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On the subject of long-distance riding, I have in the past toyed with the idea of getting a Goldwing with cruise control and reverse gear, just about the best bike ever made for crossing continents (on asphalt). I would really struggle with the weight these days. It would be great to do a lap of Oz on one of those things.
 

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Hi Ravinoth, I own CB300F and I love it. I wanted a city bike which can be occasionally taken on longer trips on ~60mph roads, so I added a windshield (@hard core naked bike lovers: forgive me for heresy), hand guards and saddle bags. After the break-in period, when I rode bike on highway with stock gearing (I took it up to 77mph actual and kept it at ~ 75 mph for 15 minutes or so) I did mind bike twitchiness a bit, but not as much as vibration that was coming from the handlebar and pegs. Even on city streets, my hands get numb after 30 minutes.
I have a couple of questions:
1. Did you experience any irritating vibrations while riding CB300F at those speeds? My bike may be vibrating due to my own fault (handguard installation required complete removal of original weights. The weights that came with handlebars did not look high quality. Now I have removed the handguards and reinstalled original weights, but Chicago winter is preventing me from testing the bike).
2. As far as vibration goes, how do CB300F/CB500F compare at higher speeds?
I hope that I can resolve this issue, because I'm planning to keep this bike for a long time.
Best Regards
 

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Hi Ravinoth, I own CB300F and I love it. I wanted a city bike which can be occasionally taken on longer trips on ~60mph roads, so I added a windshield (@hard core naked bike lovers: forgive me for heresy), hand guards and saddle bags. After the break-in period, when I rode bike on highway with stock gearing (I took it up to 77mph actual and kept it at ~ 75 mph for 15 minutes or so) I did mind bike twitchiness a bit, but not as much as vibration that was coming from the handlebar and pegs. Even on city streets, my hands get numb after 30 minutes.
I have a couple of questions:
1. Did you experience any irritating vibrations while riding CB300F at those speeds? My bike may be vibrating due to my own fault (handguard installation required complete removal of original weights. The weights that came with handlebars did not look high quality. Now I have removed the handguards and reinstalled original weights, but Chicago winter is preventing me from testing the bike).
2. As far as vibration goes, how do CB300F/CB500F compare at higher speeds?
I hope that I can resolve this issue, because I'm planning to keep this bike for a long time.
Best Regards
Hello. I put tons of miles on the 300 F at 110-120 kph (75 mph) and the 300 F is mostly fine at that speed in my opinion. The long-term issue that I was seeing was that it could go up to 140 kph from there just fine but after that there's not much left. So if a transport truck didn't see me and was about to crush me between his lane and the wall, I didn't have a ton of acceleration to get out of there. Even on windy days I might have to make adjustments but it was fine for someone who isn't afraid to "brave the elements" a bit. A lot of riders would want more stability though. Riding around transport trucks was not fun if I didn't tuck in like a full sport-bike rider though; otherwise the buffeting would get pretty violent at times. To answer your questions:

1. I actually had issues with the 300 F where my left hand and left foot would go numb after about 1.5 hours of riding. I wear alpine stars boots and a set of motorcycle gloves (with knuckles and such). The vibration was "fine" and I believe that it sort of "annoyed" my nerve endings for long-enough that it eventually caused the numbness. The good news is that after my first 1,000 KM service things seemed a lot better; and then there was a point at 2,000 KM's where I realized that I hadn't had hand or foot numbness for quite some time. So my belief is that the engine takes a while to break-in and that the vibration issues should cease after that. The engine will never feel as smooth as a parallel twin but I didn't find the smoothness to be a detriment.

If you are hearing vibrations on the 300F, tighten the black plastic cowl on both sides of the gas tank. Mine were loose and cause rattling all of the time and annoyed me half to death until I figured it out. It just takes an Alan key I think but I had the service department do it when they were doing the 1,000 KM service.

2. Due to the weather here in Ontario (Canada), I haven't ridden much in December (when I bought the 500F) or January at all sadly. But I have put about 200 km's on the 500 F so far. I did take it up to 130 km/h and everything still felt smooth as butter during light acceleration and sitting at a highway speed. The seat felt like a sex toy at high RPM's so I'm hoping that smooths out after the first service. I'm mostly doing a light break-in with some light revving to the top-end after the bike is nice and warm but I might be waiting a month or three before the winter passes by.

My tentative opinion on the 500 F is that the engine is super smooth, the bike is heavier so it's less beginner friendly but the stability is really nice. The 300 F liked to "fall" to one side or the other when I would move my weight on the bike, or when a strong gust of wind would hit it (either stopped at a light or riding at speed) whereas the 500 F is more planted and feels like it would very likely eat highway miles a lot more comfortably.

