I did it...it's here....first ride!!! - Honda Rebel 300 & 500 Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 08:07 AM Thread Starter
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I did it...it's here....first ride!!!

My 300 was delivered. My first motorcycle! How exciting! I was so pleased that I had it delivered to my home, so as a complete beginner (only the MFS course) I can ride on my local 25 mph streets to gain some confidence and experience. I rode 80 miles yesterday! I spent about 30 minutes riding my local streets, and I could feel my learning curve changing with every minute. Then I went on some country roads and got the bike up to 50mph! What fun!


Two things:


1) The bike vibrates more than I thought. Not ever having had a motorcycle before, I have no frame of reference how much a bike should vibrate. But my 'imagination' figured it would be less. People here have posted the 300 vibrates "Between X-mph and Y-mph" But my bike seems to vibrate all the time. Now I realize, I'm sitting on a motor. I figure it is what it is. I was using thin leather gloves (think British race car gloves), and there were times my hands got a little numb. So it's time for me to get thicker motorcycle gloves.


2) There were times the bike wouldn't shift into 1st gear!! I would count down from what ever gear I'm in (2 or higher) and when I get to 2, and want to get into 1st...it won't let me. I'm pushing pretty hard at times. I never stomped on the shifter. I did find out that if I roll just a few inches forward or backwards, that took care of most of the problems. But there were a few times it simply wouldn't shift. One particular time, I was at a stop sign...heading uphill. I stalled the bike three times in a row trying to accelerate from a stop, going slightly uphill. Then I realized I was only in 2nd gear. Then the last time, I'm around the corner from my house. I had to push the bike off to the side of the road, and continue to play with the gear box trying to get it into 1st. I sure hope this works itself out. I will say, it doesn't happen when the bike is moving. And I really dig how the green neutral "N" light will flash when shifting from 2nd to 1st. So it lets you know you're in 1st.



My butt's a little sore from the riding, but I will ride more today. Oh...the 80 miles yesterday...was in almost 90 degree temps, and I still had full gear on.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 08:39 AM
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Congrats!
A word of advice: Before you even started riding you should have gone over the bike and adjusted for slack (IF NEEDED) in the clutch cable, throttle cable, adjust the rear brake pedal, and adjust the gear shifter. These are things that ain't going to "work itself out" by them self...

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 09:02 AM
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As you gain more experience and confidence in controlling the bike you will loosen your grip dramatically (especially while cruising for longer periods)...and your hands won't get numb so easily. The stock grips aren't that great either.

You'll figure out the shifting, some bikes have their quirky ways. It's a learning process being in the right gear at the right moment.

Get proper gear (gloves, shoes/boots/jacket)...it's for your own safety.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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As you gain more experience and confidence in controlling the bike you will loosen your grip dramatically (especially while cruising for longer periods)...and your hands won't get numb so easily. The stock grips aren't that great either.

You'll figure out the shifting, some bikes have their quirky ways. It's a learning process being in the right gear at the right moment.

Get proper gear (gloves, shoes/boots/jacket)...it's for your own safety.

I figured there's a quirkiness to it. Plus there's going to be a bit of breaking in. If it doesn't get better soon, I'll take it to the dealership. I have boots and armored jacket (and of course full helmet) but was waiting for end of season sales for armored/kevlar pants and some proper riding gloves.



While I don't have experience with motorcycles, I've been driving manual trans cars since the 70's. And the gears on the Rebel are all real close. They could have spread them out and made it a 5 speed. There's a LOT of overlap in the gears. Hitting 6th gear a little before 45mph? That leaves 5 gears up to that point? That's a lot of shifting. They should have made shifting into 6th around 50-55mph. 6th gear doesn't feel 'highway' enough.


And my MFS course paid off. Yesterday I had my first experience with "She didn't see me"...or she didn't care. She had a stop sign (and was stopped on my right). I didn't have a stop sign...I had right of way. And she pulled out in front of me. She did hit her brake part way through, but by then I had used my 'quick stop' exercise that I learned/practiced in the class.
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Last edited by Ohio Newbie; 09-22-2018 at 09:59 AM.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 10:52 AM
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The transmission will loosen up as you put on the miles.
With the 300 there is not a tremendous amount of torque. The gears are used to multiply the torque available. With only 5 gears you would not be able to achieve the same acceleration rates and on hills you might find a gear too low for the speed, so you shift up, now it's too high and you have to shift back down. With 6 speeds and tight spread, an appropriate gear is always available.

