Honda has been delving into the 300 to 350cc motorcycle segment over the past few years. First came their challenger to the Royal Enfield 350cc lineup and then earlier this year, the Japanese marque came out with the BS6 version of the CB300R.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

Now Honda’s BigWing division has dipped its toes into the segment once again bringing out what they call a ‘formidable’ streetfighter in the form of the CB300F. The new Honda CB300F is different to its R badged sibling not only in terms of its looks but also its heart.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

So what exactly makes the new Honda CB300F so formidable? And can Honda really justify that bonkers price tag? We rode the new Honda CB300F in Hyderabad, in the heart of Tollywood, to see just what this new street-fighting act from Honda has to offer…

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

Honda CB300F Design & Features – Sharp Suited Street Fighter

The Honda CB300F’s design is everything that defines a streetfighter motorcycle. The newest offering from Honda is devoid of any fairing and full of sharp lines that gives it a very aggressive look.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

At the front, the angular headlight juts forward like a pointy arrowhead. Sitting atop the headlights are the sleek turn indicators, above which you can find the tapered handlebars.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

The upside down front forks are painted gold to give the bike a more premium look and sitting quite close to the top of the shocks is a USB-C charging point. Adding to the aggression at the front are the extensions on the fuel tank (that sport decals with the bike’s name) and the short overhangs of the front mudguard. The new Honda CB300F rides on 17-inch blacked-out 10-spoke alloy wheels that are shod with tubeless tyres.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

Look at the bike from the sides and the most prominent details that stand out are the muscular fuel tank (14.1-litres), the gold highlights for the oil-cooled engine, the pointy guard for said engine and the short upswept exhaust that delivers the sporty tunes from the single cylinder powerplant.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

The two-piece seat looks aggressive as well with the rider sitting 789mm above the ground. The raised pillion seat features split grab handles for the passenger to hold onto. Also seen on the bike is what appears to be a rather highly disguised sari guard.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

The rear section of the CB300F is rather tame compared to the rest of the bike with the LED turn signals sitting on the rear mudguard with the LED tail light sitting slightly above.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

Other techy highlights for the new Honda CB300F include the fully digital meter with readouts for all the requisite riding stats and 5 levels for brightness to tackle even the brightest sunlight.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

The panel which is operated using the controls on the left side of the handlebar also allows owners to connect to it via Bluetooth allowing them to make and receive calls and messages, play music, use the navigation and even check the weather. Speaking about the controls on the left side, the horn button sits above the switch for the indicators, which is very odd.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

Honda CB300F Specs & Dimensions – Oil Cooled Heartbeat

The Honda CB300F ditches its R badged sibling’s 286cc heart for a brand new 293.52cc oil-cooled, single overhead camshaft engine. The CB300Fs new fuel injected powerplant delivers 24.13bhp at 7,500rpm and 25.6Nm of torque at 5,500rpm.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

The Honda CB300F’s oil-cooled, 4-valve engine is paired with a 6-speed transmission. Shifts are aided by a multi-plate assist and slipper clutch setup.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

The Honda CB300F features a diamond frame with telescopic upside-down suspension at the front and a 5-way adjustable mono shock at the rear. To bring the CB300F to a complete stop, Honda has fitted the streetfighter motorcycle with a 276mm disc at the front and a 220mm unit at the rear. The brakes are aided by dual-channel ABS and Honda.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

The Honda CB300F rides on 17-inch alloy wheels that are shod with 110/70 tyre at the front and a wide 150/60 tarmac hugger at the rear. Helping the new CB300F maintain its grip on the road is the Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) setup.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

Honda CB300F Riding Impressions – Rev Happy Corner Cutter Operator Hindered By Supernanny ABS

The Honda CB300F’s oil-cooled engine is a first for the marque in the segment. The engine loves to sprint though the revolutions and tops out at 8,500rpm. Power levels are quite adequate and the engine delivers good low and mid-range grunt. The powerplant is quite tractable and despite us taking it from 30 to 120km/h in just 5th gear alone, the single-cylinder unit went about its business without any complaints.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

Paired with the 6-speed gearbox that features a super-light slipper clutch allows riders to bang through the gears with ease as the engine does its dance up the revs. Clutchless up/downshifts were handled without a complaint.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

The riding position on the CB300F is upright and comfortable when on the move. However, those looking to ride more aggressively can do so thanks to the single-piece handlbar, slightly rear-set footpegs, wide seat and the sculpted fuel tank that allows riders to wraps their legs around it and duck down to avoid the windblast when they really open up the throttle. The rider’s seat is well cushioned and comfortable even for longer rides, however, the pillion rider will need to take frequent breaks despite the rear saddle being quite wide and somewhat adequately cushioned.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

The suspension setup of the Honda CB300F is slightly on the stiffer side and this combined with the sharp steering geometry allow the bike to dart into corners. The stiffer suspension can take care of most bumps and ruts but going over rough patches at higher speeds is not a comfortable experience for the rider’s rear end.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

The braking setup with discs on either end offer good amounts of stopping power and feel adequate for a bike this size. However, the front brake feels slightly spongy and you really need to squeeze it to stop the CB300F.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

The Honda CB300F also features electronic aids like dual-channel ABS and traction control. While the former is expected, the latter electronic aid came as bit of surprise. Their natures are also like chalk and cheese. The ABS setup acting like an overly worried supernanny and kicking in way to early, which can be tricky at times. The traction control while not really needed feels good to have on slippery stretches of road and isn’t as intrusive as the ABS setup.

Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

Honda CB300F – Highs & Lows

The Highs

  • Rev happy tractable engine with a rather sporty soundtrack.
  • The way it goes around corners
  • Traction Control: Not really needed but a welcome surprise.
  • Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

    The Lows

    • Supernanny ABS can get annoying
    • Stiff suspension setup can be taxing to the rear section
    • That price tag – what were they thinking?
    • Honda CB300F First Ride Review - Aggressive Fighter Neutered By Head Scratching Price Tag

      Thoughts About The Honda CB300F – Good City Slicker Hindered By Bonkers Price Tag

      The Honda CB300F is Honda’s latest entrant into the 300-350cc segment of motorcycles in India. The new Honda CB300F seems brilliant for those looking for a well built bike that loves to tackle turns and features an engine that can handle anything from a quick sprint up the gears to city traffic with ease. However, the price tag of the new CB300F may just prove to be the streetfighter’s fatal flaw.

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