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Honda CRF190L Details and Photos Leaked

Leaked images suggest Honda’s new Asia-bound CRF190L will have Africa Twin-like styling cues.

Leaked images suggest Honda’s new Asia-bound CRF190L will have Africa Twin-like styling cues. (Honda/)

With the worldwide enthusiasm for adventure bikes showing no sign of waning, Honda is tilting to take a slice of that market at every capacity level, and these leaked images of the upcoming CFR190L show the firm’s entrant at the very smallest end of the segment.

Unsurprisingly, given its 184cc air-cooled single, the CRF190L is aimed at developing markets like India, the Philippines, and China rather than the West, where appetites for adventure bikes are biased toward much larger models. However, the CRF190L demonstrates a new styling direction that’s likely to become a “family” look for the firm’s adventure bikes in the future, potentially including the expected 750cc Transalp model.

The CRF190L carries the same 184.4cc single as the existing enduro-style XR190L and will also be manufactured in China, as it’s not destined for Western markets.

The CRF190L carries the same 184.4cc single as the existing enduro-style XR190L and will also be manufactured in China, as it’s not destined for Western markets. (Honda/)

Technically, the CRF190L—which will be manufactured in China by the firm’s Sundiro Honda joint venture—is heavily based on the XR190L that’s already offered in many markets. The engine is the same 184.4cc electric-start single, making 15.6 hp at 8,500 rpm and 11.6 pound-feet of torque at 6,000 rpm, housed in a tubular steel cradle frame with very simple, nonadjustable suspension at either end. The bike’s dimensions are fractionally larger than the enduro-style XR190L, with a 1,387mm (54.6 inches) wheelbase instead of the XR’s 1,351mm (53.2 inches), and the much more substantial bodywork means the bike’s weight rises significantly. Wet, the CRF190L starts at 145 kilograms (320 pounds), or 150 kilograms (331 pounds) with the optional soft luggage fitted, whereas the stripped-back XR190L weighs in at a mere 123 kilograms (271 pounds).

Related: New Honda XL750L Transalp Rumored To Be on the Way

Added bodywork on the CRF190L means it’ll weigh substantially more, even before you factor in the optional soft luggage seen here.

Added bodywork on the CRF190L means it’ll weigh substantially more, even before you factor in the optional soft luggage seen here. (Honda/)

Although most of us in the West will probably never see a CRF190L in the metal, let alone be able to buy one, the bike’s significance emerges in its appearance. Visually, it seems to take its inspiration from the company’s CB125X concept bike, first shown at EICMA in November of 2018. In addition to previewing the idea of a small-capacity adventure bike—and notably, one for Western markets rather than Asia—the CB125X combined Africa Twin-style side cowls with a vertically stacked headlight instead of the horizontal twin lights we’re used to seeing on that model. Like the Africa Twin—and in a departure from other Honda adventure models like the CB500X and NC750X—there’s no sign of a beak on the nose, a stylistic quirk that started as the vestigial remains of a motocross-style, high-mounted fender but has since been adopted by manufacturers across the world as styling shorthand for “adventure bike.”

The stacked headlights and side cowls suggest influences from Honda’s Africa Twin as well as the CB125X concept shown at EICMA in 2018.

The stacked headlights and side cowls suggest influences from Honda’s Africa Twin as well as the CB125X concept shown at EICMA in 2018. (Honda/)

While it will be a surprise to actually see the CRF190L in Western markets, the CB125X concept—created by the firm’s European R&D arm in Italy—showed that the idea of a small-capacity adventure model for developed markets is something Honda is considering. The same department also gave us the 745cc X-ADV adventure scooter, which later spawned an ADV150 mini-me. (A 350cc ADV350 version is also expected to be launched as part of the company’s 2022 model range.) Just as that styling theme has been adopted across a wide range of capacities, the CB125X look—which the CRF190L tones down to a productionized level—may well be adopted across a gamut of adventure bikes in the future.

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