HONDA CB300R (2018 - on) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Annual servicing cost: £120
Power: 31 bhp
Seat height: Medium (31.5 in / 799 mm)
Weight: Low (315 lbs / 143 kg)


New £4,429
Used £3,000 - £4,300

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Honda describe the CB300R as a ‘stepping stone’ bike, a naked roadster that provides a natural progression from a 125 without too much of a jump in terms of capacity, weight or power.

Such a bike has been missing from the firm’s model range as while the faired CBR250R (which evolved into the CBR300R) has been around since 2011, you have to go way back to the CB250, which was discontinued in 2003, to find a naked model that fulfils such a role.

For 2018, Honda have righted this situation with the latest addition to the new ‘neo sports café’ CB range, the CB300R.


It is easy to dismiss a 286c single as a bike designed for the far eastern market that has been forced upon Europe, but MCN was both surprised and impressed by the CB300R.

The dash on the Honda CB300R

The engine is pokey enough to have fun with while the chassis is ideal for those either progressing up from a 125 or just wanting a lightweight bike for urban use and weekend blasts in the countryside.

The Honda is charming, good looking and fun to ride

The 390 Duke is certainly more of a premium product, and so is the G310R, but the Honda is charming, good looking and fun to ride.

The Honda's styling makes it appealing

Surprisingly, the CB family look really works on this small capacity machine and the 300 is visually very appealing. Honda have done a good job and while it isn’t as ‘in your face’ as the KTM, it is certainly a step above other rivals in terms of kerb appeal.

And it sounds good too, with the single emitting a nice bark of exhaust note at speed. It may be built in Thailand, but it does appear to have an impressive level of attention lavished on it.

The obvious rival is the KTM 390 Duke

The obvious rival is the KTM 390 Duke, which at £4699 costs extra but boasts a more powerful 373cc single and a TFT dash with connectivity as an optional extra.

Kawasaki make the Z250SL, which is cheaper at £3649 but makes less power from its 249cc single and lacks ABS, while the BMW G310R is £4620 and more powerful than the Honda. The Yamaha MT-03 is pricey at £4999, but you get a 41bhp parallel twin motor rather than a single.

MCN put a crop of lightweight bikes through their paces, including the Honda CBR300R from which the CB gets its engine. Watch the video to see what we thought.

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Usually lightweight bikes can feel skittish at speed, but the CB is remarkably assured in bends. The Showa forks are non-adjustable, but seem to respond well to undulations and the Dunlop Sportmax tyres offer good grip levels.

The shock is a touch soft, but you can dial in some extra preload (there are five steps) to improve its support. In town the little Honda is extremely agile and feels light and easy to throw around.

Brake hard and the front dips as the forks compress and then sits at this point

It’s a lovely bike to ride and also nice and roomy for taller riders. Compared to basic ABS systems found on 125cc bikes, the CB’s IMU-linked system is certainly a step ahead.

Brake hard and the front dips as the forks compress and then sits at this point as the ABS system modulates the pressure between the front and rear calipers in accordance to the IMU’s readings.

It’s a clever system and it takes a very firm tug of the front to get the ABS activating in the dry. Compared to the basic ABS systems found on 125cc bikes, it’s certainly a step ahead.


Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Taken from the Honda CBR300R, the 286cc single is surprisingly punchy. Its performance is certainly helped by the bike’s light 143kg weight, but it still has an impressive turn of pace. It will happily cruise at an indicated 75mph, but for 50-60mph overtakes you do need to drop from top to fifth.

The fuel injection system is spot on and despite a day of constant thrashing, it still averaged economy figures of over 60mpg. The gearbox is a bit poor when it comes to multiple downshifts, but this is its only real blight and the single’s vibrations are pleasingly minimal. Downhill, you can hit a tantalising 99mph…

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The CB300R is built in Thailand, but while its chassis and styling are new, the motor is taken from the CBR300R and as such is a tried and tested unit. Reliability shouldn’t be an issue.

