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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am interested in this bike and may be ready to get something next spring. I really like the naked styling and upright position of it. My concerns (while minor) are: the only color option being red, no ABS option, common issues I have read about on here, and power.

As for color, I would really like a white or black option. Black looks better to me but I would probably go with white so I can be seen easier at night. (Safety first!) Maybe Honda will offer new colors in the next model year.

While on the safety issues, I would really prefer ABS if this is an option. It is on the 300R but not the 300F. Maybe Honda changes that for next model year?

Seems to be a few issues people are having with shifting, kickstand, really low first gear and vibration of sorts. Maybe these are just kinks being worked out in the first model year?

And we get to power. I am not wanting to ride 100 and get myself killed. But I would like to be able to be on a highway or regular road somewhere and not bog down trying to get up a hill. I only weigh about 135 but I would also be taking my gf for rides at times and with both of us and maybe a small backpack or something, climbing a long hill or trying to keep up with traffic on a highway in similar conditions and I wonder if that will grow old really quickly.

Many experienced riders make the comment of a bike in the 250-300 range being for beginners. AKA less power. After learning to ride well, they say you will quickly want more power. One common reason besides that one listed above is the ability to quickly accelerate out of a dicey situation in traffic.

Honda offers a CB500F that happens to come in white or black, abs as an option, and seems (from my limited experience and reading online) to hit that sweet compromise of power. Not enough to throw you off the bike accidentally and also enough for you to do whatever you need/want to do.

Not it is a few more thousand to get this vs the 300F. But if I got the 300F, then in a year or two wanted more, how much could I potentially lose by selling it and having to then upgrade to the next model anyways?

I guess it sounds like I want to 500F. I really like the 300F but I just wish it had the same equipment and colors as the 500F. So basically, do you guys think that the 300F will offer new colors soon and a potential ABS option? Do you 300F riders ever get in situations where you really crave more power? Has anyone ridden both of these bikes that can offer a nice comparison?
 

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I'm an experienced rider and I prefer the CB300 over the 500. There is 72 lbs. difference. The lighter weight is a huge advantage for a newer rider or an older rider like me. While I can ride anything, I prefer the lighter bikes. You don't really bog down with the 300. What you do is drop down a gear if there isn't enough power. That's actually fun although you are shifting a lot more than with a larger bike. The passing power of the 500 is only slightly better than the 300. The 500 will be smoother. The seat on the 500 is just a bit taller if you happen to be short. If I really wanted ABS, I would go with the Ninja 300, not the Honda 500. It comes in white and black with an ABS option. I'm sure the Honda 500s are great bikes, but to me they are tween bikes and if I wanted a middleweight, I would get a faster one like the FZ07. These 300 bikes are unique in that they get the best mileage, are cheap, light, and extremely versatile. I have only sat on the Honda 500s though. Never rode one. Maybe that would change my mind, but to me they seem overweight. The FZ07 with much more power and torque is 23 lbs. lighter. It doesn't have ABS either in the US market. My next bike will be the Yamaha R3 when it comes out in a couple of months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
True. The Ninja would be a sport styled bike with full fairings though. I really like the naked style of the 300F or 500F. Maybe Honda can do a 400F next? That would be JUST RIGHT haha. In all honesty, the 300F probably has the juice for a rider like me coming in at 135. I guess shifting more would seem fun. I just want white w/ ABS. I could always just paint the fairings if the color options are still just red next year. What about ABS? Think that will be an option soon? The 250R has it as an option. So does the 300R and every other bike. Why no love for the 300F?
 

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They do have ABS and other colors in other markets. Canada has ABS and white for the CB300F, but in the US they seem to want to keep the price as low as possible. Probably next year, the CB300F will have ABS as an option, probably more colors too, including white. The FZ07 from Yamaha did exactly the same thing. ABS and red, black or white for Canada, but not the US. The FZ07 only came in (Honda) red too. So I have 2 red bikes very similar looking from a distance.
 

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I've previously owned a 599, which is a 4 cylinder predecessor of the current 500. It was my first bike and I agree that it is a very different riding experience. The weight made an enormous difference in riding feel. It also depends on how you are riding. I Was spending the majority of the time going less than 40mph on city streets, and the 300 for that is a much much better bike. If you're doing the majority of your miles cruising on the highway then the 500f might be a better choice. I'm also in the 130's in weight.
 

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Joey Dunlop won the majority of his TT's on 125's and 250's and that was a man who knew a thing or two about riding motorbikes :D;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would be commuting in the city for the week but making 200 mile highway roundtrips on weekends when the weather is good for it.
 

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Thanks very much for the information. I'm real big on the ABS brakes. If I can't get them it would be a deal breaker for me. Ride safe my friends.
 

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don't get caught up in all the hype & try to filter some of the info gained from the bike forums to fit your own needs,


suggest bike choice should be driven more by considering the type of riding you would do which varies depending on what part of the country or world you live in, type of roads, commuter or pleasure or both, only bike or have multiple bikes, experience level, etc


especially for a small person the weight of the bike is probably one of the most important spec factors to consider, right behind that is the height of the bike, if you are > 5' 9" then the cb300f is probably not the best choice


bikes are not cars or trucks you don't have nearly as much $$'s in them, typically you will find at least one that is a keeper for some longer period of time but the tendancy is for many to trade or sell a bike every couple of years & this is not a bad thing


for me & this being a supplemental bike I was looking to replace a single with a single


you stated your are looking to purchase a bike next spring, you live in or near the city but likely easy access to TN back roads, you weigh 135#'s & as such probably around a 30" inseam, prefer white & abs, want an upright riding position & as such a naked bike, need at least occasional two up riding,


I am probably about the same size & frame as you, I could feel the 70# difference in weight between the cb300 vs the cb500 & the 500 seemed a little taller & is a twin, for a one bike owner with your body frame & needs suggest you could consider a twin but stay in the 300 displacement range at least for now, likely Yamaha will come out with a naked r3 model next year or that is the typical pattern anyway


Summary: there is no substitute for a test ride, so find a way to test drive any bike as it is an important part of the decision process, but either bike could be a good choice depending on some the above factors,


ride safe
 

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Unless you are a really big guy, you shouldn't have problems accelerating out of a dicey situation on surface streets or even on a hill. You can even find some power on the highway at regular traffic speed. The only time I ever had an issue was when I was trying to get up an incline on the freeway and the wind was pushing against me. I was still moving at traffic speed, but I didn't have the extra power to push out of it. That was kind of a unique situation, though.

That said, if you are doing 200 mile round trips on the freeway, you may want to consider the 500. The 300 can certainly handle the trips, but they have to work harder, as you would be up into higher RPM's the whole time.

As far as the other issues you mentioned, I guess they are subjective to the person riding, or the bike they are riding. I have never had any issues with the kickstand or shifting. I experienced a vibration in the clutch lever, but it was easily fixed.

Personally, I have had more fun on my 300 than I ever had on my 600. As it was suggested before, I would ride both and see how you like them.
 

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One more thing...I don't think you mentioned if you were a new rider or not. I don't necessarily think it would be bad to start out on the 500, but new riders are often surprised by the jolt of power from the throttle at first, and it can cause you to lose control of the bike if you're not careful. That's why I highly recommend starting out with the 300 if you are a beginner.
 

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The thing is, how far do you want to go?

Resale value only matters if you're going to sell it. I've never sold a bike. In fact, nobody in my family ever has. Resale matters not to us.

Mentioned this on a similar thread, but it's worth the repost.

You could go with a 300. And if that's all you want and need, it's perfect.
But for a little bit more money, you could go with a 500, it's more power and it's more weight. If that's all you want and need, it's perfect.
But for a little bit more money, you could go with a 750, it's more power and it's more weight. If that's all you want and need, it's perfect.
But for a little bit more money.... well you get the point.

Next thing you know, you're wrestling with a +1000lbs Goldwing in a parking lot when all you really wanted was something to cruise around town in.
 

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I had that mentality as well,
but as soon as you start riding around town, and get used to it, most people want to go further.
Starting with 15-30 min rides, and ending up doing 1 hour to 6 hour rides, with occasional, or constant highway or interstate.


My opinion is, that the CB300F or CBR300R has everything you might ever need in a bike.
It's not the fastest, but it has the power you need to safely maintain almost any road speed in the USA.


Most 250cc bikes have the same, only with some headwind they are running on the top of their airfilters, to maintain speeds of 75MPH, while there are places where speeds of 80-85MPH are what most other traffic rides at.
Even with a 10-20MPH headwind, the CB300 could maintain 80MPH safely; but I wouldn't want to use that bike for prolonged amounts of time in such conditions.


A 500cc bike does about everything the 300cc high rev bikes do, only better.
It runs almost at half the RPM range (can actually rev at 6k RPM at 80MPH), and maintain speeds of 85MPH with headwinds without breaking a sweat.
Those are the kind of bikes you'd want to use with luggage, and a passenger, going cross state riding.
The CB300 bikes are more cross city or county (not country) bikes.
 

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The CB300 bikes are more cross city or county (not country) bikes.
The 300R is probably a better proposition for cross country trips. I did a 3,500 mile ride from one end of my country to the other this summer (with luggage) and it was more than capable as a long distance tourer. The seat was actually more comfortable than a couple of 900cc bikes Ive owned previously.
 

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Caveats:
1. This is my first (and only) bike, aside from a Schwinn.
2. I've not ventured on the freeways.

Upsides:
I've put 700 miles on my CB300F. So far, I love the thing. I went to the dealer expecting to buy a Ninja 300 or the CB500F. Before I test-rode either of those, I started with the CB300F. Riding around on the streets in traffic for the first time, I felt like I was absolutely flying. When I looked down at the speedometer, I found I was only doing 20mph. I decided the "little" 300 was plenty for me.

