UPDATE: Here’s my review!
Last October at the Tokyo Motor Show, Honda debuted a concept they called the “Neo Sports Cafe“. It was a gorgeous naked sportbike that hinted at a modern reincarnation of the cult-classic The Big One. The concept received near unanimous praise as a styling exercise, but most press outlets figured the bike would not make it to production.
People had plenty of reason to doubt – over the last few years Honda has shown off plenty of cool concepts that never made it to dealerships, like the CB4 standard and CBSix50 scrambler from 2015, or the EVO 6 from 2007. Thankfully, this time around Honda came through, and the Neo Sports Cafe concept has evolved into a new CB_R family with displacements of 1000, 300, and 125. The US will only get the first two, and this week I’ll be trying out the middle option. What do you want to know about it? Leave a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer!
If I’m allowed to oversimplify, this is a CBR300R (Honda’s entry-level sportbike that’s fallen behind Yamaha and Kawasaki’s newer efforts over the last few years) that’s been given “Neo Sports Cafe” styling. That means we’ll get the same 286cc, 31 hp/20 lb-ft motor and six-speed transmission, though it’s all housed in a new frame.
Another new feature is all-LED lighting, but what’s more interesting to me is what I don’t see on the specifications list. When this bike was initially announced for Europe, something that stood out was the inclusion of an IMU (inertial measurement unit) that would optimize the ABS in terms of splitting up braking force between the front and rear. However, I can’t find mention of that anywhere on Honda’s website. Hopefully it’s just an oversight but I’m not holding my breath.
Nevertheless, I think this and the Husky 401 Svartpilen/Vitpilen twins are now the best looking small displacement bikes in the US. The new CB300R is available in Chromosphere Red or Matte Gray Metallic for $4,649 (add $300 for ABS) with a $330 destination charge.Check out the 2019 Honda CB300R!
Photos courtesy of Honda