Honda Rebel 300 & 500 Forum banner

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Discussion Starter #1
I am a complete beginner, with no history of riding at all.

I've had one lesson so far (so i'm still a good amount of time and effort away from owning a bike or having my licence), and it was on a really old beat-up 250 somethingorother, and even that bike felt like it had enough torque to put me in some potentially scary positions?

I've read tons online that I shouldn't buy too small of a bike, because i'm going to want to upgrade v soon, but if i'm buying second hand, maybe I should start on a 300 before graduating to a 500 in a few months when my confidence is up?

Would love to hear everyone's thoughts, am excited to get exploring on this forum!
 

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In the UK, they start on 125s. I returned to biking with a 250 and I kept it for 11 years of very contented regular use (until a forced change - to my 500 Rebel). I did add a more powerful bike to the stable during those years (now a Yamaha MT-07). Choice depends partly on how you will use a bike. A 300 will, for example, restrict your overtaking possibilities (the 500 to some extent too), but I contented myself with going with the flow - probably for the best in your case in your early years. If you are riding the twisties, greater power is still not a requirement. My choice betwen the 300 and the 500, depended on my preference for twin cylinder engines rather than singles. But that issue is unlikely to impinge upon you for a while. My pleasure from motocycling is derived from motion, the terrain and the freedom. Any bike would do really. I've even been admiring the Honda C125 (thoughfor my lounge really!).
 

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IMO If you have to ask, get the 500, if you're going to spend 5k-6k on a bike and get another bike in a few years that's 6k-7k just seems like a waste of time and money, the 500 is not an over powered bike at all. It will only go as fast as you want it to go and you're not going to be busting any accidental wheelies or feeling out of control. My gf has the rebel 250 and we'll switch bikes from time to time, shes said multiple times she wishes she would of gotten a bigger bike BUT the 250 works just fine for her.


Sure the 300 may work out fine for you in the end but do you want to regret what you could just all together avoid from the get go? Bottom line though it's your decision, take a motorcycle safety course learn on those bikes (they also teach you lots of very good practice and riding techniques), get your license and test ride a 300 and a 500! (they may even have the 300 in your safety course!)

Goodluck on your decision!
 

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Your starting out with the wrong frame of mind.
A 250 as posted above can be ridden for many years.
You dont "need" to upgrade or SHOULD upgrade in a few months.
That is not enough time to get familiar with how the bike handles and how you should handle the bike.

AND you shouldn't buy new as a new rider!
You will drop it, believe it or not!
Better to scuff up a used bike!
 

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As a beginner, get a small bike. A 300cc bike is small only in America. I got back into riding after decades and started back in a motorcycle safety course. Pick a bike that's not very heavy. I went with the Rebel 500 because I had ridden before, grew up on manual transmissions in all vehicles, and had reasonable throttle control. It also wasn't much heavier than the 300. Most importantly, pick the right roads to ride on until you get familiar. Don't ever get on freeways or expressways where cars are merging at high speeds (I still try and avoid them) and where a mistake can be very costly. Good luck and stay safe.
 

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In my opinion, it depends on what you want out of owning a motorcycle. If you’re looking for a city bike that can hope between bars/cafes and tear around the city, a 300 would do just fine. That’s why I bought a CB 350 about 7 months ago. Eventually, I realized I didn’t want to be confined to that kind of riding. I really wanted to go on long day trips around the PNW where I live and check out the mountain roads and whatnot. In order to do that, gotta ride some long freeway miles to get there (or load it up in a truck...). Bought a 500 and am so happy with it. Still great at riding around the city, but can also rip up the freeway to get to the mountains.
Think about your objectives!! Best of luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the advice guys.

I'm definitely keen to buy used (whether it be the 300 or the 500), but inventory seems pretty low for used near me. Also the price doesn't seem to drop much on the newer models. Could someone point me in a direction of anywhere to look that I might not have checked out? I have looked on craigslist and cycletrader

Thanks!
 

