2016 CBR300R Review / Specs vs R3 & Ninja 300 Comparison

– 2016 Honda CBR300R Specs / Features + Comparison with R3 & Ninja 300 –

The CBR300R makes its return for 2016 unchanged from the 2015 model year except for an addition of new color options.

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A lot of times these budget smaller cc bikes are overlooked by their larger counterparts like the CBR600RR / CBR1000RR etc saying that they are too slow or that beginner riders will grow bored of them too quickly. While that is true in some circumstances, I believe too many mark these off the list of beginner motorcycles to check out because they listen to advice from friends that couldn’t be further from the truth. Not everyone wants or “needs” a true supersport bike that will do the 1/4 mile in the sub 10 second mark. Nor do they want something so powerful and so capable with its big $$ suspension that even racers have a hard time pushing them to 100% of their capabilities. Supersport bikes like the CBR600RR / CBR300RR, GSXR600 / GSXR1000, ZX6R / ZX10R, R6 / R6 etc were designed and built to do one thing – to race! I’m not saying you can’t ride one daily or lug it around town etc but if you’re doing that then you paid that premium price tag when for nothing. Well, not nothing as the sheer power they make is intoxicating and addicting with how they want to rip you off the seat when you roll on the throttle haha. However, you can have just as much fun with the smaller machines that are lighter in weight, easier to handle and very fun to throw around on winding mountain roads. Models like this CBR300R are substantially cheaper to purchase, cheaper insurance costs plus you can practically double their fuel milage ratings with the 300 CBR posting up MPG ratings exceeding 70+! Tire prices compared to their larger cousins are another big factor as you can spend $300+ for a set of tires without blinking an eye on a 600 / 1000 cc sport bike and that’s not even counting labor to mount them.


  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. Model overview
  • 3. Key features

»»» Engine

»»» Chassis / Styling

  • 4. CBR300R vs R3 vs Ninja 300 Comparison of Specs
  • 5. Quick overview (for those that want “short story” version)
  • 6. Technical Specifications


  • 1. Introduction

A true sporting lightweight can offer much of the excitement of a bigger machine and sometimes more, as every last scrap of performance can be accessed, used and enjoyed. For the less experienced rider, it’s a great platform from which to hone riding skills, and much more affordable in every respect – initial purchase, insurance, fuel and tyres – than more higher-powered sports bikes.

The Honda CBR sport bike model lineup ranges from 125cc up to 1000cc depending on what side of the pond you live on as we don’t see the CBR125R here in the USA.

Launched in 2011, the CBR250R has provided the perfect entry point into Honda’s Super Sport CBR range. Its compact size, involving single-cylinder engine, and looks inspired by bigger CBR machines – plus typically strong Honda build quality – have earned it a key position in Honda’s Super Sport line-up. Honda’s engineers went back to the drawing board for an upgrade to the CBR250R, and the result is what you see here with the 2016 CBR300R. The development of new CBR300R took two paths: more power and torque and a much stronger CBR identity with tight ties to the larger models.

The CBR300R offers the perfect balance of beginner-friendly features and the typical Honda refinement that more experienced riders will appreciate. Light weight, superb handling, excellent power, unmatched build quality and attention to detail – combine all that with Honda’s famous reliability and the CBR300R is an instant winner. Best of all, the CBR300R is available in two versions: the CBR300R and the CBR300R ABS with our Anti-Lock Braking System – a first for the segment.

  • 2. Model Overview

The development approach for the CBR300R took two avenues: more power and torque and a much stronger CBR identity, with stronger visual echoes of its larger capacity siblings, giving a more direct taste of the CBR brand itself.

Firstly, the liquid-cooled engine is 286cc, achieved through a longer stroke than the older and now defunk CBR250R. It also received upgrades to take full advantage of the increased power, torque and vibration that the larger capacity brings. Work was centered on the engine’s throttle response and power delivery, while a new CBR500R-style exhaust is both an aesthetic and functional upgrade when compared to the previous CBR250R.

The CBR1000RR was design inspiration for the CBR300R’s new look. Dual headlights closely mimic the bigger bike and aggressive styling for the fairing, fuel tank and seat unit are unmistakably CBR. The undercowl is also color-matched, adding a premium feel.

