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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to get my first bike and the CBRs have caught my interests, more specifically the CBR500, but used ones aren't as apparent in the market. I see a lot more CBR300s in my area but I think the CBR500 is a good in between without going to a 600. I'm 6' and 190 pounds and will be using the bike to commute, highway, downtown, suburban areas, etc. Would the 300 be too small for the highways, I would assume it would just be high revving but bikes can handle that. Also is it worth it to try and get the 500 instead? Is there a difference in highway riding? Thanks!
 

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Howdy I used to own the 300 and have ridden the 500. The biggest difference between the two is weight. 66lbs or 30kg. The 500 is a porker whereas the 300 is more nimble, flickable and fun. But if your doing a lot of highway work you may find the more stable feel of the 500 better esp in high winds. The 300 motor isnt high revving by nature as its a single cylinder and produces reasonable midrange torque for its size. The 500 isnt revvy either even though its a twin and should be. It has a crazy low redline of 9,200 rpm. I found the 500 motor a bit boring actually, it signs off way too early, esp when your looking to have a bit of fun. :giggle:
I'd pump for the 300, it's a fun bike. It will sit on 70mph on the high way fine and 80 if you whip it along some. If you do get one you may find you want to change the gearing like a lot of owners do to reduce the revs at higher cruising speeds.
 

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Having owned two CB500X's and two 300's due to your size and what your going to do with it I would go with the 500X not the F or the R because those two bike are only one inch better seat foot peg wise than theCBR300R And the F-if you don't like the X and are going to cruise at no more than 65 mph than the CB300R would work I'm your size exactly - the CBR300R and the F have a small seat compared the the CB300R-I know it sounds confusing -you need to go seat on all of them- I ride a CB300R and it fits me fine where my CB300F was cramped -but any cruiseing over 65mph will Shorten engine life-the 500's are a all day 70 mph cruise bike
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Howdy I used to own the 300 and have ridden the 500. The biggest difference between the two is weight. 66lbs or 30kg. The 500 is a porker whereas the 300 is more nimble, flickable and fun. But if your doing a lot of highway work you may find the more stable feel of the 500 better esp in high winds. The 300 motor isnt high revving by nature as its a single cylinder and produces reasonable midrange torque for its size. The 500 isnt revvy either even though its a twin and should be. It has a crazy low redline of 9,200 rpm. I found the 500 motor a bit boring actually, it signs off way too early, esp when your looking to have a bit of fun. :giggle:
I'd pump for the 300, it's a fun bike. It will sit on 70mph on the high way fine and 80 if you whip it along some. If you do get one you may find you want to change the gearing like a lot of owners do to reduce the revs at higher cruising speeds.
Thanks for the info! Sounds like I could lean either way as highways where I live tend to have lots of traffic so probably won't be cruising at high speeds that often. As for the gearing on the 300, I'm no familiar with it so what do you recommend the best gearing to be for a mix of riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Having owned two CB500X's and two 300's due to your size and what your going to do with it I would go with the 500X not the F or the R because those two bike are only one inch better seat foot peg wise than theCBR300R And the F-if you don't like the X and are going to cruise at no more than 65 mph than the CB300R would work I'm your size exactly - the CBR300R and the F have a small seat compared the the CB300R-I know it sounds confusing -you need to go seat on all of them- I ride a CB300R and it fits me fine where my CB300F was cramped -but any cruiseing over 65mph will Shorten engine life-the 500's are a all day 70 mph cruise bike
Thanks for the info! I'll definitely have to sit in both to see the difference to understand what you are talking about. Either way I go, I think I'll be happy overall.
 

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Thanks for the info! Sounds like I could lean either way as highways where I live tend to have lots of traffic so probably won't be cruising at high speeds that often. As for the gearing on the 300, I'm no familiar with it so what do you recommend the best gearing to be for a mix of riding.
The easiest, cheapest and most common mod is to go one tooth larger on the front sprocket from a 14T to a 15T. The chain is long enough to accommodate this change and its cheaper to purchase a front sprocket than a rear.
 

