A light machine, with the right amount of power and an eye
catching retro modern look. That might sound too good to be true but the new
Honda CB300R is exactly that. Are there any hidden worries that might not
reveal themselves at first glance? We find out by riding the bike around Delhi.
Design & Styling
of Honda CB300R
The CB300R looks charming from almost every angle. The
overall body design looks like a naked street fighter and has modern hints. The
headlamp, tail-lamp and turn indicators are all LED. They definitely look nice
and modern. The fuel tank has muscular lines on the tank and silver shrouds on
the side. They are made of plastic but look good. The tail-lamp is the slimmest
one on any Honda bike and the entire tail section looks very sleek. The riding
position is neutral and one can endure a long ride on this bike. But you might want
to consider replacing the seat. The cushion is a bit hard but it is decently
broad and long. Even the pillion seat is usable.
The instrument panel is a digital unit that houses stats
like speedometer, odometer, two trip meters, tachometer, time, lap timer,
average fuel consumption and more. What I find odd is Honda leaving out a gear
position indicator. It is a very basic feature that you would expect in a bike
of this stature. However, there is a gear change indicator above the digital
display. There are two buttons on the left side of the display for switching
between the different stats but these buttons are a little hard to press,
especially if you are wearing gloves.
While the controls on the handlebar are nicely finished and
of good quality, the horn button has been placed a little odd. It is placed
where you would expect the turn indicator switch to be. While the turn
indicator switch is placed at the bottom, which is where the horn switch should
286.01cc Liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, SI
Dimesnsions (L x W x H) (mm)
2028 x 888 x 1053
Front: USD Telescopic
Front: 100/70 R17 Tubeless
Rear: 150/60 R17 Tubeless
Rs 2.41 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
Performance of Honda CB300R
There is a 286cc liquid cooled, single cylinder engine at
the heart of the CB300R. The engine is mated to a 6-speed transmission and the
gear shifts are one of the smoothest I have experienced in a while. They are so
easy to shift that one could probably do it bare feet! Even slotting the
neutral is effortless and you will not accidently be engaging the first or
second gear. The smooth shifts make you forgive the fact that the gearing is a
bit short for a bike that is essentially meant for cruising. The power output
is 30hp while peak torque stands at 27.4Nm.
Honda has tuned the engine to extract a lot of beef even in
the early revs, making overtakes efficient and giving you a jolt every time you
twist the throttle. The only hassle here, and a big one, is the fact that the
engine vibrates a lot after 6000rpm. As you go higher, it becomes so unpleasant
that you just want to come back down.
The suspension setup is great because it is supple enough
for daily usage. The rear monoshock is a bit stiff than the USD forks at the
front. The front forks are 5-step adjustable while the rear is 7-step
adjustable, so there is room for tweaks. In terms of braking, there is a
hub-less, large disc at the front and a disc at the rear. You get dual channel
ABS and there is an IMU controlling the brake response. I really like the bite
and progression that the front brake provides, the rear brake on the other hand
lacks a little bit compared to the front. The tyres are decent for normal usage
and taking corners and highway rides.
The Honda CB300R is a very agile performer that can easily
cruise at highway speeds. Its light weight and supple suspension setup make it
great for daily commute. Though it is plagued by vibrations once you do get
high up in the rpm band and it is also a bit too expensive, costing Rs 2.41
lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). But then one must realise that this is a niche
product not meant to sell in loads. So if you are one of the few who are
smitten by the looks and aesthetic of this Neo Sport Café Racer by Honda, then
by all means, give this a go. If you are looking for a more sensible buy then I
would suggest you look elsewhere.
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