 11 Josep Garcia 37 12 Taylor D. Medalia 26 13 Steve Holcomb 19
14 Ryan Michael 14
GNCC XC2 1 Lin Don Snodgrass 2 91 2 Ryder Rafferty 229 3 Ruba Bosa 219
4 Cody J. Barnes 191
5 Liam Draper 191 6 Michael Witkowski 190 7 Angus Riordan 185 8 Benjamin Herrera 183 9 Jonathan Johnson 160
10 Simon Johnson 143
NGPC PRO 1 Dante· Oliveira 270 2 Austin Walton 196 3 Cole Martinez 172 4 Taylor Lynn 150
5 dare to challenge 134 6 Dalton Slay 130 7 Justin Hoft 123 8 Giacomo Redondi 113 9 Trevor Stewart 107 10 Talon La Fountain 94
NGPC 250 PRO
1 Matteo· Oliveira 240 2 Jack Simpson 205 3 Kayello 195
4 Justin Seed 145 5 Colton AECK 142 6 Thomas Dunn 134 7 Mason Altesberg 105 8 Taylor Belknap 99 9 JP Alvarez 73 10 Korzel 73
WORCS 450 PRO
1 Dante Oliveira 240 2 Austin Walton 195 3 Taylor Lynn 185 4 Expendables 178 5 Cole Martinez 140
6 Trevor Stewart 132 7 Justin Hoft 102 8 Travis Damon 89 9 Matt Maple 83 10 Talon Lafontaine 80
1 Mateo Oliveira 225 2 Kay Ello 195 3 Jack Simpson 177 4 Thomas Dunn 177 5 Colton AECK 111
6 Kerzel 65 7 Justin Seed 50 8 Taylor Belknap 39
9 Chase Larson 31
10 Jack Alvarez 28
1 Tristan Hart 113 2 Johnny Walker 112 3 Taddy Blazuac 96 4 Cody Webb 95 5 Colton Harker 90 6 Cooper Abbott 82 7 Ryder LeBron 71 8 Tim Apolle 66 9 Max Gerston 58 10 Tykulins 55
AMA National Enduro
1 Grant Baylor 245 2 Josh Todt 204
3 Ryder Lafferty 191
4 Little Butler Baylor 187
5 Craig DeLong 178
6 Ricky Russell 145
7 Evan Smith 121
8 Jonathan Johnson 95 9 Benjamin Nelco 95 10 Brody Johnson 86 11 Thad Duval 74
AMA Country Hare and hound 1 Dalton Slay Shirey) 211 2 Joseph Watson 145 3 Zane Roberts 138
4 Carter Klein 119
5 Corbin McPherson 109
6 Jacob Agbreit 107 7 Clayton Roberts 99
8 Taylor Robert 90
9 Brody Honia 78
10 Preston Campbell 71
USA Sprint Enduro
1 Ryan Michael 340 2 Liam Dray Po 254 3 Butler Baylor 211 4 Thad Duval 148
West Hare Scramble 1 Giacomo Redondi 2 Zane Roberts 3 Austin Serpa 4 Mason Altesberg 5 Jia Den Danas 6 Dalton Shrey 7 Taylor Robert 8 Anthony Ferrante 9 JT Baker 10 Anson Maloney
full energy sprint
1 Angstrom Vin Smith 2 Taylor Medalia 3 Brewer Cowley
East Hare S Fried 1 Max Fernandez
2 Kyle McDonald
3 Ian Potter
4 Hunter Bush
5 Jason Tino
6 Ben Wright
7 Brandon Remazzo 8 Mark Fortner 9 Daniel Fortner 10 Toby Cleveland
ISDE TROPHY TEAM TERMINATOR Kaelub Russell, P15 Austin Walton, P17 Michael Lane, P18
Josh Todt, P22
Mateo Oliveira, P32 Dante Oliveira, P35 Korie Steede, P111 Rachel Gutish, P119
Top ISDE Club Finisher Craig DeLong, P3
Jaden Danas, P9 Tyler Wall, P12 Kai Aiello, P18
Skyler Howes P1 Sonora, P1 Morocco Rally Ricky Brabec P7 Dakar Andrew Short P8 Dakar (now retired) Mason Klein P9 Dakar
See you next week!
– Ron Lawson