Honda CB300F: good news for new riders, frugal riders, lovers of nimble bikes

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Have a friend who wants to get into motorcycling, wants a small-displacement bike to learn on, but can't get into the Biker Boyz lifestyle? Honda has you covered.

Honda has just released official information on the 2015 Honda CB300F, an upright sibling to the Honda CBR300R. Just as the CBR500R and CB500F are essentially the same bike with different bars and plastics, so it goes for these entry-level cousins. The CB300F will be powered by the same 286cc single as the 300R, which produces 30 horsepower and 20 foot-pounds of torque. Same PGM-FI fuel injection, same six-speed gearbox, same frame, brakes, and tires.

The CB300F loses nine pounds of weight (curb), thanks to the lack of plastics, and will retail for $400 less, with an MSRP of $3,999.

I’m very conflicted in my response to the Honda CB300F. On the one hand, it’s actually a really nice looking motorcycle. I love that Honda uses EFI on their product line, all the way down to the Grom, as it gives even these entry-level bikes a "press start and go" feeling.

If the rest of Honda’s line didn’t exist, I would add the bike’s name and a link to its page on Honda’s website to my shortcuts list on my iPhone so that, when that weekly "what bike should I buy" text comes in, I would be ready to send the link. However, the rest of Honda’s line does exist, and with six street bikes of 500cc and less, the lineup is starting to look crowded. Is Honda competing with itself instead of the other brands? I know everyone likes to have more choices, but we also need healthy manufacturers in the industry, and I wonder if the CB500F isn't enough to fill the need for an entry-level option that isn’t styled like a sportbike. What do you think?

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