Family Feud: Honda CB300R vs Honda CBR250R

Modified On Mar 20, 2019 By Praveen M. for Honda CB300R

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Update - Honda CB300R Launched In India

Here’s how the upcoming Honda CB300R stacks up on paper against the long-standing CBR250R from the same brand

Honda has been selling the CBR250R in the Indian market since 2011, with the exception of a small time frame during the BSIII to BSIV transition. After the new emission norms came into effect, the 2018 model was launched with just an LED headlight and colour update. Frankly, we were quite disappointed with the relaunch as Honda didn’t have anything in its portfolio for us enthusiasts as we were expecting something with much better performance and style to offer. Then the Japanese two-wheeler giant dropped a bomb of an announcement that the brand is bringing the CB300R to India. How different is this neo-retro machine from the long-in-the-tooth sports tourer? Let's find out.

Design:

The Honda CB300R exudes a solid dose of freshness compared to the rest of the motorcycles in Honda’s small bike portfolio. Honda calls the design philosophy ‘Neo Sports Cafe’, and the motorcycle’s classic-looking design language is tempered with modern features all around. The lighting system is all-LED and the instrument cluster is fully digital too. There are lots of premium finishes on the bodywork too. Case in point is the elegant-looking fuel tank draped in glossy red, complemented by the brushed metal finish on the radiator shrouds. The headlight bezel also features brushed metal finish for an added dose of premium-ness. The only grouse we have is the chrome finish on the exhaust heat shield which simply looks a bit garish compared to the other design elements in this motorcycle.

On the other hand, the CBR250R’s design is derived from the VFR1200F which was well-known for being the first bike with a dual clutch transmission. However, the motorcycle hasn’t witnessed any major design update except for the 2018 version coming with LED headlamps. It sure looks like the part of a proper, no-nonsense sporty tourer, complete with a fully faired bodywork, windshield and a stubby muffler. However, the motorcycle simply lacks the zing that a lot of its modern rivals have when it comes to looks. That said, the new LED headlamp does give the motorcycle a small dose of sportiness.

Powerplant:

Specification

Honda CB300R

Honda CBR250R

Engine

286cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled DOHC motor

249.6cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled DOHC engine

Peak power

31.4PS at 8500rpm

26.5PS at 8500rpm

Maximum torque

27.5Nm at 7500rpm

22.9Nm at 7000rpm

Transmission

6-speed with hydraulic clutch

6-speed

The specs used for the CB300R is from the European model as the numbers for the India-spec bike is yet to be revealed. We believe Honda will keep the engine’s state of tune the same for the Indian market. The bigger engine obviously makes more power and torque, but the euro-spec CB300R features a hydraulically operated clutch. On the other hand, the CBR250R makes do with a cable operated clutch. The former essentially reduces the clutch lever effort and designed to be novice-friendly in markets abroad.

Interestingly, the CB300R is actually more efficient than the CBR250R when you look at the figures of both the models sold in Europe. As per WMTC (World Motorcycle Test Cycle), the CB300R returns 30.2kmpl, which is 3.2kmpl more than the CBR250R, despite packing a bigger engine! This is because it comes with parts that enhance fuel efficiency - like the low-friction piston rings, high-density core radiator and iridium spark plug. However, we feel the CBR250R will return slightly more on the highways because of its aerodynamic fairing. But we’ll reserve our thoughts about that till we get our hands on both the bikes.

Underpinnings:

Specifications

Honda CB300R

Honda CBR250R

Frame

Steel diamond frame

Twin-spar frame

Front suspension

41mm inverted forks

37mm telescopic forks

Rear suspension

Pro-Link monoshock

Pro-Link monoshock

Front brake

296mm petal disc with Nissin 4-piston radial caliper, with ABS

296mm disc with Nissin 2-piston caliper, with ABS

Rear brake

220mm petal disc with single-piston caliper, with ABS

220mm disc with single-piston caliper, with ABS

Front tyre

110/70 R17

110/70 17

Rear tyre

150/60 R17

140/70 17

Clearly, the CB300R packs more sophisticated underpinnings. However, what takes the cake is its IMU-enabled ABS! Honda says the system works through an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) to give precise front to rear distribution of ABS depending on the vehicle behaviour, including parameters like roll, pitch and yaw.

Also, the CB300R packs a slightly fatter rear tyre, and the India-spec bike, as seen on spy shots, rolls on Michelin Pilot Sport radials, unlike the Dunlop radials which the Euro-spec bike gets. The CBR250R rolls on cross-ply ContiGo! tubeless tyres from Continental.

Verdict:

Honda will launch the CB300R on February 8 and has confirmed that it will be priced under Rs 2.5 lakh (ex-showroom). It’s a really commendable assurance considering the fact that the bike will enter the country via Completely Knocked Down (CKD) route. We believe the Japanese brand might price the bike around Rs 2.3 lakh-2.4 lakh, ex-showroom. The CBR250R ABS on the other hand is priced at Rs 1.94 lakh (ex-Delhi), which is around half a lakh cheaper than Honda’s ballpark pricing.

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