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

At £4429 the CB300R is cheaper than the KTM 390 Duke, but it is less powerful and lacks a TFT dash or the option of connectivity. The Honda is also cheaper than the BMW G310R, which is again more powerful and has better optional extras.

It’s more expensive than the budget Kawasaki Z250SL, but feels a more substantial machine. With a claimed 85mpg (MCN managed mid-60 figures when riding hard) the CB300R is frugal on fuel and can be had on a PCP plan for just £59 a month after a £968.41 deposit.


3 out of 5 (3/5)

You get an LCD dash, but annoyingly it lacks a gear indicator, although there is a fuel gauge and mpg indicator. The combined brakes have an ABS system that is linked to an IMU that modulates the brake pressure between the front and rear calipers to keep the bike’s pitching controlled under hard braking.

Lights are LED all around and there are some nice styling details. On a side note, there is an annoying bar in the fuel filler stopping you inserting the pump’s nozzle fully.

A bar prevents full nozzle insertion at fuel stops


Engine size 286cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 4v, single
Frame type Tubular steel trellis
Fuel capacity 10 litres
Seat height 799mm
Bike weight 143kg
Front suspension 41mm, inverted Showa forks, non- adjustable
Rear suspension Single rear shock, 5-stage adjustable spring preload
Front brake 1 x 296mm disc with Nissin four-piston radial caliper, ABS.
Rear brake 220mm single disc with single-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 110/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 150/60 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 85 mpg
Annual road tax £52
Annual service cost £120
New price £4,429
Used price £3,000 - £4,300
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Two years

Top speed & performance

Max power 31 bhp
Max torque 20.3 ft-lb
Top speed 95 mph
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 188 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

Honda launch the CB250 in 1992 and produced it all the way through until 2003 before discontinuing the model. There was then a 15 year hap before they launched the CB300R in 2018.

Owners' reviews for the HONDA CB300R (2018 - on)

10 owners have reviewed their HONDA CB300R (2018 - on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your HONDA CB300R (2018 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 (4.4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Engine: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.9 out of 5 (4.9/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.8 out of 5 (4.8/5)
Equipment: 3.8 out of 5 (3.8/5)
Annual servicing cost: £120
4 out of 5 Better than expected.
14 August 2023 by Immi yaq

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £150

All the bike you could need! Only bought this as an in between bike till I could afford a larger bike I intended to buy, but happy to keep this one as it fulfills all my two wheeler requirements. Not for prolonged motorway journeys but half an hour here and there on the 25 is no issue.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

For what it is, it's a very comfortabke bike, the seat has enough padding for 2+ hour treks. Coming from a tracer 900 I much prefer the seat on the 300.

Engine 5 out of 5

First gear is very short and top gear needs to be longer, but overall happy with the engine output. Gets up to speed very well and mostly comfortable(surprisingly) on the motorway.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

The bike has gone over 6k miles, nothing has gone wrong so far.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Over 90mpg around town but drops to 60+mpg at 70+mph.

Equipment 3 out of 5

After market heated grips and usb port installed.

5 out of 5 A good bike for a beginner, or anyone
21 April 2023 by Jerryman

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £100

I settled on this bike primarily because of it's size. My previous bike was a Himalayan, which at 180kg + was just too heavy when it fell over... I'm 68, been riding for 50 years and obviously getting weaker! Light weight, easy to chuck around. despite this it still feels really stable. The engine loves to be revved, although there's just a tingle at the upper end. Fuel consumption is impressive, I'm now seeing 91mpg on the screen, but I can only get around 8 litres in after the warning light comes on. The weird bar-with-holes in the petrol tank is a pain when filling. No real problems in 8 months of owning, but the indicators can be a bit erratic in the wet. A switch needs looking at.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

A good bike around town, very nippy away from the lights, narrow and easy to handle in traffic. Lots of fun on minor roads and will keep up on A-roads. Country roads with mud and crud are a bit challenging for a bike that likes to rev, high(er) speed blasts are limited by how long you can put up with the wind blast. I've taken a pillion once, no complaints (it was either that or nothing...) Suspension is ok, and rear is adjustable

Engine 5 out of 5

Willing to pull from 3,500 in 6th all the way to 10,000. or wring its neck in all the gears, fun either way. I'm sure it would wheelie if that floats yer boat...

