Honda Sahara 300: A Simpler ADV Bike

Here in North America, we tend to think of adventure bikes as big-bore machines that are favored by western riders. That’s not exactly true. The rest of the global market is into ADV machines as well, but often their bikes are smaller and more affordable. The new Honda Sahara 300 is a good example of that.

The Sahara 300 is the successor to the Honda XRE300, which is a very well-known machine. The XRE has an air-cooled single-cylinder (DOHC, four-valve top end) with electronic fuel injection. It makes about 26 hp at the crank at 7,500 rpm and around 20 lb-ft of torque at 6,500 rpm. Suspension is basic, but this bike got the job done. Here’s what Egle wrote about it when she rode one a few months back:

For me, it felt like a baby GS of sorts – an adventure bike that’s peppy on the tarmac and leans into corners well all while being happy to take on dirt, gravel, mud (okay, maybe not the sticky, soapy stuff out in Tatacoa), and rocks if need be. It’s not very powerful, it’s a bit nose-heavy, but it’s light and agile enough even when loaded, and in Colombia, that’s more than enough.

Read the rest of her write-up here.

Now, it looks like the XRE300 has been succeeded by the Sahara 300—but the new bike doesn’t appear to be that much different. Mostly it appears to be a move to glam up the XRE model with updated bodywork and a name that recalls the classic Honda Sahara small-bore ADV model. There’s mucho talk in the overseas moto-press about this bike being “all-new,” but that sounds like it might be mostly AI content generation drinking the marketeers’ Kool-Aid.

Laid-back easy times exploring the wilderness. This idea sold lots of bikes in North America in the past, and now it’s selling bikes in South America and Asia. Photo: Honda

The new bike comes with an updated dash, a USB-C charger, a preload-adjustable shock, and antilock brakes. Just guessing, the ABS was added to assist in overseas sales.

And, the new Sahara 300 gets what appears to be a pretty big marketing effort down in Brazil where it’s made. See some of the video promo-ing the new bike below:

Styling appears to be similar to the CB500X and other Honda adventure bikes. Brazil is the primary market for these machines, but Honda is selling them all over the world, with Asia also getting the model.

What about you? If this machine came to North America at a price lower than the CRF300L, would you be interested?

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