2015 Honda CBR300R | OFF THE RECORD

If it’s called a 300, why is the engine only 286cc?

If it’s called a 300, why is the engine only 286cc? Because that’s as big as Honda could go without redesigning a lot of parts. By increasing the engine’s stroke only, Honda could get away with revisions only to the crank, connecting rod, and piston; the rest of the engine is the same as before, including the cylinder head. Increasing stroke instead of bore is also the most effective way to increase an engine’s torque.

OFF THE RECORD: Some of you might recall that I had a Honda CBR250R long-term testbike that I transformed into a 250-class club racer ( see DOIN' TIME ). I did a fair amount of work to that bike to increase power, including an exhaust, air filter, and fuel controller. I even had the head decked to increase compression. On $14-a-gallon race gas, it makes 27 hp.

The new CBR300R makes that much power stock, which just goes to show there’s no replacement for displacement. The added oomph and updated looks make this new CBR? a very appealing little bike. It’s more fun than ever to ride, but if a 286cc CBR is this good, I’m wondering how much better it would be if Honda had punched it out to a full 300cc.

Quicker and cooler and still a great deal. 9 of 10 stars

Indeed, the Honda’s appearance compelled every sportbike rider we passed while riding around Torrance and Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, during the bike’s press intro to give us “the wave.”

Product Planner Brandon Wilson about talks about Honda's new entry-level sportbike.

Quicker and cooler and still a great deal. 9 of 10 stars
If it’s called a 300, why is the engine only 286cc? Because that’s as big as Honda could go without redesigning a lot of parts. By increasing the engine’s stroke only, Honda could get away with revisions only to the crank, connecting rod, and piston; the rest of the engine is the same as before, including the cylinder head. Increasing stroke instead of bore is also the most effective way to increase an engine’s torque.