Honda’s stint in the affordable performance motorcycle segment has been pretty interesting. The Japanese bikemaker sort of kickstarted this segment in India with the CBR 250R. Some might argue in the favour of the Kawasaki Ninja 250 but its twin-cylinder configuration made it heavy on the pocket and made the case strong for the CBR 250R. After it was discontinued, there was a void in this segment for a very long time but then Honda filled it up with the CB300R.
Honda’s re-entry into the entry-level premium segment happened as a surprise. After all, the Honda CB300R wasn’t a motorcycle that was developed and then manufactured locally. It was shipped from Thailand in kit form and then assembled in India.
But since the BS6 era commenced, the CB300R has been absent from the Indian market because for God knows what reasons, Honda decided not to update the CB300R to meet the latest emission norms. Sure, the CB350 and CB350 RS’ arrival tried to fill the void in this space but we still miss the neo-retro CB300R. The naked roadster is now expected to make a comeback in its latest iteration with a BS6 updated engine. For April 2021, a total of 8 units of the CB300R have been dispatched by Honda Two Wheelers in India.
Tipping the scales at 143 kilos (wet), the Honda CB300R was powered by a 286cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, single cylinder engine which cranked out 30.9 bhp @ 8,500rpm, with peak torque of 27.5Nm, delivered @ 7,500rpm. For the weight and the power that the motor delivers, the CB300R might not excite on paper with those numbers, but in real life, it was a fun machine to ride. Developed by Yuzuru Ishikawa, who is also responsible for giving us things like the Honda Blackbird and one of Honda’s MotoGP machine, the CB300R was the only motorcycle in its class to come fitted with an IMU-linked, dual-channel ABS system.
In terms of dynamics, the Honda CB 300R is based on a steel tubular frame, gets 41mm upside-down front forks and the headlight, taillight (thinnest among all Honda bikes) and indicators are all LED. The rear monoshock is adjustable for 5-steps of preload and is paired with a pressed-steel swinging arm.