Bob Pickett takes a look at a 2017 pocket rocket…
Honda introduced the CBR300R in 2014, replacing the CBR250R (comprehensively outgunned by Kawasaki’s Ninja 300). It got a 35cc capacity hike, cosmetically altered to resemble the rest of the CBR range and ABS as standard.
We tested a 2017 model with Scorpion end-can, aftermarket levers and rubber grips, solo seat unit (original seat is available), and anodised bolts from The Land That Taste Forgot (dealer will happily replace these!)Give me some specA 286cc, single-cylinder motor, putting out 30bhp @ 8,500rpm with maximum torque of 19.9lb-ft @ 7,520rpm, is housed in a steel diamond frame. Seat height is 785mm, dry weight 164kg. Top speed is an estimated 104mph. Bringing the CBR300R back to zero is a single 296mm disc with 2-piston calliper up front, supported by a 220mm single disc, single calliper rear.So what is it like to ride?
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785mm sounds quite tall, but like a lot of smaller capacity bikes with sporting pretensions it’s narrow, making it accessible to a lot of smaller riders.
In 1st and 2nd it’s lumpy and not a nice place to be. Short-shift to 3rd as soon as possible, and things get a lot smoother. What the CBR300R has is torque in the right place; open up and it’ll build speed rapidly; overtakes aren’t an issue. It’ll hold motorway pace, no problem. And the fairing and little screen do an effective job of deflecting the air around the rider.
Town work? The light clutch is ideal; the box is solid if a little clunky. Brakes have all the power you need and with the levers set right have good feel. (The aftermarket levers had really good span adjusters. I spent a little time before pulling away setting them where I’d like and I’m so glad I did.)
With a bike with this geometry, handling is always going to be it’s strong point. On major A roads with wide, swooping sections the little CBR just glides from one corner to the next. Country B roads are also a joy; it handles so well I was flowing through bends I take more slowly on bikes with a larger capacity. But be aware of the suspension. It is budget and on bumpy roads it shows.
I think the CBR300R is, if you want a sporty look, a decent place to go to between your 125 years and stepping up to full licence a couple of years after A2. It’ll teach you about handling and how to get the best out of an engine. More experienced riders can have fun squeezing the most out of the package, but ultimately you will want more.
What nick is it in?
Just 290 miles on the clock and clearly kept indoors, it’s in great condition.
What’s it worth?
The dealer wants £3,499 for a 2017 bike with just 290 miles on the clock (pre test) in great condition. Searching other dealerships, there is just a smattering of used bikes out there, with prices ranging from £2889 for a 2014 bike with 5105 miles logged, to 1506 miles for £3499.Want to try it?To test this bike, contact:East London Kawasaki/Bacons Motorcycles
737-741 Eastern Avenue, Ilford, Essex IG2 7RT
Tel: 020 8252 6020