Honda CB300R Review: Picture Gallery
Does the latest offering from Honda stand a chance in the highly competitive sub-400cc motorcycle segment? Check out our review in detailed pictures
Honda forayed into the competitive sub-400cc motorcycle market in India with the CB300R. A beautiful looking motorcycle with enough power on tap and a competitive price tag of Rs 2.41 lakh (ex-showroom). However, with so many options to choose from, does the CB300R really stand a chance in the sub-400cc segment?
Design and Features:
In terms of aesthetics, the CB300R follows Honda’s Neo Sports Cafe design language also seen on its new breed of naked bikes. In fact, it looks like a scaled-down version of the litre-class sibling - the CB1000R.
Standout features on the bike include a round headlamp with LED lighting, sculpted tank, flat seat and a stubby tail section.
The quality of components like the switchgear, LED turn indicators and instrument console is top-notch. While the headlight looks cool and provides decent spread, it lacks in terms of reach and isn’t too bright.
The CB300R also features a dark blue-backlit LCD screen that looks rather premium, but misses out on a gear position indicator and side stand indicator.
The mirrors, though, look like they were lifted from the low-cost Honda parts bin. Also to keep weight low, most of the components are made of high-quality plastic and bolted using as few screws as possible.
Given the compact design, the CB300R gets a small 10-litre fuel tank which is good for a range of around 300km.
The Honda CB300R is a compact motorcycle which makes it accessible for even shorter riders. Even though it gets a seat height of 800mm, the sheer narrowness of the bike makes it possible for shorter riders to place both feet on the ground as well.
Despite the bike’s compact design, the rider’s seat is quite roomy and has a flat profile, which helps accommodate riders of any size. The pillion seat, though low on space, impresses in terms of comfort thanks to the seat cushioning, lower placed pillion footpegs and useful pillion grab rails. What’s worth noting is the fact that the seat is apt for lighter riders, however, larger and heavier ones will not find the Honda’s saddle so comfortable.
The CB300R’s straight handlebars and slightly rearset footpegs offers a rather upright and comfortable riding posture.
Ride and handling:
The CB300R uses a simple diamond type frame but premium suspension components from Showa. This comprises of stiffly sprung 41mm non-adjustable upside down forks and a preload-adjustable monoshock. As a result, the suspension feels quite reactive which leads to the bike feeling skittish at speed on uneven cement roads. While on the firmer side, the ride quality does not feel jarring.
Where the CB300R really shines is its corner carving capabilities. It feels sharp and eager to tip in thanks to its sharp rake, shorter trail and shorter wheelbase. The suspension works well with the Michelin Pilot Street tyres and holds a line through corners well enough to inspire confidence. While it can’t match the handling dynamics of the KTM 390 Duke, it can surely keep up with it.
Its braking setup comprises of a 296mm disc with Nissin radial calipers and a 220mm rear disc. It’s the first bike in its segment to feature an IMU-based ABS that calculates pitch movement along with wheel speeds to keep the bike stable under hard braking. On the contrary, while the system works well, the ABS intervention was a bit too intrusive for our liking.
The Honda CB300R’s smaller disc sizes take slightly longer to bring the bike to a stop. However, under panic braking, the bike feels extremely composed. And while the front brake lacks initial bite, it has good progression.
Engine and Performance:
Honda developed the 286cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled motor specifically for the CB300R. The torquey unit makes peak power and torque at lower rpm’s compared to its competition. While the motor delivers its power in a linear fashion, it tends to lose steam at the very top of its rev range.
In terms of refinement, the motor sounds a bit harsh, but has minimal vibrations. You only feel a mild buzz in the footpegs at speeds of aroud 100kmph.
Its compact motor manages to return impressive fuel efficiency figures of 39.84kmpl in the city and 37.92kmpl on the highway.
Priced at Rs 2.41 lakh (ex-showroom, India), the Honda CB300R undercuts the KTM 390 Duke by Rs 3,000 and the BMW G 310 R by a whopping Rs 58,000. While the CB300R does not match the performance of the segment leader, the 390 Duke, it makes a solid case for itself in terms of performance and dynamics. If you are a more mature enthusiast who wants a quick, fuss-free, engaging and most importantly a premium motorcycle, but do not like the KTM’s frantic nature, the Honda CB300R fits the bill.