Just when you thought Honda couldn’t possibly add something new and different to its middle-range moto lineup, it surprises us with a reiteration of a previous cult classic, the CL350, best known for paving the way for the Baja 1000 back in the 70’s. This modern version of the peppy lightweight scrambler has all the goodies of Honda’s current offerings, with all the style of the paired down desert racers of the past.
The Honda XR150 has been in production since 2003, though up until recently it wasn’t available in the US market. Selling most of the units in Asia or Latin America, the XR150 platform is one of the most popular entry-level dual-sports, and its introduction to the US comes with some welcome perks; time tested engine and components plus a 20-year history of available parts – both OEM and aftermarket. Honda’s reliability is legendary, and this little XR150L is likely no exception.
Entry level dual-sport has for a very long time existed in the void between categories, particularly when you consider folks who are shorter in the inseam. We all need to start somewhere, but for most who did not grow up riding, or maybe started exclusively on street motorcycles, the reality is that the entry-level engine size is often combined with the inability to comfortably touch the ground at a stop. That’s enough to deter all but the most stubborn of vertically challenged riders. Kawasaki is hoping to change this with the 2023 Kawasaki KLX230 S.