The CB300F is Honda’s latest motorcycle. It will be sold only at BigWing outlets and will be available in two variants.
People were a little surprised when Honda recently launched the CB300F. Indeed, the manufacturer already markets the CB300R on the Indian market. However, it is important to note that there are many differences between the two motorcycles. For starters, the two bikes have drastically different designs and also have different mechanics. One might wonder why Honda went ahead and made an all new motorcycle? Keep reading the review and we might be able to answer that question.
Sharp but familiar
In terms of design, the CB300F is clearly a naked streetfighter and it can grab quite a bit of attention on the road. For some people, it might look a bit like the Hornet 2.0. However, Honda said the CB300F is inspired by the CB500F which is on sale in the global market. If you look closely, this is true. That said, many people might not notice it because the CB500F is not sold in India and some people might not even know it exists.
Up front there’s an aggressive LED headlight, and then there’s the gold USD forks. The fuel tank is made up of plastic and is a muscular unit. What adds to the design of the streetfighter are the tank fairings. The keyhole is mounted on the fuel tank so it is well within reach of the rider.
There’s a short, stubby engine skid and exhaust. At the rear there are perfectly integrated grab bars and an LED tail light. A special mention goes to the saree guard whose design has been very well implemented. That said, the quality of the switchgear could have been better given that the CB300F is sold at BigWing outlets. Also, I wish Honda had made more visual changes to the CB300F to make it stand out on the road and people not think it’s a Hornet 2.0.
The CB300F’s instrument console is a negative LCD display with five levels of brightness adjustment. It displays various information such as battery voltage, average fuel consumption, gear indicator, time and much more.
In addition, there is a side stand cut-off function, hazard warning lights, a USB Type-C charging socket, a dual-channel anti-lock braking system and Honda Selectable Torque Control which is essentially a system of traction control which can be disabled. The bike, however, lacks a center stand.
The Honda smartphone voice control system and Bluetooth connectivity are also offered. Thus, the instrument cluster can give you alerts if it is connected to the smartphone.
The heart of the problem
First off, the CB300F doesn’t share the engine with the CB300R. Instead, the CB300F gets an all-new 293cc, single-cylinder unit that gets oil cooling and an SOHC setup. It produces 24.2 hp of peak power at 7,500 rpm and 25.6 Nm of peak torque at 5,500 rpm. In comparison, the CB300R gets a 286cc unit that is a liquid-cooled unit and has a DOHC setup.
The CB300F comes with a smooth-shifting 6-speed gearbox that also has a slipper and assist clutch. For this reason, the clutch action on the motorcycle is very light.
Being a Honda, the engine is refined but only up to the middle of the rev range. Then the vibrations begin to be felt. Because of this, there is buzzing on the handlebars, foot pegs and fuel tank.
Brakes and suspension
Braking duties on the CB300F are handled by a 276mm disc up front and a 220mm disc at the rear. The front brake lacks initial bite and progression. By comparison, the rear brake is still better in terms of bite. It might be difficult to drop anchor quickly if the bike is running at triple-digit speeds.
Then there’s the bike’s suspension setup which is firmer. This means that the ride quality of the bike is quite stiff and the rider feels most bumps in the road.
Comfort and maneuverability
Speaking of comfort, the CB300F comes equipped with a split seat. The motorcycle seat padding is quite firm. For this reason, the person would need to go through an adjustment period after purchasing the motorcycle. The seat height of the CB300F is 789mm, which should be accessible to most people. The riding triangle is not so aggressive and the rider would not feel any pressure on the wrists.
The motorcycle is very light on its feet. The rigid suspension ensures that the motorcycle does not destabilize and the CB300F quickly changes direction. What helps handling is the light weight of the bike. The CB300F weighs only 153 kg. So people who like a nimble bike will enjoy the CB300F while taking it around the corners.
To ₹2.26 lakhs (ex-showroom) for the DLX variant and ₹At 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 Bluetooth connectivity. At this price, the CB300F is only for those looking for Honda reliability and a relatively simple motorcycle. The motorcycle is clearly oriented for city use thanks to which it has a strong mid-range and is easy to maneuver.
Date of first publication: August 14, 2022, 1:03 PM IST