You read it first on MotorBeam. Honda has been very mute about the CBR300R’s India launch. When we asked Honda about the CBR300R not being showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo, they said that they have no intentions of getting it here in the near future. Soon after that, news came that globally the CBR300R has been put on hold and we expected that this is the reason why India is also not getting the bike either. Globally the CBR250R is already being refreshed with 300R’s styling cues but is using the same 250cc engine (with a bump in power to 29 PS). Things have gone so far that the Repsol edition has been introduced in India to keep sales going.
Finally a source very close to Honda confirms to us that the CBR300R has arrived in India and is being worked upon to make it ready for Indian conditions. Working on it means sourcing parts from local suppliers to verify the quality. Emission testing, fuel efficiency testing and other various tests which are part of the Indian cycle for Honda internally are being done. The CBR300R if priced right, will be a game changer for Honda in the 250cc category. With its mini Fireblade looks, it is bound to create a racket and we can already hear Honda fanboys cheer. However, let’s not forget the heart, which the CBR300R has now been upgraded to.
The engine is now bored from 250cc to 286cc which produces 30.4 BHP of power at 8500 RPM and 27 Nm of torque at 7250 RPM. This is a huge bump over the CBR250R. The CBR300R is going to be lighter than the CBR250R by 8 kgs which is partly because of the new exhaust system and streamlining the chassis. The current CBR250R is known for not so good dynamics which Honda should take care of with tweaks to the suspension and better tyres, solving the handling to quite an extent.
Honda has already started making way for the CBR300R’s arrival in India. The company showcased the CBR500R (which isn’t coming to India as the middle-weight offering from Honda will be the locally assembled CBR650F) at the Auto Expo to gauge customer response for the CBR300R’s styling but the company did not want to make it vocal that the bike is coming to India, since a lot of CBR250Rs are still lying unsold. In fact, the CBR250R’s sales have dwindled so badly that dealers have 2013 model year bikes still lying with them. The Japanese automaker has also reduced the price of the CBR250R marginally (even after the excise duty cut), as it looks to clear remaining inventory of the quarter-litre motorcycle, whose styling is one of the reasons for its poor sales in the country.
Honda will offer the CBR250R with the option of C-ABS, pricing the bike at under Rs. 2.5 lakhs (on-road). Expect the Honda CBR300R to fight the fabulous Kawasaki Ninja 300, stunning looking KTM RC 390, most powerful Hero HX250R, recently announced Yamaha R25 and the new Mahindra Mojo 300 because of the same capacity and price tags. Oh boy! So many options to choose from! Are you confused? Because we certainly are.