It's got enough power to get the jump on automobile traffic at the lights if you're lane-splitting. It's got enough power to get me up Angeles Crest. Actually, it's got more power than I have bravery, even 700 miles in to my riding career. I've only cracked the throttle wide open a few times since the torquey single gets you up to city street speeds quickly.

I find the (relatively) low-revving nature ideal for a beginner. Riding a bike is sensory overload at first with the wind and engine and the wide-open view and the primary and secondary controls, and the world turning sideways and looking for cars trying to run you over. I don't think 14,000 RPM worth of screaming engine would help, and might scare you off the whole thing. Especially with peaky power, it may be more trouble than it's worth.

And WEIGHT! Bikes seem so much lighter than cars, but wiggling it in and out of my stacked parking garage has me feeling every single one of those 350 pounds. Until you build up those stabilizer muscles, you don't want a heavy bike. I've nearly dropped it on myself twice due to only partially putting the side stand down, but I could just push against it without being knocked over or pinned down. Make these mistakes on a beginner bike, not a Gold Wing.

If price is a factor, remember that a $5,000 bike is going to be more like $6,500 after taxes, title, registration and prep. My $4,000 CB300F was $5,500 out-the-door.

Downsides:
The bike is very new, so little in the way of aftermarket support. This may not be an issue if you don't intend to do anything to it until the warranty is up.

Engine is very buzzy above 7000 RPM. Exhaust note at any RPM is not very inspiring. This may be cured with an aftermarket exhaust eventually.

Lack of fairing means it can get windy. This is fun on the streets and tolerable in the canyons. If you're planning on 70mph cross-country touring, it's going to be tough. I mean, that guy went to Alaska on a Grom, and that other guy crossed the country on a Ruckus, so it's possible. But it's a kind of masochism.

No ABS. If you're in Canada, you can get a white one with ABS. In the US, you'll have to spend $400 more for the CBR300R and $400 more to option ABS. Is the ABS worth it? If it prevents one accident, it's paid for itself. I've had one panic stop so far and in this one case ABS would not have mattered because I was going slow. The back slid around slightly, but I didn't lose control or cause damage. With higher speeds, ABS might have helped. But ABS won't save you from sand or oil or wind. Don't turn on ABS if you'll just turn off your brain.

Conclusion:
Your first bike is your first bike, not your last. The thing that really sold me on getting a small bike as my first is that I want to earn the bigger bike. If your first car was a Dodge Viper, every other car would be a let-down, and you'd be spoiled for life. Same with bikes. And the slowest bike is more fun than the fastest car.
 

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I realize this post is not very timely, since the original question was posted last year, but I felt I should chime in. I've been riding bikes since age 10, and I'm 57 now. I've owned over 50 bikes during the time, so I'm familiar with a variety of models. My daily bike now is a 1991 Honda ST 1100. It's a 700 plus pound sport touring bike that I could ride cross country today and not give a second thought. However, here I am on a CB300 forum. Why? Because I want something simple, efficient and fun to ride on 100-200 mile trips closer to home and the 300 seems to meet my criteria. Plus it's cheap enough to keep along with my ST.

There seems to be a lot of questions posted by newer riders about the speed of the 300. A new rider needs to spend more time worrying about safety and proper gear than top speed. I can't recall any instance of "accelerating" out of danger. As long as the bike can safely pull away from a stop and not get run over, you should be fine. I've had a 50 cc scooter that comes to mind. You did have to look over your shoulder on it since it didn't really accelerate, it just gained momentum.

I wouldn't recommend freeway riding to any new rider. I wouldn't recommend it to any rider, but sometimes it's unavoidable. Larger, more powerful bikes can ease some of the anxiety of ridding in fast-moving traffic, but power doesn't replace spatial awareness and experience. Learn to ride safely at lower speeds and move onto the freeways when you are comfortable with the higher speeds. If you are overly cautious/nervous in high-speed traffic, you won't enjoy riding and will probably give up before you develop any proficiency. My advice to learners is to get a small dirt bike, go find an empty field and ride the wheels off it till you can really handle a bike. The street is a tough place to learn to ride, and the bike control you learn on a dirt bike makes street riding seem easy.

The issue of resale often comes up because the 300 is thought of as a "learner" bike. The fact is, most smaller - displacement bikes have better resale than larger ones. They cost less initially, and sell for a higher percentage of the original purchase price. There's always a market for used beginner bikes. You want to compare resale? Look at the value of a 2 year old 600 super sport. A new one costs close to $10k. In 2 years it's worth $5-6. That's depreciation. You could give away a 2 year old 300 and lose less money.

From my perspective, a 300 makes a great bike for any rider. If you think you need more power as you get more experience, that's fine. However, sometimes you "think" you need more power because that's what someone else is telling you. Ride what you want, move up if that's what you want to do, and let others worry about their own rides...
 

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if it was me in your position i would go for the 500. Because there is not point in buying the same bike again just for the extra options.
And if you are a bitter ride now. Why not. I have a 300 now, so if i want to upgrade i would consider the 500 for sure. So i hope this helps you out.
 
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