The Honda CB300R is scheduled to arrive in India on 8 February with a tentative price tag of under Rs 2.5 lakhs. At that price, the CB300R enters the KTM 390 Duke territory and also faces competition from the BMW G 310 R. We find out how the upcoming motorcycle stacks up against its closest rivals.
All three motorcycles are streetfighters, yet each of their styling is a stark contrast from each other. The CB300R gets Honda’s Neo Sports Café styling; a modern take on retro café racers. So there’s a circular, low-slung headlamp, sculpted fuel tank and a neatly designed brushed aluminium radiator guards to match that character.
The KTM 390 Duke turns heads with its manic-design language. The 1290 Super Duke inspired styling features a futuristic-looking hexagonal headlamp, exposed frame and sharp lines all over. And the aggressive, ‘ready-to-race’ stance is icing on the cake. Compared to these two bikes, the G 310 R’s styling is attractive but not as exciting. The bike offers a muscular fuel tank that flows into sharp tank shrouds, uniquely designed alloy wheels and a raised rear section.
The elephant in the features room is the KTM 390 Duke. It comes equipped with a full-LED headlamp, Bluetooth-enabled colour TFT instrument console, a ride-by-wire throttle system, slipper clutch, dual channel ABS and three ride modes; Off, Road and Supermoto. The ‘supermoto mode’ allows ABS to be turned off to the rear wheel.
The Honda CB300R is not far behind and features a full-LED headlamp, full-digital display, and an IMU-based ABS unit. The BMW also gets a digital display and dual-channel ABS, but that’s about it.
Powering the Honda CB300R is a 286cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine that produces 31bhp and 27.5Nm. While the power figures may not seem exhilarating, the CB300R weighs 143kg wet benefitting to its power to weight ratio. The BMW G 310 R uses a 313cc, single-cylinder, water-cooled motor that puts out 33bhp and 28Nm. It has a kerb weight of 158kg. Meanwhile, the 390 Duke is the heaviest at 163kg but also has the biggest heart; a 373cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine. This unit pumps out 42.9bhp and 37Nm.
All these engines come mated to a six-speed gearbox. However, the 390 Duke is the only bike with a slipper clutch.
Well, Honda hasn’t given the exact pricing for the CB300R but has announced that it will be priced under Rs 2.50 lakhs, making it an interesting proposition. The closest to this price is the KTM 390 Duke retailing at Rs 2.43 lakhs. Meanwhile, the G 310 R is the most expensive of the lot priced at Rs 2.99 lakhs. (all prices, ex-showroom, Delhi).