Honda 300EX Top Speed & Full Review

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It’s hard to believe that an ATV model that hasn’t been produced since 2008 would still be looked at as one of the best sport ATVs of all time, but such is the case for the Honda 300EX.

Even all these years later, with the sport ATV industry still booming and plenty of more modern competition, the Honda 300EX still holds its own on the trails with the very best in the 300 class.

Back in the 2000’s, many competitive models like the Polaris Sportsman 335, Polaris Magnum 330, and Polaris Trail Boss 330 could barely match its performance.

But what about the Honda 300EX top speed?  Is it as fast as modern sport ATVs?

And how does it stack up from an overall performance perspective?

This guide will answer all of that and more, in reviewing the following:

  • Honda 300EX top speed
  • Why it’s considered the best trail riding ATV ever made
  • Main owner likes and dislikes
  • How it handles and performs
  • Key specs and features
  • Present-day cost and value
  • How it compares to similar models

About The Honda 300EX

From its inception in 1993 to its final year of production in 2008, the Honda 300EX was one of the best bang-for-your-buck quads available along with the Honda 400EX.

It boasts an appealing sporty design, impressive durability to make it capable of withstanding plenty of rough riding, and the reliability folks have come to expect in a Honda machine.  

Couple that with its first-rate agility, and this model checks all the boxes for outdoor enthusiasts who want a well-rounded trail companion.

While its top end speed and power are nothing to write home about these days, the Honda 300ex is still one of the best-suited trail ATVs you can find.

Honda 300EX Top Speed

The Honda 300ex top speed is around 57 to 58 mph for those stock models that are still in great shape.  

But depending upon the age of the model and the degree of wear on the engine, the Honda 300EX may top out anywhere between 50 to 58 mph.

A number of owners have made modifications to their quads to increase the overall speed and performance, such as:

  • Upgrading the air intake and exhaust systems
  • Swapping out sprocket sizes
  • Adding bigger tires
  • Re-jetting the carb

If making all of these upgrades, you can expect a Honda 300EX in top shape to top out at anywhere from 60 – 70 mph.

Specs & Key Features


Powered by an air-cooled 282 cc engine with around 21 horsepower, the Honda 300ex has plenty of pep to carry teens or mid-size adults around rough terrain.  

While the power and speed may leave a little something to be desired on flat surfaces, it’s hard to find a quad more suited for trail riding.  

This Honda engine is about as bulletproof as bulletproof gets.  

You’ll need to reset the valve clearances around every 100 hours of riding, but as long as you ensure regular oil changes these engines seem to run forever.  

The fact that there are plenty of 1993 models still zipping around in the wild all these years later is proof of this.

Engine TypeFour-Stroke SOHC, gas
Cylinder ArrangementSingle Cylinder, Inclined
Displacement282 cc
Horsepower21 HP
Engine Torque23.87 ft-lbs
Bore x Stroke Ratio74 x 66 mm
Compression Ratio8.9:1
Carburetion SystemCarburetor, 32 mm piston-valve w/ accelerator pump
Engine CoolingAir-Cooled
Fuel Capacity2.2 Gallons
Starter TypeElectric
Ignition SystemCDI with electronic advance
Battery 12V 8Ah
Spark PlugDR8ES-L (NGK)X24ESR-U (Denso)


The Honda 300ex is powered by a chain drive, which powers the rear wheels in this 2WD only model.

Riders can shift to five different gears using the manual clutch, which also conveniently enables the machine to be fired up in any forward gear when the clutch handle is pulled in. 

 It was one of the few ATVs of its time to feature a Reverse setting, which comes in handy for tight trail riding or in the event you get stuck in the mud.

Drive System2WD, Chain Drive, O-Ring
Transmission TypeManual
Gears5-Speed w/ Reverse
Gear Shift PatternR/1 – N – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5

Tires & Brakes

The Honda 300ex is fitted with 22-inch Ohtsu stock tires in the front and rear.  

The knobby design of these tires provides ample traction in most terrains, but is known to result in slight unintended wheelies when accelerating too quickly on soft surfaces.

