Honda unveils CBR300R at the Chongqing Motorcycle Show, China

Japanese motorcycle giant Honda has unveiled the CBR300R motorcycle at the Chongqing Motorcycle Show in China. While specifications of the CBR300R are yet to be revealed, the solitary image of the motorcycle suggests that it features stylistic changes when compared to the CBR250R, in the form of twin slat headlamps and a slimmer form factor. Apart from the stylistic changes, the CBR300R will output more power and torque than the CBR250R, which outputs 26 Bhp-22.9 Nm. Production is slated to begin later this year, at Honda's Thailand factory. The motorcycle is also likely to be showcased at EICMA 2013, in Milan.

It remains to be seen if Honda will replace the CBR250R with the CBR300R or whether the motorcycle model with the higher displacement will sell alongside the lower displacement model. Kawasaki recently entered the 300cc segment with the Ninja 300R, and the motorcycle brand discontinued the Ninja 250R in the Indian market. Globally though, Kawasaki continues to sell the Ninja 250R and 300R models. In the Indian context, Honda might want to replace the CBR250R with the CBR300R model considering the arrival of new competition in the form of the KTM Duke 390.

The Duke 390, replete with ABS, undercuts the C-ABS equipped Honda CBR250R in India. A similar story is likely to pan out in 2014, when KTM launches the full-faired version of the KTM Duke-based RC390. Apart from delivering much lower performance, the position of the higher priced Honda CBR250R (relative to the Duke 390) might come under additional pressure with the launch of the KTM RC390. In that light, launching the Honda CBR300R in India, at a price similar to that of the CBR250R, would allow the Japanese giant to mount a fight back. 

Rumours swirling around the Honda CBR300R suggest that the motorcycle will not just be more powerful than the CBR250R but will also feature a lower kerb weight. The 6 speed manual gearbox and C-ABS system are likely to be retained on the CBR300R. It remains unknown as to whether the CBR300R features a downsized version of the CBR400R's engine or whether it uses a bored-out version of the Honda CBR250R's motor. Whatever be the case, the motorcycle represents a step up from the CBR250R, and one that Honda desperately needs in the face of the ever-increasing competition. 


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