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

No real issues, the bodywork and metal bits survived a winter outdoors really well, the battery has never let me down. Bike fitted with heated grips and spotlights. Only problem is an occasional delay with the indicator switch.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

I'm guessing here, no servicing yet, service intervals are 8000 miles no repairs or spares bought (apart from a set of spots which don't count...) Fuel costs are very good

Equipment 3 out of 5

Seating position is great - I'm 6ft and thin. Comfort is good, will probably be ok for a whole tank of fuel. Headlight is a bit lacking in power, just about ok at night on a road you know. No gear indicator but I don't find that problem. No centre stand, probably saves a kilo or so, and no bungee strap hooks, so fitting any temporary luggage is a bind

Buying experience: Bought from Honda main dealer in Norwich (CJ Ball) - had a half-hour test ride, wasn't sure about it at first, but went back a couple of weeks later and bought it. Paid around £3,500 - 4 years old 5,600 miles

4 out of 5 Brilliant little bike
05 December 2022 by John

Year: 2022

Worst. Small tank and no centre stand. Best. So light and flickable. Lovely exhaust note.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Not good for a passenger but I don't take one anyway. I loves the back roads

Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

No problems but only done 1800 miles.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

No emergency indicators

Buying experience: Dealer. £6000.00 with extras

5 out of 5 Great bike!
04 October 2021 by Peter D

Year: 2020

Great bike, so lightweight it takes you back to why you loved bikes in the first place

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Front brake bites really hard, I would say this bike isn't really for beginners, it picks up fast and brakes so hard I put mini levers on as the long levers gave it to much bite. Bikes low weight is a tiny issue due to actually needing more body movement to get it to hold a corner but the suspension is really good quality, it doesn't crash like the mt03 or 300x which are set up harder. The cb could even scramble, the downside is that over lots of ripples you get a feedback loop.

Engine 4 out of 5

Engine is fine and will run for miles, gearbox is slick and clutch light, no fueling issues at all and runs well at very low speeds. If bike was heavier tho it would be boring but it's lovely and zippy due to lightness.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Better than my 2017 cb500x

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

70mpg - got 65 on cb500x and Kawasaki versys 300x, 60 on honda nc700x, I like to rag my bikes.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Abs is all you need. I just want a bike not a computer.

Buying experience: Private £3300, 70miles. Better second hand buy than the g310r which has horrible suspension, Himalayan which is unreliable, versys 300x which has a terrible seat,faster than an inazuma 250, more fun than a 500x which is a little dull and mt03, which is very front heavy and stiff, feels so much like a 600 to ride but without the engine power you might aswell buy a 600. The cb300r is genuinely the best kept secret in this category. I buy a new bike every year or two, out of all those listed here that I've tried, I only miss the 500x for distance and the inazuma for comfort and looooow price. I don't think il trade on the 300r for a while. What matches it's low weight and zip with reliability? Not much. Highly underrated. My commute is short but my weekends are fun, it's absolutely perfect for tmy type or riding, even a touch of green Laning!