Many owners ultimately upgraded to new tires to suit their main use of the quad.  

For those who moved down to 20-inch tires for better acceleration and handling, this made the ground clearance just low enough to cause more frequent bottoming out when riding the trails, forcing most of them to move back to 22-inch tires.

The dual hydraulic disc brakes in the front are operated by a hand lever on the right handle bar, while the rear single hydraulic disc brakes are engaged using the right foot pedal.  

Together they are capable of slowing the vehicle in any terrain.

Front Tires22 x 7-10
Rear Tires22 x 10-9
Recommended Tire PressureFront – 4.4 psiRear – 2.9 psi
Front Brake TypeDual Hydraulic Disc
Rear Brake TypeHydraulic Disc


The Honda 300ex features a double wishbone suspension in the front and a swing-arm suspension in the rear, all with preload adjustable shocks. 

This setup makes for an incredibly smooth ride, with the front and rear handling bumps and holes easily enough that the rider hardly feels them.  

The suspension system offers 7.1 inches of travel in the front and 7.9 inches in back.

Though the ground clearance is an unimpressive 4.9 inches, you’ll find it actually takes some work to get the skid plate underneath to bottom out, even on rougher trails.  

And the suspension holds up incredibly well when getting some air, with this machine making an excellent jumper.

Wheelbase45 inches
Ground Clearance4.9 inches
Front SuspensionIndependent Double-A Wishbone w/ Preload Adjustable Dual Shocks
Rear SuspensionSwing Arm w/ Preload Adjustable Single Shock


Weighing in at 390 lbs ready to ride, the 300ex is right around the industry average in terms of weight.  

But you’d never know it, as this machine feels light as a feather while driving.  

And its compact size and width make it adept at navigating tight trails and squeezing between trees in wooded areas.

At 43.5 inches in width, it has no problem riding BLM trails which are restricted to machines with a 50-inch and under width.

Length67.7 inches
Width43.5 inches
Height41.8 inches
Seat Height30.5 inches
Dry Weight377 lbs.
Curb Weight390 lbs.

Exterior Features

While the 300ex looks more vintage compared to today’s sport ATVs, during its heyday it was as flashy as the come, with a sporty yet slightly rugged plastic shell.


Up front, mounted on the handlebars, a 60W headlight provides good illumination when riding at dusk or night.  

The headlight was relocated in 2007+ models and sits just below the plastic shell up front.  

The handlebars offer a comfortable riding position, with the front brake lever and thumb throttle located on the right handle and the electric starter located on the left handle.  

The center dash area features indicator lights for Reverse and Neutral, but no speedometer or fuel gauge.

Middle & Rear

The seat is big enough to fit most body sizes and is removable without the need for tools, with plenty of legroom extending down to the half-footwells.  

The foot pedal for the rear brakes is located in the right footwell area.

A grab bar and rear tail light round out the back of the machine.


The plastic body panel featured a few different color options over the years, with the main choices being red, yellow, black and gray.  

Many owners replaced the stock plastics over the years with a more customized color scheme, leaving a variety of colors available among used machines.


The 300ex is still viewed as one of the best trail riding ATVs in existence, thanks to its easy handling.  

It feels incredibly light when driving and can turn on a dime, with this combination of agility and excellent throttle response making it hard to find a better suited quad for maneuvering twisty trails.

Riders will find it easy to pull the front end over stumps and logs with a slight yank on the handlebars.  

Doing this while giving the quad some gas and popping the clutch will also enable a low wheelie over any puddles or wet areas to avoid getting splashed.

The 300ex soaks up bumps and holes with ease, making for a smooth ride in any terrain and at any speed.  

You won’t feel like you got hit by a truck the day after a rough ride like you might using some other models.  

While some riders find the power and speed to be a little lacking on flat, firm terrain, the 300ex remains very stable at its top speeds.  

It offers good stability when turning and doesn’t dive into corners.  

One of the few negatives with the handling is the tendency for the handlebars to be a little too responsive and twitchy when hitting bumps or rocks, especially when only one tire makes impact.  

This can be a little tricky when riders are not braced with a firm grip on the handlebars.

