You never would have guessed that five years ago there would be so much competition at the smaller capacity end of the motorcycle spectrum, but the latest news we’ve discovered shows that if anything, things are heating up even more. There are strong indications that Honda is looking at replacing the current single cylinder engine in the CBR300R and replacing it with an all new parallel-twin power plant.
Honda has continually been playing catch-up with Kawasaki when it comes to the performance of their entry level bike and has also been leapfrogged by both Yamaha and KTM with their R3 and RC390 respectively.
The new engine is being developed first and foremost for markets like Indonesia where there’s heavy taxes to be paid on motorcycles with capacities of greater than 250cc. But like before, don’t expect such a bike to be kept away from the west for too long. It’s very likely that Honda will release a 300cc powered CBR as soon as possible which would take the Ninja 300 head on.
This information appears to be very credible as even last year it was known that Honda was looking at ways to catch up to its competitors in the entry level market in South East Asia. Previous reports were that Honda was looking at modifying the existing v-twin from the VTR250, but the performance characteristics of that engine probably weren’t up to scratch.
It’s understood that Honda is quite far along in the development of this new engine, so much so that an announcement could come from Honda later this year. Production will likely occur either in Indonesia or Thailand.