It’s brave to strip a motorcycle down to its bare essentials. You’re left vulnerable and it can be challenging to get it right, but Honda aren't scared of a challenge, they know that less usually equals more. More of the excitement. More of the fun. More of the attitude. And more of the simplistic good looks possessed by a naked motorcycle.
Only joining the CB family in 2018, the CB300R is another beautiful brute that’s made a return for 2022 and we’re here to tell you exactly what you need to know.
The jewel that sits at the heart of the CB300R is a 286cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder DOHC 4-valve engine. For 2022 it gains Euro5 compliance and, stats-wise gallops with 31 strong ponies and 27.5 Nm of torque – perfectly manageable for newer and more experienced riders alike.
The inclusion of an assist/slipper clutch is also new for the year.
It’s nice to see the CB300R sticking with the brutally neat and bare Neo-Sports Café design that we know and love. We often feature the A1 licence-friendly CB125R on our Top 10 125cc Motorcycles and the flagship CB1000R on our Top 10 Cafe Racers list, so you know how much we appreciate the range.
Alongside the original ‘Mat Gunpowder Black Metallic’ and ‘Candy Chromosphere Red’, the CB300R struts its stuff in two new colourways ‘Pearl Dusk Yellow’ and ‘Mat Pearl Agile Blue’. Personally, I la-la-love the ‘Pearl Dusk Yellow’. The pops of bright yellow found only on the fuel tank and front mudguard brighten everything up and give it a little more character – think Bumble Bee from Transformers.
Another aspect that will prick the ears of the younger riders is the CB300R’s weight. Tipping the scales at just 144kg (kerb weight), it’s very lightweight and only the slightest bit heavier than CB125R at 130kg. This setup is a great step up for many new riders jumping on their first big bike after time on a 125cc.
Pairing that with the 286cc liquid-cooled single, helps to raise the bar for the smaller-capacity motorcycle and create a buzz amongst the younger riders.
A tubular and pressed steel diamond-style frame provides the CB300R with balance, rigidity and a high level of engagement. In addition to that, thanks to the pressed steel swingarm pivot plates and swingarm, the core strength of the chassis is high and therefore so is the bike’s agility, handling and stability.
Working happily with that engine and new assist/slipper clutch, this is a combo that’s exciting and will make the bike extremely fun to ride.
5. Suspension and brakes
The CB300R’s new 41mm Showa Separate Function Big Piston (SFF-BP) USD forks are a major update for 2022. They’re the same seen and fitted in the CB650R and come along with spring rate and damping changes.
Honda explains that “a pressure separation damper in one fork tube and spring mechanism in the other deliver high damper performance and lighter weight. Together with the use of a larger-sized piston the result is increased feel, bump absorption and control. The rear shock offers 5-step spring preload adjustment.”
Managing the brakes are then a 296mm hubless floating front disc and a radial-mounted Nissin 4-piston caliper, with a rear 220mm disc and single-piston caliper. Both are then backed up by 2-channel ABS.
Equipment-wise, the CB300R will feature the goodies such as head to toe full LED lighting, a thicker seat for comfort and a fresh LCD instrument display, with all the key info such as the speed, engine rpm, fuel level and, also now joined by, the gear position - which is also now highlighted in its own negative form.
7. Big bike status
With all of that, especially the performance and response from the engine and chassis, the CB300R cements itself in the market as a pretty exciting steppingstone.
Reinforcing that message further is the fact Honda has designed the bike to have as few moving parts as possible. This not only reduces maintenance costs but, in their own words, with details “like the low-friction piston rings, high-density core radiator and iridium spark plug help increase fuel efficiency.”
Priced at £4,899, it’s relatively affordable and, overall, comes in an A2-friendly package without the higher price tag and weight of a large capacity machine. That’s why we think it would also be a great option for those looking to downsize or anyone without the bigger budget to cover one of Honda’s flagship models.
|Engine||286cc, 31 bhp, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, DOHC, 4-stroke|
|Brakes||Front: 296mm hubless floating disc with radial-mount Nissin 4-piston caliper
Rear: 220mm disc with single-piston caliper
|Suspension||Front: 37mm telescopic fork, 130mm stroke
Rear: Monoshock damper, Pro-Link swingarm, 107mm travel
The last stop
When designing this range Honda’s main mission was to “create a new stylistic dimension, different from the muscular streetfighters of the last few years, and at the same time, far from the simpler café-racer style.” There is no doubt in our minds, Honda has achieved this, and we can’t get enough of the CB300R!
The best thing about the CB range is how these street bikes are completely unique yet instantly recognised as Honda’s. We just love ‘em!
You’ve heard how we feel but we want to know your thoughts on the updated model. Has it made you desperate to get to a Honda showroom? Drop a comment and let us know!
Before you go...
If you're thinking about purchasing yourself one of these bad boys, or perhaps you already own one, you need to insure it.
When it comes to getting insurance on your motorcycle, make sure to get a quote direct with Lexham!