Owner Likes & Dislikes

As one of the best selling ATVs of its era, there are plenty of current and past owners out there ready to give their feedback on the Honda 300ex.  

While the overwhelming majority of this feedback is positive, there are also some noted negatives with this model as a whole.  

Here are owners’ main likes and dislikes:


  • Common mechanical flaws are few and far between.
  • Reverse setting is a huge plus for trail riding or sticky situations.
  • Hard to find an ATV that handles better, especially on the trail.
  • Engine is essentially bulletproof and extremely reliable
  • Overall build is tough enough to withstand hard riding
  • Small enough to easily fit into the back of a truck
  • Big enough for a mid-sized adult to ride
  • Gets good gas mileage
  • Suspension makes it a smooth rider and good jumper
  • Electric Starter makes for easy starting


  • Power and speed not that impressive, especially on flat surfaces
  • May run into issues riding in sandy terrain due to traction and power
  • Location of choke lever under the left side of the gas tank is inconvenient
  • Engaging Reverse requires multiple steps including pushing a button on the clutch lever, pulling another lever on the engine, and letting out the clutch
  • No existence of a backup recoil or kick starter
  • Small fuel tank leads to frequent refueling, even with good gas mileage
  • Tires can be prone to sticking in soft terrain when accelerating too fast, leading to unintended small wheelies
  • Replacement plastics can be hard to find

Comparable ATV Models

While the Honda 300ex has many counterparts in the ATV industry these days, some of those that compare the closest are the Yamaha Raptor 350, Yamaha Raptor 250, and the Honda 400EX.  

Below is a side-by-side comparison of some key features.

Yamaha Raptor 350

FeaturesYamaha Raptor 350Honda 300EX
Engine Displacement349 cc282 cc
Stock Horsepower22 hp21 hp
Top Speed60 mph57 to 58 mph
Ground Clearance4.53 inches4.9 inches
Dimensions (L x W x H)69.7 x 43.1 x 42.567.7 x 43.5 x 41.8

Yamaha Raptor 250

FeaturesYamaha Raptor 250Honda 300EX
Engine Displacement249 cc282 cc
Stock Horsepower20 hp21 hp
Top Speed55 mph57 to 58 mph
Ground Clearance3.9 inches4.9 inches
Dimensions (L x W x H)64 x 42 x 4167.7 x 43.5 x 41.8

Honda 400EX

FeaturesHonda 400EXHonda 300EX
Engine Displacement397 cc282 cc
Stock Horsepower28 hp21 hp
Top Speed65 to 68 mph57 to 58 mph
Ground Clearance4.3 inches4.9 inches
Dimensions (L x W x H)72 x 45 x 4367.7 x 43.5 x 41.8

Honda 300EX Cost & Value

The table below shows the list prices and retail values of the various age ranges of the Honda 300ex according to NadaGuides.

Years, Make & ModelList PriceRetail Values
1993 – 1998 Honda 300ex$4,399Between $510 and $850
1999 – 2003 Honda 300ex$4,399Between $730 and $1,460
2004 – 2008 Honda 300 ex$4,899Between $1,110 and $2,135

Online marketplaces such as ATV Trader and Facebook Marketplace feature a wide range of Honda 300ex models being offered at a wide range of prices.  

Most used models offered there are listed between $1,500 and $3,000 depending upon the age and running condition.  

While you can find the occasional unit going for less than a grand, many of the exteriors are in poor condition and they likely need some mechanical work.

Different Models

The 300ex saw 16 different models made during its extensive production run from 1993 to 2008.  

While these models saw some minor changes to the color scheme and graphics along with a few slight upgrades to the various parts year over year, they remained mostly identical through 2007 when some changes to the plastics and the location of the headlight gave the final few models a slightly more noticeable change in appearance.


Even all these years later, the highly dependable and durable Honda 300ex seems to keep on coming back for more, no matter what owners throw at it.  

It makes an excellent all-around ATV for owners whose top priority isn’t straightaway speed.  

And while it won’t win you a drag race against some of the newer machines, they’ll still take all comers on the trail and deliver every time.

For similar models, check out these guides before you go: