It was about time that Honda crossed the 200cc segment and gave us something to trumpet about. While Honda have been busy selling their ever growing scooters to us Indians, they have now, finally, given it a thought to show us something of the Honda CBR 250R standard. And that they have done so by introducing to us the Honda CB300R.
It is a package of Honda standards and I was impressed the moment I looked at this good looking street machine.
What made me look at it twice?
It definitely has to be the retro styled all LED headlamps in the front, a muscular, yet handsome looking tank, neatly integrated seats and rear grab handles. The Honda CB300R is a small, slightly heavy looking machine but the weight disappears once you sit on it.
The seat height is 800mm and it is not really difficult for short riders to get on and have fun riding the CB300R. When you do get on, you notice the LCD dash and let me tell you, the details can be read really clearly in broad daylight. The instrument cluster is a small unit nicely integrated and gives enough basic information but what it does miss out on is a gear position indicator and side stand warning.
Your knees do fit in well around the sculpted tank, but the handlebar position is a bit low for my liking (this may differ for shorter riders) and slightly rear set foot pegs did make my wrist feel the weight. The switchgear quality on the CB300R is top notch and my only concern was that the position of the Horn button has been interchanged with that of the Indicator and this takes some time to get used to. A long time to get used to, actually.
This small looking machine gets a slightly beefy exhaust with chrome bits on it and it is the only thing that puts it off when you look at it from the side. Our bike did not come equipped with the Barbecue Grill sari guard, but with the pictures I have seen of it, I didn’t mind not having it.
How did it feel to ride?
Confident. The Honda CB300R is a discipled – just like the design – motorcycle to ride. It gets a 286cc single cylinder, liquid cooled engine, producing 30.5HP @8000 rpm. The power figures are less than the competition BMW G310R which produces 34HP but the G310R also makes close to 30cc more.
But when you do ride it, it does have enough power to make the rider believe this is a powerful single cylinder motorcycle. We did not get a chance to take it out on the highway, but I’m sure the motorcycle would have no problems cruising comfortably above 100kph given it’s well refined engine which shows no major vibrations until the 9000 rpm mark.
The CB300R comes with 41mm up-side down Showa forks which give the rider immense feedback in the city and I instantly became a fan of it to tackle bad city roads with. Don’t get me wrong, it does not have humungous suspension travel, but it is set well enough to make a Neo Cafe racer inspired CB300R fun to ride. The rear is a mono-shock setup and is 7-way adjustable.
It also gets a Dual Channel ABS with segment-first Inertial measurement unit (IMU) which assists the ABS with lean angles and helps it perform better. However, the brakes do lack some initial bite but it get’s better as you press down on the lever.
This 147 kg motorcycle with it’s tight turning radius, coupled with Michelin Pilot Street tyres make for a mature single cylinder to ride in the city.
Also check: Honda CB300R Photos
But if you are wondering if the CB300R is any close to the KTM Duke 390, well, no. The differences in both these machines are that the Duke can be pushed hard and asked to behave and it does that pretty darn good, on the other hand, like I mentioned before, the CB300R is a disciplined motorcycle and you cannot expect or ask it to be pushed hard and behave like a KTM. It just doesn’t and it is not fun that way.
At Rs. 2.41 Lakhs (Ex-Showroom Bangalore), the CB300R is a neat motorcycle with great overall fit and finish. It is a handsome looking, matured single cylinder 300 cc motorcycle which does not shy away from sharing with you the fun of riding it. It is not for someone who expects a KTM or an aggressive street motorcycle performance, but it for an enthusiast who enjoys the experience of a relaxed and a sensible street machine.
The full photo gallery of Honda CB300R can be found below:
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