It’s A Fireblade That Was Left In The Dryer Too Long

Honda shows us that big isn’t always better with its CBR300R. As the small-displacement sportbike bracket fills in from every quarter, the CBR300R with its 286 cc engine has the aggressive look and feel of the bigger bikes – like a Fireblade you left in the dryer too long — but in a commuter-friendly version that could be a stepping stone on your way up the displacement ladder.

  • 2015 - 2019 Honda CBR300R
  • Year:
    2015- 2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    single cylinder
  • Displacement:
    286 cc
  • Top Speed:
    100 (est) mph
  • Price:
    4499
  • Price:

Honda CBR300R Design

2015 - 2019 Honda CBR300R
- image 665250
The CBR300R follows a rather race-tastic, streetbike form that will help new riders gain a feel for that type of bike.

Since 2011, the CBR250R has served both as Honda’s small-displacement street-riding and racing trainer, and the model is actually used in amateur, closed-circuit races as a prelude to entering the larger brackets. Based on that success, Honda designed this, the next generation of little sportbikes. I am, of course, referring to the new-from-2015 CBR300R that comes with the then-new, 286 cc engine based on the previous 249 cc version.

While I am at a loss to explain it, I confess I have a certain affinity for beginner bikes, and “one-design” race categories that remove hardware advantages and force racers to win based on nothing but their own skills and bravery, which is arguably the purest form of competition.These days, training bikes come in various forms, and whether it’s dirt, street or track that you’re interested in, chances are better than ever that you will find one appropriate for your particular needs.

The CBR300R follows a rather race-tastic, streetbike form that will help new riders gain a feel for that type of bike. A jockey-style rider triangle puts the rider in the typical, forward-leaning riding posture, while the handlebar position allows for a more upright stance designed to help riders transition to more extreme arrangements. To further aid in newbies’ comfort, the seat and side panels were intentionally narrowed to provide a straight shot from hip to ground because, let’s face it, nobody likes wrestling a bike on tip toes, not even veteran riders.

Beyond that, rather full body panels hide most of the inner machinations from view, and flow up to a small wind deflector so the rider can tuck in superbike style once they’re comfortable with the rest of the machine. A small P-pad with an under-seat storage compartment on the subframe allows you to share the experience and can serve as a sort of cargo deck for your bungee net so you can use it as a commuter as well, a function further improved with the addition of an accessory tank bag.

Honda CBR300R Chassis

2015 - 2019 Honda CBR300R
- image 665253
The CBR300R handles quick flicks and reversals without being too terribly squirrelly.

Unlike its naked CB-F cousin, the CBR paneling covers the tubular steel frame almost in its entirety, hiding the 25.3-degree steering head that leaves us with 3.9 inches of trail. Though the trail is a bit longer than some that come to mind, it is sufficient to provide quick flicks and reversals without being too terribly squirrelly for a beginner or the seasoned rider.

A set of 37 mm front forks provide 4.65 inches of travel, but without any adjustments to worry about, adjustments that would likely be too subtle for someone just learning the ropes. The Pro-Link monoshock in back allows for 4.07 inches of travel, and comes with a spring-preload adjuster that riders of any sort should learn to use regardless of experience. This frame and suspension arrangement pushes the wheelbase out to a decidedly compact 54.3 inches contributing to its agility.

At only 357 pounds soaking wet, it doesn’t take much in the way of brakes to handle it. A twin-piston-and-anvil caliper slows the front wheel via the 296 mm front disc, and a single-pot caliper binds the 220 mm disc in back. On the ABS version, a two-channel ABS stands overwatch for another noob-friendly feature to further its utility as a trainer, though it will tax your pockets a little more. Cast, 17-inch, blackout rims mount the 110/70 front tire and 140/70 rear hoop.

Front Suspension: 37 mm fork; 4.65 inches travel
Rear Suspension: Pro-Link single shock with five positions of spring preload adjustability; 4.07 inches travel
Rake: 25.30 degrees
Trail: 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Front Brake: Single 296 mm disc
Rear Brake: Single 220 mm disc
Front Tire: 110/70-17 radial
Rear Tire: 140/70-17 radial

Honda CBR300R Drivetrain

2015 - 2019 Honda CBR300R
- image 665274
Much like the rest of the bike, the mill was designed to provide smooth and manageable power sufficient to move your butt while not being so powerful as to get away from you.

Honda rebuilt its 249 cc engine especially for the CBR300R. The factory increased the swept volume to 286 cc in this water-cooled, four-cycle thumper before plugging it into the frame. Much like the rest of the bike, the mill was designed to provide smooth and manageable power sufficient to move your butt while not being so powerful as to get away from you. Well, according to the factory anyway.

If you think you can’t get in trouble with only 300 cc to work with, I’ve got some beachfront to sell you, and it only gets wet twice a day. Not trying to be nasty, just imploring new riders to treat this bike with the same respect you would any other machine. Along the same lines, riders with greater aptitude may outgrow the 300 fairly quickly, so be sure to take care of it to maintain resale value for when it’s time to upgrade.

The oversquare engine runs with a 76 mm bore and engineers lengthened the stroke from 55 mm to 63 mm, for a 17-percent increase in ponies over its 249 cc predecessor. A 38 mm throttle body meters air/fuel delivery and the onboard computer manages the ignition and timing advance for a long-legged 71 mpg.

Best of all, since most new riders could also be new mechanics, the engine comes laid out with ease of maintenance in mind with easy access to the valve adjusters, oil fill and filter and rear brake fluid reservoir. A six-speed tranny helps keep the rpm within the usable powerband, and it sends the power to the rear wheel via chain drive.

