On start-up, the mechanical whirring of the engine communicated the fact I was astride a single cylinder, but there was not much sound associated with it. Sitting behind a gaggle of other 300cc's on start-up, all exuberantly thumping away, revealed a much more aggressive exhaust note than is heard from the cockpit.
A light clutch and typically smooth Honda six-speed gearbox got the CBR300R rolling and accelerating smartly out onto the track. I would have liked to have had a gear indicator, though. On the plus side, I don't remember a single missed shift or false neutral with the Honda CBR300R for riding it two days.
There's a sharpness to the Honda CBR300R that became immediately apparent. Changes in direction happened instantly, and it would happily strike just about any line I chose through a corner.
A combination of light weight and stability is tough to achieve, but the Honda CBR300R's 161.9 kilograms feels securely planted in a turn, and does a reasonable job of anchoring it at speed. If you're considering this motorcycle and need to travel on the open road regularly, it should be noted the Honda CBR300R will happily sit at 100km/j or more. Vibes are present at those speeds, but they're not unbearable by any means.
The 37cc bump in displacement over the old Honda CBR250R comes from an increase in stroke, with no change to the bore, resulting in a 17 percent increase in peak power for 2015. By increasing only the stroke, emphasis was placed on producing more torque in the bottom and middle of the rpm range. This translates into better acceleration when compared with the old CBR250R model, making pulling out to pass less an exercise in strategic planning and more a natural reaction.
And pull out to pass it did on a long straight road the Honda CBR300R with its single-cylinder pegged at redline and the speedometer clawing its way to 160km/h.
The stopping power of the CBR300R is also very good. A handful of front brake revealed a somewhat spongy lever, albeit with acceptable braking power from the two-piston single front caliper and 296mm rotor, aided by the single's satisfying engine braking from a couple of quick down-shifts. I should note that the Honda CBR300R is in Thailand sold with ABS brakes as standard.