The 300-400cc supersport segment is something of a puzzle in the Indian market. If one was to argue that visuals, and not performance, is the most important thing for this type of bike, it would be a very long day. And with respect to that, we take a deeper look into what exactly Keeway intends to establish with the K300 R. The Keeway K300 R is quite the looker, with a sharp, focused-looking front-end, braced on either side by prominent daytime-running lights, and all the shapely bodywork, muscular side panels, and overall butch styling, make it look quick even when parked. Keeway is already showing off its design proficiency in places like the tail unit, with its LED tail-light and through-body aero tunnels, not to mention that it is designed by the same firm that designs KTM motorcycles.
This being a Chinese motorcycle, we expected some rough edges, but there wasn’t really anything that really stood out negatively. Other than the switchgear feeling basic and the weirdly located horn button, the build quality feels pretty solid. Further, it gets upside-down forks with radial brake callipers, and a preload-adjustable monoshock unit at the rear.
Like other small supersport bikes, the K300 R has easy ergonomics, with a low seat and not a lot of forward reach to the handlebars. Taller riders may not feel very comfortable on it, and we did experience some wrist discomfort after a while in the saddle, but those are gripes to be expected of any sport bike, size notwithstanding.
The K300 R features a 292.4cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled engine that puts out 27.5 bhp of power and 2.5 kgm of peak torque, and there aren’t any noticeable vibrations so it doesn’t tingle your extremities with discomfort. The motorcycle pulls away smoothly without complaint, revs its way into a strong mid-range, and continues to haul itself swiftly.
Like many 300cc singles, it’s pleasantly torquey, and you can shift through the 6-speed manual gearbox with ease, not to mention there’s an extremely light slip-and-assist clutch. This makes riding the K300 R quite effortless in crowded stop-and-go traffic. One thing about the motorcycle that really worried me were the brakes. The dual-channel ABS tends to be too intrusive at times, and, in addition to that, the slightly skinny tyres don’t have the necessary contact patch for effective braking. The K300 R feels relatively planted in corners, and manages to pick up speed quite comfortably, while also managing to stay pretty stable at high speeds. It feels nice and compact as one weaves through traffic and narrow bylanes, and the suspension is quite plush, eliminating all minor undulations in the road. The measly 135 mm ground clearance, though, meant that slightly over-enthusiastic passes over speed bumps would result in a scraped underbelly.
On the features end, the motorcycle gets a basic LCD instrument console, two ride modes (sport and economy), all-LED headlamps, indicators and taillamp assembly, dual-channel ABS, but not a lot more. This is slightly disappointing considering that other bikes in this range get TFT screens and Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, too.
As a lightweight single-cylinder sports bike, the K300 R is pleasingly agile and easy to ride quickly. It has a very decent engine, attractive styling, and a good-quality fit and finish. The only real downside is that the brakes lack bite, and one can only go fast as long as one is able to come to a halt safely. It is also priced rather steeply, considering that its main rival, the TVS Apache RR 310, costs considerably less and offers more in terms of features and performance. Still, it is a fun and attractive-looking bike and will appeal to younger buyers with money to spend, those looking for a nice compact 300cc sport bike.
MOTODATAKeeway K300 R
27 bhp@8750 rpm
2.5 kgm@7000 rpm
Type: Tubular trellis frame
F/R: 292-mm disc / 220-mm disc
F/R: 110/70 R17 / 140/60 R17
Rs 2.99-3.20 Lakh (ex-showroom)