Honda CRF 150L - Key features
In 2018, Honda launched the CRF 150L in the Philippines, a short time after its release in Indonesia. In a market starving for motocross bikes, this came as a breath of fresh air. Pinoys were hyped about the bike since its launch in Indonesia. For the most part, the bike has lived up to it.
The bike has to face the established competition of the Kawasaki KLX 150L and the Yamaha XTZ 125 both of which are very capable motorcycles in their own right. For a price of Php 133,400, it does tend to be slightly expensive but that is just the way with Honda products. So what is it that Honda offers on this bike to justify this price?
A motocross needs to be designed in such a way that it can climb rocks and not be damaged from scraps and the occasional fall. At the same time, it has to look good to stand out from the competition. It also needs to be easy to handle especially at low speeds and also reasonably comfortable. A tall order for any manufacturer. But Honda seems to have done a bang up job with the design here. First off the styling comes from its bigger brother the CRF 250R. The more delicate elements like the lights are compact and shielded by the front mudguard while still being functional. At 2199 mm long, 793 mm wide and 1153 mm tall, the bike is compact if on the taller side. With a massive 285 mm of ground clearance, this translates to excellent agility on uneven terrain.
Thankfully, the 130 kg weight means that the rider can easily support the weight of the bike on just one leg. The handlebars are high and wide making it very easy to ride at crawling speeds. The single cradle chassis, suspension and the wheels together give it the stability to maintain decent speeds on dirt tracks. Even so the handlebars never vibrate so much that it cannot be tolerated. All these characteristics also make it very beginner friendly.
Powerful fuel injected engine
The CRF 150L is powered by a 2 valve, SOHC air-cooled and fuel injected engine that produces 12.24 hp at 8000 rpm and 11.94 Nm of torque at 6500 rpm. This power output is a little bit higher than what its main rival the Kawasaki KLX 15L can manage. The KLX 150L produces 11.52 hp and 11.3 Nm of torque. While the power deficit might not be much and the Kawasaki also ends up being lighter at 118 kg. Nevertheless, the power is sufficient. The focus is on providing majority of the grunt in the lower revs. This makes the bike ideal for riding jungle trails and climbing steep inclines. The bikes comes with both an electric and a kick starter. The 7.2 L fuel tank capacity is also not troublesome given that the fuel injection keeps the mileage high.
Great equipment levels
The CRF 150L sells for a very competitive Php 133400. By comparison, the KLX 150L sells for Php 130000. But worry not. The Honda comes with a lot of equipment that more than justifies its premium pricing. The front suspension uses 37 mm inverted front forks from Showa that provide 22.5 cm of travel. The rear gets a Pro-Link monoshock with 21 cm of travel. This much suspension travel is especially welcome for a bike like this if not essential.
Moreover, it is the best system offered here by all the three manufacturers. The wheels themselves are also very suitable for the job. The front gets a 70/100 tire on a 21” spoked wheel while the rear gets a 90/100 tire on an 18” spoked wheel. The knobby tires are dual purpose and work well both off and on the road. Braking has also been given high priority with disc brakes on both ends with a dual piston caliper on front and a single piston setup on the rear. Then there is the slim digital instrumentation residing behind the headlight. Like all Honda products the CRF 150L is very refined and shows exceptional build quality like nothing else.
The Honda CRF 150L then is a very capable and well thought out off-roader that is well worth its slightly expensive price tag. It is designed with fun off the road in mind and comes with ergonomics and handling characteristics that make it very usable by everyone. So, if you are looking for a fun off roader, do give this a shot.