‘Absolutely brilliant!’ exclaimed Simran before even getting off the saddle of the Honda CB300R after a few hot laps. This was the first time that he was riding this bike, and only five laps at the BIC were enough to convince the fastest Indian that this toddler CB is really something special.
‘This is the most surprising bike here. The way it holds its line through the corners, its stability, brakes, and handling make it a damn enjoyable tool. The gearing and engine are also tuned beautifully. I have to say, I wasn’t expecting it to be this good,’ concluded Simran once he had caught his breath.
These words made us curious and provoked us to take the CB300R around the track to see if it’s really that good or if he was just plain biased – his first motorcycle was a Honda CBR250R, you see. However, after a couple of laps, we too were sold on the CB300R’s dynamic abilities. This little Honda is simply brilliant.
Every word of what Simran said was true. Despite having a puny 286cc single-cylinder motor that develops 30bhp and 27.4Nm of torque, the engine performance is super strong throughout the rev range. The low- and mid-range surge is addictive, and the motor loves to chase the redline.
One of the reasons why the CB300R feels so light on its feet is its 147kg kerb weight. The slick-shifting short-ratio gearbox plays along beautifully, which means that you end up with a perfect engine-gearbox combo when you go hunting for the apexes.
The sprightly motor is complemented by a gem of a chassis. The bike features a diamond-type frame that comes with 41mm Showa inverted front forks and a pre-load adjustable rear mono-shock. When you push the bike hard around corners, you can’t help but be blown away by its agility and composure.
You can lean the bike hard and it remains glued to the intended line. Even mid-corner adjustments won’t upset the balance – it’s so good, really! And that front-end, it’s chattier than your neighbourhood aunty – that’s how communicative it is! The Nissin brakes are equally responsive and have an amazing feel and feedback.
What we really love about the CB300R, though, is that it’s not one-dimensional in its approach. While it’s super involving around bends or on a racetrack, it’s as addictive to ride on the road. Its petite dimensions and nippy performance make it perfect for the daily grind.
The seat is spacious and comfortable, and the bars are placed high enough for a relaxed riding posture. Also, the engine refinement is class-leading. And then there’s its spectacular design – thanks to its Neo Café Racer origins, the CB300R looks very classy and pleasing to the eyes, which ensured those extra points for its X-Factor. Above everything else, though, the CB300R looks and feels like a quality product – a motorcycle that’s been built to global standards with no signs of cost-cutting.
Of course, you may still be fooled into thinking that it’s priced high for what it offers ‘on paper’ compared to its rivals, but then you must always remember not to judge a motorcycle by its spec-sheet. And trust us on this, at ₹2.41 lakh, this little Honda offers way more than what’s written on that glossy piece of paper.