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3 Reasons Why It Works And 2 Reasons Why It Doesn’t For In India

Honda CRF300L

The arrival of the adventure motorcycle does excite us. But is it going to excite everyone?

India is made for adventure bikes, or should I say, Indian roads are perfect for adventure bikes. While we’ve had quite a few adventure tourers in all shapes and sizes, the Hero XPulse 200 4V has so far been the only proper adventure bike that can take on the really gnarly stuff and still be a good companion on weekdays. What it lacks is a good rival. Until now. 

Hopefully. Because, this past week, we got a sighting of the Honda CRF300L at a Honda dealership in Bengaluru. In all honesty, it could just be a one-off unit brought here for testing waters. But what’s the harm in that? Here’s why we are excited with the bike’s arrival and why some might not fancy it.

The Excitement

A Proper Go Anywhere Bike

One look is all it takes to figure out that the CRF300L can go anywhere without batting an eyelid. Its long legs and 21-/18-inch spoke wheels just enable you to unlock all of its potential well when you go off-road. The sheer capability on offer is unlike anything that the Indian market has seen so far.

The Motor Is Made In India

Yeah, the CRF300L uses the same 278cc single-cylinder mill as the CB300R retro-styled naked sold in India. Of course, the engine tune is dramatically different, more emphasis on torque here than power. But still, it is made here. So its heart is already Indian.

Indian Enthusiasts Are Crying For It

Okay, not for the CRF in particular but any manufacturer to take an initiative and bring a proper frickin’ adventure tool. We have the perfect environment for it, there’s quite a lot of interest in the market with something as dedicated as it and there’s so far nothing that caters to the amateurs and thrill seekers quite like it.

The Disappointment

It’s A CKD Honda… So It Will Be Costly

There’s no denying it, Honda’s CKD products have been carrying alarmingly high price tags when compared to their rivals. If the CRF300L was to come to India, expect it to be priced at around Rs 3.30 lakh-Rs 3.50 lakh (ex-showroom). That’s KTM 390 Adventure territory. So, for Honda to make a hard case for Indians, it is going to be very difficult.

It Can Be A Bit Too Serious For Its Own Good

Yeah, it is an adventure motorcycle: a bike that is light, off-road ready and great for bashing on trails. It might be good for the city, too. But it has a fuel tank that is even smaller than the XPulse’s. The puny 7.8-liter fuel tank isn’t going to take you a great distance. 

Ultimately, will it come to India? The enthusiasts hope so.

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