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Keeway K300R: First Ride Review

21 November 2022, 06:07 PM Pratik Bhanushali

Introduction

Keeway K300 R Right Front Three Quarter

Why buy it?

Gets unique and distinctive styling

Tractable engine performance

Decent overall build quality

Why avoid it?

Lacks features

Needs better braking prowess

Priced significantly higher than rivals

Until a few years ago, the 300-400cc supersport segment in India only had a few names – KTM RC 390, Kawasaki Ninja 300, Ninja 400, and the Yamaha R3 that was on sale till 2017. But now the landscape is slowly changing with new brands incoming and the latest one is Keeway with its K300R. 

We’ve been riding it for a few days and have come across the aspects where it aces along with its areas of improvement. So, let’s break down our experience with the Keeway K300R in this first ride review. 

The Visuals

Keeway K300 R Right Front Three Quarter

One of the highlights of this bike is its design language. Now, Kiska design, the same firm that has chalked the KTMs has designed the Keeway K300R too. And it works in the bike’s favour. The sharp front end adorning the LED headlight with LED DRLs on the sides makes for a very youthful appearance. Moreover, give the front a slightly longer glance, and you’ll notice an uncanny resemblance with the Honda CBR650R.

Keeway K300 R Head Light

The Keeway 300R, like most of the other 300-400cc supersports, is targeted towards younger audiences looking to upgrade from their 150-200cc bikes. And with a big-bike-like styling, the 300R ticks the aesthetics box. The muscular side panels and overall butch styling too add to the visual mass of the bike. Even the paint quality, welds, and finish are good. The K300R’s headlight deserves a special mention here, as it not only looks good but also assists with commendable illumination in all three ways – throw, spread, and depth. 

The Package

Keeway K300 R Left Front Three Quarter
Keeway K300 R

Keeway K300 R

  • Displacement292.4 cc
  • Max Power(bhp)27.1 bhp
  • Kerb Weight165 kg
  • ;

Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 2,99,000

Keeway has equipped the K300R with a 292.4cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine. On paper, it develops 27.5bhp and 25Nm and is mated to a six-speed gearbox. It sits in a trellis frame suspended on 37mm front USD forks and a monoshock at the rear. Meanwhile, the braking department is handled by a 292mm front disc and a 220mm rear disc with dual-channel ABS. The bike rides on 17-inch alloys wrapped in 110/70 front and 140/60 rear tyres. 

Keeway K300 R Instrument Cluster

Besides LED illumination and ABS, the K300R only gets a basic LCD setup for the features. While the console packs all the necessary readouts like the speedometer, odometer, tachometer, fuel level gauge, engine temperature readout, and gear level indicator, among others, it misses out on smartphone connectivity. Now, the lack of Bluetooth connectivity and a TFT screen is felt more when you consider the K300R’s asking price. Then, it rivals the likes of the BMW G 310 RR, Apache RR 310, and KTM RC 390 which not only offer a TFT but the latter two also get Bluetooth compatibility. So, the K300R’s feature front is a missed opportunity. 

The Ride

Keeway K300 R Right Side View

It’s common for supersports to feel uncomfortable and have a demanding riding position considering their purpose and build. Now, this Keeway offering is quite compact but there’s a fair bit of space available for the rider to move around. Although the footpegs are rear-set, resulting in a slightly cramped foot position, the seat’s length saves the day as you can slide to the end and get a little more room for a while. That said, at 780mm, the K300R’s seat height is quite low, and flat-footing is very easy. 

Even the handlebar is well under the rider’s reach and adequately wide for you to manage lock-to-lock turns in traffic or parking spots. The brake and clutch levers are easily accessible too, with the clutch lever being impressively light. You can operate it with a single finger and riding the bike in bumper-to-bumper traffic shouldn’t leave you with a sore left palm. 

With a kerb weight of 165kg, the 300R is not lightweight. But, it can be moved around easily in parking spaces. All you have to do is crouch a bit, grab the handle, and move it without much struggle. 

Keeway K300 R Left Side View

As mentioned above, the K300R’s mill dishes out 27.5bhp and 25Nm. While these figures are decent, the motor packs an adequate punch, and the surge in its power is predictable as the revs climb. In fact, you get a healthy amount of torque in the mid-range and a little bit in the reserve for overtakes. However, post the 7,000-8,000rpm mark, the torque curve flattens. 

Further, highway riding on this bike can be comfortably done at speeds between 80-105km in the sixth gear. Now, we didn’t test the top speed but even post 120kmph, there’s enough juice left for you to extract from the motor. Even when operated in a gear higher with revs dropping to 3,000-4,000rpm, the motor doesn’t feel stressed and accelerates further without much sign of struggle. The throttle transition, too, is linear and decently crisp. First-time buyers would appreciate the nature of the bike since it's quite friendly and unintimidating. 

Keeway K300 R Left Front Three Quarter

Now, for a supersports bike, the K300R’s suspension is quite plush. When ridden over bridge joints, minor potholes, or undulated patches, the rear end doesn't send jolts to your back. That said, it has been tuned to be sufficiently firm and does not wobble when you are attacking the corners. Speaking of the brakes, the Keeway K300R gets front and rear discs with gradual lever progression and a decent feel. However, the braking bite is low, and you’ll need to be calculative with your braking distance. Even the ABS is a little intrusive, so the overall time taken for stopping can be more than the rider’s anticipation. 

The handling department for the Keeway 300R is a plus too. The bike is quite nimble and easy to flick from side to side. Even when ridden at slow speeds, the 300R’s 165kg weight doesn't bother. But you'll need a little more effort when switching lanes at higher speeds and even when tipping into the corners. However, it holds the line and takes long sweeping corners without any hesitation. 

Conclusion

Keeway K300 R Right Front Three Quarter

While the K300R needs better brakes and can up its ante by offering more features, it gets a plush ride quality, decent engine performance, attractive styling, and on-par fit and finishing. So, buyers looking for a friendly 300cc bike with attractive looks, occasional canyon carving/spirited highway runs, and decent overall performance can opt for the Keeway K300R. However, it comes at a high asking price of Rs 2,99,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi). Whereas the Glossy Red paint that you see here demands an additional Rs 10,000. Moreover, when compared to its rivals like the BMW G 310 RR and the TVS Apache RR 310, the Keeway offering costs Rs 10,000 more than the Beemer and almost Rs 35,000 more than the TVS bike. Not to mention, the G 310 RR and the Apache offer more features too. 

Photography by Kaustubh Gandhi

Gallery

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