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Still in love with my X-300, but the new CRF300L Rally looks absolutely fantastic. Wondering how one bike stacks up against the other. To state the obvious, the X-300 would still blow the Honda away at highway, and the viceversa in the dirt. Still, having ridden a 250cc thumper dual sport all across South America, my only complaint was that it just needed a little more oomph on the highway. The extra bit of CCs and 30% more HP on the new CRF300L Rally would provide just a little more competence at higher speeds.

Honestly, though, what will really make the difference here is the weight. The Honda is 330 lbs wet while the X-300 is 386. However the X-300 also needs crash bars and a skid plate for touring, meaning that in practice you're looking at a 405 Lbs or so. By contrast, i am pretty sure the Honda is designed like all dual sports to take a fall on its side.

So the X-300 wins on the highway and arguably makes a better commuter. But the Honda wins at everything else. The weight, torque, suspension travel and ground clearance.... it looks like a real winner. Just a few hundred more expensive than the X-300.

Of course all of us have been clamoring for the x-400, the CRF400L, and WR400R for years, but none of the manufacturers have listened to us. Kawasaki came out with the new KLX300. Hope that works out for them, given that the CRF300L is a direct competitor. I bet their Supermoto version will sell well though.
 

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As you say, you need to choose WHERE you want to be more competent and comfortable - on the highway, or in the dirt.
 
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The Honda Rally is an extremely tall bike, with from what I have read, kinda soft suspension. I like to enjoy the twisty roads on my way to off road riding so I would take the KLX300 over any of the Hondas at this point.

My '12 KLX250 would happily do 65 mph all day long, but ran out of steam at 70 mph. If the new 300 gets it to happily do 75 mph for a couple exits on the interstate and rolls at 65 effortlessly, I will be very interested. I might even consider the SM and get a second set of wheels for woods riding

It would be a good bike to put on a hitch rail and take with me if/when work travel resumes.
 

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I bought my KLE300 for its freeway competency, low weight, upright ergos, wind protection, price, and cheap insurance. It didn’t need to be capable off road for me, but I’ve sure enjoyed some spirited riding on dirt roads, taking me back to my dirt bike roots a bit. The new 300s from both Kawasaki and Honda intrigue me, but I don’t think either would be anywhere near the street capability of the versys x. The fairing is a biggie for me too. It really extends the MI riding season protecting from the weather
 

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Either way, the re-emergence of small bikes is a good thing. I really want a 250-300 in the garage along with the V.
 
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