Honda will launch the CB300R in the Indian market on February 8, 2019, and the motorcycle would lock horns with the KTM 390 Duke. The Honda CB300R, despite coming to India via the CKD route, would be priced competitively and, as told by the Indian arm of the Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer, would arrive below the INR 2.5 lakh (ex-showroom) mark. The Indo-Austrian product, on the other hand, retails for INR 2.44 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
The KTM 390 Duke has the edge over the CB300R in performance and features department. The Made-in-India Austrian is powered by a 373.2cc single cylinder engine with liquid cooling, Ride-by-wire and fuel injection delivers 43.5 bhp (44.1 hp) of maximum power at 9,000 rpm and 37 Nm of peak torque at 7,000 rpm. The Honda CB300R uses a 286cc, liquid-cooled single-cylinder with fuel injection that churns out 31 bhp (31.4 hp) of maximum power at 8,500 rpm and 27.5 Nm of peak torque at 7,500 rpm.
How much of that power goes to the rear wheel? The Dyno test of both motorcycles reveals. The Honda sends 27.50 hp at 8,290 rpm and 18.72 ft-lb (25.38 Nm) at 6,550 rpm to the rear wheel. The KTM pushes 41.21 hp at 8,640 rpm and 26.90 ft-lb (36.47 Nm) at 6,860 rpm to the wheel. The competition, however, may not be as intense. The Honda CB300R, with its Neo Sports Café theme, would appeal to buyers who are looking for a neo-retro motorcycle while the KTM 390 Duke would draw attention from people who desire to buy an aggressive naked roadster.
What should worry Honda to a certain extent is the Royal Enfield Interceptor INT 650 that retails for INR 2.50 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) and is the most affordable 650cc motorcycle in the country. The Royal Enfield may lack the premium hardware such as the upside-down telescopic forks, LED lighting and digital display, but it makes up for that in the performance department. The 648cc, parallel-twin cylinder, air & oil cooled engine, SOHC engine delivers 47 bhp (47.65 hp) of power at 7,250 rpm and 52 Nm of peak torque at 5,250 rpm. The dyno figures stand at 44.36 hp at 6,840 rpm and 51.91 Nm at 5,100 rpm.