Hey guys, I have 125-ish miles on my 300, which are the only miles I've been on a bike outside the MSF.
Disclaimer: I have been riding for 3 weeks and don't pretend to have any useful knowledge of motorcycle technique, etc, so please don't beat me up for a possibly stupid opinion here and there lol
This may be useful for people thinking about riding, but are afraid it may be too daunting.
That out of the way....
I landed on the 300 for cost only, otherwise probably would have got a 500. I don't regret it. I'm 39, and just starting riding. I'm not quite as quick/coordinated as I was when I was 17, even the 1986 Suzuki 125 at the MSF felt fast.
So the dealer delivered late night on a Friday, I started bright and early Saturday when I knew very few people would be on the road. The bike was parked in the street in front of my house, I stalled 4 times trying to pull from the curb lol (haven't stalled since though!) I went around the block to an empty church lot in my neighborhood, practiced all the MSF stuff for slow maneuvers, turning, etc. Then headed out around the neighborhood, lots of stop signs, slow turns from a stop, etc. I did that for a few days, then decided to hit the main road around here.
It's straight, single lane, only 35mph....but lots of cars/intersections so I was nervous. I got out on the road, and a car was riding way too close (in reality, they probably were a safe distance behind) so I decided to turn back into the neighborhood. I took that turn like an 18-wheeler, would have gone head on if there was a car coming up the street. The next day, same roads, but less traffic so I was going a bit faster. Decided to turn back into the neighborhood, got flustered, tried to make a 90 degree right turn in third gear (had no idea what gear I was in at the time), almost stalled mid-turn, panicked, pulled the clutch and shifted frantically down to first, continued in neutral through the turn, let the clutch out in first at way too fast a speed, and panicked again lol I went home.
That night I thought ,"How am I going to tell my wife that I spent all this money and can't do it?" I hit up this forum that night and read about other people beginning their journey, and mistakes, and encouragement from other members, so on. I hopped back on the bike the next day, mid-day when everyone was at work, went back on that same road and handled it like a champ (for like a 1/4 mile lol).
Skip to 2 weeks later (rode in the neighborhood, parking lot, and short stretches on high travel roads every day in-between)....I rode for 2 hours in one shot, local roads, 2 short stints on highways (60-65mph in right lane for like one exit length - about 2 miles). It all went very well.
Setting yourself up for success is crucial (in everything you do)....the second time I went on that main road, I went to the next traffic light instead of a side street, because I knew the cross street at the light was about a 45 degree turn rather than 90 degree, just to know I'd be safe and happy at the end of the ride.
I feel scared every time I start throwing my gear on, some days I just cruise around the neighborhood when everyone's at work (I work from home [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.hondarebel3forum.com/forum/images/HondaRebel3Forum/smilies/tango_face_grin.png[/IMG]) if I don't feel up to dealing with cars. It's all practice and getting comfortable.
Lastly, the topic of top speed on the 300 has been beaten to death on here and I'm not looking to revive a dead thread. I am 230lbs, hit 65 smoothly and comfortably before the end of the on ramp, and had a lot more throttle to give. In 6th "a lot more throttle" may only amount to 10mph more. Does that mean I want to ride cross country on it? Probably not, but it'd be an easy ride 10-15 miles to a nice restaurant in another area around here. A lot is said about it being buzzy at higher speeds. I find it to be buzzy from the time I start it until the time I shut it off lol....it didn't get worse at 65mph.
Last edited by Dan0713; 09-27-2019 at 04:21 PM.