Introducing the 2020 SSR SR300... From China! (and yes I own it)
Updated: Aug 20
You read that right!
What did you think when you first saw the picture? Were you like, "sick Honda...wait- no... what the hell is that?"
Yeah, me too.
I absolutely do not know what I was doing when I first saw this bike. But I do know that my wife was out of town, and so for the next 72 hours I literally binged for content on this bike, all new for 2020. Let me tell you there is not much to find, not even from the manufacturer, SSR.
We're going to change that.
I owned an SSR pit bike when I was in my early 20's and they were a blast. We used to terrorize parks in the neighborhood and destroy the sandbox before the cops got there. Oh, corrupt youth.
And guess what? SSR also makes a 250F, a 450F & 100 other bikes of all shapes & sizes.
I truly had all but forgotten about the SSR brand. It's been nearly 15 years since I owned that pit bike.
And then one day, the SSR SR300s hit me like a ton of bricks. And when it did, it was like the lyrics in one of my favorite Juicy J songs - "I see it, I want it, I got it! I don't care 'bout the cost!"
You know what they say about idle hands? It's true.
I bought it.
So let me tell you a little bit about the new SR300s:
1.) The 2020 SSR SR300 looks amazing. The body is comprised of a few different generation Honda plastics. The radiator shrouds are *similar* to 2017-2020 Honda CRF & the rest of the body is 2013-2016 CRF. It creates (IMO) a really cool look that's different enough to be it's own & opens a HUGE world of aftermarket plastics support. No color is off limits now for most of the bike's body. A trendy grey, flow yellow, whatever. It fits the 2020 SSR SR300s. That's awesome.
2.) The 2020 SSR SR300s uses one of China's most well known & reliable engines: A Zongshen 300cc, (I believe it's a 280-something cc) liquid cooled, single overhead cam, workhorse of an engine. It is commonly used in tons of other Chinese offerings/ motorcycles and is the same engine used in the SSR 250F, only with a larger cylinder and piston in this case of course.
In fact, you can convert the 250 into the 300 with a simple kit. And guess what, they're dirt cheap. The sport needs this bike so, so bad!
When I say "cheap" ***try and shed your programming and also the stigma*** that may come to mind with the Chinese bikes of yesteryear.
I simply mean "affordable". And trust me, if I break it, you're going to know about it!
But I am really excited about this bike & what it means for our sport.
Not only are hundreds of run-time hours documented on these engines, but a complete replacement is only around $1500! Yes, the entire engine is only $1500. That's parts-only on a Japanese bike.... for the cylinder head alone.
I have even seen a few dual overhead cam heads for the 300 floating around the internet. Cheap and fun HP!!
3.) So what else? It's gorgeous, affordable, & easy to get parts for. It's like the YZ250 of China as far as parts are concerned. They ain't going anywhere.
Well, I thought you'd never ask. The 2020 SR300s also boasts the following:
A keyed ignition
Lithium ion battery
Oil sight glass w/ KTM or Kawasaki design ques in clutch & ignition covers
A coolant puke (overflow) tank
Silicone radiator hoses
Cooling fan w/ temp bung integrated (threaded) into radiator for actuation
47mm twin chamber Fast Ace forks (Showa clones mostly) and clone shock that lacks HSC / both feature adjustable compression & rebound clickers
Headlight pre-wire behind number plate
Nissin front brakes / clone rear brakes
CNC: Break away levers, triple clamps, & hubs
An FMF clone exhaust canister (no sparky) and head pipe w/ resonance chamber
Linkage-type rear suspension
1-1/8" big bars w/ soft compound grips
Strangely, a 19" rear wheel / black front & rear rims
Aluminum rear sprocket & gold 520 chain
Keihin clone carburetor / non FCR type
Thoughtful battery & air filter layout under a gripper seat
Gorgeous welds throughout frame, subframe, swingarm & mimics 2013-2016 generation CRF main frame, but appears to be unique to SSR
Soft compound INNOVA tires (100 wide rear - kinda skinny)
Overall this bike is a stunner in person and the construction will sort of blow your mind. This is Chinese motorcycles on a whole new level. It's frikkin' nice.
