Another Newbie post (seeking advice) - Honda Rebel 300 & 500 Forum
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post #1 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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Another Newbie post (seeking advice)

My first post.

I'm in my mid 50's, living in central Ohio. I've never ridden a motorcycle before. I'll be taking the state motorcycle course in a few days and want to get my first motorcycle.

I've read several "How to buy a motorcycle" articles, and many of them ask the question "What do you want to do with the motorcycle?" That will point you towards what model/style to buy. That's pretty easy for me to answer. I want a small-ish bike to ride around my small town outside Columbus, Oh. Most driving will be 10-15 minute trips. But then I'll want to do some cruising on the country roads once outside my town. I want to leave the door open to make some longer trips to see friends. These would be 100-150 miles away....and I would take back country roads (where possible) to get there...even if it takes longer. I have NO desire to be on a 70mph highway. I am terrified of a large 1000cc bike.

Also..what I DON'T want: I have no desire to race, or see how fast I can accelerate when a traffic light turns green. I have no desire to make a lot of noise. I have no need to be part of the biker/rider community. (mostly HD people anyway) And at my age, I certainly am not out to impress the ladies! (ha ha) I also have no desire to own a Harley Davidson.

I'm trying to find the right balance between 'not to small' and 'not too large'. I was originally thinking I would get a starter bike, ride it for a year, then get a used mid level cruiser...something like a Honda Shadow. I didn't think I would like a sport bike...with it's leaning forward body positioning. I went to my first motorcycle dealership the other day and sat on several bikes. And for the sport bike, I was right, I REALLY didn't like the lean forward body position. I also sat on a larger cruiser with forward foot positions. And I couldn't believe how much I disliked the forward foot position. I keep coming back to the Honda Rebel 300/500. From an 'internet research' point of view, it seems like the right bike. When I sat on one for the first time, it felt comfortable. Upright body, foot position was good.

Since there are no used 300/500 models out there, I am considering skipping the cheap starter bike and buying new. (Mostly because there are no used models yet) While I will leave the door open for 'changing my mind'...I'll also say I'm not 20 years old....I kind of know what I want and what I don't.

If I'm going to go with a new Rebel, I can't decide if I want a 300 or 500. Just when I think I've made my decision, I change my mind. They each have their advantages. I really do like the idea of a twin cylinder engine...and the more power it brings. (But not so much I could get myself into trouble) But the low power (and lower cost) of the 300 has it's draw too. Since I don't have a frame of reference, who's to say the 300's power isn't fine for my needs. I read about the 300's vibration issues at highway speeds, and to some...a lack of power. But who's to say that amount of power won't be fine for me?

I won't be making any decisions until I complete the State training course. Let the posts begin!!!
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post #2 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 07:33 AM
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I'm a newbie too and just went through the same thought process. I ended up with the 300ABS and haven't looked back. I'm 5'10" about 190lbs. and feel it fits me perfectly. I had never ridden before either. I've had it about a month and a half now and have about 1400 miles on it already. I had read about the benefits of the 500 over the 300 and the cost ended up being the deciding factor for me. I got three at the same time for the whole family so the cost difference was really dramatic. The power has been fine for us. As for the vibration, some of that depends on the quality of the road of course, but I've noticed it being more pronounced at certain speeds. I can adjust speed and usually find a sweet spot.
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post #3 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jparker42 View Post
I'm a newbie too and just went through the same thought process. I ended up with the 300ABS and haven't looked back. I'm 5'10" about 190lbs. and feel it fits me perfectly.

I guess I should have added: I'm 5'10" and 195lbs. And which ever model I get, I will want ABS.
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post #4 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 08:01 AM
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Nothing beats trying one, if you have the opportunity. The 500 is not high powered and it has a very smooth throttle which always helps newbies. In the equation somewhere is the difference between a twin cylinder and a single cylinder engine. Lately, I find I do not warm to a single, but, hey, we are all different.
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post #5 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 08:33 AM
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I have now taught four people to ride on my 500. It is the sweet spot for a motorcycle. No one has had trouble with it and ****, I've had many bikes but this one always has me turning around as I walk away to catch another look. I adore this bike. My wife is a new rider and she loves the 500. She's 4'10 and she can handle it with no sweat.

Effortless to ride, effortless to love.

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post #6 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 08:55 AM
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my vote is for the 500, its the best all around for what you want, city and some long trips. you'll probably want to look into a new seat as soon as you get it though. corbin makes a nice one with a "backrest"
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post #7 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 09:02 AM
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@Ohio Newbie ,

Welcome! I can relate to everything you posted, I'm in my mid 40's and the Rebel is my first motorcycle. I have all the same wants and "don't wants" as you. I just wanted to go out and experience riding and enjoy it. We're about the same height and weight, so you should be able to sit comfortable on the Rebel without being cramped. I really like the mid controls on the Rebel, I feel like I am planted more firmly on the bike as opposed to having my feet forward.

I decided on the 500 instead of the 300 because while most of my riding is local, I do make the occasional trip across the state to visit family and I like having the extra power of the 500 if I need to pass someone or just to merge into traffic. If money is not the deciding factor, I would go with the 500. Good luck with the motorcycle course and let us know what you decide!

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post #8 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 09:28 AM
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While I'm sure the 300 is equally capable of doing everything the 500 can, the 500 with ABS would be the better choice if cost is not a factor and you can get over the gearbox sticking out by your right ankle area.

Also the bump in HP and smooth power delivery of the 500 would be welcomed on those longer rides.

You're at point in your life where you don't want to compromise as much and want to enjoy your toys right away. If you were a kid, i'd say get on a 300 if you want to save some bux and upgrade later on if/when your needs change.
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post #9 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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I passed my temp test this morning. It's on a riding. It was much easier than I thought. Funny thing was..I DID do some studying for it. There's all sorts of practice tests online. But one area I didn't bother to study up the area of alcohol and DWI/OMVI. Why didn't I study up on that area? Because I'm a 56 year old grandfather and those days are far behind me.....not to mention I have no problems NOT drinking. I have the ability to control myself, and the ability to say "No thanks, I'm here on my motorcycle and I can't even have one". None of my peers would make fun of me for that.

I signed up for mid September for the class. Fortunately, it's located in my small town! (7 minutes away?)

But back to the bike. I can afford the 500...but I'm a frugal person...why spend on a 500 when the 300 might do.
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post #10 of 66 (permalink) Old 08-22-2018, 11:38 AM
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Something else that really helped me out was a tip from the instructor. Our dealership is in a pretty congested part in a different city. Not too far away, but pretty busy. In Florida there is no temporary permit. You take the required class and get your endorsement on your license before getting on the road. We weren't comfortable riding home among all the traffic after spending two days in a parking lot. The dealership delivered to our door for free allowing us to use our own neighborhood roads to get used to them rather than be thrown directly into the fire. If your dealership also does service, they likely have the ability to deliver and will probably do so upon request if you think you'd be in the same situation.
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