New rider, big guy but looking @ 250-300cc commuter - Honda CBR 300 Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 02-14-2016, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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New rider, big guy but looking @ 250-300cc commuter

I've been posting in many forums in the 300cc class(IE ninja300 forum etc) lately to get a feel for bikes in that range. I know each forum has their own bias. I'm not fully made up but hadn't thought of a naked bike until yesterday as I liked the idea of a windshield. They had a used TU250X at a dealer yesterday that I sat on, and not a fan of cruisers but did lead me to looking at other bikes w/o fairing, and so far the CB300 is the only one in my price range that I've found. Here are the specs/requirements:
I'll only have 5 miles of easy interstate riding in my daily commute, 65-70 mph is fine in the right lane...won't be looking to really pass anyone either with 2 miles after that for a total of 7 miles 1 way roughly. Based on the fuelly estimates I should be able to get around a week on 2 gal of gas to/from work, which sounds fantastic. I'm 6' 250-275 depending on diet/training. I do strongman comps so as I get closer to competition I typically weigh a bit more but trying to get around 250 walking around weight, and don't ever get higher than 275. Not a speed demon, as I said in my intro I've got a wife, an infant son and another on my way, so don't want to needlessly endanger my life by driving like a bat outa **** and don't have funds to cover speeding tickets. I cruise in the non passing lane @ the speed limit +/- 5 mph typically regardless of what road I'm on and only pass when someone is going significantly slower than even I want to and get more thrill in MPG than I do MPH.

I had really liked the ninja until I discovered the cb300f. I know ninja is faster but according to fuelly cb300f gets a little more mpg and is less expensive. My bro in law has a grom and if I wasn't planning on that 5 miles on the interstate I'd get a grom and be happy w/ my 90+ mpg, but if I avoid interstates it turns my 5 miles into 16 miles, which is fine when I have time in the evening for a cruise but I like being able to hop on there and cut my drive time from 40 minutes to 10/15 minutes.

Any insight would be great! I know as the other forums are biased this is going to be a very biased answer but just doing market research now. I quit financing stuff last year and have paid off about $10k in debt and am almost out of the rat race of credit, so this will be paid in cash, so purchase is about 6 months away or so, and depending on when the next model year releases maybe even longer so I can steal a new 2015/2016. I previously was against buying new and taking the depreciation hit but one of the guys @ the dealer said since 250-300cc bikes are typically first bikes, a lot of first owners drop bikes, don't take care of maintenance, etc so since I don't plan on selling/upgrading when I "outgrow" it this will be a long term purchase so I don't want to take a chance of getting a 1 year old beater. I realize he said this to get me to buy new and give him a paycheck, but this actually makes sense with motorcycles.
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post #2 of 27 Old 02-14-2016, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by bwhite829 View Post
I've been posting in many forums in the 300cc class(IE ninja300 forum etc) lately to get a feel for bikes in that range. I know each forum has their own bias. I'm not fully made up but hadn't thought of a naked bike until yesterday as I liked the idea of a windshield. They had a used TU250X at a dealer yesterday that I sat on, and not a fan of cruisers but did lead me to looking at other bikes w/o fairing, and so far the CB300 is the only one in my price range that I've found. Here are the specs/requirements:
I'll only have 5 miles of easy interstate riding in my daily commute, 65-70 mph is fine in the right lane...won't be looking to really pass anyone either with 2 miles after that for a total of 7 miles 1 way roughly. Based on the fuelly estimates I should be able to get around a week on 2 gal of gas to/from work, which sounds fantastic. I'm 6' 250-275 depending on diet/training. I do strongman comps so as I get closer to competition I typically weigh a bit more but trying to get around 250 walking around weight, and don't ever get higher than 275. Not a speed demon, as I said in my intro I've got a wife, an infant son and another on my way, so don't want to needlessly endanger my life by driving like a bat outa **** and don't have funds to cover speeding tickets. I cruise in the non passing lane @ the speed limit +/- 5 mph typically regardless of what road I'm on and only pass when someone is going significantly slower than even I want to and get more thrill in MPG than I do MPH.

