Honda's CB300F is a capable and fun little single cylinder bike. But, as the saying goes, it tumbled out of the top of the ugly tree and got hit by every branch on the way down. Bits of it are also starting to look pretty old-school next to the competition as well; it's about time the little Hondas got themselves some upside-down forks, for example.
With today's release of the CB300R, Honda puts a decent contender back on the field. It doesn't rise to the retro-futurist looks of last year's Neo Sports Cafe concept, but it certainly takes things in that direction, much like the big CB1000R. A clean circular LED headlight, a flash of color along the tank, and a nice tidy tail section (once that giant fender finds its way into the bin) round out a handsome enough profile.
The frame and swingarm are new, the forks are inverted, there's a natty LCD dash, and Honda's trusty 286cc single cylinder engine receives a new intake and exhaust design to improve what was already a Honda-linear throttle response. It'll be light and fun and throwable at a curb weight of 313 lb (142 kg).
It's available from July in the US with pricing set at US$4,649, or you can add $300 to upgrade to the ABS version.
That upgrade might well be worthwhile as the 300R runs an inertial measurement unit that talks to the ABS system. Honda isn't calling it cornering ABS, but that's kind of what it sounds like might be happening, and if that's the case, this bike could be about the cheapest ride ever with that kind of technology built in.
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