2022 Honda Cb300R

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Flat out performance is where the Honda CB300R punches way above its weight

May 30, 2022 02:07 pm | Updated 02:07 pm IST


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At first, all that appears to have changed is the paint job, with the CB now getting two new colour schemes. A closer look shows the design of the exhaust muffler is a little different and the bike now gets a golden coloured USD fork. The LCD display also looks similar, but it now has a gear position indicator. That is helpful on this bike, because it has such short gearing that you will easily find yourself in the top three gears even in city traffic.

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As before, Honda has placed the horn switch where you would normally expect to find the indicator button and this will be a non-stop source of irritation. Thankfully, the bike now gets a side stand, down engine, kill feature which was something missed on the earlier model.

The 286cc, 4 valve liquid-cooled engine architecture is the same as before, but the engine is now BS6 compliant. Power is now up by 0.6hp for a total of 31.1hp, although this is now produced at 1,500rpm higher, at 9,000rpm.


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Peak torque has not changed, but the bike gets a slip-assist clutch for its 6-speed gearbox.

The little CB is an absolute blast in the city with its decently light clutch and energetic acceleration. It can also be calm and relaxed because its super short gearing means you can also lazily ride around at nice low speeds in higher gears. Fuel efficiency is pretty decent as well and our city and highway figures were quite close to each other, which is probably another effect of the short gearing.

Flat out performance is where this bike punches way above its weight. The surge from 6,000-9,000rpm is surprisingly peppy and this bike is quicker than many will expect. Top speed will be somewhere around an indicated 150kph, but the real fun is in the acceleration. The CB shot from 0-100 in under 6.6 seconds in our test, which is way quicker than any other bike that claims this kind of power.

The big secret to the Honda’s fun performance and super agile nature is its weight. At 146kg, it is 1kg lighter than before, which makes it exactly the same as a TVS Apache RTR 160 4V. To give you a sense of perspective, the latest generation KTM 250 Duke weighs well over 160kg and that is without fuel. That means this bike is nearly 30 kilos lighter and that is incredible.

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While this is a rather small-looking bike, Honda has done a great job with rider ergonomics. Short riders will like the 801mm seat height, but tall riders will also appreciate the spacious seat and a foot peg position that is sporty, but not horribly cramped.

The international spec CB gets a new Showa Separate Function Big Piston upside down fork, but the fork on the Indian model is made by Endurance. That certainly does not sound as fancy, but in reality, this bike’s suspension is nicely balanced between sportiness and comfort. The bike does have a firmly damped feel, but it also deals with rough roads quite well and the overall set-up feels good for what this bike is supposed to be. It is a similar story with the tyres — this bike gets MRF tyres against the Michelins on the BS4 model.


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Overall handling is typical Honda — light, easy and very neutral. It corners with confidence, and even though the bike is light, its high speed manners are decently stable and predictable. The brakes have a similar set up to the BS4 model, and while the overall performance is good enough, they could do with a bit more initial bite. As before, the bike gets a dual channel ABS system that uses an IMU, or inertial measurement unit, for more accurate performance.

Now that the CB300R has more localised content, you would expect it to cost the same as the BS4 model (₹ 2.41 lakh), if not less. Unfortunately, Honda seems to have taken the same over-priced path as they did with the CB500X and the Fireblade. At ₹ 2.77 lakh, ex-showroom, it is more expensive than the TVS Apache RR 310 and the BMW G 310 R, while being only around ₹ 10,000 less than the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and the KTM 390 Duke.

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This is a nice motorcycle and many will find it to be a sweeter machine than its rivals. You still have to be willing to pay an unreasonable amount of money for it. The only hope is that Honda has in the recent past, corrected the excessive pricing for some of its bigger bikes, and hopefully that will soon happen here as well.