Baby Blade styling has been sharpened with a crisp-edged new fairing, its dual headlights unmistakeably echoing the CBR1000RR.
Baby Blade styling has been sharpened with a crisp-edged new fairing, its dual headlights unmistakeably echoing the CBR1000RR.
Instrument panel would do justice to a superbike.
Instrument panel would do justice to a superbike.

Johannesburg - Honda has updated its CBR250R by increasing the stroke of its rev-happy DOHC single to create the CBR300R.

An extra 8mm of piston travel takes it up from 249 to 286cc, the engine mounts and balance shaft have been beefed up, and PGM-FI electronic fuel-injection remapped, although the 38mm throttle body is unchanged, as are the 76mm bore and 10.7:1 compression ratio remain unchanged.

Its stated objectives - more power and, more importantly, a meatier torque curve - seem to have been met; claimed power output is up from 19.4 to 22.7kW, still at 8500rpm, with torque quoted as 27BNm at 7250rpm, up from 23.8Nm at 7000rpm.

That's allowed Honda to use a longer final-drive ratio for more relaxed - and fuel efficient - highway cruising. Fuel consumption is quoted as 3.3 litres per 100km in the WMTC laboratory; we'll wait until we've ridden out a couple of 13-litre tankfuls in the real world before we comment on that one.

SHARPER STYLING

The bike's "Baby Blade" styling has also been sharpened, with a new, sharper-edged fairing, its dual headlights unmistakeably echoing the CBR1000RR Fireblade, a colour-matched undercowl and a new exhaust system modelled on that of the CBR500R twin, with a larger volume for more midrange and crisper throttle response.

On a more practical note, while seat height is almost unchanged at 785mm, the saddle is slimmer, particularly at the front, to improve ground reach for the inseam-challenged among us.

The only changes we could spot in the running gear were a 20mm increase in the diameter of the front disc, from 276 to 296mm, to help haul this little screamer down from its top speed of around 160km/h, and an increase in kerb weight from 161 to 164kg.

Tyre and suspension specifications are as per the CBR250R.

The CBR300R is available in red, black and, of course, the signature HRC pearl white livery with red and blue graphics. If it lives up to the promise of its smaller CBR250R sibling, it's going to be a blast to ride, a precision tool with a bit more authority.

Sadly however, its most authoritative feature is its recommended retail price, an eye-watering R56 990 - R9000 more than the 250 - which, to be fair, includes a complimentary rider training course through the Honda Academy, a two-year, unlimited distance warranty and a year's free roadside assistance.

FACTS

Honda CBR300R

Engine: 286cc liquid-cooled four-stroke single.

Bore x Stroke: 76 x 63mm.

Compression ratio: 10.7:1.

Valvegear: DOHC with four overhead valves per cylinder.

Power: 22.7kW at 8500rpm.

Torque: 27Nm at 7250rpm.

Induction: PGM-FI electronic fuel-injection with 38mm throttle body.

Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorised with electronic advance.

Starting: Electric.

Clutch: Cable-operated wet multiplate clutch.

Transmission: Six-speed constant-mesh gearbox with final drive by chain.

Front Suspension: 37mm conventional cartridge forks.

Rear Suspension: Pro-link monoshock adjustable for preload.

Front brake: 296mm disc with twin-piston floating calliper.

Rear brake: 220mm disc with single-piston floating calliper.

Front tyre: 110/70 - 17 tubeless.

Rear tyre: 140/70 - 17 tubeless.

Wheelbase: 1369mm.

Seat Height: 785mm.

Kerb weight: 164kg.

Fuel tank: 13 litres.

Price: R56 990.