Compared to larger capacity twin-cylinder machines, the CBR300R is a more compact, lighter and more manageable package for both new and experienced riders, with significantly lower purchase and running costs complementing its flexible and accessible performance.

  • 3. Key Features

»»»  3.1 Engine

The CBR300R’s DOHC 4-valve engine retains its 76mm bore, but stroke is 8mm longer to 63mm to give the larger 286cc capacity versus the previous displacement of 249.4cc. Compression ratio remains 10.7:1 and peak power of 30.5 HP / 22.7kW arrives at 8,500rpm with peak torque of 19.9 lb ft / 27Nm at 7,250 rpm – a healthy increase over the CBR250R’s output (26 HP / 19.4kW @ 8,500rpm and 17.5 lb ft torque / 23.8Nm @ 7,000rpm).

Countering extra vibration from the longer stroke, the balancer shaft is heavier and the engine’s frame mounts are stronger. The PGM-FI fuel injection – with 38 mm throttle bore – has been remapped with a focus on crisp throttle response across the rev range. A CBR500R-inspired muffler design with larger internal volume adds big-bike style and a pleasing exhaust note.

The CBR300R’s single-cylinder engine offers many benefits for any rider. Because the number of moving parts is kept to an absolute minimum, the engine is more fuel efficient, and small details like the low-friction piston rings and iridium spark plug help reduce running costs.

Acceleration is greatly improved thanks to the larger capacity,and the six-speed gearbox’s final drive ratio has been lengthened for more efficient highway speed cruising. The 2016 CBR300RR MPG rating comes in at 71 MPG (30.2km/l), it can cover over 230 miles on one fill-up of the 3.4 gallon fuel tank.

The mechanical simplicity of the engine reduces servicing costs – another essential element in creating a problem-free ownership experience. It compact size also helps create a bike that is lighter and more manageable than a multi-cylinder, and allows it be positioned perfectly within the chassis for an ideal front/rear weight distribution.

– 2016 CBR300R Horsepower: 30.5 @ 8,500 RPM (22.7 kW)

– 2016 CBR300R Torque: 19.9 lb ft @ 7,250 RPM (27 Nm)

– 2016 CBR300R MPG: 71 miles per gallon (30.2 km / l)

»»»  3.2 Chassis & Styling

The CBR250R’s design inspiration had echoes of the Sport Touring VFR1200F. For the CBR300R, styling cues are taken directly from the Super Sport range-topping CBR1000RR with an angular silhouette and aggressive full fairing, color-matched undercowl, dual headlights and steeply raked rear seat unit.

The riding position has been subtly altered – while seat height remains 30.7 inches / 785 mm, ground reach has been improved with a narrower, re-shaped seat. For a sleeker look both mirrors sit on shorter arms.

A steel diamond twin-spar frame provides the backbone of the CBR300R’s chassis and features a rigidity balance carefully tuned for both a sporty dynamic in corners and stability at speed. Rake is set at 25°05with trail of 98mm and wheelbase of 1,380mm / 54.3 inches; curb weight is a class-leading 357 pounds.

37mm telescopic forks and Pro-Link rear monoshock provide well-damped, reactive suspension that transmits plenty of feel to the rider. Cast aluminium wheels – rim sizes front 17 x 2.75 in and rear 17 x 4 in – wear 110/70-17 and 140/70-17 tires to provide a good combination of grip and agility.

ABS is an available option on the 2016 CBR300R: lightweight 2-channel ABS is married to the front 296mm disc/two piston caliper and rear 220mm disc/single-piston caliper, for powerful, yet controllable, braking.

4. 2016 CBR300R vs The Competition…

How does the comparison stack up when comparing the 2016 CBR300R vs Yamaha R3 vs Kawasaki Ninja 300? I won’t bore you with a spec sheet comparison as you can find those anywhere online of you Google the models mentioned above. I want to dive into a couple of details that many leave out of comparisons like the “cost of ownership” etc. I will touch on the usual spec differences between the CBR300R, R3, Ninja 300 models though like horsepower, price, MPG, seat height, power-to-weight ratio numbers etc in the table below.