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Agreed, the 300 is a fine engine that can handle any normal riding situation if you mostly ride alone or with friends who have mostly 250 to 500's.

It can become a challenge to keep up when riding a 300 with friends who have much more powerful bikes that can endure longer/higher speed rides more comfortably. The 500 is still a bit buzzy at higher speeds but handles that type of riding with slightly more ease. In my riding group there are no riders with less than 500cc bikes and I can keep up fine with the Rebel 500. These guys like longer distance rides in general and I sometimes find it a challenge to cope with those longer distances/durations without becoming a bit sore from the vibrations in the seat and hard grips.

In my opinion, the only reason to choose the 300 over the 500 is if you cannot afford the 500 or just want a smaller cc bike to fool around with. But then again, one shouldn't buy a motorcycle if they cannot afford the extra hobby. Most people in North American don't NEED a motorcycle.


As a beginner, get a small bike. A 300cc bike is small only in America. I got back into riding after decades and started back in a motorcycle safety course. Pick a bike that's not very heavy. I went with the Rebel 500 because I had ridden before, grew up on manual transmissions in all vehicles, and had reasonable throttle control. It also wasn't much heavier than the 300. Most importantly, pick the right roads to ride on until you get familiar. Don't ever get on freeways or expressways where cars are merging at high speeds (I still try and avoid them) and where a mistake can be very costly. Good luck and stay safe.
 

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@Jambo: You continue to ask questions, but you haven't answered any from the field. 1) What type of riding do you intend to do? (Not to learn on but primarily afterward) city, back mtn. roads, freeway, short commutes... 2) Why in the world would you buy a vehicle with the mindset of trading it a few months later? You don't buy a used Tacoma and trade it for an F-350 a couple months later! just because you're afraid of it's size. They are essentially the same bike, one will go a little faster a little easier. Whatever you drive now is capable of of doing 90 mph I'm sure, but you're able to go 25 through a school zone just fine, it's called control. 3) How old and big a person are you? Are you under 200 lbs and 6 foot tall? The Rebel generally is built for a smaller sized person. Sure there are some bigger riders on them but they have more than likely modified the bike in one way or another to fit more comfortably. This goes for either the 300 or the 500. 4) The new Rebel has only been out for a little over two years now so used will be few a far between, your best bet is CL (https://inlandempire.craigslist.org/mcy/d/grand-terrace-2017-honda-rebel-300/6865825120.html) check larger cities, again we don't know where you are. Also check dealer pages for their used bikes. Good luck
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My bad @Showmeguy66 you're correct, I apologise!

I'm a Brit who recently moved to LA. I'm considering the bike as a new and exciting way of exploring places outside of LA, but also to enjoy some of the good canyons in LA too. The bike would be purely for fun, no plans on using it to commute and I can't imagine too many really short trips. I'm 34 and weigh 170ish and am 5'11. I'm here because I had a chance to sit on a rebel, and I loved the look of it. Having now done some research i'm pretty much sold on it being my first bike.

You're right about planning on upgrading, that doesn't make any sense. I just don't have a lot of riding experience yet, so it's hard for me to know down the line if i'm going to eventually be disappointed in the power of the 300, or if that will always be more than enough power for me.

I appreciate the responses guys
 

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Personally, I would go with the 500 for a couple reasons. Being a parallel twin the engine runs smoother with less vibration, and having that little extra power can get you out of trouble if you need to move quickly out of the way. I guess the other question is for ABS or not. It will add about an extra 1000 but for a beginner rider I think the added safety feature is worth it. There are actually several around the LA area right now for around the $5500 range (300 closer to $4500) but if price isn't really the issue I'd lean toward the 500. Again good luck and welcome to the group. Once you get your wheels we'll have to go for a ride!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Appreciate the info! I'm definitely leaning towards the 500, and ABS is a no-brainer for sure. Do you see any ABS ones in that price range? I haven't been any to find any sub 6k
 

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I was a complete beginner last fall. Took the safety course and went out and bought a new Rebel 300. Except for riding a rebel 250 in a parking lot (safety course) I had never ridden another motorcycle. So I had no idea what I like and disliked. What was good and what was bad.

My initial reaction was the 300 had a lot of vibration. But I didn't know if this was because it's a single cylinder, or if this is just the way motorcycles are. I live in a smaller town in the midwest of the USA, and I can ride around town, or I can go on the country roads outside of town. I didn't have the skills to ride in an urban area. But I rode 1200 miles last fall...and my butt/crotch hurt. A lot. After I winterized the bike, it took me almost a month to heal. The seat is uncomfortable for longer rides and combined with the vibrations, I had serious doubts about me keeping the bike. (and if this is 'just the way they are'...then serious doubts about motorcycling at all) When the single cylinder 300 gets into higher rpms...it feels like it's going to vibrate apart. At highway speeds, it feels like I'm sitting on a power sander. My butt and hands go numb in just a short while. This is made worse by the fact that the seat feels like I'm only sitting on the inside 4 inches.

Over the winter, I visited dealerships and sat on bikes. Several that I was interested in had much better seats than the rebel 300, I made sure of this because I would get off a bike, then go 20 feet and sit on the rebel to compare. I also felt the rebel's ergonomics were not for me. I'm 5'10"...200lbs...and the rebel now feels small. I lean forward a little more than I want, and I prefer the foot pegs a little further back. But I didn't know this until after I rode the rebel for a while.

A few weeks ago I went to a dealership and they let me ride a used parallel twin...a Kawasaki Versys. And it was FANTASTIC! There was (almost) no vibration and the seat was comfortable. So now I know the vibrations are because of the single cylinder, not motorcycles in general. So I have sold the Rebel and bought a parallel twin bike. (not the rebel 500)

If I were to ride short (both distance and time) trips in an urban environment, I'd have kept the rebel 300. But I like to ride in the country, I like to ride for hours, and I want to travel to see friends who don't live nearby...all things I can't do with the 300. But it was a great bike to learn on. The lower power of the 300 didn't really bother me, it was the vibrations and the bad seat.
 

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I have over 5000 miles on my 300. It has more power then I need. But im not a speeder I’m to cheap to risk a speeding ticket .i take it on the highway all the time and she still has more throtle
today i was driveing in around atl ga and merging on the highway every time i got back on the highway i had to slow down because the person in front of me. i still never had this bike at the top speed i love it so much.
 

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I was in exactly the same position as you, Jambo, about 3 weeks ago. In my case, I went with the 300, but that doesn't make it the right choice for you. Here's my advice: listen to your gut. I say this because I was literally in the middle of negotiating a deal on a brand new 500 with ABS when my gut said, STOP! I walked out and spent a week evaluating what my gut was telling me. For me, it came down to these factors: 1) This was going to be my first bike and, as excited as I was and still am about riding, I really had no idea if I would be in this sport for the long haul, 2) spending near $8K for a 500 (out the door price) was a lot of money, not to mention the cost of gear, as an entry fee into a new sport. What helped me to decide on the 300 were the reviews on YouTube from those that own a 300. They all love it and didn't feel like they needed to upgrade immediately. Another helpful factor came from a YouTuber named Motojtsu. I'll paraphrase thusly: no one has riding skills that exceed their bike, but lots of riders buy bikes that wildly exceed their skills. His advice was to buy a small CC bike to start and when you find that you can ride the crap out of that bike, then buy a bigger one. If and when that ever happens to me, I'll be happy to accept whatever loss I might incur because I started small and later traded up. I'll be happy knowing that I developed my riding skills in a fashion I deem wise. The flip side of all that is that lots of folks buy a motorcycle only to sell it a few months later because they just were not into it as much as they thought they would be. This is why is so easy to find used motorcycles with really low miles. To me, that's a much greater loss than upgrading to a bigger bike - however near in the future that might be. Well, that's my 2 cents. Your gut will tell you what to do. Good luck!
 
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