As you can see, the bike sports a ton of very purposeful and useful accessories that lend it to trail riding and off road almost exclusively. With all of the great features it includes, I must admit that I don't really understand the 19" rear wheel.
Now if you're wondering why I bought it, allow me to explain:
I see a need for this bike in today's world. It checks so many boxes for 99% of dirt bikers and people who want to become dirt bikers, or people who just want to have fun riding- period. I so see the need that I literally went out & dropped my own coin on one.
I would be a fool to think that the only guys riding are the flashy, glitter-dick, titanium & carbon laden motocross-ers (me) types are the only ones out there who enjoy motorcycles. Sometimes we get a little too serious & our egos take over. That's when it becomes more work than fun. Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about. My fastest friends honestly don't even get too motivated to moto most of the time (and they are still faster when they finally do. I hate them!)
Most of us did not start in MX but rather on the trails, with miss-matched gear and work boots. We didn't know or care what a "clicker" was or know that SAG had anything to do with your rear shock instead of how you wore your jeans in the late 90's.... we just wanted to ride, and we did.
Eventually, we got better, we gained insight that made us faster & more picky (me again) and the more we knew, the more reasons we had to blame a bad day of riding on something else besides the fact that we just sucked that day. Not the track, not the bike.
In fact, most of you don't know me to be anything BUT a track / MX rider or MX bike builder.
Anyway, this bike erases all of that. It's a chance to reset, much like buying a two stroke to shake things up a bit on account of your modern 450cc motocross bike being SO good that it actually got boring to ride. First world problems, bro.
Here are a few more reasons why I love the SR300s & the very idea of it:
Dirt bikes are too expensive today. $10,000 after tax & fees? More? $12,000? Really??
Used, more affordable bikes are often ticking time bombs. Especially 4 strokes
Most new riders will buy a motocross bike for trail riding because they look cool, though somewhat brutal to ride on trails. Riding is dangerous enough without your forks deflecting off of pebbles. There's a reason there are two different types of bikes
We want the "cool" factor of the new YZ450F in a friendly & forgiving package of an XR250
Anyone can ride it. Your wife, your kid, all 6' 1", 200lbs of my oversized, die-hard motocross-ing carcass
Almost anyone can afford it when compared to other options and choices
SSR makes mini electric bikes, all the way up to 450cc gasoline powered trail bikes & even a UTV
These bikes will provide hours of fun family riding time for the cost of one new Japanese or European 450
Fun and affordable mods are plentiful for all who own one. And you know I'll prove it
And there are a likely several more reasons too. I could go on but I will leave you to come up with a few more on your own.
I honestly have fallen in love with the idea of this brand in 2020 and the absolute void it fills. It takes up the space between the mostly unchanged-in-eons Japanese trail bikes and the hyper-overpriced full size bikes of today. It's modern, fresh & loaded with tech in comparison.
If I could describe where the SSR brand is in construction today, I would say this:
Think KIA or Hyundai cars ten years ago..... Now think of those brands today. It's like that, and that's how today's dominant Japanese bikes were in the 60's - just like the old KIA's and Hyundai's you wouldn't touch with a tn foot pole back in the day.
In other words, Chinese bikes have arrived. At least SSR has. People are going to love this bike.
I'd also like to make clear: It's not a "better VS. worse" comparison between bikes & their country of origin. We're just focusing on what the SSR SR300s actually is, what it could become (and will become in my hands) and why I think it's special.
So in closing:
What we have here (to me, the average dude) is a full-size, well constructed motorcycle with American support in Southern California. It's a bike with great parts availability that literally anyone can own and ride affordably, regardless of skill level.
How do I know?
Because I rode the sh*t out of it.
I bashed it into rocks, trees, roots & even crashed it. I re-jet the carburetor between rides and punished it some more.
This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship, let me tell you.
And I can't wait to tell you more about it in the next installments & upcoming YouTube video series.
I WILL let you in on a little secret before I go....
***The bike only costs $4,399***
Wrap your brain around that while you enjoy the photos below...
Guys, thank you so sincerely for your time & interest in what I'm doing with bikes & the mXrevival brand.
I appreciate you.
Charles // mXrevival