2023 Honda XR150L
- MSRP of $2,971 makes it nearly $2,000 less expensive than a Yamaha TW200
- As friendly of a motorcycle as you’ll find: beginner-friendly, budget-friendly, fuel-friendly, and short-of-inseam-friendly
- On- and off-road versatility
- Modest performance limits ultimate usability
- No fuel injection
The Honda XR150L is a staple in Asian markets, and in Australia and New Zealand it’s known as a farm bike. Introduced to the US market for the first time in 2023, the little XR’s hard-working character will surely be up for the playbike tasks most riders will use it for: cruises to the beach, quick runs to the store, and exploratory jaunts on your local fire roads.
Honda is all-in on affordable, small-displacement, beginner-friendly motorcycles. Just consider: its current minimoto lineup is more complete than its once-expansive sportbike line. The Grom, Monkey, Super Cub C125, Trail125, and Navi are all street-legal and priced below $4,300 (the Navi is only $1,807). Extending the same approachable qualities to its dual sport line, which already includes the CRF300L, Honda opens the door to all riders with its XR150L.
While the little dual sport is a new addition to the US market, it’s been a staple in Asian markets for some time. According to EPA data, the XR150L is produced in Mexico by Sundiro Honda, Honda’s Chinese joint venture.
Well suited to around-town jaunts, scenic backroads, and casual off-road riding, the XR150L is powered by a carbureted 149cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, intended to offer the same reliability and toughness XRs are known for but with excellent fuel efficiency and smooth, predictable performance. Honda claims a tested 346 miles of fuel range from the 2.8-gallon fuel tank. That’s 124 mpg, or 124 reasons to reconsider that ebike you’ve been looking at. OK, call us internal combustion zealots.
The XR150L has a low 32.8-inch seat height and weighs a claimed 282 pounds, which makes it ideal for beginners or riders lacking confidence off-road. Best of all, with an MSRP of $2,971, you’ll have plenty of gas money leftover—not that you’ll need much.
Updates for 2023
The XR150L is new for 2023.
Pricing and Variants
The XR150L retails for $2,971 and is available in black or white.
Small-displacement dual sports are popular because they’re inexpensive, fun, reliable, and versatile. As such, the XR has plenty of competition. In terms of seriousness—if that word can even apply to these unpretentious, fun-loving cycles—the XR150L sits somewhere between the Kawasaki KLX230 ($4,999) and the Yamaha TW200 ($4,899). The former has an off-road-oriented 21-inch/18-inch wheel combination for better capability in “rugged” terrain, while the latter uses balloonlike 130/80-18 front and 180/80-14 rear wheel sizes that make it a fun-loving, endearing run-around. Honda’s own Trail125 ($3,999) and CRF300L ($5,399) are also viable alternatives. The XR150L is significantly more affordable than the lot.
proof singles, of which it’s built millions and millions, as it is high-performance twins, fours, and sixes. (Honda/)
Powertrain: Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The XR150L is powered by a carbureted 149cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine with a five-speed gearbox. According to data from the EPA, it produces 12.5 hp. In other words, if you’re asking how much power it has, this bike may not be for you.
While the engine is technically capable of highway speeds, the bike is very clearly built for around-town riding and dirt roads, so keep the distance between trails or stopping points within reason.
Honda knows a thing or two about building tough, durable frames for its Baja-winning XR models, and that continues to be the case with the steel frame used on the XR150L. Suspension consists of a 31mm right-side-up telescopic fork with 7.1 inches of travel and a Pro-Link monoshock (adjustable for preload) with 5.9 inches of travel.
Honda notes that travel is carefully balanced to ensure there’s enough bump absorption, but that the seat height doesn’t become too tall for newer or shorter riders. With Honda’s Pro-Link rear suspension, initial rates are soft for smooth action over small bumps, while increasingly stiffer rates resist bottoming and maintain rear-wheel control over rougher terrain.
The XR runs on 90/90-19 and 110/90-17 spoked wheels. The 9.6-inch ground clearance is enough to provide some light off-road fun. Honda claims a 282-pound curb weight.
The XR150L has a 240mm single disc with a dual-piston caliper in the front and a 110mm drum brake in the rear.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The XR150L has a 2.8-gallon fuel tank that Honda claims is enough to provide an impressive 346-mile range. That’s 124 mpg. Your mileage may vary.
Ergonomics: Comfort and Utility
The XR150L checks all the right boxes for the casual rider, with its relaxed, upright riding position and well-padded but low seat that will enable most riders to get a stable footing when they come to a stop. For added utility, there’s a rear cargo rack that riders can load up with everything from a gym bag to tools or whatever else they might need to transport around town. Honda also offers a long line of accessories that includes saddlebags, hand guards, a skid plate, and more.
In Australia and New Zealand, the XR is marketed as a farm bike. In fact, Honda’s Australian website calls it “an essential piece of equipment for any farm.” Calling a motorcycle a piece of farm equipment should provide a bit of a chuckle for US riders (and farmers), but it does allude to the bike’s ruggedness and utility.
The XR150L is as simple as they come, meaning there are no electronics across the package.
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
The XR150L has a one-year limited warranty.
Honda’s XR150L is a no-frills little motorcycle that’s as bulletproof as they come. Give it fresh gas and routine oil changes and it’ll practically go forever.
2023 Honda XR150L Claimed Specs
|Engine:||149cc air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke|
|Bore x Stroke:||57.3 x 57.8mm|
|Fuel Delivery:||22mm piston-valve carburetor|
|Clutch:||Wet, multiple disc; cable operation|
|Front Suspension:||31mm telescopic fork; 7.1 in. travel|
|Rear Suspension:||Pro-Link single shock, spring preload adjustable; 5.9 in. travel|
|Front Brake:||2-piston caliper, 240mm disc|
|Rear Brake:||110mm drum|
|Tires, Front/Rear:||90/90-19 / 110/90-17|
|Ground Clearance:||9.6 in.|
|Seat Height:||32.8 in.|
|Fuel Capacity:||2.8 gal.|
|Wet Weight:||282 lb.|