Honda Canada announced it will offer the new CB300R that recently debuted at EICMA. The CB300R will arrive in Canadian showrooms this spring as an early 2019 model as a replacement for the CB300F. As of this writing, American Honda has yet to confirm whether the CB300R will be coming stateside.
While we don’t know if either the 2018 Honda CB125R or the 2018 Honda CB300R will make it to the American shores, they were announced today at EICMA in Milan. Sharing a family resemblance with the also-just-introduced 2018 Honda CB1000R, the little CBs are also a product of Honda’s Neo-Sports Café Concept.
There’s an old saying that aptly describes the Hyosung GD250R: A day late and a dollar short. The 250cc beginner bike market went strong for years without much of an update, as the Kawasaki EX/Ninja 250, and later the Honda CBR250, practically owned the category for nearly three decades. Hyosung wasn’t absent in the market, since it persisted with its GT250R (and the naked GT250, no R).
From the title alone, there’s a good chance new riders are intently combing through each word of this shootout. The beginner bike market is one the manufacturers value dearly, and for decades Kawasaki has owned this corner of the market with its EX/ Ninja 250, and now the current Ninja 300. Honda finally followed suit in 2010, introducing the CBR250R as a 2011 model, and later, in 2014, the CBR300R as a 2015. Now the floodgates have opened, as both KTM and Yamaha have launched their own small-displacement sportbikes – the RC390 and YZF-R3, respectively – to try to grab a slice of that pie. If it weren’t for the crop of highly advanced literbikes coming out this year, a strong argument could be made for 2015 being the year of the entry-level sportbike.
The Lightweight Nakeds Comparo we did last September was such a hoot we decided to do it again on a few more little thumper/screamers. Flying around sunny SoCal’s freeways and mountain roads like little white blood cells fighting pathogens and boredom in your cardiovascular system is what we do best, flitting from Starbucks to Starbucks, letting the lattes fall where they may.
When we were introduced to the 2015 Honda CBR300R at its recent press introduction at Honda’s headquarters in Southern California, Honda reps teased us by displaying the 300R’s naked sibling, the CB300F, alongside it. We weren’t able to ride it, but there it sat, ready for the assembled press to sit, ogle and stare. Thankfully, Honda didn’t keep us waiting for long, as only weeks after I rode the fully faired 300R, we were given a 300F to throw around.
When the Honda CBR250R came on the scene in late 2010 as a 2011 model, it seemed like the perfect challenger to the beginner sportbike king, the twin-cylinder Kawasaki Ninja 250, which, for a couple of decades, was basically the de facto choice for new sport-minded riders looking to get into motorcycling. Finally, there was another option for those who wanted something different. However, simply playing catch-up wasn’t enough. Kawasaki then fuel-injected the little Ninja and made it a 300, leaving the single-cylinder CBR reeling. Not one to back down from a challenge, Honda has come fighting back with the new CBR300R.