2016 CBR300R vs R3 vs Ninja 300 Comparison of Specs
Model Horsepower Curb Weight Seat Height Power-to-Weight Ratio MPG Oil Change Intervals Valve Inspection Intervals MSRP / Price ABS MSRP / Price
Ninja 300 35 379 lb 30.9 inches 0.092 70 7,600 miles 7,600 miles $4,999 $5,299
YZF-R3 42 368 lb 30.7 inches 0.114 56 4,000 miles 26,600 miles $4,990 *not available
CBR300R 30.5 357 lb 30.7 inches 0.085 71 8,000 miles 16,000 miles $4,399 $4,899

* MPG ratings in the chart above are pulled from each manufacturers spec sheets.

Fuelly.com MPG Ratings from riders around the world:

  • CBR300R – 74.9 MPG
  • R3 – 56.7 MPG
  • Ninja 300 – 55.4 MPG

As you can see in the chart above they are all three fairly close in all aspects. Yes, the 2016 R3 and Ninja 300 are slightly faster on paper than the CBR300R with more horsepower but keep in mind – are you buying this as a “race bike” or a daily commuter to have some fun with on pretty weekends and save some money too? If saving money is more important than the cheaper price tag of the CBR300R and it’s overall cost of maintaining might be more beneficial to you. The R3 and CBR300R are very similar with their oil change and valve inspection intervals but take a peek at how often the Ninja 300 is recommended by the owners manual to be back in the dealership. If you’re handy with tools and doing valve inspections and oil changes then you can help offset the costs but you’ll still be paying double in oil and oil filter costs.   Which 2016 300 cc sport bike / motorcycle is better? The 2016 CBR300R, R3 or Ninja 300? Only you can answer that… It’s whichever one will suit your needs the best when conparing. It’s the one that you like the “feel” of when siting on. It’s the one that stirs your soul the most when looking at it in the garage. The one you’ll be happier paying those payments on each month or stroking out that check for in one lump sum haha.   I hope the information was of some help to those researching on which bike to purchase in 2016.

Opinions? Thoughts? Disagree with anything I’ve said? Comment below, always love hearing what other enthusiasts have to say.

5. Quick Overview of Key Points

Honda’s CBR300R delivers a giant dose of performance and fun way out of proportion to its engine size. Even experienced riders can’t seem to wipe the smile off their face after a ride on this modestly-sized machine. And one ride will tell you why. It’s the sporting member of our 300 lineup, with a little more bodywork. The single-cylinder engine is light and narrow, making it easier to sit on the bike and get your feet on the ground at stops. And the single-cylinder powerband with its wide torque spread is perfect for both in-town or freeway rides. The light weight makes it responsive on twisty roads. But maybe best of all, the CBR300R offers excellent fuel efficiency, too.

    • Disc Brakes The CBR300R features a 296mm front and 220mm rear hydraulic disc for excellent stopping power and brake feel.
    • Analog/Digital Instrumentation The CBR300R’s digital gauges with analog tachometer provide vital riding information in a styled, hi-tech instrumentation package featuring digital speedometer, fuel gauge, coolant temp, tripmeter/odometer and clock.
    • Supersport Styling The CBR300R features full-cowl Supersport styling and dual headlights, increasing aero efficiency and carrying the styling cues from our CBR-RR series.
    • Fuel Injection Fuel injection means the CBR300R starts right up, even in cold weather. Compared to a carbureted bike, it also helps reduce emissions and enhance performance and fuel efficiency.
    • Single-Cylinder Engine A single is the perfect choice for a bike like the CBR300R. It’s light, simple, fuel efficient and features a broad powerband with plenty of low-revving torque—just what you want in your first motorcycle, but geared for comfortable cruising at highway speeds.
    • Counterbalance Shaft Because it features a counterbalancer, the CBR300R engine is a smooth runner. You get the narrow overall width and power advantages of a single along with the smoothness of a multi-cylinder bike.
    • Pro-Link® Rear Suspension The CBR300R uses a single-shock preload-adjustable rear suspension that not only gives you a smooth ride but helps enhance handling as well, like some of our larger sport models.
    • Anti-Lock Braking System Our ABS—available on the CBR300R—can be a big help in making controlled stops in less-than-ideal conditions, like on wet pavement or when there’s sand or other debris on the road. It’s the perfect choice whether you’re using your new bike as a commuter or just riding it for fun, since it helps you stop with added confidence.
    • Narrow Seat & Low Seat Height A low 30.7-inch seat height does more than help make sure the CBR300R fits a wide range of riders. It makes it easier to put your feet down at stoplights and in parking lots—a big confidence builder. Plus, we offer a Honda Genuine Accessory seat that lowers seat height even further.
    • Under-Seat Storage Removing the rear passenger seat provides a lockable area to throw a map, gloves or a spare set of sunglasses.
    • Passenger Ready A separate passenger seat, integrated grab rail and standard passenger footpegs mean you can take a friend along when you go riding—another example of the CBR300R’s versatility.