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Thanks for the info! Sounds like I could lean either way as highways where I live tend to have lots of traffic so probably won't be cruising at high speeds that often. As for the gearing on the 300, I'm no familiar with it so what do you recommend the best gearing to be for a mix of riding.
With your weight leave it stock-I was looking into regearing mine 15T counter- ran all the numbers and came up with not enough power to pull my weight in top gear and no body makes a speedometer corrections device for thecCB300R-so I cancelled that
 

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I put a 15T on my CB300R and checking constantly with the TomTom, the speedo reads 1 - 2 mph more than the TomTom and revs are 1000 per 10 mph, same as my CBR300 was.
 

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With your weight leave it stock-I was looking into regearing mine 15T counter- ran all the numbers and came up with not enough power to pull my weight in top gear and no body makes a speedometer corrections device for thecCB300R-so I cancelled that
The thing is here Motorboy you did the maths but didn't actually do the mod so your not speaking from first hand experience. Loads of CB/R riders have done this mod and found the result agreeable.
It would probably make your calculator smoke to hear that I not only went to a 15 on the front but also dropped two teeth off the rear and ran a 34T sprocket. The bike had around 30,000 km's on it when I sold it and was running like a swiss watch! :giggle:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The easiest, cheapest and most common mod is to go one tooth larger on the front sprocket from a 14T to a 15T. The chain is long enough to accommodate this change and its cheaper to purchase a front sprocket than a rear.
Thanks again! I'll look into that gearing and see if I want to do it if I decide with a 300!
 

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Here's the thing I've decided after my first two bikes: The highway is just not going to be fun. You could compromise further and further toward something more comfortable for the highway (it's not just as easy as "bigger") but you're potentially impacting the bike in those slow speed / urban environments and spirited windy backroads / weekend track events. You'll always get batted around by double-trailer semi-trucks and strong wind gusts. (A full-fairing bike would be better in this regard.)

I took my CB300F on a few long trips (including one 1,500+ mi) and yes, it's strung out doing 70+ mph on the interstate. But doable and, I think, totally fine for the little single-cylinder thumper. I also regularly did 45 min - 1 hour stints on the highway regularly (to get to better backroads). And shorter stints to get around the city. Not problematic.

I'm 5'11" and had been ~175 lb range. Some people might look at you on the small bike on the highway and think you're nuts. But there's ample acceleration even at highway-plus speeds. Your hands will get numb from the vibration. You'll have tons of fun around the city and on curvy roads.

I thought my Suzuki SV650X would be better on the highways -- it is, but not hugely, as much as I might have thought beforehand. You're still in an awkward position relatively speaking that you can't change, focusing 100% of the time because it's not a car, getting blown around by the wind, waiting for your destination. And hopefully you remembered the ear protection or your head will be ringing afterwards. But it's hugely entertaining around the city and on the backroads. The sub-1 hour trips on interstates (posted 65-75 mph around here) are, indeed, more tolerable and they go by quicker.

The CBR300 on paper is the better bike than the CBR500. But the 500 could certainly fit someone's riding better. A few problems are, as you noted, there's a much better supply of 300s, and there are also some great bikes to be had competing at the 500's entry point (like the SV 😇).
 

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...The CBR300 on paper is the better bike than the CBR500. But the 500 could certainly fit someone's riding better. A few problems are, as you noted, there's a much better supply of 300s, and there are also some great bikes to be had competing at the 500's entry point (like the SV 😇).
Kawasaki's Ninja 400 is another.
 
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The thing is here Motorboy you did the maths but didn't actually do the mod so your not speaking from first hand experience. Loads of CB/R riders have done this mod and found the result agreeable.
It would probably make your calculator smoke to hear that I not only went to a 15 on the front but also dropped two teeth off the rear and ran a 34T sprocket. The bike had around 30,000 km's on it when I sold it and was running like a swiss watch! :giggle:
You are right I didn't to the mod -being my bike is a CB300R and I belong to that site to-very few have left the 15T on long all saying the same thing not enough roll on power and weak going through the gears-if I was lighter like 130lbs-59 kilo I would not think twice-and being as of right now no one makes a speed correcting device for the CB300R I'll pass--by the way how much do you weigh
 

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Here's the thing I've decided after my first two bikes: The highway is just not going to be fun. You could compromise further and further toward something more comfortable for the highway (it's not just as easy as "bigger") but you're potentially impacting the bike in those slow speed / urban environments and spirited windy backroads / weekend track events. You'll always get batted around by double-trailer semi-trucks and strong wind gusts. (A full-fairing bike would be better in this regard.)

