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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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
) 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.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
EDIT: I’m not complaining about it being buzzy, I actually like it. I can barely hear the bike so I shift-by-vibration lol
I put a 700hp big block in a g-body car many years ago, with solid motor mounts....vibration through the frame is heavenly IMO 😊
 

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Your story is much like mine. I got my 300 about 4 and half months ago. Also my first bike, but I turned 61 one month after getting the bike. I'm not as quick/coordinated as I used be, but I can assure you that you have nothing to worry about at age 39. I think you're going about it quite sensibly. Keep it up and you'll see constant progress.

As you break in the bike, you'll see the performance pickup. After the first oil change, I noticed that everything was smoother - less vibrations and easier shifts. Around 1500 miles, the bike seemed even quicker. And you'll also get more out of the bike as your skills improve. Don't push it - let it happen naturally.
 

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It's actually refreshing to hear your story, and others and see that my experience is similar in that Im not the only one lol.

With just under 1100 miles since mid June when I first picked up my 300 brand new, I'm now a lot more comfortable on the road than I remember in the early days when I couldn't even get out of the neighborhood without a major underwear incident lol.

I have absolutely zero plans of going on the highway, and I really don't need to at all, even when I drive out of town, it's quite a nice drive off the highway with a lot more to see etc. That said...*ahem*...I have topped it out before at around 75 (disclaimer: on a closed course...yeah sure let's go with that) with no issues at all, and I do just fine keeping with light to light traffic. The 300 is good enough for now, but I am starting to wish for more in the first 2 gears from a torque off the line perspective...once I'm in 3rd and higher, I simply don't see the need for more (for me).

I'm in my mid 30s, around 200, and I find that my reaction time seems ok. I also took my time, watched a loooooot of motojitsu and ddfm, MC Rider etc. And tried to take it as slow as I felt comfortable. I never got the urge to ride outside of my comfort zone or race or act like an idiot. There's really no rush as long as you enjoy the process. I started commuting to work last month, and I feel I'm commanding my lane and lane positioning a lot better now. I have the most fun on weekends, with literally hours on end on the bike (3 hours nonstop sometimes). Still not racing, but just going out there and enjoying the roads, usually 10 over the speed limit or going with the flow of traffic, nothing crazy.

I can take bends comfortably at normal speeds. Straight line speed and lane maneuvering has been fine too. The only thing I keep biting my nails over is SLOW sharp 90 degrees...I just can't get it for whatever reason, I always feel like I'm too slow through those...better than the alternative, but could be a hazard in rush hour with a line up of cars behind you.

Anyway, take your time and enjoy 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Your story is much like mine. I got my 300 about 4 and half months ago. Also my first bike, but I turned 61 one month after getting the bike. I'm not as quick/coordinated as I used be, but I can assure you that you have nothing to worry about at age 39. I think you're going about it quite sensibly. Keep it up and you'll see constant progress.

As you break in the bike, you'll see the performance pickup. After the first oil change, I noticed that everything was smoother - less vibrations and easier shifts. Around 1500 miles, the bike seemed even quicker. And you'll also get more out of the bike as your skills improve. Don't push it - let it happen naturally.
It’s great for the story to resonate. I literally just filled my tank for the first time. I had nowhere to go, any excuse to ride.
 

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Charp,

I agree with your post 100%. Absolutely no need to rush it. Also, I could care less about dudes turning up on 600rr's and wtv ripping it like crazy from light to light, or saying 300 is not a "man's" bike. Are you enjoying? If the answer is yes, then do you! How much risk do you want to take? And whats the purpose of the bike to you? 300, 500, or a 1200..if you're having close calls and frustrating experiences on a bike with low cc's that's as forgiving as the Rebel, imagine your trouser accidents on a higher cc bike with way much less room for error! Took a motoguzzi 1200 out the other day...nooooooooope. I am not ready lol. Literally a flinch on the throttle and you're a mile further ahead than you were a second ago. No thanks, I just want to cruise on a Sunday.

Anyway, I find almost 99% of all riders on the road give respect to the fact that you're on the road just like they are, waive, nod, comment positively etc. It's not a competition or who has the bigger swinging...you know.

Also, yes the bike did seem to wake up after a while...but that could just be me getting more used to it and getting more out of it because I'm not too nervous about other tasks at hand...you know, like keeping it upright and in the right gear in the correct lane.
 

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As long as we're all sharing our stories...

I too had zero intention of going on the freeway when I first started, but about 2 months in, I accidentally got on the freeway. LOL! Yeah, I know. How in the heck does one get on the freeway by accident? Well, in my case, I was on a road that ends at stop light. Go left or right to stay on city streets Go straight and you're getting on the freeway. At the time, I was concentrating on situational awareness. SEE - search, evaluate, execute. As I approached the light, it was green, so my attention was on finding hazards. In my defense, it's long on ramp and you can't see the freeway until you've gone through a sort of tunnel-like underpass. As soon as I got through the intersection, it dawned on me where I was, but there was no turning around. Fortunately, there was almost no traffic during that time of day, it was only 1 mile to the next exit, and there was a separate lane that runs all the way to that exit. It wasn't a real a ride on the freeway, but it was my first time going 65 mph. Talk about a death grip.

Since then I've been getting on the freeway (on purpose) for short runs of just 1 or 2 exits. Each time, I get a little more comfortable with the speed and wind. A small bike with no wind screen is never going to be a great bike for long trips on the freeway, but I do want to be able to use the freeway so as to extend where I can ride. Just taking it slow and building up my skills and confidence.
 

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As long as we're all sharing our stories...

I too had zero intention of going on the freeway when I first started, but about 2 months in, I accidentally got on the freeway. LOL! Yeah, I know. How in the heck does one get on the freeway by accident? Well, in my case, I was on a road that ends at stop light. Go left or right to stay on city streets Go straight and you're getting on the freeway. At the time, I was concentrating on situational awareness. SEE - search, evaluate, execute. As I approached the light, it was green, so my attention was on finding hazards. In my defense, it's long on ramp and you can't see the freeway until you've gone through a sort of tunnel-like underpass. As soon as I got through the intersection, it dawned on me where I was, but there was no turning around. Fortunately, there was almost no traffic during that time of day, it was only 1 mile to the next exit, and there was a separate lane that runs all the way to that exit. It wasn't a real a ride on the freeway, but it was my first time going 65 mph. Talk about a death grip.

Since then I've been getting on the freeway (on purpose) for short runs of just 1 or 2 exits. Each time, I get a little more comfortable with the speed and wind. A small bike with no wind screen is never going to be a great bike for long trips on the freeway, but I do want to be able to use the freeway so as to extend where I can ride. Just taking it slow and building up my skills and confidence.
Same here. Now I feel safer doing short freeway runs than stop and go local runs on my rebel. It’s another experience riding my Honda grom though. I enjoy riding in local roads. Riding a slow bike fast is more fun lol. :wink2:
 

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Thanks for your post! I dropped my bike in the garage the day the dealer delivered it the beginning of this month. I immediately had buyer's remorse when it went back to the dealer to install a new shift lever. I started like you for the first couple of days. I too was nervous always putting my gear on. I have since found that in such a short time my skills have greatly improved and I'm really enjoying riding. Today I went on my longest ride (25 miles) and felt very comfortable. I'm able to cruise in 6th gear around 55 mph on local streets without getting on a highway (don't intend to). I bought the 500 and I'm glad I did.
 

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Thanks for your post Dan, I can totally relate. Took the MSF course and got my license in March. Bought a Honda 500x at the end of April but it bit me two weeks later. Couldn’t ride for months with a broken thumb and started wondering if at my 50-something age should I be getting back at all.

My husband is a great enabler tho and had me sitting on all the different bikes at the local shops. The Rebel just fit better than the X ever did. A few weeks ago the chance came to trade for the Rebel 300, we jumped on it. It’s been a slow process getting back. A lot of parking lot time and short hops around town. But it’s been more fun than expected. Yesterday was my biggest day yet - 32 miles.

The nerves are stillthere suiting up and at most intersections but it’s getting easier. Seat time brings confidence. Just need to find more reasons to leave the house where I’m not picking up or delivering someone/thing.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #11
As long as we're all sharing our stories...

I too had zero intention of going on the freeway when I first started, but about 2 months in, I accidentally got on the freeway. LOL! Yeah, I know. How in the heck does one get on the freeway by accident? Well, in my case, I was on a road that ends at stop light. Go left or right to stay on city streets Go straight and you're getting on the freeway. At the time, I was concentrating on situational awareness. SEE - search, evaluate, execute. As I approached the light, it was green, so my attention was on finding hazards. In my defense, it's long on ramp and you can't see the freeway until you've gone through a sort of tunnel-like underpass. As soon as I got through the intersection, it dawned on me where I was, but there was no turning around. Fortunately, there was almost no traffic during that time of day, it was only 1 mile to the next exit, and there was a separate lane that runs all the way to that exit. It wasn't a real a ride on the freeway, but it was my first time going 65 mph. Talk about a death grip.

