It was just a few weeks ago that we told you how Pirelli was making purpose-built tires for the 300cc racing category, and now we get word that Dunlop is doing the same.
Creating the all-new KR448 front tire, and KR451 rear tire in sizes and compounds for bikes in the 300cc to 400cc range, Dunlop its making sure that it has a firm grip on the small-displacement categories that are filling grids on race tracks around the world, but especially in the United States.
It seemed like it would be only a matter of time before we saw a tire manufacturer catering to the rise of small-displacement racing machines.
So, it doesn’t surprise us too much to see Pirelli is leading the charge, and releasing a set of superbike slicks that are designed for the new 300cc class of sport bikes.
It looks like the Yamaha YZF-R3 will get a refresh for the 2019 model year, as photos of the bike – complete with a facelift – have surfaced in Indonesia.
The new design brings the R3 closer into the rest of Yamaha’s supersport family, particularly with an intake shape that looks inspired by the Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP bike.
There is a split on rumors as to whether the rest of the machine will get an update as well, specifically the frame and engine, though we can expect some some minor refinements to the overall package, no matter what the case may be on that front.
LED headlights and lighting all around have been tipped, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see an updated dash as well.
Is Ducati thinking about making a 300cc sport bike? Is it going to do so in India? With Hero MotoCorp? That is the talk of the motorcycle industry today, though this isn’t the first time that this idea has been floated in the two-wheeled rumor mill.
The reason this rumor keeps coming around is that Ducati seems to be one of the last motorcycle brands really to adopt the small-displacement motorcycle strategy.
Motorcycle manufacturers are continuously investing in motorcycle models that would sell well with entry-level riders or in developing nations. This has lead to a boom in motorcycles that that are under 400cc – most of which are produced in Asia, though also sold in the western markets.
Despite Ducati’s continued commitment to staying out of the 300cc displacement category (it does have the 400cc Scrambler Sixty2 though), rumors continue to speculate on this future for the Italian brand, this time with Hero MotoCorp in the picture.
We have known for some time that Yamaha planned on making its leaning multi-wheel vehicle technology into a family of bike and car analogs.
The Japanese brand has invested heavily into the chassis technology to make these unique machines, and Yamaha is not content to just leave the marketplace with the Tricity scooter and NIKEN sport bike.
To that notion, Yamaha has already tipped a mid-sized leaning multi-wheeler to us, with Yamaha CEO/President Yoshihiro Hidaka showing a slide in February of this year that had a blurred out LMW sitting between the Tricity and NIKEN models.
Now, we get word from Europe that a 300cc version of the NIKEN is set to drop later this year.
It has been a motorcycle that we have long waited for, but it seems that the KTM 390 Adventure is finally set to debut. Based on the KTM 390 Duke platform, which currently shares itself with the KTM RC390, the new ADV bike targets the small-displacement adventure-touring segment.
This means that at the core of the KTM 390 Adventure model should be a 373cc single-cylinder engine, making roughly 43hp. Multiple spy photos of the bike have been spotted over the years, which show a long-travel machine that should be fairly capable off-road.
“With the 390 Adventure we would be making our long awaited entry into the niche premium dual-sport segment which is a very apt segment for Indian roads,” said Bajaj SVP and KTM India boss Amit Nandi, in a statement reported by several Indian publications.
One of the surprise pleasures at last year’s EICMA show was Honda’s family of “Neo-Sports Café” street bikes, which brought a retro-modern look to Big Red’s approach road bikes.
While the new Honda CB1000R tickled our fancy the most, we were delighted to see that the theme extended all the way to the Japanese brand’s small-displacement platform, the Honda CB300R.
An attractive and affordable entry-level bike, the Honda CB300R looks like it was designed in Europe, rather than Nippon, which is probably why the 286cc commuter is doing so well in the European market.
Seeing that success, American Honda has confirmed the CB300R as an early 2019 model for the US market – available in July 2018.
In case you haven’t noticed, the Supersport 300 class is heating up, and perhaps most interestingly with virtually zero machines with a 300cc displacement…but that is a subject for another time.
This has put pressure on KTM to remain at the pointy end of business in the small-displacement category, which has lead the Austrian company to the release of a homologation special for the 300cc class. As such, say hello to the 2018 KTM RC390 R sport bike.
A street legal motorcycle, the KTM RC390 R aims to sharpen the points where the entry-level KTM RC390 is a bit dull, namely by using better suspension and new intake trumpets that widen the powerband, but also with a new triple clamp, clip-ons, and levers.
With an MSRP of $8,499 for the RC390 R, the “ready to race” model commands a $3,000 premium over its lower-spec sibling. Of course, if you are really serious about your racing, you will want KTM’s Supersport 300 race kit as well, which will set you back another $11,000.
That’s right, for nearly $20,000, you can race in the “affordable” 300cc race class with KTM.
As expected, the TVS Apache RR 310 debuted today in India, thus ending the bike’s nearly year-long delay in coming to market.
Why do we care so much about a motorcycle that will likely never set foot on US soil? Because at the heart of the TVS Apache RR 310 is BMW Motorrad’s next small-displacement motorcycle: the BMW G310RR.
…well that, and the TVS Apache RR 310 looks pretty tasty as a track bike.
We have been patiently waiting for the TVS Apache RR 310S (formerly known as the TVS Akula 310) to debut in India, though probably not for the most obvious of reasons. Now, with only a matter of hours before it officially debuts, we have some thoughts on the newest sport bike from India.
While we are intrigued by the new motorcycles that debut in India, the TVS Apache RR 310S is a bit more special for Western riders.
Built in collaboration with BMW Motorrad, the TVS Apache RR 310S gives us our first glimpse into what the German brand’s 300cc-class sport bike will look like, which should hopefully debut late-2018.
Based around the same 313cc engine (34hp) that is found on the BMW G310R and BMW G310GS, that TVS Apache RR 310S is expected to be a BMW G310RR wrapped in different bodywork.
If you think that the 2018 Honda CB1000R is a fetching motorcycle, then we’ve got some more good news for you, because Honda Motor Europe has debuted at EICMA two more bikes with its “Neo Sports Café” aesthetic: the Honda CB125R and the Honda CB300R.
As you can discern from the names, the Honda CB125R and Honda CB300R are street bikes that shares a lineage with the Honda CB1000R, albeit in 125cc and 300cc packages, respectively.
As such, the 2018 Honda CB125R is basically a redesigned CBR125R (a model not available in the US market), while the 2018 Honda CB300R is a repurposed to create the Honda CBR300R.