Honda’s New Adventure Bike Is The Perfect Kawasaki Versys 300 Rival - SUV VEHICLE

Honda’s New Adventure Bike Is The Perfect Kawasaki Versys 300 Rival



  • The new Honda Sahara 300 fills a gap in the small-displacement adventure bike market, aimed at new off-road riders.
  • Inspired by the 90s Sahara model, the 300 offers an SOHC engine with better aesthetics and mechanics over its predecessor.
  • Priced competitively with three trim options, the Sahara 300 boasts CB500X design influence and multiple modern features.

Here in America, there is a rather big market for full-sized adventure bikes that promise to take you to the moon and back with all they offer. It is proportional to where the whole motorcycle market is shifting to. But one part of this market has been neglected, or should we say, consciously overlooked till now. The small displacement, no frills, or as they say, the entry-level ADV segment. Yes, there are notable offerings in the form of the Royal Enfield Himalayan 452, KTM 390 Adventure and the latest CFMoto’s Ibex 450. But these bikes aren’t exactly small-displacement. All these can be a tad intimidating for new riders, especially on off-road terrain.

That is exactly the kind of gap that Honda is trying plug in 2024 with its new Sahara 300. It is everything we might have been searching for, be it small and punchy or properly off-road capable. Given that Honda has launched the bike in international markets, the all-new adventure motorcycle makes a strong case for why it needs to come to the U.S. too. Particularly, to take on the much-dated yet still popular Kawasaki Versys X-300.

In order to give you the most up-to-date information possible, the data used to complete this article was sourced directly from the manufacturer’s website alongside authoritative sites.

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The New ADV Takes Its Name From The Sahara Of The 90s

The Original NX350 Sahara Was In Production From 1988-99

With the new Sahara ADV, Honda wants to encash on the nostalgia of the 90s with the moniker, evident from their advertising campaigns for the new bike. The original NX350 Sahara came with a four-stroke, single-cylinder OHC, 4-valve engine. It had a displacement of 336cc (20.5 cu-in) which produced a peak power of 31.5 horsepower at 7,500 RPM and 22.4 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 RPM. The all-new 2024 Sahara 300 does build on the original trim, being an out-and-out entry-level ADV but is greatly different in all major departments – styling, features, and most importantly features.

The Honda Sahara 300 Is The Successor Of The XRE 300

Gets An SOHC Unit Instead Of The Older DOHC

Honda Sahara 300

Before you know about the Sahara, you need to know about its predecessor: the XRE 300. Honda developed and manufactured the single-cylinder dual-sport motorbike known as the XRE 300 in Brazil. It was designed with urban riders in mind, but it is equally capable of handling mild trails rather well, which has made it the top option for people who live in the countryside. It has become so popular that the Brazilian army’s motorized infantry brigades and the Colombian Policia Nacional have both adopted it in the past.

Now, the Sahara 300 comes in the picture to fill those shoes. But don’t think of it as a complete overhaul. Rather, the Sahara is more like a better-dressed version of the XRE model with improved mechanicals and aesthetics. The new Sahara gets a 293cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine with a single overhead camshaft, as opposed to the XRE 300’s DOHC configuration. The engine generates 24.8 horsepower at 7,500 RPM and 20 pound-feet of torque at 6,500 RPM. Interestingly, it is compatible with E100 fuel, meaning not only does it run on ethanol as well, but it also generates slightly better power figures on the said fuel.

A CB500X-Inspired Design For The New Sahara 300

With Handy New Feature Upgrades

Honda Sahara 300

Its styling seems to be heavily influenced by that of Honda’s CB500X. It makes sense since these bikes’ main markets are Asia and South America – two markets where the CB500X is largely popular. More than the styling, the Sahara gets anti-lock brakes, a preload-adjustable shock, a USB-C charger, and a redesigned LCD instrument cluster. This means that every piece of information is at your fingertips thanks to the gear indicator, rev counter, fuel gauge, partial and total odometers, and a handy clock. Additionally, it has Honda’s Brake Alert, which instantly turns on hazard lights under hard braking to warn those around you.

Notable List Of Features

  • Full LED lighting
  • Brake alert
  • Digital LCD Screen
  • Type-C USB charger
  • Preload adjustable suspension
  • Dual-channel ABS

As for bodywork, it has fresh graphics and a redesigned body. With a high-mount fairing and windscreen, the Sahara 300 has an upright, tall adventure motorcycle design. This is topped by scooped seats, an elevated fuel tank, and a sleek silhouette. Concurrently, it is built on a semi-double cradle chassis, designed for open-minded travel. At 328 pounds, the Sahara is quite light for an adventure bike–almost 60 less than the Versys 300! Its 33.8-inch seat is somewhat lofty, but that’s the price you pay for long-travel suspension with 9.6 inches of front and 8.8 inches of rear travel. The 21/18 inch spoke wheels bump the saddle height too.

The Honda Sahara 300 Is Priced Rather Well

With Standard, Rally And Adventure Trims

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Three models of the Honda Sahara 300 are offered in Brazil: Standard, Rally, and Adventure. The Standard variant costs BRL 27,090 (US $5,401), while the Rally is priced at BRL 27,690 (US $5,521). The price of the highest-spec Adventure model is BRL 28,650 (US $5,712).

But here’s the real question – will we ever see it in the States? Considering the XRE 300 was never launched in America, it is hard to give you a positive answer on that. But there is no doubt, with its sporty styling and characteristics focused on traveling, this ADV can revolutionize the small-displacement adventure motorcycle market. It combines strength and agility rather well, for a lively riding experience (at least that’s what the spec sheet suggests). All this makes want to do just one thing: beg Honda Powersports to bring this here!

2024 Honda Sahara 300 Specifications


293cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder


24.8 horsepower at 7,500 RPM


20 pound-feet at 6,500 RPM




Semi-double cradle

Front suspension

Telescopic fork; 9.6 inches inches of travel

Rear suspension

Pro link; 8.8 inches of travel


21/18-inch spoke

Front brake

256 mm disc

Rear brake

220 mm disc

Ground clearance

10.5 inches

Seat height

33.8 inches


328 pounds

Tank capacity

3.64 gallons


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