I need help choosing the right Rebel.
For some context, I am a 20 year old full time college student. I work 25+ hours a week making what I would consider to be a decent living. I have wanted to get into riding for the last year, and am now in a place financially where I can pull the trigger (lots of saving). I know that it would be far wiser of me to find a used bike off of craigslist, but that's not exactly what I am looking to do. I'd prefer to finance a bike to help further bump my credit score, as I will be needing to purchase a home/condo/apartment within the next 5 years.
I really enjoy the new Honda Rebel. I am a big fan of the aesthetics of the bike and its easy of use for beginner riders. However, I cannot decide whether to purchase the 300 or the 500, ABS or Non. I've read that the 300 is a more of a "6 month" bike. For those of you with experience on the 300, is this the case? I'd like to be able to enjoy my bike for many years to come, and do not want to purchase a another bike. My riding will mostly take place in just the city, but there's about a 3 mile, 55mph mountain of a climb, followed by some very brief (about 5 miles) freeway riding that I will consistently be needing to take.
For reference, I am about 5'10, 170lbs. I also plan on taking a passenger on short trips (less than 20 minutes) around town occasionally. Will the 300 be sufficient, and will I still have a smile on my face in years to come? Or would I be better off with the 500? Long, long term, would even something like a Honda Shadow be better? I am open to other options and opinions.
Also, is the ABS model(s) worthwhile? I am all for added safety tech, as the extra couple hundred bucks is a small price to pay if it could save my life (or even just the bikes) once. But is ABS actually useful on a motorcycle? I've read multiple articles on this and have yet to find a definitive answer. Some argue they are better off without ABS, with some saying its a must have. What do you guys think?
I appreciate all the help! Thank you