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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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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.

Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

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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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@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!



-CG
 

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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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Discussion Starter #9
I passed my temp test this morning. It's on a computer...no 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 on....is 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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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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Discussion Starter #11
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.

I definitely have kept this in mind. I have absolutely no experience riding motorcycles. (I have been driving manual trans cars since the late 70's so I'm 'familiar' with the concept f a manual trans) For the class I'll be taking, the 2nd and 3rd days are riding. (6 hours per day) I just don't see how I'm gong to be comfortable/experienced enough with 12 hours of empty parking lot training to be able to handle traffic I'd be likely to encounter riding a bike back home from a dealership. So yes, having them deliver the bike so I can practice in my suburban neighborhood is a bid deal to me. My neighborhood is all 25mph of uncongested streets.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
And if I could add one gripe.


One of the reasons I've been looking at a new Rebel, is that I've been looking at used bikes on Craigslist. 95% of the motorcycles I'd be interested in (either a 12 month-then-sell beginner bike, or a mid sized cruiser)....are WAY over priced. Yes, there can be a little bit of haggling and horse trading...but at the end of the day, very few people going to drop the price of their precious used bucket of bolts down to a reasonable level. And when I say reasonable, I'm just talking KBB or some other value publication. Yeah, you may only have 4000 miles on it...but it's 6-10+ years old!



Why consider some 8 year old bike for $4000 when I can get a new rebel 300 for $4400?
 

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My wants and needs were the same as yours. Only I’m 43, 5’9” at 180 pounds. I was looking at the 300 as well because I felt that was all I needed. I bought the 500 instead because I didn’t want to grow out of the 300 in a year and be back at the dealer. I figured buy once cry once. The 500 is the same bike just bigger motor so it felt the same to sit on it, reached the pegs and bars just the same only it had the extra power and I could grow with the bike instead of grow out of the bike. I also had no experience riding with exception of the msf course which is the same as yours 2 days riding in a parking lot not getting out of second gear. The dealer I bought my bike is a 20 minute drive away. Was nervous about riding the bike home having not rode on streets in traffic I’m on Long Island NY. Once I got on the bike and started the ride home it was all fine. Nerves went out with the wind and I had the time of my life. So what I’m saying is if money is not an issue I would go for the 500 and grow with the bike. Don’t worry about the ride home just have fun and of course be safe. Though I’m sure if you wanted they will deliver the bike to you. Talk to the dealer maybe they will let you test ride both bikes so you could see how they each feel.

Good luck and do what you think is right for you. Just because I say get the 500 doesn’t mean you should. Do what makes you happy and then you will enjoy the bike even more.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I didn’t want to grow out of the 300 in a year and be back at the dealer.

THIS is what I want to avoid. The 'cry once' makes a lot of sense.



And not 30 minutes ago, I was looking at a google map, tracing a trail home from the dealership that would keep me on smaller side streets and off the highway. Also, take delivery during the day of a weekday.
 

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I didn’t want to grow out of the 300 in a year and be back at the dealer.

THIS is what I want to avoid. The 'cry once' makes a lot of sense.



And not 30 minutes ago, I was looking at a google map, tracing a trail home from the dealership that would keep me on smaller side streets and off the highway. Also, take delivery during the day of a weekday.
That’s exactly what I did. Call in sick ? on a Thursday to pick up the bike and I took local streets home from the dealer instead of the highway.
 

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i'm 5'7" and 140 pounds and the 2018 500 ABS is perfect for me and it's my first bike ever. I bought it in February so only been riding for several months (due to Seattle winter taking forever to clear up). It's light enough that I can handle it super easily, flick it around if something surprises me but it's not so fast I'll tear my own clothes off accelerating so it keeps me honest. That said, it does have enough get-up to match highway speed pretty quickly if you jam on it, it will happily respond and not feel like it's whining at you to let off.

My two buddy's one rides an Yamaha MT07 and other a HD Wide Glide both love my bike and say it's incredibly stable at speed and still has enough power to be fun but not showboating or draw attention. And the exhaust is definitely quiet for those who don't want to shake windows and make people with pacemakers have to worry about getting an extra beat from the impact of the exhaust percussion. It's a great, mellow, controllable bike (the 500). But if you're looking to save money i'm sure the 300 is fine too, just won't have the "oomf" of the 500.

I love the Rebel because of it's naked street fighter look. You're not hidden behind massive fairings and giant windscreens. It probably cuts a lot of weight but I am in love with that street fighter look and simplicity in its body design.
 

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As money isn't the deciding factor for you I would look at it this way. The 500 has everything the 300 has and then some. If you buy a 300 and find you want that bit more then you're stuck with it or have to upgrade. If you get the 500 and find it's a bit more than you strictly need then you can modify your riding to suit.
I came back to riding after a 20 year break and jumped straight onto the 500. I love it. Having said that, there is no 300 option here in Australia, but I wanted something small enough to comply with learner regulations here and large enough that I would get some longevity from it when those restrictions no longer apply.

I couldn't be happier.

Cheers
 

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I'm glad I got the 500. The bike is very nimble and easy to control. It's happy cruising from 35 mph in the city to 70 and up on the highway. I have averaged about 68 mpg regularly for the last 9 months (12,000 miles) You won't be disappointed with either choice but I would lean toward the 500 if I were you!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
And now I'm playing 'purchase creep'. (As in 'creeping up in price')

First it was get a used motorcycle for cheap.
Then it was get the Rebel 300 and possibly the 500.
Then it looks like the 500 ($1600 higher than the 300)

But now I'm looking at a local dealership's website, and they have a 2018 Honda Shadow Aero for sale. (To me, the Aero is the most desirable of the Shadows) And it's only $900 more than the Rebel 500. But it's a lot heavier than the 500, so I'm wondering if it would be a bit too much for a first bike. It would be nice to not have a chain drive. I will ponder.....
 

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And now I'm playing 'purchase creep'. (As in 'creeping up in price')

First it was get a used motorcycle for cheap.
Then it was get the Rebel 300 and possibly the 500.
Then it looks like the 500 ($1600 higher than the 300)

But now I'm looking at a local dealership's website, and they have a 2018 Honda Shadow Aero for sale. (To me, the Aero is the most desirable of the Shadows) And it's only $900 more than the Rebel 500. But it's a lot heavier than the 500, so I'm wondering if it would be a bit too much for a first bike. It would be nice to not have a chain drive. I will ponder.....
Couple of things. It’s not just $900 more. Sales tax is more, dealer prep is more, license is more, freight is more.

The 750 is a very different bike. It is heavier, wider and longer than the 500. It is a great bike but not as good of a first bike as the 500.
 
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