Honda CB300F review: Worth the price?
The 250-500 cc segment in India has been growing rapidly and Honda is trying to take a chunk of it. They launched the H'ness CB350 and the CB350RS first but the motorcycles were not that big of success mainly because they were introduced only through the BigWing dealerships. Now, Honda has launched another attack on its rivals with a new motorcycle called CB300F. It is a naked street motorcycle that will also be sold through their BigWing dealerships.
People were a bit surprised at first when Honda launched the CB300F because the manufacturer is already selling the CB300R in the Indian market. However, it is important to note that there are a lot of differences between both motorcycles. For starters, both motorcycles have radically different-looking designs and also have different mechanicals. One might think why did Honda go ahead and made an all-new motorcycle? Continue reading the review and we might be able to answer this question.
Sharp but familiar
In terms of design, the CB300F is clearly a naked streetfighter and it can attract quite a bit of attention on the road. To some people, it might look a bit like the Hornet 2.0. However, Honda said that the CB300F is inspired by the CB500F that is on sale in the global market. If you look closely then this does stand true. Having said that, many people might not notice this because the CB500F is not sold in India and some people might not even know that it exists.
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Up-front there is an aggressive LED headlamp, then there are the golden USD forks. The fuel tank is made up of plastic and is a muscular-looking unit. What adds to the streetfighter design is the tank shrouds. The keyhole is mounted on the fuel tank so it is well within the rider's reach.
There is a belly pan and a short and stubby exhaust. At the rear, there are neatly integrated grab rails and an LED tail lamp. A special mention goes to the saree guard whose design has been very well implemented. Having said that, the quality of the switchgear could have been better considering that the CB300F is being sold from BigWing outlets. Moreover, I would have liked if Honda would have made more visual tweaks to the CB300F so that it stands out on the road and people do not think that it is a Hornet 2.0.
The instrument console on the CB300F is a negative LCD display with five levels of brightness adjustment. It shows different information such as battery voltage, average fuel economy, gear position indicator, time and much more.
Moreover, there is a side stand cut-off function, hazard lights, a USB type C charging socket, a dual-channel Anti-lock braking system and Honda Selectable Torque Control which is essentially a traction control system that can be turned off. The motorcycle does miss out on a centre stand though.
There is also Honda Smartphone Voice Control System and Bluetooth connectivity on offer. So, the instrument cluster can give you alerts if it is connected to the smartphone.
The heart of the matter
First things first, the CB300F does not share the engine with the CB300R. Instead, the CB300F gets an all-new 293 cc, a single-cylinder unit that gets oil-cooling and a SOHC setup. It produces 24.2 hp of max power at 7,500 rpm and 25.6 Nm of peak torque at 5,500 rpm. When compared, the CB300R gets a 286 cc unit that is a liquid-cooled unit and has a DOHC setup.
The CB300F comes with a slick-shifting 6-speed gearbox that has a slip and assist clutch also. Because of this, the clutch action on the motorcycle is very light.
Being a Honda, the engine is refined but only till the mid-range of the rev band. Then the vibrations start to kick in. Because of this, there is buzziness on the handlebar, foot pegs and the fuel tank.
Brakes and suspension
Braking duties on the CB300F are done by a 276 mm disc in the front and a 220 mm disc at the rear. The front brake lacks initial bite and progression. When compared, the rear brake is still better in terms of bite. It could be difficult to drop anchor in a hurry if the motorcycle is doing triple-digit speeds.
Then there is the suspension setup of the motorcycle which is on the firmer side. This means that the ride quality of the motorcycle is quite stiff and the rider does feel most of the bumps on the road.
Comfort and Handling
Speaking of comfort, the CB300F gets a split seat setup. The seat padding of the motorcycle is quite firm. Because of this, the person would need to go through an adjustment period after buying the motorcycle. The seat height of the CB300F is 789 mm which should be accessible for most people. The riding triangle is not so aggressive and the rider would not feel any pressure on the wrists.
The motorcycle feels very light on its feet. The stiff suspension ensures that the motorcycle does not get unsettled and the CB300F is quick to change directions. What aids in handling is the light weight of the motorcycle. The CB300F weighs just 153 kgs. So, people who like a nimble motorcycle will appreciate the CB300F while taking it through the corners.
At ₹2.26 lakhs (ex-showroom) for the DLX variant and ₹2.29 lakhs (ex-showroom) for the DLX Pro variant, the CB300F is priced higher than its rivals. The only difference between the variants is the Bluetooth connectivity. At this price, the CB300F is only for those who are looking for Honda's reliability and a motorcycle that is relatively simple. The motorcycle is clearly oriented for city use because of which it has a strong mid-range and is easy to manoeuvre.