It is a 300, rev it, I never go into 6th before 55-60 mph. The engine will sound busy but it is designed to run with some rpm. By getting used to running a bit higher in the rev range you will find there is almost always better response and power immediately available without having to downshift, your already a gear lower than you were previously using.
In a short time your ears and your mind will adjust to the idea that your bike doesn't like to cruise along at the same lazy rpm as a car.

My Mazda CX3 cruises down the freeway at 1800 rpm, you can barely hear it.
My Yamaha R6 (small cc's for this class of bike), Would not even be able to maintain a cruising speed at double that rpm. The Mazda would be destroyed at 7000 rpm, the yamaha is just barely starting to make reasonably good power.

I also agree that as you get more comfortable you will not grip the bars as tightly and the tingly numbness in your hands will diminish. Try to take note of it when you ride and hold on, but release the tension in your hands.

I used to have a TU250X and a S40 boulevard (small and large singles), if you ever have a chance to ride either, do so. I think you will be EXTREMELY impressed with what Honda has achieved with your 300, and I suspect you will find much joy in the decisions Honda has made.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Another 90 minute ride today....but this time it's about 63 degrees. The bike doesn't seem to vibrate as much as I remember it from yesterday. The shifting into 1st gear didn't seem as bad today. There were a couple of times it did it (or didn't do it). I'll just have to get used to running it in higher rpms. That's something I find difficult to do. For 20 years, I had an SUV and a diesel Mercedes....both very torque heavy and low rpm cars. (still have the suv) When I got my 2016 VW GTI..it was hard for me to get that car into high revs, I felt like I was breaking it....but I'm a lot better than I used to be. Now I just have to keep working on the 300.



Yesterday, I stayed away from traffic in my small town. But today, after about 20 minutes of 25mph suburban riding, I started riding through the downtown and getting experience in some traffic. It's low key stuff and I've been living here for over 20 years, but riding a motorcycle through town still requires experience. I've yet to ride in busy traffic.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-22-2018, 04:51 PM
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Congrats Newbie! You’ve described all the issues I had as a newbie and the tips provided by the experienced guys here definitely will fix you up.
Being a new bike, everything will feel “tight” and will loosen up with more mileage: bikes like the revs, my riding is so much more fun now that now that ive fixed that. On my short commute I used to feel I was running out of gears - but now hardly ever get to 6th and have better power and control.
Shifting: def easier while moving, I also had issues getting into Neutral while stationery, you’ll get used to a quick rock forward-or-back of the bike. Could be the clutch cable is not in that “sweet” spot but sounds like it’s getting better with some mileage.

Enjoy the riding, it’s very addictive!
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 08:18 AM
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If it doesn't go into first, while stopped slowly let the clutch go till you feel it engage. Pull it back in and you can now shift down to first. Happens to mine every once in a while, not a problem I've you learn that little trick.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
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2017 Honda Rebel 300 ABS
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
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If it doesn't go into first, while stopped slowly let the clutch go till you feel it engage. Pull it back in and you can now shift down to first. Happens to mine every once in a while, not a problem I've you learn that little trick.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk

I will give this a try. Thanks
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-23-2018, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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My first weekend with a motorcycle. I rode 170 miles this weekend. I would probably have ridden more, but that's about all my butt could handle! My skills and confidence level grew exponentially in just three days. Friday, I wouldn't have dreamed of riding in city traffic. But I did a little Saturday and a lot more today. (my small town...35mph and under) Friday, I think my top speed was 45mph out in the country....maybe hit 50 once or twice. But today, I was cruising 55 for a while..without feeling like was over my skills limit.


The problem with shifting into 1st is practically gone. Also, now the gearbox has a traditional 'clunk' when it drops into 1st. (and it feels different)


Now I have three days of rain. No riding. (maybe I'll get some work done!) I'll buy some thick motorcycle gloves in the next few days. Hopefully find a deal on end of season riding pants too.
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