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Currently I'm on a CBR125, which I dearly LOVE, but towards the end of last season I started finding myself interested in longer rides, highway riding and just a general craving for more power.

Luckily, there is an excellent batch of small displacement sport bikes on or about to be on the market. The Toronto Motorcycle Show was my first opportunity to evaluate the CBR300R, R3 and RC390.








As you can see I'm a smaller guy at 5'8 140 lbs so ergonomics are an important factor to me. I have to say I felt right at home on the 300R, aside from the added girth it wasn't to dissimilar from my 125. Feet to floor was extremely easy, flat foot on the CBR vs toes on the R3 and mid foot on the RC. I'm actually not a fan of the R3's ergonomics as well, I found it rises too much in the tail section, creating an awkward pitch for my frame. The RC, although its much racier and demanding on the wrists and shoulders was actually my favourite as a total package. The bike is nice and slim between my legs and the small seat really secures you in the cockpit.

I will readily admit, the CBR is not my first choice, the RC is, however logic may not let me purchase a KTM. With a $6000 or so price tag that is ostensibly equal to MSRP + insurance on a new 300R. Plus the Yamaha rep did point out to me that the RC is more 'exposed' then either the R3 or CBR300R, in the event of a drop the euro bike will be far more expensive. Not to mention the two closest dealers are each an hour away from me, in different directions. While I have a Honda store literally up the street.

But the one major factor that is slowly drawing me towards the 300R is the robust community. Already there are owners coming up on their second season with the bike, plus the guys who were on the original 250s. There is comfort for me knowing that I wont be the guinea pig for Honda like I may be with Yamaha and KTM...

If you're interested I'm also on the R3 and KTM sites as well
 

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Thanks for posting those images and additional details. Helps us see what you're up & about with.

The other bikes have a lot of flash to them, and probably some extra performance and enhancements, but I'm attracted to Honda's conservativeness. It simply makes me want to hang on to the bike, opposed to getting rid of it for something else. It's a solid and safe piece of machine to go with, but this is all just an opinion... ;)

Good luck again with the decision, Nubian... Let us know!
 

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mate i also checked out the ktm, after my cbr250r of 3yrs was stolen,
and cbr500r together with used good cbr250r's as the replacement..

aside from 5 previous excellent road hondas, the factor that helped
me decide against the ktm is its made in india including with
indian brakes etc.. whereas thai honda has demonstrated
its ability to put out a well constructed motorcycle..

with cbr250r's of lowish miles and good condition asking up to 5 grand
[aust] and a xmas special on hondas, i put up the extra for a brand new
all black cbr300ra, for around 6.2 ride away [lower rego as a vet]..

considered honda cbr650f also, last years/first run made in thailand,
but from this year to be made in india.. again a question for me..

its in for repairs right now after an old lady almost head on'd me
out of a side street at the last moment [brakes worked fantastic
resulting in stoppie on impact thus not being throw over her car
but up and down to the side on my back, no injuries, and bike
falling onto its side.. could have been much worse]
but anyway, even tho less than 200km on her and not pushing
new tyres etc, it soon became obvious that honda has done a great
job of continuing development/evolution of cbr250r into this years
model '286'.. while i had no complaints about cbr250r, this '300'
showed its pedegree in various riding situations, notably overtakes
including one sweeping uphill road i take and used as a tester
where she took it easily, willingly, no problem..

generally this improved rideability incls pickup from lower revs
together with general smoothness and excellent availability of
torque.. the stock tyres also deserve a positive mention,
having similar feel to the pirelli sport demons i had on
cbr250r.. easy natural turn in steering responses etc..

also theres a honda dealership within about 15mins of home..
friendly efficient people specialising in the smaller hondas..
rode over there to get a honda oil kit for early oil change..

im also small 5'7" and for me the first mod ordered before
the bike were yoshi rear set brackets which move pegs
back and up [30 or 40mm] which suits my ergos..

no doubt the other bikes in class have their own value etc,
but ninja is overweight with power up the rev range,
r3 is similarly high revving and cbr500r too heavy
imo.. so im a happy satisfied cbr300ra owner/rider..

quite happy to recommend this bike to anyone,
novice or experienced.. for what it is [evolution of
a then brand new engine design] and how it rides..

as with any motorcycle the key is in learning it,
including specific practicing and testing of
what it [and you] are capable of..
 

