Initial impressions of the 2023 Honda CB300R after a longish test ride

It can easily rake up 35+ kmpl on highways. Even with an 8 litre usable capacity, you are looking at 250 kms before a fuel stop.

BHPian Aragorn recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Honda seems to have finally woken up to the smell of the coffee in this 300cc segment. This is the pricing this bike deserved from day 1.

In addition, Honda’s attitude towards this machine is strange. Launch BS4, and discontinue after BS6. Then reintroduce after a long pause. They localised a lot of the bikes at BS6 but never passed on the benefits. Despite the earlier pricing fiasco, they priced it ambitiously again.

Honda again stopped it after BS6.2 and relaunched it after a long gap. Very much un-Japanese in their approach. Thankfully the pricing is sane this time around.

Anyway, having ridden this over a longish drive, some misnomers need to be set right:

1) Low GC – absolutely no problem. Because of the short wheelbase and relatively firm suspension, never scrapes its underbelly. While the rear is firm it’s not uncomfortable. The light weight enables the bike to glide past obstacles.

2) Small fuel tank – this bike is incredibly fuel efficient thanks to low kerb weight. It can easily rake up 35+ kmpl on highways. Even with an 8 litre usable capacity, you are looking at 250 kms before a fuel stop. Unless you are planning an iron-butt challenge, this is enough for most.

3) Comparison with Duke 250 – The Duke runs a 12.6 compression ratio against 10.7 for the CB300R. This makes the 300R far less stressed. Runs cool in the city and is much smoother at low revs. The suspension too is far more forgiving than the Duke 250. The verdict is still out on the 2024 Duke 250 model though – need to ride that for a full comparison.

All is not rosy though. The single biggest problem is low volumes in India (like most Honda premium bikes). So, the accessory ecosystem is virtually non-existent. Most parts have to be imported from Europe / South Asia. The Dukes are unbeatable in this regard.

It’s not a long-distance touring bike. You can make a quick 2-3 day getaway with luggage mounted on the small tail. Technically you can add side stays and add panniers too – but take away the slim and beautiful street bike stance.

On March 23, just before BS6.2, Big Wing showrooms in Mumbai / Thane were selling this machine at a 60-70k discount (on-road). I had an offer for 2.7 lahks OTR upon casual enquiry. I sort of see the prices moderating back to the same level after a few months. Happy to be proven wrong.

All in all – this is an absolutely delightful bike. I had a blast riding it. May pick up one in the future when it turns up in the pre-owned market.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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