A Small Displacement Naked That Doesn’t Feel Small
Honda has been producing the various displacement CB motorcycles since the ‘60s. The CB platform has garnered worldwide popularity, due to the friendly, reliable, and comfortable machines Honda has engineered them to be.
I learned on a 1971 CB350. I enjoyed the bike so much I still own it. My own boys are learning to ride on it.
The modern variation carries forth that blueprint of being friendly, reliable, and comfortable, for new riders and those seeking an excellent urban commuter.
Careful design produced a small displacement motorcycle that shares the looks and riding position of the larger CB500F, CB650R, and CB1000R.
Our Take: Why You Should Buy a CB300R
Currently, the CB300R has two main competitors: the Yamaha MT-03, and the BMW G 310 R. Other manufacturers, such as KTM and Kawasaki, offer bikes closer to 400cc and their pricing reflects such.
The CB300R is very lightweight at 317lbs. This low weight enhances the nimble feeling and builds confidence for a new rider by giving a great feeling of control.
The CB300R is a very good value with an MSRP of $4,949 USD / $5,699 CDN (2020 model year). Honda has an excellent dealer network, making parts and service a simple affair anywhere in North America.
Bottom line: The CB300R is a good looking and affordable naked bike. It makes for a fun comfortable ride in the city due to its well-sorted compliant suspension, and good power for stoplight to stoplight zips. Finding a good used example isn’t hard, though the bike holds its value well and therefore will make it a harder choice between new and used. The 31.5” seat height makes the CB300R comfortable for a wide range of rider sizes. Go check one out.
Reasons to buy the CB300R:
- Great looking naked bike that hides what a great beginner bike it is.
- The suspension is a great blend between comfort, compliance, and performance
- The excellent power to weight ratio will keep this from ever being boring as you gain experience
- The riding position is comfortable and perfect when zipping through traffic
- Cheap on gas, and the 2.7 gal (10.1 L) tank will give great range
- ABS Brakes come standard
Reasons not to buy the CB300R:
- Not a great bike for two-up riding
- Riders over 200lbs may find 31hp is not enough
Honda CB300R Production Run & Notable Model-Year Changes
Production Run & Model Generations
Honda first brought the CB300F in 2015, as an alternative to the CBR300R sportbike. The CB300F gave a more comfortable riding position over the CBR’s race-inspired position. The CB300F was produced from 2015 through 2018 and is notable for the small front fairing. 2018 Brought the CB300R, essentially the same bike just now missing the small plastic fairing.
- This is the first naked version of the CBR300R
- 2015 CB300F produced 26.2 hp and weighed 348lbs
- Low 30.7” seat height.
CB300R (2018- )
- For 2018 the little CB was heavily revised.
- New frame, new bodywork, new 41mm forks, and more power.
- Seat height climbed to 31.5” and handlebars became slightly wider.
- Weight dropped to 313 lbs.
Owner Reviews of the Honda CB300R
Press & Magazines
Good Entry-Level Bike Or Sport-Styled Commuter?
“New from 2015 and going strong in 2018, the CB300F from Honda is all about naked sportbike styling at an entry-level price and demeanor. A little bit lighter and with a more upright riding position than its kissing cousin, the CBR300R, the CB300F carries essentially the same engine as the CBR250R but with a longer stroke to add a few more cubes to the mix. Beginner’s bike? Check. Commuter bike? Check. Sportbike trainer? I don’t know. Let’s check it out.”
– Allyn Hinton – Topspeed.com (September 1, 2017)
2019 Honda CB300R First Ride Review
“Besides its looks, the CB300R’s best feature might be how it rewards better riding technique.”
– Andy Greaser, Revzilla (Aug 06, 2018)
Honda CB300R vs BMW G 310 R vs KTM 390 Duke: Comparison
“Now, it’s time for a confession. Before this test, I was almost convinced that the KTM would be my pick of the three, followed by the BMW. So I can’t believe that I’m saying this now – the least powerful bike of the segment appeals to me the most here. And the only way to explain this is by admitting one of the following propositions – either I’m getting old and sensible or Honda has produced a darn good motorcycle, or maybe both!”
– Shivank Bhatt, AutoX.com (July 28, 2019)
What Owners Like
- The Weight – at only 317 lbs it is quick handling.
- The Looks – stealing from its big brother the CB1000R, this does not look entry level.
- The Price – Brand new it is a bargain at $4,949 USD / $5,699 CDN
What Owners Complain About
- Not great for long stretches on the freeway. At 70 mph (110 kph) the engine is at about 8,000 rpm and has more vibration through the seat and bars than the twin-cylinder competitors
- Really Honda? No gear position indicator?
The Bottom Line
The CB300R is a fantastic beginner bike that you may never part with. You might eventually upsize, but the little Honda should remain in your garage – it is such a great city commuter machine.
With good looks that mask its demure size well, the CB300R rewards its rider as their skills improve. The lightweight and smooth-shifting 6-speed go a long way to helping a new rider grow in confidence. Solid brakes and well-sorted suspension ensure riders learn to turn and stop with real feedback on what the tires are doing.
The KTM 390 Duke has the reputation of being the top of this small displacement, naked bike category, but you will pay more for very small gains. BMW has the G 310 R, comes with brand cache, but delivers nothing to justify the hefty German price premium.
Honda has it right with this bike.
Honda CB300R Competitors
If you’re looking at a CB300R, you may also want to check out the KTM 390 Duke.
Honda CB300R Specifications
The important specs are listed below. See the Wikipedia page for more detailed specifications.
|Engine||286 cc, Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, single cylinder|
|Top speed||Est. 145 km/h (90 mph)|
|Power||31 hp (23.1 kW) @ 8500 rpm|
|Torque||20.3 lb⋅ft (27.5 N⋅m) @ 7500 rpm (claimed)|
F: 41 mm telescopic fork
R: Pro-Link® single shock, 7-step preload
F: Nissin four-piston, radially mounted caliper, disc 296 mm
R: Disc 220 mm
L: 2,019.3 mm / 53.3 inches
W: 805.2 mm / 31.7 inches)
H:1,049 mm / 41.3 inches
|Seat height||800 mm (31.5 in)|
|Weight||Wet: 142 kg (313 lb)|
|Fuel capacity||10.2 liters / 2.7 gal.|
|Fuel consumption||71.0 mpg (4.0 L/100 km)|