The riding position feels more aggressive due to the larger size of the 500 F and my wrists hurt a little bit so I'll have to squeeze the tank more with my legs than I had to on my 300 F which had a very relaxed feel in comparison. So the 500 F sacrifices some of the comfort of city riding that the 300 F provides in exchange to be more of an mix between city and highway. Everything is a trade-off with bikes.
 

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Hello. I put tons of miles on the 300 F at 110-120 kph (75 mph) and the 300 F is mostly fine at that speed in my opinion. The long-term issue that I was seeing was that it could go up to 140 kph from there just fine but after that there's not much left. So if a transport truck didn't see me and was about to crush me between his lane and the wall, I didn't have a ton of acceleration to get out of there. Even on windy days I might have to make adjustments but it was fine for someone who isn't afraid to "brave the elements" a bit. A lot of riders would want more stability though. Riding around transport trucks was not fun if I didn't tuck in like a full sport-bike rider though; otherwise the buffeting would get pretty violent at times. To answer your questions:

1. I actually had issues with the 300 F where my left hand and left foot would go numb after about 1.5 hours of riding. I wear alpine stars boots and a set of motorcycle gloves (with knuckles and such). The vibration was "fine" and I believe that it sort of "annoyed" my nerve endings for long-enough that it eventually caused the numbness. The good news is that after my first 1,000 KM service things seemed a lot better; and then there was a point at 2,000 KM's where I realized that I hadn't had hand or foot numbness for quite some time. So my belief is that the engine takes a while to break-in and that the vibration issues should cease after that. The engine will never feel as smooth as a parallel twin but I didn't find the smoothness to be a detriment.

If you are hearing vibrations on the 300F, tighten the black plastic cowl on both sides of the gas tank. Mine were loose and cause rattling all of the time and annoyed me half to death until I figured it out. It just takes an Alan key I think but I had the service department do it when they were doing the 1,000 KM service.

2. Due to the weather here in Ontario (Canada), I haven't ridden much in December (when I bought the 500F) or January at all sadly. But I have put about 200 km's on the 500 F so far. I did take it up to 130 km/h and everything still felt smooth as butter during light acceleration and sitting at a highway speed. The seat felt like a sex toy at high RPM's so I'm hoping that smooths out after the first service. I'm mostly doing a light break-in with some light revving to the top-end after the bike is nice and warm but I might be waiting a month or three before the winter passes by.

My tentative opinion on the 500 F is that the engine is super smooth, the bike is heavier so it's less beginner friendly but the stability is really nice. The 300 F liked to "fall" to one side or the other when I would move my weight on the bike, or when a strong gust of wind would hit it (either stopped at a light or riding at speed) whereas the 500 F is more planted and feels like it would very likely eat highway miles a lot more comfortably.

The riding position feels more aggressive due to the larger size of the 500 F and my wrists hurt a little bit so I'll have to squeeze the tank more with my legs than I had to on my 300 F which had a very relaxed feel in comparison. So the 500 F sacrifices some of the comfort of city riding that the 300 F provides in exchange to be more of an mix between city and highway. Everything is a trade-off with bikes.
Wow, thanks for detailed reply. I was afraid that every CB300 is as bad as mine. I'll definitely check the cowl; however, most likely my handguards were the root cause for excessive handlebar vibration. Can't wait until spring to test the bike.
Enjoy your new ride.
 

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.....1. I actually had issues with the 300 F where my left hand and left foot would go numb after about 1.5 hours of riding. I wear alpine stars boots and a set of motorcycle gloves (with knuckles and such)......
Some advice for newbies regarding gloves:

You will hear conflicting reports about vibration on the same bike, some complaining and others saying it's not a problem. There can be differences between supposedly identical bikes, perhaps due to mileage or servicing quality, but gloves make a big difference in my experience, and in a counter-intuitive way.

Many riders think that the key to minimising the effects of vibration on the hands is thicker gloves, either on the palm or both palm and elsewhere. However, the thickness and quality of the leather, and the amount and design of any attached armour, can make a big difference to the force needed to distort the glove when wrapping the hands around the grips. If the gloves are stiff, due to quality/thickness of the leather, design (i.e. where the natural creases are, due to the stitching and panel layout, especially reinforcing) or the amount, positioning and shape of armour, more force is required to form a fist and this results in the rider having to grip the bars with more force. This in turn means that any vibration is felt more strongly.

I experimented with this over the years and eventually settled on just about the thinnest and most flexible gloves I could find. I wouldn't use something like that for racing or track days, but for normal road riding at moderate speeds, I think they provide enough protection. I barely notice I'm wearing them and the comfort, in Australian temperatures at least, is amazing.

The other thing to watch out for is the cuff design. Some gloves can be a little tight around the wrist, especially if fastened over the cuff of a jacket. Even apparently low pressure around the wrist, over an hour or more, can lead to reduced blood flow into the hands, leading to numbness, pain or tingling. Some care when fastening should be used, and the gloves fastened no tighter than they need to be in order to stay on should be used.

As you can see, purchasing riding gloves is a much more complicated and important task than might be assumed.
 

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I'm a thin glove fan too, even at the expense of colder hands. Short cuff as well. Gives you great feel at the controls esp for braking.
I hate having to wear my winter gloves when it's real cold and then I get way more aches and vibes.
Good point JNO.
 

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Some advice for newbies regarding gloves:

You will hear conflicting reports about vibration on the same bike, some complaining and others saying it's not a problem. There can be differences between supposedly identical bikes, perhaps due to mileage or servicing quality, but gloves make a big difference in my experience, and in a counter-intuitive way.
That's a good point about gear that I'll keep in mind for future purchases. To extrapolate on my experiences a little, I used the same gloves and boots for the whole 4,500 KM's that I put on the bike but there was no numbness for the last 2,000 KM's which strongly led me to believe the engine smoothed-out after the break-in period. It only happened after about two hours of riding at 100+ kph without pulling over; which is such a specific use-case that many riders may not have been going on long-rides at highway speeds within the break-in period and never felt the vibration on the left handle bar and left foot peg. That's why I believe there are so many differing accounts: different riders are riding their bikes in significantly different ways so there should be no surprise that there are different results.
 

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for me for general riding alpine stars light summer gloves
did the trick.. easy wash and dry.. durable for the price
with some protective elements, knuckles etc..

dont know about heavy gourmet leather gloves
but for these a/s light gloves i would wash them
then wear them around as they dried out,
doing a few pushups on knuckles and
hanging from a chinup bar, and suchlike,
thus shaping them to my hand
from the get go..

never had problems with gripping bars
as dont grip bars, once under way..

doesnt hurt to lift a hand off the bar
now and then, including righty
while allowing slow deceleration
still in top say.. give them a shake
or lift both off [when appropriate]
and stretch arms to fingers..

even light stretching incl arms/hands/fingers
is worthwhile before any ride,, but also
prepares for the longer runs..
 

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To extrapolate on my experiences a little, I used the same gloves and boots for the whole 4,500 KM's that I put on the bike but there was no numbness for the last 2,000 KM's which strongly led me to believe the engine smoothed-out after the break-in period.
Extra what? Heck I had to google that one! Is this the CBR300 forum?? :laugh::D
Just messin with ya ;)

Back on topic (ish) tho, I would like to add that I too removed my vibration dampeners and I dont have any more bother with vibes than I did before.
I do have a bar-end mirror stuffed up one of them tho, maybe that helps.
 

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It sounds you are looking for a reasonably prices low maintenance bike to make these trips? I would say the 300r 'could' do it. But you would definitely want to be tucking down alot and depending on how tall you are like me, that doesn't work too well. What I did was get some low clip on handlebars and some rearsets set back very far. Still have the stock windscreen but now my body is layed out more and the seating position is much more ergonomic and so much easier to tuck behind the stock windscreen. No pressure on my neck and I can actually stay tucked for quite some time without becoming 'tired' of the position. But all in all I would probably go with the cbr500 if I was you. Bit more pull on the highways, better passing speeds, and not as much vibration and in my opinion..beatin :)g on the engine at 8000rpm's. I didn't know Kawa still made a 500? But, this is just my opinion...I would stick with a HONDA!
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Yes, I am looking for a cheap but reasonably reliable beginner bike, one suitable for making long trips. I'm also trying to focus on bikes less than 10 years old. I consider the 500 Vulcan and 500 ninja mainly because they seem to fit this category. (so far as I know, Kawasaki hasn't sold either in the U.S. since 2009 or so.) whether I will prefer a cruiser style or sport bike style, I have no idea. I hope to sit on both and others soon. I'm also considering an sv 650 with fairings, which also sells for very low prices around here. I love the Hondas--the cb 500s, the ctx and nx 700--, but these usually sell for at least a couple of thousand dollars more. And it may sound strange, but I do want to start with a bike that's a bit rough sound the edges, and not just because i'll probably drop it. As a rider, I will be a be rough around the edges! When and if I move up to a nicer bike, I want to be ready for it and appreciate it.


Thanks again to you all. I will remember the tips about the gloves!
 

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.....whether I will prefer a cruiser style or sport bike style, I have no idea. I hope to sit on both and others soon........
The unfortunate fact is, you will often sit on your sports bike wishing it was a cruiser, or on your cruiser wishing it was a sports bike. On another day, you'll wish it was a tourer. A week later, on a ride between forests or mountains, you'll want a dual sport so that you can head up the fire trails.