Engine: Liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Displacement: 286 cc
Bore x Stroke: 76 mm x 63 mm
Induction: PGM-Fi, 38 mm throttle body
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
Valve Train: DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Transmission: Six-speed

Honda CBR300R Price

2015 - 2019 Honda CBR300R
- image 790254
The price for 2019 is the same as last year: $4.7k without ABS and $5k with.

Honda let loose of the CBR300R last year for $4,699, and the ABS version set you back another $300. Honda carried those prices over to 2019 with no significant changes to the color choices.

Model Id : CBR300R (ABS: CBR300RA)
Colors:
└ 2015: Black, Red, Pearl White/Red/Blue, Matte Black Metallic/Yellow
└ 2016: Black, Bright Yellow/Matte Black, Candy Orange/Matte Black
└ 2017: Red/Black
└ 2018: Red, Matte Black Metallic
└ 2019: Grand Prix Red, Matte Black Metallic
Price:
└ 2015, 2016: $4,399
└ 2017: $4,499 (ABS: $4,999)
└ 2018, 2019: $4,699 (ABS: $4,999)

Honda CBR300R Competitor

2015 - 2019 Honda CBR300R
- image 790256
2019 Yamaha YZF-R3
- image 801077
Honda's lack of power and torque give Yamaha the edge on the superslab.

Entry-level bikes like the CBR300R are arguably even more important than the liter-plus machines since they are the most likely to engender some early brand loyalty, and for Yamaha, that honor falls to its YZF-R3.

Much like the game at the top of the range, the bottom of the foodchain is one of inches and grams. The Tuning Fork Company takes its classic race-tastic YZF family looks and shrinks it down to be suitable for the bottom-tier powerplant, and much like the CBR, this is one good-looking bike that displays hints of the factory MotoGP machine.

The suspension is a wash as neither bike offers anything beyond the obligatory spring preload out back though Yamaha supplies inverted forks that at least look more like serious business if nothing else. Both bikes can be had with or without ABS, so you can take or leave it as you please, though since it’s main target is the entry-level market, I’d recommend springing for the extra cash to get that safety net; there’s plenty of time to refine your brake technique with subsequent larger machines.

Yamaha powers its entry with a twin-cylinder powerplant instead of going the thumper route that Honda took, and it packs some extra cubeage with 321 cc to gain an edge on the CBR. Those extra cubes pay dividends for Yamaha with 41 ponies and 21.8 pounds o’ grunt against 22/13 from the Honda, and that really stings since it gives the YZF-R3 a significant edge on the superslab.

Honda gets some back at the till with a $4,699 sticker on the base model and another three Benjamins for the ABS model against $4,999/$5,299 with the Yamaha, and that offset may make a difference to a new rider up against a budget.”

He Said

“Honestly, I don’t get to say this often enough in my estimation, but this is one sharp-looking Honda. To the untrained eye, it looks typical of the class, but something about it has an appeal that defies definition. Yeah, I know that is very subjective, but how, exactly, DOES one qualify something as ethereal as beauty and attraction? As usual, I like it for its capacity as a trainer, and even though I fear it can be outgrown rather quickly, ya gots (sic) to start somewhere.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, "I like the fact that you can get an entry-level bike now that doesn’t look like grandma’s motorcycle. It’s a sport-bike look with zippy performance. It’s not a big bike so you won’t feel like you’re wrestling a monster and as a commuter, it has enough oomph to take you up the interstate for a couple of exits, but for more than that, I’m not feeling so confident. It is an awesome little bike, though and definitely in the range of the budget-minded or folks looking to stick a toe in the water, as it were, on two wheels. With the trend moving in the smaller displacement range, a 300 cc bike could be a fun bike without the idea of outgrowing it."

Honda CBR300R Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: Liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Displacement: 286 cc
Bore and Stroke: 76 mm x 63 mm
Induction: PGM-Fi, 38 mm throttle body
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance
Compression Ratio: 10.7:1
Valve Train: DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Transmission: Six-speed
Chassis:
Front Suspension: 37 mm fork; 4.65 inches travel
Rear Suspension: Pro-Link single shock with five positions of spring preload adjustability; 4.07 inches travel
Rake: 25.30 degrees
Trail: 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Front Brake: Single 296 mm disc
Rear Brake: Single 220 mm disc
Front Tire: 110/70-17 radial
Rear Tire: 140/70-17 radial
Dimensions & Capacities:
Wheelbase: 54.3 inches
Seat Height: 30.7 inches
Curb Weight: 357 pounds
Fuel Capacity: 3.4 gallons
Miles Per Gallon: 71 mpg
Top Speed: 100 mph (est)
Details:
Model Id : CBR300R (ABS: CBR300RA)
Colors:
└ 2015: Black, Red, Pearl White/Red/Blue, Matte Black Metallic/Yellow
└ 2016: Black, Bright Yellow/Matte Black, Candy Orange/Matte Black
└ 2017: Red/Black
└ 2018: Red, Matte Black Metallic
└ 2019: Grand Prix Red, Matte Black Metallic
Price:
└ 2015, 2016: $4,399
└ 2017: $4,499 (ABS: $4,999)
└ 2018, 2019: $4,699 (ABS: $4,999)

Further Reading

Yamaha YZF-R3

2019 Yamaha YZF-R3
- image 801071

See our review of the Yamaha YZF-R3.

Honda CBR250R

2013 Honda CBR250R High Resolution Exterior
- image 504033

See the Honda CBR250R.

Honda

ALLYN IMAGES - DO NOT DELETE
- image 794666

Read more Honda news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: honda.com, yamaha.com

Press release
What do you think?
Show Comments
Motorcycle Finder: