– 2021 Honda CB300R Review / Buyer’s Guide: Changes Explained, Price, Horsepower, Specs, MPG + More! –
Say hello to the 2021 Honda CB300R! Does it look familiar? That’s because the 2021 CB300R is identical to that of the 2020 CB300R, even down to the color options or lack there of with Matte Pearl Blue making a return as your sole color for the 2021 model year here in the USA.
Promising performance and lifestyle in equal parts, the CB300R naked bike returns for 2021 featuring Honda’s Neo-Sports Café design in its most lightweight representation. Boasting good power and minimal unsprung weight, it delivers responsive, precise handling and excellent braking performance, thanks in part to standard two-channel ABS with an IMU. The minimalist style centralizes weight for optimum chassis feel, performance and balance, while attitude is expressed through exposed, blacked-out hardware and dramatic cutaway tail. The ultimate lightweight sport-naked machine, the CB300R boasts many of the premium features found on its larger-capacity siblings.
If you’re anything like me, I love to read the nitty-gritty details that go into a bike as I find it rather fascinating at what all it does take to bring a bike to market. As well as all of the technology that’s used and knowing what or why this was designed that way versus another. I think we forget a lot of the time at just how much work goes into bringing us these toys that we all love to ride so I’m going to be adding some more info than just the usual specs that you can find anywhere and dive more in-depth to the actual “development” info and details on all of my 2021 Motorcycle Reviews or 2021 Motorcycle Reviews , 2019 Motorcycle Reviews and 2018 Motorcycle Reviews etc so if you’re the kind of person that wants to know any and every little thing about a certain model, you’ll have access to it.
Recent CB300R Changes? What is the difference between the 2019, 2020 and 2021 CB300R models? Did Honda change anything on them throughout their lifespan to date? Yes. Mechanically the three model years are the same but Honda did make some tweaks in the aesthetic department with finishing the wheels in a new bronze color paint (pictured below) and a new color option on the paint for 2020-2021 too with a Matte Pearl Blue. The biggest change to date is that starting in 2020, Honda discontinued the CB300R without ABS. If you want to buy a new CB300R, you HAVE to buy the CB300R with ABS. There is NO 2021 CB300R without ABS. Maybe I should mention that one more time to make it clear haha? Unsure what ABS means with the CB300R? ABS = Anti-Lock Braking System commonly referred to as “anti-lock brakes”.
Key 2021 CB300R ABS Info (for those in a hurry):
- 2021 CB300R Model Options / Variations:
- Option 1: ABS brakes (you only have this single option for 2021)
- 2021 CB300R Price / MSRP: $4,949
- 2021 CB300R Release Date: June 2021
- 2021 CB300R Colors: Matte Pearl Blue
- 2021 CB300R Horsepower: 30.7 HP @ 8,500 RPM
- 2021 CB300R Torque: 20.2 ft/lb TQ @ 7,500 RPM
- 2021 CB300R MPG: 71 Miles Per Gallon
- 2021 CB300R VS 2020 CB300R Price Increase: $0
- 2021 CB300R Changes: None.
- 2021 CB300R ABS Review Contents:
- 1. | Introduction
- 2. | Model Overview
- 3. | Key Features / Development
- 3.1 | Styling
- 3.2 | Chassis / Suspension
- 3.3 | Brakes
- 3.4 | Engine
- 3.5 | Accessories
- 4. | Feature Overview (skip here for highlights)
- 5. | Photo Gallery / Pictures
- 6. | Technical Specifications
1. | Introduction
Honda brings the CB300R back for 2021, for its 3rd year here in the USA and fourth year for other corners of the globe. Part of a new ‘sport naked’ family – which includes the CB1000R and CB125R – it distills all of the excitement of two wheels into a distinctively-styled, lightweight form.
Representing a major stepping-stone for any young or new rider, the CB300R offers impressive and engaging sensations from both engine and chassis without the weight, cost and license implications of a larger capacity motorcycle. It’s the ideal machine for newer riders to develop their riding skills and enjoyment, and is also a great introduction to Honda, with the brand’s engineering prowess, design philosophy and high build quality firmly on display.
Fun to ride, a joy to own and representing a bold new direction for smaller displacement machines, the CB300R has many of the premium features found on its larger capacity siblings. It also injects a fresh new style on the streets, with its ‘Neo Sports Café’ minimalist, bare-boned attitude shared with both its 1000 and 125cc stablemates.
2. | Model Overview
Subtracting weight – the CB300R ABS tips the scales at just 317 pounds wet (as a comparison, the CB300F is 354 lbs and CBR300R at 364 lbs) – gains Honda’s new lightweight star a performance advantage. And mix in a free-revving 286cc liquid-cooled single cylinder engine, plus a unique new style and presence, and the CB300R’s intention to excite and inspire young riders is clear to see.
A brand new frame mixes pressed and tubular steel for a tuned rigidity balance that gives great feedback. The CB300R also features 41mm USD forks with radial-mount 4-piston caliper, hubless floating front disc, IMU-based ABS as standard equipment and Dunlop radial tires.
Valuable features more usually found on much larger machines such as the tapered rubber-mounted aluminum handlebar, LCD instrument display and full LED lighting, exude quality and add to the pride of ownership.
3. | Key Features / Development
- Industrial minimal styling takes cues from the 2018 CB1000R
- Lightweight frame mixes tubular and pressed steel
- 41mm USD front forks and irregular-cross section steel swingarm
- Radial-mount 4-piston caliper and hubless 296mm floating front disc
- Full LED lighting and LCD instrumentation
- IMU-based ABS
3.1 | CB300R Styling
Styling is a deliberate reduction, putting the machine’s blacked-out hardware on display. It’s also brutally neat and brings a new hard-edged attitude to the naked bike scene. The cutaway tail unit is barely there, and supports separate rider and pillion seats plus the nylon rear mudguard mount. Both rider and pillion footpeg hangers are aluminum.
A thin (23.5mm) lightweight (8.1 ounce) full function LCD instrument display provides speed, engine rpm, fuel level and gear position simply, with warning lights arrayed across the top. Full LED lighting – including indicators – adds a premium feel and contributes to mass centralization. The headlight uses a dual bar light signature, upper for low beam and lower for high beam and the taillight is the thinnest ever mounted on a Honda motorcycle.
The 2.6 gallon fuel tank is hidden underneath an angular cover and shrouds and houses an aircraft-style filler cap. With fuel economy of 71 MPG, the CB300R can cover over 186 miles with a full tank of gas.
When it comes to color options on the 2021 CB300R, you have:
- Matte Pearl Blue (pictured below)
3.2 | CB300R Chassis / Suspension
The CB300R’s frame – which helps underpin its minimalist style, drawn on the same Neo Sports Café lines as the new CB1000R – is constructed with tubular and pressed steel; the swingarm is manufactured from steel plate, irregularly shaped in cross-section. Both are designed to achieve high longitudinal rigidity and control torsion from wheel deflection without excess rigidity or weight.
The chassis’ core strength is anchored by the pressed steel swingarm pivot plates and swingarm, allowing the tubular steel lattice frame to deliver agile handling with stability and feedback. The 41mm USD forks also complement the CB300R’s handling, with compliant damping and supple spring rate.
The single rear shock offers 5-step spring preload adjustment. A 49.6% front/50.4% rear weight bias provides a positive feel for front-end grip and easy steering which is also helped by the low, 313 lb curb weight and compact 53.2 inch wheelbase.
The aluminum fat bar-style handlebars turn through a 40° radius and the 2.3m turning radius guarantees easy passage in jammed city traffic. Seat height is 31.4 inches.
Adopting a Pro-link suspension allows a light and more compact rear suspension to be realized. This suspension demonstrates progressive characteristics (increases/decreases occur gradually) and high road tractability through ratio optimization.
This Pro-Link suspension makes the ride more stable by moderating damping force characteristics for a softer ride during short travel and by boosting the damping force characteristics for sure damping with a long stroke length during extended travel. In this way, the suspension features damping force characteristics that change progressively, and having a compact suspension layout near the center of gravity contributes greatly to improved driving stability. The Pro-Link rear suspension has a functional advantage in that the cushion stroke length increases at a greater rate in proportion to the stroke length of the rear axle portion. That is, this mechanism has progressive characteristics (increases/decreases occur gradually); the cushion arm and connecting rod function so that the cushion stroke is shorter in the range where the rear axle does not move much and gets longer as the rear axle movement reaches a higher range.
In addition, the five-position preload adjuster can be adjusted to respond to the rider’s preferences, riding in tandem, and other demands. Proper toughness along with high rigidity has been achieved through a 574mm rear swing arm and 60 × 30mm pipes with square sections. Because the plastic inner fender also serves as the chain case, high design quality and weight reduction were achieved while reducing splashes of mud and chipping on the vehicle body, rear cushion and ABS modulator.
3.3 | CB300R Brakes
The front 296mm hubless floating disc is worked by a radial-mount Nissin 4-piston caliper; the rear 220mm disc a single piston caliper. Both are modulated by 2-channel ABS. The high specification system works through an IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) to give precise front to rear distribution of ABS operation depending on the vehicle behavior The 150/60R-17 Dunlop radial rear tire is matched to a 110/70R-17 radial front.
The brake design takes into account all types of roads and riding environments in the world. A more powerful braking force is secured by installing a front brake consisting of a two-pot floating caliper attached to a floating disc with large 296mm diameter and a rear brake consisting of a large diameter, one-pot caliper attached to a 220mm diameter disc. A newly-developed resin-molded brake pad with the same effectiveness as a sintered pad has been introduced to realize a brake system that makes the rider feel secure whenever they use it during an urban ride, long-distance touring, or a sports ride. In addition, for the first time in the world as a 250cc-300cc motorcycle, specifications have been set to incorporate Combined ABS, which combines a front/rear wheel interlocking brake system with an anti-lock brake system (ABS). This Combined ABS is a Honda-original brake system in which the front/rear wheel interlocking brake generates a braking force ideally distributed between front and rear wheels, and high deceleration is obtained when the foot brake is applied, but this system assumes a sports ride when the hand brake is applied (on the front wheel), thus allowing the front brake to function independently. Furthermore, the anti-lock brake system limits unexpected vehicle body movements due to wheel lock and releases riders from excessive tension even during sudden braking or under slippery road surface conditions such as rain. Thus, surer braking force can be secured with normal operation.
ABS Brakes (ABS = Anti-Lock Brakes) | (standard)
The combined ABS model is equipped with a three-pot caliper in front, front/rear wheel speed sensors that detect the condition of the vehicle, and an ABS modulator with a built-in ECU. The ECU processes information from wheel speed sensors and controls the feed of hydraulic pressure to the caliper. Advanced braking performance was achieved in step with maneuverability by placing heavy items such as ABS modulator near the center of gravity of vehicle body. The combined brake system is designed to assist braking operation. The basics of braking concurrently operating the hand brake (front wheel) and the foot brake (rear wheel) according to the circumstances should not change. ABS is not designed to shorten braking distance, but assist braking operation. Therefore, just like with vehicles without ABS, it is necessary to follow save riding practices such as decelerating sufficiently before cornering. The system does not control reckless driving.
3.4 | CB300R Engine
- Responsive single-cylinder DOHC 4-valve engine
- 30.7 HP peak power | 20.2 lb/ft peak torque
- Underslung side-exit exhaust
- 6-speed gearbox
The 2019 CB300R’s compact 286cc DOHC 4-valve liquid-cooled single cylinder engine – shared with the CBR300R & CB300F – is a diminutive jewel that has won many fans for its free-revving and responsive nature. And while that free-spinning character can get the adrenaline pumping as revs rise, it’s also an engine that works well in ‘real-world’ road riding conditions, both around town and out on the highway.
Peak power of 30.7 HP arrives @ 8,500 RPM, with peak torque of 20.2 lb/ft delivered @ 7,500 RPM. The 6-speed gearbox offers an even spread of gears for strong acceleration – the CB300R will cover 0-656 ft in just 9.2 seconds
Bore and stroke is set at 76 x 63mm, with compression ratio of 10.7:1. PGM-FI fuel injection – with 38mm throttle bore and straight-shot intake path – delivers crisp throttle response across the rev range. The exhaust is underslung and exits on the right side through a dual-chamber muffler.
Countering extra vibration from the longer stroke, the balancer shaft is heavier and the engine’s frame mounts are stronger than previous models that used this engine.
To reduce maintenance costs – an important factor for younger riders – the engine is also designed with the minimum number of moving parts. Details like the low-friction piston rings, high-density core radiator and iridium spark plug help increase fuel efficiency.
The CB300R’s single-cylinder engine offers many benefits. 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.
The mechanical simplicity of the engine reduces servicing costs (oil changes every 8,000 miles is hard to beat!) – another essential element in creating a problem-free ownership experience. Its 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.
CB300R Engine Development
Below, we’ll dive deeper into the minds of the genius’ that designed / engineered this gem of an engine that’s being used in the 2019 CB300R. If you’re not into the geeky specs and details that go into an engine, you can probably skim over the last few paragraphs. Is it the highest output engine in its class? Nope. If you’ve ever ridden the CBR300R or CBR250R and CRF250L that both use the same powerplant, you have to admit that this engine is quite the little package and hard to believe it’s a single-cylinder with just how smooth it is.
The engine used in the CB300R was developed by aiming at a global single-cylinder engine that transcends regions, while being sporty and eco-friendly at the same time, with a look ahead at the next generation.
To fulfill basic performance requirements as a sport bike while setting higher targets for environmental performance, a DOHC was chosen as the valve system. DOHC improves combustion efficiency by reducing the weight of the reciprocating portion of the valves. This selection also allows us to freely choose the included valve angle, the port shape, and the shape of the combustion chamber. The choice of DOHC contributes to improved product appeal as a sports bike as well as to performance.
For the valve system, a roller rocker arm was adopted by a DOHC engine motorcycle for the first time in the world. A low-friction valve train with a smaller cylinder head was achieved through an ultra-compact layout for the roller rocker arm. The choice of a shim design for valve tappet adjustment reduced the rocker arm weight, while friction was reduced by setting the valve spring load to a low level. For better maintainability, the shim can be replaced without removing the camshaft.
To reduce blow-by gas and oil consumption, a spiny sleeve was adopted for the cylinder sleeve. Small spines have been added to the outer surface to improve cooling performance and help reduce distortion of the inner cylinder’s shape. In addition, centrifugal casting allowed a thin, uniform wall thickness, which aids weight reduction. For emission measures, an O² sensor is combined with the built-in air induction (AI) system and a catalyzer is fitted inside the exhaust pipe to comply with Euro emission regulation. The power unit complies with other environmental regulations such as Thailand’s sixth emission standards, for which the evaporator system (evaporative emission control system) was put in place for the Thai model.
In the area of engine performance, a short-stroke engine was chosen to improve responsiveness in making the bike’s sporty characteristics easy to handle. The resulting bore stroke is on a par with that of CBR1000RR, Honda’s high performance, super sport bike. In designing the crankshaft, no efforts were spared to reduce weight in order to lower the inertial mass while achieving additional weight reduction in the piston and connecting rod. Sufficient cooling performance was ensured by conducting a high-efficiency cooling water flow analysis based on a CAE simulation to give higher output. To ensure that output characteristics are stress-free and powerful from low to high rpm ranges, charging efficiency was improved. Additional measures for higher efficiency include straightening from the air cleaner to the exhaust pipe. Valve stems have been made thinner, although valve diameters are large for both intake and exhaust. This valve design is coupled with a wide opening angle and a high-lift cam to improve intake/exhaust efficiency. To achieve output characteristics that are easy to handle at low speed and smooth rev-up at high rpm, the intake/exhaust systems were thoroughly analyzed to adopt the ideal port/pipe length and bore size.
Honda’s original new-generation crankshaft mechanism was used to realize an engine full of high-quality feel while maintaining high output.
First, a metal bearing (half-split, press-fit) was chosen for the crank journal for the first time on a Honda single-cylinder motorcycle. A cast-iron bush was selected for the crank bearing section in order to improve the rigidity of the crankcase housing and control changes crank journal’s oil clearance arising from thermal expansion. In this way, the design takes productivity into account with an eye toward a global roll-out, while improving quietness at the same time.
Second, while using a built-up type crankshaft that allows the big end of the connecting rod to be used as a low-friction roller bearing, the optimal crank web shape was realized as a result of a computer analysis of strength and rigidity. This ensures high rigidity on a par with a solid type crankshaft.
Crankshaft rigidity is enhanced further and quietness is improved by placing the balancer’s driving gear on the right cover inside the clutch housing -a design that narrows the distance between the left/right crank bearings and places a ball bearing at the tip of the crankshaft right side. For vibration, a primary balancer was chosen to produce a high-quality single-cylinder engine.
3.5 | CB300R Accessories
A selection of genuine Honda Accessories is ready to customize the 2021 CB300R, including:
- Drive Chain Case (Carbon Style)
- Chrome Bar Ends
- Front Fender (Carbon Style)
- Seat Bag
- Seat Bag Strap
- Carbon Fiber Tank Pad
- Carbon Fiber Fuel Lid Cover
- Low / Narrow Seat
5. | 2021 CB300R Feature Overview
- CB300R Performance
- Compact Engine
- The CB300R’s compact 286cc DOHC four-valve, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine is a jewel with a free-revving, responsive nature. The engine also works extraordinarily well in real-world road-riding conditions, providing plenty of power both around town and out on the highway.
- High-Revving Performance
- Bore and stroke are set at 76 x 63mm, with a compression ratio of 10.7:1. PGM-FI fuel injection—with 38mm throttle bore and a refined, straight-shot intake path—delivers crisp throttle response across the rev range.
- Underslung Exhaust
- The CB300R underslung exhaust features a dual-chamber design with the outlet on the right side. The high-flow design contributes to an ultra-linear throttle response.
- Fine-Tuned Intake and Exhaust
- The CB300R’s engine uses an intake and exhaust designed to reduce air resistance, contributing to more linear throttle response.
- Compact Engine
- CB300R Handling
- Light, Strong Steel Chassis
- The concept behind a Neo-Sports Café machine strives for a perfect combination of handling, power, and athletic comfort. Great handling starts with a superior chassis, which is why the CB300R uses special frame construction designed to be both light and strong.
- Tuned Steel Swingarm
- In addition to the CB300R’s chassis, the steel swingarm is designed to provide high longitudinal rigidity and control torsion without being harsh or heavy. This means you get confidence-inspiring feel and feedback, especially while cornering.
- Inverted Front Fork
- The CB300R’s 41mm inverted fork offers a smooth ride with compliant damping. The supple spring rate is just right for a bike this size.
- Perfect Balance
- The CB300R features a balanced 49.6/50.4 front/rear weight bias. That means you’re set up for unmatched sport riding, combining rear-wheel traction, front-end grip, and balanced braking forces.
- Lightweight Construction
- Since it’s over 30 pounds lighter than our own CB300F, the 2021 CB300R’s user-friendly 317-pound curb weight means this bike handles well, and is easier to balance at stoplights or in parking lots.
- Lightweight Aluminum Wheels
- Unsprung weight—the tires, wheels, and brakes—are super-important in a sportbike. The CB300R’s lightweight aluminum wheels are a critical part of the bike’s responsive handling. Plus, they look great too.
- Light, Strong Steel Chassis
- CB300R Style
- Neo-Sports Café Style
- Taking its styling cues from our CB1000R, the CB300R offers a fresh, contemporary take on the modern streetbike. Plus, the light weight and upright seating make it a blast to ride.
- Neo-Sports Café Style
- CB300R Engineering
- Standard ABS
- Honda’s Anti-Lock Braking System (standard on the 2021 CB300R) can be a big help in making controlled stops in less-than-ideal conditions, like on wet pavement or other compromised surfaces. It’s a great 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.
- Blacked-Out Hardware
- Check out the blacked-out hardware; subtle touches like these complement the CB300R’s traditional-meets-modern Neo-Sports Café styling.
- Efficient Design
- The CB300R’s engine is designed with a minimum number of moving parts. Details like low-friction piston rings, high-density core radiator and iridium spark plug help increase fuel efficiency. Thanks in part to the weight-saving measures and the intake layout, initial acceleration has been improved by 4%.
- Powerful Brakes
- The CB300R’s radial-mount four-piston Nissin front brake caliper clamps down onto a 296mm floating disc to provide optimum stopping power.
- LCD Instruments
- The CB300R’s lightweight, full-function LCD display adds a premium feel. It’s 60-percent thinner than previous designs, and gives you readouts for engine rpm, speed, and fuel level.
- LED Lighting Package
- Another perfect example of classic styling with a modern touch, the CB300R features an all-LED lighting package, yet still sports a timeless round headlight lens. The LED taillight is the thinnest ever mounted on a Honda motorcycle!
- Standard ABS
- CB300R Comfort
- Comfortable Riding Position
- The CB300R’s 31.5-inch seat height puts you in an engaged, athletic riding position. You can sit up and see what’s going on around you, and you’re ready to instantly respond to the road—just like your bike.
- Passenger Ready
- A separate passenger seat, integrated grab rail and passenger footpegs mean you can take a friend along when you go riding—another example of the CB300R’s versatility.
- Counterbalance Shaft
- Because it features a counterbalancer, the CB300R 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.
- Tapered Rubber-Mounted Aluminum Handlebar
- The CB300R uses a premium tapered handlebar. The center section where it clamps to the triplecrown measures 28.6 mm, while it tapers to 22.2 mm at the ends under the grips. The larger diameter of the clamped area gives you a direct connection to the bike and excellent steering feedback.
- Comfortable Riding Position
5. | 2021 CB300R Photo Gallery / Pictures
More pictures to come… Honda has been slow to release detailed pictures showing off the new Matte Pearl Blue color scheme.
6. | Technical Specifications
|Type||286cc liquid-cooled 20º single-cylinder four-stroke|
|Valve Train||DOHC; four valves per cyclinder|
|Bore x Stroke||76.0mm x 63.0mm|
|Induction||Fuel injection w/ 38mm throttle body|
|Transmission||Manual w/ six speeds|
|Front||41mm telescopic fork; 5.1 in. travel|
|Rear||Pro-Link® single shock; 4.2 in. travel|
|Front||Hydraulic w/ single 296mm disc; ABS|
|Rear||Hydraulic w/ single 220mm disc; ABS|
|Rake (Caster Angle)||24.7º|
|Trail||93mm (3.7 in.)|
|Seat Height||31.5 in.|
|Ground Clearance||5.9 in.|
|Fuel Capacity||2.7 gal.|
|Color||Matte Pearl Blue|
|Curb Weight*||317 lbs.|
* Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride Meets current EPA standards. Models sold in California meet current CARB standards and may differ slightly due to emissions equipment.