Honda just took the wraps off a new-for-’22 CB300R naked bike. It’s not a complete overhaul, but a few key changes should result in a better budget motorcycle, whenever it actually shows up in Canada.
The announcement today actually came out of Honda’s Euro office, where the Blade Runner-esque CB300R is a pretty important part of the lineup. With that in mind, note that one of the biggest chances Honda mentions is a Euro5-legal motor; without that update, Honda couldn’t continue selling this bike, so it’s important. As part of the Euro5 upgrade, Honda put a new exhaust on the CB300R, but it’s kind of an afternote in the press release, with no mention of a “thrilling, soulful exhaust note,” or any other marketing silliness.
Honda says the updated engine makes about 25 hp and 20 lb-ft of torque, so don’t expect a noticeable difference in the engine’s output—the Euro5 revisions will probably only be noticeable to the regulators.
For 2022, the CB300R gets a new set of front forks (it seems the five way-adjustable shock stays more-or-less the same). Honda gives the CB300R a Showa SFF-BP fork (Separate Function Fork-Big Piston). These are the same high-performance forks that Honda puts on the 650 four-cylinder series, with the internals revised to fit the smaller, less-powerful CB300R. The idea behind separate-function forks is, one fork handles the “springy” duties and the other fork handles damping; throw in the big-piston internals, and you’re supposed to have a lighter front end that allows for better control.
The other big update for 2022 is a new slip/assist clutch. This is common in the 300-400 range now, with Kawasaki’s 400 twin a notable competitor with this tech. While it’s welcome at any price segment, beginner riders will likely be especially happy with the updated clutch.
The CB300R still runs all-LED lighting and an LCD gauge, with IMU-powered two-channel ABS. It’s cool to see an IMU at this price range, but you have to wonder why Honda hasn’t bothered to do anything other than control the ABS via the sensor, as an IMU could also handle traction control and other duties.
Honda Canada should be bringing this updated machine to our market, but you might have to wait a few months. Currently, the 2021 Honda CB300R sells for $6,099 MSRP (plus taxes and fees). Given the instability in the market, expect a higher price tag for 2022.