4 out of 5 Great town and twisty back road bike. fun not fast
09 April 2021 by IOM TONY

Year: 2019

Annual servicing cost: £180

great bike overall but could do with a better front brake

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

great handling but front brake is not as strong as I would like

Engine 5 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

where I live the service is £180 and tax is £25 insurance £106 and its great on fuel

Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5 Great all round bike with a grown up feel!
05 December 2020 by John Taylor

Version: Bronze wheels

Year: 2020

Annual servicing cost: £120

Very easy to ride, very light and manouverable. Easy to read dash. Quick enough from the lights and to reach 60mph. Good mpg. Good looking nicely finished bike that looks grown up. For someone who's just passed their test that doesn't want to jump to 600cc + it's perfect! I would definitely recommend this bike.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Can ride for 2 hours before backside gets a little numb!

Engine 5 out of 5

Punchy enough for the size. Good acceleration.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

First service costs.

Equipment 5 out of 5

Buying experience: Great dealer experience

4 out of 5 HONDA CB300R
19 July 2020 by RG

Year: 2019

Cracking little bike, downsized from a Harley for this this suits the country roads near me much better than the Harley.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Feet tucked up more than I imagined when first riding but it turns out to be a comfortable position after a few miles. Brakes are adequate. The suspension on this bike for the price tag is exceptionable, nearly as good as on my CFL250. Absorbs road imperfections far better than my Harley, Triumph street twin and Yammy MT-07 ever did!

Engine 4 out of 5

Could do with a higher ratio top gear but OK if you hover around 60mph. On this bike 60mph feels more like 70mph due to the small wheels.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

Build quality seems good, but then it is a nearly new bike

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

80 odd mpg can only be good!

Equipment 4 out of 5

Buying experience: Bought this bike with 400 miles on the clock from Miles Kingsport in Hull who delivered to my door in devon. 600 mile service carried out by them before delivery. Really helpful dealership. Fuel

4 out of 5 All you need (as long as you also have a gsxr 1000 as I do)
04 July 2020 by Joe Crennan

Version: Repsol

Year: 2018

Annual servicing cost: £40

cannot change gearing due to hub size and unavailability of front sprocket in UK

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5


Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5

Buying experience: New from a dealer, painless unlike EVERY car showroom

5 out of 5
12 February 2020 by gentian

Version: 2019

Year: 2019

My own specs seem similar to those of Jimbo, above,...even swapped a T100 for the CB300R just as he did, and agree with all he said. Before the T100 I had a Speed Triple and to be honest the CB300R is more fun and also a lot more comfortable than either, if that is important. It's mainly for groceries so I strapped a cheap bag onto the passenger seat for that, and for rain gear needed doing weekly 50 to 100 mile trips down biking roads. The handling is really something special: both ultra sharp and precise with perfect damping, and the motor is lively, wonderfully smooth and flexible, and makes a rounded snarl when revved. Brakes throttle and gear change are also a joy. It does motorways at 7000 rpm, which feels around the right place to be changing up, so this means it largely ignores headwinds and inclines but is obviously not ideal for touring!

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Suspension and comfort are outstanding

Engine 5 out of 5

Sounds good too

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5

Poor rear hugger, needs an extender. Also recommend fenda-extender Mirrors need extender/risers No gear position indicator

4 out of 5 Real World Motorcycle
01 September 2019 by Jimbo UK

Version: Black

Year: 2018

Great bike. Lightweight, excellent MPG, Brilliant lights, Strong ABS braking, More than enough power for real world riding. Comfortable for me at 5' 10" and 12 stone (76kg). Downside for me is the styling trend to have no rear mudguard only a slim arm holding the number plate. Some people love this and chop it further with only an illegal tail tidy, but I have fitted a rear mudguard which Honda should have done in the first place. I have been riding motorbikes 45 years, all sizes 50cc mopeds to 1000cc BMWs and this Honda is good reliable fun (and easy to shift around the garage)

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5

Took a while to adapt to the higher revving engine but getting on fine now.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

This is a great no nonsense motorbike that if you are honest has all the performance that you will ever use and is light and economic too. Plus tubeless tyres and no chrome to polish.

Buying experience: Honda Dealer new bike RRP, but fair trade in for my (lovely but heavy) T100 Bonneville.

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