We all suffer this. When we're rolling down an ocean-front boulevard past cafe crowds, a huge cruiser is perfect. But then you have to use the highway to get home and suddenly your arse is numb and your neck is being wrenched off. Time to get the tourer out. Great, but there's a really nice, twisty and well-surfaced long-way-home through the mountains. Now where did I stow the sportsbike? Aaaagh, the road is blocked and the best way home is using some farm tracks! Time for the R1200GS...... Whew, back onto tarmac, but now I'm in the city and my huge BMW is stuck behind a long queue of cars. CB300F, where are you?

:D
 

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I know I enter the conversation late.
But from the 1st post on this thread, it appears to me that the CB500X is what you're looking for.

Good acceleration (much faster than most cars), but not dangerously fast.
Best suspension for those gravel roads!
Wider tires (a must for gravel).
A 500cc engine, which runs best between 40-60MPH; but still can get you to 95MPH with ease.
It has a windbreaker, which is what you need on interstate rides.
The CB500 also is a balanced 180 degree Ptwin, so it'll vibrate less than the CB300 thumper engine.
If you want to reduce vibrations, try pouring 1oz of 2 stroke oil per gallon of fuel you tank.
It should help with reducing vibrations; though it could extend the breakin period..

The CB500X has about anything you think you want, save for the +100LBS over the CB300F, and you'd be running the bike well under 80% of its total power.
Not recommended on the 300 for the longer runs (to run above 80% for prolonged time).
It might do it, but somewhere it just feels wrong to run it that long, that high.

Smaller tires on the CB300 mean quicker wear, and less stability.
Though I think any bike of 350LBS is heavy enough not to really be bothered by any wind gusts, some people think it's too light for the interstate.
I personally wouldn't say so. Perhaps the suspension on the CB300 is a bit light. Like on my Rebel, which is tuned for speeds of upto 60MPH, going faster may feel a bit wobbly when hitting those little bumps, and/or road trenches caused by car and truck tires in the asphalt.

I plan on riding interstate for about 1x to 2x 1 hours per day (40-45 miles one way, or upto 90 miles 2 way). I think that's pretty much how much I can expect the bike to run fine.
If I were to ride more than 100 miles a day, with more than 3/4th highway/interstate, I would probably go for a 500cc.
Rides over 200 miles get quite boring at below 80MPH, and a 500cc isn't asking for too much at all!

I've also sat on, and looked at a Versys, KLR650, and CTX700/NC700X.
I found them pretty heavy, which took away of riding joy for me, and where made for taller people.
I would be able to ride them, but the other bikes but still prefer a smaller, more nimble bike.
The CB500x is about the same weight as a KLR, but the others are a bit more heavy.
The CB500X would be that smaller bike for me, should I do longer road trips; however in Florida, longer trips means guaranteed getting caught in the rain somewhere. So I would prefer an Elio for that.
 

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I know I enter the conversation late.

The CB500 also is a balanced 180 degree Ptwin, so it'll vibrate less than the CB300 thumper engine.
If you want to reduce vibrations, try pouring 1oz of 2 stroke oil per gallon of fuel you tank.
It should help with reducing vibrations; though it could extend the breakin period..
NO, this will not reduce vibrations.

Source - I am a qualified Vibration Analyst
 

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NO, this will not reduce vibrations.

Source - I am a qualified Vibration Analyst
I reckon many women would claim to be one of those :devil:

"Oh no dear, I was just testing it....."
 
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Wider tires (a must for gravel).

Smaller tires on the CB300 mean quicker wear, and less stability.

Though I think any bike of 350LBS is heavy enough not to really be bothered by any wind gusts, some people think it's too light for the interstate.

If you want to reduce vibrations, try pouring 1oz of 2 stroke oil per gallon of fuel you tank.
You raise some good points in your advice MeeLee but as a high mileage owner I would like to add my 10 cents.

1. Wide tyres are not good on gravel, they roll around more rather than cutting through it like a narrower tyre. I had a Ducati 750 prior to my WeeBR's and it was $hit on gravel roads. Last week I did 10 miles of gravel through a forest on my 300R and it's way easier to control.

2. The tyres on the 300 wont wear any quicker than the 500. If anything they will last longer due to less HP and weight on them. I got 8500 miles out of my OEM tyres.

3. I cant speak for the F model but the 300R is affected by wind gusts, esp side on and can be down right scary at high speed. I've been down to 45MPH before in some bad side winds.

4. I know you believe in it, and I respect that, but I really wonder whether we should be advising folk to pour stuff into their petrol tank other than petrol!
 

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I have my opinion about things, but,
On number 4, I'd encourage you to try it for a change.
Seeing it's a single cylinder, it might need less oil than a twin. 1oz per 2 gal perhaps...
Seems like you know a thing or two about bikes, so if it'd not work well, you could always undo it with Seafoam.
 
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