The Japanese Motorcycling giants Honda have always been known to make premium motorcycles that attract their consumers, let it be the FireBlade or even the Goldwing for that matter. In India, Honda BigWing had decided to go and venture out in the 350cc market when they launched the CB350 series, which did see good numbers compared to its rivals, the Royal Enfield Classic 350. Nonetheless, they are now planning to tackle the mid-size 300cc motorcycle segment with the all-new Honda CB300F. Talking about the overall design of the CB300F, it does have quite an aggressive design stance and looks quite appealing, but it is more of a commuter motorcycle, so it needs to be comfortable as well. Thankfully, the ergonomics of the CB300F are pretty good, and even tall riders aren’t hunched while riding the motorcycle. The handlebar height and placement of the footpegs make it quite comfortable to ride. Speaking about its design, it has some sharp body lines that also are functional, sending air into the oil-cooled radiator.
Now, let us move to the front, where you have a fully-LED headlight with LED turn indicators and USD front forks finished in brushed gold. Speaking about the rider’s display, the digital rider’s display is crisp. It offers all the information that a rider would need while riding. But I felt that the display is tiny, making it slightly hard to read owing to its size. Moreover, you have buttons on the left side of the handlebar that aids you in toggling through the controls of the screen, so you don’t have to let go of the handlebar while riding. Since I am on the topic of buttons, the fit and finish of the motorcycle are decent, just like something you’d expect to see from Japan, and everything is minimalist and on point.
The tank is a 14.1-litre tank made from fibre, just as you’d expect from a motorcycle at this price point. A great talking point of the CB300F is its seat which is extremely comfortable and comes with quite a lot of seat cushioning, reducing the saddle soreness that riders have during long journeys. Now the rear 3/4th of the CB300F does look quite appealing with its 150-section rear tyre, rear LED taillights and a sporty-looking exhaust. All in all, the CB300F does look quite nice, but to an untrained eye, it might get mixed up with the Hornet 2.0, which isn’t something you want in a bike of this price.
You’d be surprised to know that the Honda CB300F is actually quite feature-loaded. On the safety front, it has dual-channel ABS with Honda selectable torque control (traction control in layman’s terms). Moving on, you have a type-c USB charger which was something I saw for the first time in a motorcycle and an assisted slipper clutch, more about which I will explain shortly.
The motor is an all-new 293cc single-cylinder, oil-cooled SOHC motor that produces 24.2bhp and 25.6Nm of torque. This motor is mated to a six-speed gearbox with an assisted slipper clutch, as mentioned earlier. What this does is it aids the rider by engaging the clutch without complete input from the rider, making the downshifts easier in the CB300F, and also, intern makes the clutch lighter to use, which reduces fatigue. Now speaking about the engine, the engine feels lively after 3500 rpm and enjoys a cruise rather than the engine being thrashed. Since it is a Honda, the engine does feel very refined, but you do start to feel vibrations creep into the handlebars, and foot pegs post 4500 rpm. Nonetheless, the engine has a decent grunt and can easily reach highway cruising speeds without breaking a sweat.
Further, the suspension on the CB300F is tuned to be stiffer, making it quite fun around a nice even piece of twisty tarmac, but the rider will feel every undulation on the road surface. On the upside, the motorcycle never felt unsettling when tackling bad roads. Brakes, on the other hand, don’t offer the feedback you’d want as the brake feels slightly spongy and doesn’t have the bite that one would expect. The feedback could have been much sharper than what you get from the current setup.
Now the question that remains is if you should buy it. After spending an entire day with the CB300F, I can conclude that I am impressed with the motorcycle in general. I get that it is slightly on the pricier side, and people will confuse it with the Honda Hornet 2.0. Still, the CB300F has a certain charisma that makes it quite likeable. It’s fun to ride, agile over corners and comfortable all in one package, which not a lot of other 300cc motorcycles can boast about. In the end, you also have to remember that it is a Honda BigWing, so it is bound to be reliable and easy for the wallet to maintain. So, all in all, you can consider this if you are in the market for your next 300cc motorcycle.
Engine – 293cc, single-cylinder, oil-cooled motor
Power – 24.2bhp @7500rpm
Torque – 25.6Nm @5500rpm
Gearbox – 6-Speed
Weight – 153Kgs (Kerb)
Tank Capacity – 14.1-litres
Price – Rs 2.25 lakh (CB300F DLX), Rs 2.28 lakh (CB300F DLX PRO ) (ex-showroom, Maharashtra)
For – Ergonomics, Handling
Against – Cost, Material Used