The new CB300R from Honda promises ‘a bare-boned attitude that is guaranteed to turn heads’ as the new 22YM joins its siblings to complete the Neo Sports Café naked family.
Launched today (24 January 2022), it rejoins the Honda line-up alongside the CB1000R, CB650R and CB125R – offering young and new riders their first ‘biggish’ bike, or the more experienced among us a viable downsize.
Tipping the scales at just 144kg wet, the CB300R’s tech spec boasts the addition of 41mm Showa SFF-BP front suspension and IMU-controlled ABS braking, and a free-revving, EURO5-compliant DOHC 4V 286cc liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine that produces 22.9kW peak power and 27.5Nm torque.
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The addition of an assist/slipper clutch allows smooth shifts and claims to manage rear wheel ‘hop’ on rapid downshifting and hard braking, while the frame mixes pressed and tubular steel for a tuned rigidity balance.
Add a tapered steel handlebar, updated LCD instrument display, full LED lighting, and four colour schemes – including new-for-2022 Pearl Dusk Yellow and Mat Pearl Agile Blue – and you can see why Honda has declared it as the new lightweight superstar.
The people at Honda say the CB300R represents a major stepping-stone for the young or new rider, being a first ‘big’ bike after a 125cc machine and offering all you’d expect from riding – but without the weight, cost, and licence implications of a larger capacity bike. On the flipside, it’s an attractive option for experienced riders looking to go smaller.
Speaking about the design aesthetic of the entire Neo Sports Café range is Valerio Aiello, of Honda’s Rome R&D department. He says it’s a reinterpretation of the world of the café racer for the modern day; a result of the CB4 Concept model presented at EICMA in 2015.
“All the models of this CB series are not simply retro-vintage motorcycles, but rather neo-classics – that is, modern motorbikes showcasing classic design styles combined with modern techniques,” he said.
“We wanted 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. The end result is that none of the bikes from the competition resemble the Neo Sports Café range and, like them or not, they are easily recognisable as Hondas. The competitors have classic or very modern motorcycles in their ranges, but in my opinion, not something that goes in the wake of both styles.
“During development of the CB4 concept, I found inspiration from outside the world of motorcycles, in watches. I’ve always liked their technicality and one of the key concepts used during the Neo Sports Café design was ‘Mechanical Art’. ‘Mechanical Art’ is the desire to show the beauty of the various mechanical elements to which Honda has always given great importance. Watches do this very well indeed, with their mechanics always creating a certain charm.”
OTR price for the CB300R is £4,899 with arrival around May/June 2022.
New CB300R is part of Neo Sports what…?
Here’s how Honda ecplains the thinking behind its Neo Sports Café range…
The Neo Sports Café range has been designed to reinterpret the café racer for the modern day, with ‘Mechanical Art’ key words in a design language originating in Honda’s R&D base in Rome. With beautiful engineering, classic touches, and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques, it’s a concept that draws a firm line of attitude and style around each model.
The undeniable head of the family is the CB1000R, updated most recently for 21YM and featuring minimalist, purposeful ‘hunched forward’ styling and a Fireblade-derived engine. The CB1000R Black Edition amplifies the aggressive outlook even further, complementing the lines with a hand-crafted ‘custom’ look, thanks to the Deep Graphite Black paint scheme and black headlight bezel, flyscreen, fork stanchions, radiator shrouds, airbox covers, exhaust and muffler details.
The CB650R, which for 22YM sees the introduction of the new Sword Silver Metallic colour scheme, continues the desirability of the range, offering a lively, four-cylinder middleweight choice. For those starting out, the CB125R – which gained a new DOHC 4V engine and SFF-BP forks for in 21YM – is a truly original first riding option.
Find out more at Honda website