I had really liked the ninja until I discovered the cb300f. I know ninja is faster but according to fuelly cb300f gets a little more mpg and is less expensive. My bro in law has a grom and if I wasn't planning on that 5 miles on the interstate I'd get a grom and be happy w/ my 90+ mpg, but if I avoid interstates it turns my 5 miles into 16 miles, which is fine when I have time in the evening for a cruise but I like being able to hop on there and cut my drive time from 40 minutes to 10/15 minutes.

Any insight would be great! I know as the other forums are biased this is going to be a very biased answer but just doing market research now. I quit financing stuff last year and have paid off about $10k in debt and am almost out of the rat race of credit, so this will be paid in cash, so purchase is about 6 months away or so, and depending on when the next model year releases maybe even longer so I can steal a new 2015/2016. I previously was against buying new and taking the depreciation hit but one of the guys @ the dealer said since 250-300cc bikes are typically first bikes, a lot of first owners drop bikes, don't take care of maintenance, etc so since I don't plan on selling/upgrading when I "outgrow" it this will be a long term purchase so I don't want to take a chance of getting a 1 year old beater. I realize he said this to get me to buy new and give him a paycheck, but this actually makes sense with motorcycles.
Welcome bw Best thing is try all the bikes around the CC's you like and find one that suits you best. Most 250's + can break the speed limits so it is a matter of throttle control on whatever bike you decide on.

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post #3 of 27 Old 02-14-2016, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by bwhite829 View Post
I've been posting in many forums in the 300cc class(IE ninja300 forum etc) lately to get a feel for bikes in that range. I know each forum has their own bias. I'm not fully made up but hadn't thought of a naked bike until yesterday as I liked the idea of a windshield. They had a used TU250X at a dealer yesterday that I sat on, and not a fan of cruisers but did lead me to looking at other bikes w/o fairing, and so far the CB300 is the only one in my price range that I've found. Here are the specs/requirements:
I'll only have 5 miles of easy interstate riding in my daily commute, 65-70 mph is fine in the right lane...won't be looking to really pass anyone either with 2 miles after that for a total of 7 miles 1 way roughly. Based on the fuelly estimates I should be able to get around a week on 2 gal of gas to/from work, which sounds fantastic. I'm 6' 250-275 depending on diet/training. I do strongman comps so as I get closer to competition I typically weigh a bit more but trying to get around 250 walking around weight, and don't ever get higher than 275. Not a speed demon, as I said in my intro I've got a wife, an infant son and another on my way, so don't want to needlessly endanger my life by driving like a bat outa **** and don't have funds to cover speeding tickets. I cruise in the non passing lane @ the speed limit +/- 5 mph typically regardless of what road I'm on and only pass when someone is going significantly slower than even I want to and get more thrill in MPG than I do MPH.

I had really liked the ninja until I discovered the cb300f. I know ninja is faster but according to fuelly cb300f gets a little more mpg and is less expensive. My bro in law has a grom and if I wasn't planning on that 5 miles on the interstate I'd get a grom and be happy w/ my 90+ mpg, but if I avoid interstates it turns my 5 miles into 16 miles, which is fine when I have time in the evening for a cruise but I like being able to hop on there and cut my drive time from 40 minutes to 10/15 minutes.

Any insight would be great! I know as the other forums are biased this is going to be a very biased answer but just doing market research now. I quit financing stuff last year and have paid off about $10k in debt and am almost out of the rat race of credit, so this will be paid in cash, so purchase is about 6 months away or so, and depending on when the next model year releases maybe even longer so I can steal a new 2015/2016. I previously was against buying new and taking the depreciation hit but one of the guys @ the dealer said since 250-300cc bikes are typically first bikes, a lot of first owners drop bikes, don't take care of maintenance, etc so since I don't plan on selling/upgrading when I "outgrow" it this will be a long term purchase so I don't want to take a chance of getting a 1 year old beater. I realize he said this to get me to buy new and give him a paycheck, but this actually makes sense with motorcycles.
Hello bro! I am almost in the same situation as you. I have a wife that is disabled therefore she doesn't work. I am the only income for the house and I have a 2 month old son. The 300r was my very first street legal bike I have ever gotten and just passed my motorcycle license course last June. I am 6'1" almost 2" lol and weight varies from 195-205lbs. I also did a lot of research before buying. I was very interested in the Kawa Ninja 300 as well. It has a tad more HP and a bit faster but wasn't enough to sway my opinion. I fell in love with the Honda as soon as I saw it especially when I saw the RED! I was hesistant about my size as well but after sitting on it and taking it for a spin before buying I didn't find that to be an issue at all. I also felt like the bike was meant for me instantly after riding it the first time. Being my first bike I felt comfortable sitting on it. I did not ride the Ninja but when I sat on it I just didn't like the angle my body was at and the Ninja seemed awfully smaller to me. Also the Ninja's windscreen is almost non existent. After getting my CBR I did do 2 mods that totally changed the ergonomics for me. I put on clip on handlebars and some rearsets. So my long body was able to be stretched out a bit more and my head was able to come down more behind the windscreen by having the lower handlebars. I love love love my bike.
You have a few extra lbs on me so I don't know how/if that would effect the bikes power at all, but if you are like me I am not too worried about speed right now and basically..my wife wont allow me to ride fast anyway haha.
But all in all when you get right down to it I think the CBR is bigger than the Ninja and it's a HONDA! Hope I gave you some info you can use? Good luck on your search!
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post #4 of 27 Old 02-14-2016, 10:09 AM
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Hello bwhite...
I just got back to motorcycling after being away for 5 years. (I did have a stint of being bike-less for 15 years earlier). I too looked at the Ninja 300 (never rode one) and I must admit I love the 2014 SE in white. But for me the price was higher than what I wanted to spend and the dealer would not budge..at all. As much as I liked it..it was not doable.
Last Summer I took out a Yamaha R 3 and really liked it...and the dealer who is a very good friend of mine offered me a good price. The bike he had in stock was black (only 1 ) and for me there was just just to much of the same color so if the bike had been red/white I may have been more swayed.
The bike I did buy was the Tr-Color 300 R and given that it was a left over 2015...had ABS which the Yamaha did not..at all and was $1000 cheaper total out the door and I LOVE the color! Right now it is in storage (my Rec-Room) and I am praying for Spring.

I suggest as others have said...take out all the 300 series bikes from all the manufactures and see which one suites you best. Good luck in your adventure....and what ever you purchase....you are welcome to come back and partake in the Forum here.

The problem with bikes aimed at first time riders is that first time riders buy them..
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post #5 of 27 Old 02-14-2016, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by bwhite829 View Post
... I'm 6' 250-275 depending on diet/training...
I'm going to have to paddle against the current, and say that I think you're too big for the any of the bikes in the 300cc class. Trust me when I say that in two years time you'll wish you had gone with a bigger bike.

Honestly, if I were a big guy like yourself I'd be looking at one of the 500 cc bikes as a starting point. And by the time you're ready to buy there will likely be some great closeout deals to be had on left over 2015 CB500F and X models.

And if you have a bit more money in the bike budget, the Honda CBR650F would also be an excellent choice, and one that you won't feel you've out grown in a few years.


I'm 6'1" & 185 lbs., plus 20 lbs. of riding gear. And at a "riding weight" of 205 lbs. I think I'm starting to push the size envelope for this 250/300 sportbike class... not so much in terms of what the engine puts out for power & torque, but rather what the suspension is meant to handle.

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post #6 of 27 Old 02-14-2016, 04:05 PM
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Welcome!
Ninja 300 sitting position is a lot more aggressive. It definitely puts a lot more stress on the neck, which started to bother me somewhat, after an hour on the bike. I am 6'5" @210 -215 lbs.

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post #7 of 27 Old 02-14-2016, 04:35 PM
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There is another option when looking at a 300cc bike for a bigger rider. A bike with a seat height of 37.5", a 54hp engine and 50kg lighter than the CBR300RA. Problem is it's more expensive and for that kinda of money you could have a nice bigger cc bike. Husky TE 300 motard

"I previously was against buying new and taking the depreciation hit but one of the guys @ the dealer said since 250-300cc bikes are typically first bikes, a lot of first owners drop bikes, don't take care of maintenance, etc so since I don't plan on selling/upgrading when I "outgrow" it this will be a long term purchase so I don't want to take a chance of getting a 1 year old beater."

These bikes are fine, plenty around for sale below the 10,000k / 6 thousand mile mark and should come with a service history. Hey, if it has been dropped it's normally just damage to the plastics, which can be a good thing as you won't cry when/if you scratch it. Half the time they have a new set of tyres and a few other mods as well.
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post #8 of 27 Old 02-14-2016, 05:25 PM
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Geez, you're a big unit mate, as they say here in Oz.

I reckon you'd be better off with 500cc or more, and something a bit bigger and heavier. What you need is torque, not power.

If funds are limited, buy a used bike. Despite warnings and horror stories from salesmen who want to sell you a new bike, all the Japanese bikes are very, very reliable and tough. I would buy private, not from a dealer, because that way you get to meet and assess the seller.

I have owned a number of used bikes over the years and haven't had a lemon yet. I always favour condition over mileage and age though, and so would prefer a well-cared for ten year-old bike over a scruffy two year-old, especially with the bigger bikes. I once bought a fifteen year-old, high mileage XJ900 that was immaculate and it never missed a beat in the three years I had it. Sold it for slightly more than I paid three years earlier, too.
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post #9 of 27 Old 02-14-2016, 08:13 PM
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As a tall rider, 6'4" and nearing 200LBS full gear, I had wanted to reply this thread, but guess my reply never got posted.

I don't think you need to worry about the performance of the CBR300R/CB300F bikes, as they can go at any speed limit, even with a 20MPH headwind it still can reach upto 80MPH.
I've gone as fast as 90MPH (GPS) on a stock bike; and more to go with mods.

If your reasoning is to commute, or joy ride (cruise), you'll not outgrow the 300s.
If your reasoning is to fun ride on the fast lane; yes, you can outgrow this bike fast (I already hit the limits of the bike on the interstate after 2 days), but will probably be able to squeeze out 5% more performance, and will be satisfied with that.

One issue I'm having as a taller rider (6'4"), just like mentioned above, is neck pains on the CBR300R.
Actually, I have it on most sports bikes.
I think it has to do with my larger torso, and in comparison to a shorter person, shorter arms.
Taller people lean forward more, and need to tilt their heads more upwards.

I'm not complaining about wrist pains, like other riders, since I'm not death-gripping the bike; but I do have a chronic neck pain from always looking up.
For me it can start from as soon as 15 minutes riding. Especially in the city.
Something what you'll experience less on the 300F.

Since you're not going to pin the bike wide open and hooligan ride it, I think the CB300F should be fast enough.

About the fuel, most people get into the 60's of MPG. Wide open I've noted as low as 37MPG. My first fuelup was 50MPG (breaking in the bike); but I think it should get better as I ride the bike more.

One thing to take into account after buying your bike, you need a helmet, and preferably boots, and protective gear (gloves, jacket, pants).
You also have to take into consideration that Honda charges for the first maintenance after buying the bike.
Unless you do it yourself, they charge just under $300 over here; and the time of the first maintenance depends on how much you have ridden it.
I did my first maintenance (oil change) on the second day of buying it.
If you plan on going for the 300R, know that the fairing is in the way of the oil filter, and is a bit harder to switch filter.
The 300F has direct access to the filter compartment.

Honda recommends 10W40 oil, but if you buy your bike in the winter, 10W30 will do as well.
Especially during the break in, if you're not over revving the bike.

I used simple car oil, and haven't had any clutch slippage yet, but don't count on that.

Anyway, much to say, so fire away those questions!

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post #10 of 27 Old 02-14-2016, 09:53 PM
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+1 on the used bike. Since you're trying to understand and learn which particular group of bikes would fit and suit you best, I'd try out a used one first - maybe a 500cc or larger, as advised in some of the above posts. And then you can put it back on the market for sale with very minimal if not any loss as at all. Trust me, going for new without any clue can be very risky - about 20-30% depreciation soon after purchase, it seems. Check out a used 500F or even a 650F... Great choices that should fit you better.

Btw, I hear you on steering clear of debt when you've tried so hard to pull out of it for such a long time.

Keep us posted, and welcome aboard!
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