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Thanks for the excellent write up, Nubian. I had visited a show here in my town back in January (thread link.) I really enjoyed all the bikes that were there and I was pretty disappointed that the R3 wasn't there, and I knew the KTM would not be there as it was not due on dealer floors for another couple months. That said, I still got a good feel for how I fit on some of the "other guys" bikes, meaning not Honda.
I love my little Honda and wouldn't trade her for the world and never once do I regret my decision. Only thing I do regret is seeing her on stands during the winter!

Keep us posted on your decision brother!
 

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aside from 5 previous excellent road hondas, the factor that helped
me decide against the ktm is its made in india including with
indian brakes etc.. whereas thai honda has demonstrated
its ability to put out a well constructed motorcycle..

considered honda cbr650f also, last years/first run made in thailand,
but from this year to be made in india.. again a question for me..
Sorry for the slight change in topic however I have a quick question, are all Hondas now made in Thailand rather than Japan? Also are they now considering to move production to Indian? (Specifically where is the 2015 cb300f made?)
 

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@Nubian Those photos were really good showing that key relationship in height between seat, bars and pegs.
I too was erring towards the KTM back in September last year, my heart was saying KTM because I like sports riding but, having already had a CBR250, my head was saying Honda!

In the end the price differential (more so here in NZ) and the excellent service I receive from the Honda dealer here swung it for me. Also I was able to swap over my aftermarket muffler and tail tidy etc from the 250R.

No regrets at this end, all the best with your decision making and subsequent purchase. Exciting times for you!
 

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knights - honda has plants all over the place now
for cars, bikes, personal jets etc etc, and i dont know
where everything is made/assembled..
interested in where bikes of direct interest to me
are made/assembled, such as cbr300rs - thailand..

cbr600r and cbr1000r made in hamamatsu plant japan..
goldwing in ohio usa til 2010 then back to japan [i think]..

india is the go today for assembly and manufacture
no doubt due to lower production costs..

ktmrc390 is made in india, yamaha r3 indonesia,
hondacbr300r/500r in thailand..

i checked out the nice looking megelli 250 designed by brits
but made in china.. looked good.. but inspected a local one
close up and it was a bit rough, rusting forks etc..

thai honda has demonstrated its ability to put out quality
motorcycles in cbr250r and 500r.. i was very pleased with
my cbr250r [3yrs daily use til stolen] which started first touch
of the button every time, had no rust [3yrs parked outside
5 mins from pacific ocean] and did everything i asked of her..

liked the royal enfield cafe 500 single resurrection
but reports from owners of problems of the indian
made model put me off..

no doubt ktm, yamaha etc take manufacturing seriously
wherever their plants are located worldwide, yet for me
its basically who has demonstrated capability,
and who has not.. my first 4 hondas were made in japan
[cb72, cb450, 2 x cb750/4] and cbr250r made in thailand..
[i checked their operation out as far as you can
before buying cbr250r and it seemed to be
a genuine honda outfit well structured and
of typical honda quality etc..

[if you do a search on honda manufacturing plants
worldwide today, its like the never-ending-story]
 

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I bet the map on where they make things or get things made get even bigger when you consider where ever things are being outsourced to.
 

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ktmrc390 has brybe brakes, made in india
with some relationship to brembo..
excellent aussie multi test of cr390 incl track
etc, tester stated brakes "are rubbish"
and something like 'not suitable for the track'..

some, reviewers simply said 'brembo brakes'..
but images show calibers with brybe, not brembo..

this is just an example to make the point..
would prefer made in japan, based on experience,
but thai honda have the runs on the board..
india does not..

anyone can detail their new bikes plastics
if keen enough, but manufactured parts
suck as brakes must up to it first time..
 

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For me, I prefer Japanese build, but Thailand should be the next best thing. Tempting to get my hands on a CBR600RR, which should be of Japanese build.
 

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Great info Nubian, thanks.
Check out the linear power and torque curves of the R3 esp compared to the KTM which is all over the shop.
Interesting that at 6000RPM the CBR eats both the Ninja and R3 for power & torque, typical single cylinder power characteristics.
 
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