I took my CB300F on a few long trips (including one 1,500+ mi) and yes, it's strung out doing 70+ mph on the interstate. But doable and, I think, totally fine for the little single-cylinder thumper. I also regularly did 45 min - 1 hour stints on the highway regularly (to get to better backroads). And shorter stints to get around the city. Not problematic.

I'm 5'11" and had been ~175 lb range. Some people might look at you on the small bike on the highway and think you're nuts. But there's ample acceleration even at highway-plus speeds. Your hands will get numb from the vibration. You'll have tons of fun around the city and on curvy roads.

I thought my Suzuki SV650X would be better on the highways -- it is, but not hugely, as much as I might have thought beforehand. You're still in an awkward position relatively speaking that you can't change, focusing 100% of the time because it's not a car, getting blown around by the wind, waiting for your destination. And hopefully you remembered the ear protection or your head will be ringing afterwards. But it's hugely entertaining around the city and on the backroads. The sub-1 hour trips on interstates (posted 65-75 mph around here) are, indeed, more tolerable and they go by quicker.

The CBR300 on paper is the better bike than the CBR500. But the 500 could certainly fit someone's riding better. A few problems are, as you noted, there's a much better supply of 300s, and there are also some great bikes to be had competing at the 500's entry point (like the SV 😇).
What paper are you looking at to make a statement like that
 

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... if I was lighter like 130lbs-59 kilo I would not think twice-and being as of right now no one makes a speed correcting device for the CB300R I'll pass--by the way how much do you weigh
I'm 130lb after breakfast and toileting. :giggle:

On the metric bikes the 15T front sprocket actually makes the in built speedo error less so it's a win. Maybe different for the MPH models.

Really depends what sort of riding you do as to whether this mods good for you or not. I do solely sports riding on weekend blasts and multiday touring so all 70MPH plus. No town work or commuting as my town is so small I'm only 500m from the open road. With stock gearing it felt like the thing was screaming its head off at 70MPH. Tiring.
 
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With the 15T on my new CB300R the speedo reads 1 - 2 mph more than the TomTom. This comparison has been done each time I've been out on it and checked throughout the ride. Nice to know if my speedo reads the speed limit then I am just under it. As for the odometer and total miles, the reading on the speedo is 6% less than the distance the Tomtom gives for the ride. I don't mind because when I come to sell it the reading will be less than it has actually done so will look better to the buyer. Not that 6% is very much. I would not change back to the 14T front. The gear spread now is just right for our area ( twisty hilly roads with very few double carriageways and mostly 60 mph limits)
 

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What paper are you looking at to make a statement like that
The CBR500 tends to get walloped in every round-up comparison to similar range bikes (often 650 twins), while the CBR300 is always the "solid but middling" option in the lightweight category (where the Ninja 400 rules). IMO moving from the 300 -> 500 gets you more weight than the power makes worthwhile (on paper). But this is just bench-racing and I'm sure it's a fine bike.
 

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You can't ride paper-having owned two 500's and two 300's all I can say is bull-but lets look at the paper
CBR300R 27.5 HP- 357 lbs =a HP to weight ratio of 12.98 to one
CBR500R 47.5 HP 423 lbs = 8.9 to one--big difference--
CB300R 27.5 HP 317 Lbs = 11.52 to one
so much for paper -the 500 series is faster all around and a better bike -the only penalty is weight and that is the only reason I went from a 500 to a CB300R-but I do miss the 500's power-if you haven't ridden a 500 to comp you need to than you can take that paper and put it next to the toilet where it can serve a purpose
 

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Also let me say my comments are not against you or anyone else -just the facts from someone who has owned and ridden both
 

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Benchracing is dumb, I agree. ;)

But I stand by the CBR500 being in awkward territory. It does not compare terribly well to other twins in the ~7k MSRP range. (SV weight-to-power ratio is 5.8 = 437/75)
 
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