1. Honda CB300F: New engine
The Honda CB300F is based on a brand new engine and chassis platform that the company says is a world-first for our market. While the name and street naked styling might be quite confusing given that Honda already sells the CB300R in India, this engine has nothing to with that bike. Displacing 293.5cc, it's actually about 7cc up on the CB300R, but this is a simpler oil-cooled engine. While both engines have a 4-valve head, the new bike gets a single overhead camshaft against the double overhead cam design in the CB300R. The result is that the new bike produces considerably less power at 24.5hp (vs 31.1hp) and less torque as well, with 25.6Nm vs 27.5Nm.
Like the CB300R, this bike also gets a 6-speed transmission. The key difference is that the new Honda CB300F produces both its power and torque figures lower in the rev range, and the rev limiter is set quite low at around 8,500rpm. That should result in a different, more mid-range focussed power delivery.
2. Honda CB300F new chassis
The Honda CB300F is built around a new diamond chassis that is different to the one from the smaller Honda Hornet 2.0 as well as the Honda CB300R. Like both those bikes, this also gets a gold-coloured USD fork and a monoshock at the rear – preload adjustable by five steps in this case.
The new CB300F runs the same MRF Revz radial tyres in the same sizes – 110/70 R17 in the front and 150/60 R17 at the rear. The new bike gets dual-channel ABS, just like the CB300R, but with a smaller 276mm front disc vs the CB300R’s 296mm disc. Another cost-saving measure is an axially mounted front brake caliper, unlike the radially mounted caliper on the CB300R, although both are made by Nissin.
The seat height is at a low 789mm and while the 153kg kerb weight is about 7 kilos more than the CB300R, this bike also has a much larger 14-litre fuel tank vs the 8.7-litre unit on the CB300R.
3. Honda CB300F: Features
The CB300F comes with a negative LCD display which is a similar technology to the CB300R, but the layout is different. This display has readouts for rpm, speed, gear position, time and trip data. If you pay a little more, the bike also comes with Honda’s smartphone Bluetooth connectivity. The lighting is full LED and the bike comes with a slip-assist clutch – both of which are now standard fare at this price point. However, the one unique feature is the inclusion of Honda Selectable Torque Control, which is Honda’s way of saying traction control. This is the second made-for-India bike to feature this after the CB350, and while its merits in a motorcycle with this little power can be debated, there is no doubt that it's a nice safety feature to have.
4. Honda CB300F: price, rivals
On paper, the Honda CB300F comes across as a rival to the likes of the Suzuki Gixxer 250, which is a little more powerful but lacks features like the USD fork. However, Honda has chosen to price it far higher than motorcycles with similar specifications. At Rs 2.26 lakh for the base variant and Rs 2.29 lakh for the Bluetooth-enabled model, the CB300F is nearly Rs 40,000 more than the Suzuki Gixxer 250. This price makes it less than Rs 10,000 more affordable than the KTM 250 Duke, which is much more powerful and far better equipped. Moreover, for around Rs 50,000 more, you could have the Honda CB300R, which is another highly priced Honda, but one that we thoroughly enjoyed riding when we recently reviewed it.
5. Honda CB300F: Availability
The Honda CB300F will be sold exclusively through the Honda Big Wing dealer network which is now up to over 100 outlets across the country.
Would you pick the Honda CB300R or the new CB300F? Let us know in the comments