It isn't an uncommon practice for large and established motorcycle manufacturers to partner up with smaller, up and coming manufacturers from China. Oftentimes, this is done in order to develop and manufacture products specific to the Asian market, and to do so in a cost-effective way. Some notable examples would be KTM's long-standing partnership with CFMoto, as well as Harley-Davidson's collaboration with QJ Motor.
Suzuki, too, has found itself working closely with Haojue, another Chinese motocycle maker specializing in small to mid-size machines. In June 2020, the company released the DR300 in China, the bike that would pave the way for the Suzuki GSX-S300 naked bike. This time around, Haojue has built on the DR300 platform, and given it some spot-touring character in the form of a windscreen, taller bars, and center-set foot pegs, and christened it the XCR300. The new bike was unveiled at the recently held China International Motorcycle Expo. Just like the DR300, the bike retains its sharp, aggressive naked bike styling.
From a design perspective, the XCR300 employs thoroughly modern styling—similar to what we find in Suzuki's existing GSX-S model range. A split LED headlight design gives the bike a menacing front fascia, while a small windscreen provides just a tiny bit of wind protection. The bike gets a long-distance-ready 16-liter fuel tank shod in wide, angular bodywork giving the bike a muscular appearance. Moving towards the rear of the bike, the XCR300 gets two-up riding amenities such as built-in passenger grab handles and a wide, one-piece saddle.
On the performance side of things, the XCR300 is powered by a 298cc parallel-twin engine making around 30 horsepower. It gets a standard six-speed transmission equipped with a slipper clutch for smooth and forgiving gear shifts. Long-distance riding comfort is provided by KYB suspension components consisting of a 41mm fork and preload-adjustable rear shock. As mentioned earlier, the bike gets full LED lighting, but misses out on a fancy full-color display. Instead, it gets a negative monochrome LCD display.
Haojue has yet to announce the official pricing and availability of this bike in the Chinese domestic market, as it's expected to do so early in 2022. Now, whether or not this bike will make its way to the global market under Suzuki branding remains to be seen. However, if it does, it will make for a decent competitor against the likes of the Benelli TNT 302S and CFMoto 300NK.