7. Technical Specifications 

2016 CBR300R Specifications
Service Manual: 61K3301
Owner’s Manual: 31K33A10
Engine: Specification, Units: mm (in)
Cylinder arrangement: Single cylinder inclined 20° from vertical
Bore and stroke: 76 x 63 mm (2.99 x 2.48 in)
Displacement: 286 cm³ (17.4 cu-in)
Cylinder compression at rpm: 1,294 kPa (13.2 kgf/cm2, 188 psi) @ 490 rpm
Intake: 0.16 ± 0.03 (0.006 ± 0.001)
Exhaust: 0.27 ± 0.03 (0.011 ± 0.001)
Recommended engine oil/classification/viscosity: Pro Honda GN4 4-stroke oil/API: SG or higher, JASO T 903 standard: MA/SAE 1
Oil capacity after draining/engine oil filter change: 1.5 liters (1.6 US qt, 1.3 Imp qt)
Final Drive: Specification
C/S sprocket: 14
Rear sprocket: 36
Drive chain size (x) links: 520 x 108
Cooling System: Specification
Recommended antifreeze/concentration: Pro Honda HP Coolant or ethylene glycol antifreeze
Coolant capacity,radiator and engine: 1.10 liters (1.16 US qt, 0.97 Imp qt)
Fuel System: Specification
Type/throttle bore: PGM-FI/38 mm (1.5 in)
Carburtetor/throttle body ID #: GQ9JA
Idle speed (+/- 100 rpm): 1,400 ± 100 min-1 (rpm)
Fuel pressure at idle: 294 kPa (3.0 kgf/cm2, 43 psi)
Throttle grip/lever free play: 2 – 6 mm (1/16 – 1/4 in)
Suspension: Specification
Recommended fork fluid: Pro Honda Suspension Fluid SS-8 (10W)
Fork fluid capacity/and level: 331 ± 2.5 cm3 (11.2 ± 0.08 US oz)/ 150 (5.9)
Tires: Specification
Front  Size: 110/70-17M/C 54S
Cold tire pressure: 200 kPa (2.00 kgf/cm², 29 psi)
Rear  Size: 140/70-17M/C 66S
Cold tire pressure: 200 kPa (2.00 kgf/cm², 29 psi)
Battery/Charging System: Specification
Charging system type: Triple phase output alternator
BatteryCapacity/Model: 12 V – 6 Ah/YTX7L-BS
Fully charged: 13.0 – 13.2 V
Needs charging: Below 12.3 V
Normal: 0.6 A/5 – 10 h
Quick: 3 A/1 h
Regulated voltage at rpm: Measured BV < Measured CV < 15.5 V @ 5000 rpm
Alternator charging coil resistance: 0.1 – 1.0 O
Lighting Equipment: Specification
Hi: 12 V – 55 W
Lo: 12 V – 55 W
Brake/tail light: 12 V – 21/5 W
Front turn signal/running light bulb: 12 V – 21 W x 2
Rear turn signal light bulb: 12 V – 21 W x 2
Ignition System: Specification
Ignition system type: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with el
Ignition timing (F mark): 10° BTDC at idle
Standard – NGK: SIMR8A9
Spark plug gap: 0.8 – 0.9 mm (0.031 – 0.035 in)
Ignition coil peak voltage: 100 V minimum
Ignition pulse generator peak voltage: 0.7 V minimum