Since then I've been getting on the freeway (on purpose) for short runs of just 1 or 2 exits. Each time, I get a little more comfortable with the speed and wind. A small bike with no wind screen is never going to be a great bike for long trips on the freeway, but I do want to be able to use the freeway so as to extend where I can ride. Just taking it slow and building up my skills and confidence.
The first time I ventured “away from home” (say 10 miles), I accidentally turned on the wrong road too....not a highway, but a major 4 lane road with TERRIBLE intersections and constant accidents with people turning left when not clear. Had to check my pants after I was able to turn off haha
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Charp,

I agree with your post 100%. Absolutely no need to rush it. Also, I could care less about dudes turning up on 600rr's and wtv ripping it like crazy from light to light, or saying 300 is not a "man's" bike. Are you enjoying? If the answer is yes, then do you! How much risk do you want to take? And whats the purpose of the bike to you? 300, 500, or a 1200..if you're having close calls and frustrating experiences on a bike with low cc's that's as forgiving as the Rebel, imagine your trouser accidents on a higher cc bike with way much less room for error! Took a motoguzzi 1200 out the other day...nooooooooope. I am not ready lol. Literally a flinch on the throttle and you're a mile further ahead than you were a second ago. No thanks, I just want to cruise on a Sunday.

Anyway, I find almost 99% of all riders on the road give respect to the fact that you're on the road just like they are, waive, nod, comment positively etc. It's not a competition or who has the bigger swinging...you know.

Also, yes the bike did seem to wake up after a while...but that could just be me getting more used to it and getting more out of it because I'm not too nervous about other tasks at hand...you know, like keeping it upright and in the right gear in the correct lane.
I love the 300 for my purposes, especially being a new rider. It’s sole purpose is the enjoyment I get as soon as I sit on it. I’ve used it locally a couple times for work, and pretty much every day for fun, just riding with nowhere to go. It fits me perfectly - height wise, I’m a bit overweight for my height lol - so it’s a very comfortable ride.
I know you weren’t addressing me specifically about other riders not caring about the engine size, etc.....but for other people thinking of getting into riding on a low cc bike who may be thinking that these low cc bikes aren’t “good enough” or they will be judged....that thought has never crossed my mind when riding. I haven’t really gone over half to 3/4 throttle, and haven’t needed more here locally. I wouldn’t ride from NJ to NC to visit my dad on the bike, but I would need a LOT more riding experience before doing that anyway.
 

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Great thread! I too am a newbie - practiced in the school parking lot this week-end. Other than a stall in mid-turn, all good. Not quite ready for street but will be soon! Nice to hear others experiencing same.
 

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Dan,

No freeway for me! With the hack attached anyway. I am pushing a larger frontal area than a Smart car. The best it will do is 55mph in top cog, WFO. I weigh 240, the hack ways 175, and Tucker weighs 55.

Its an inner city rig only, just me and my Pup, "Tucker".

The 300 is the perfect tug for a Velorex 562 Cruiser sidecar!
 

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I started riding last Apr at the young age of 43 with no experience or permit I bought a 18 Rebel 500 which the salesman was nice enough to drop my bike off at the house when he got off work. The next day I got my permit and practiced in my neighborhood and at my daughters high school parking lot. I watched a ton of motojitsu and ddfm, MC Rider videos which helped alot also watch moto crash videos there are a ton of them. You will learn what not to do. LOL! By June, I completed my MSF course and have my licence. As for highway driving, I like it because everyone is going the same direction and I make sure I keep a buffer all around me. I travel with the flow of traffic which is 80-85 mph, and the 500 does fine. Now I have 3500 miles on it and no regrets except I will be buying a new seat. I don't see how SC48 can ride three hours straight unless he has a iron butt. LOL. I can go 45 mins but then my 200 lb rear is hurting. I'm also timid at 90 degree turns also, but last week I some how scraped my peg going left. I think it happened because I completely turn my head into the turn and went by feeling out the bike. I admit it was fun but it is something I don't try to do every time.
 

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.... I don't see how SC48 can ride three hours straight unless he has a iron butt. LOL. I can go 45 mins but then my 200 lb rear is hurting....
there are more of us (record for me... 1000kms in 20 hours... twisty mountain roads
)
Lol...yeah it's not by any means the most comfortable seating arrangement; I think I'd be better off sitting on a pile of rocks than the Rebels stock seat tbh. I can't afford any more mods at the moment without risking a divorce, so my next mod will be geared towards butt comfort. My butt isn't iron, I just try to sneak as much riding time in as I possibly can before being dragged in for BS honey-do's that never end 😄.

Also, I'm quite tall (6'1ish) for the Rebel's mid controls set up, so for me it's the knees that start to hurt and give in after a while being bent so far up against the tank....but you know what....WORTH IT.
 

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I'm also tall (185cm), but stock seat don't appeal so bad to me, ok it's bit reshaped and little higher and after lots of kms it become surprisingly comfy for me... Knees are that give me more problems- are well worn out:frown2: so sometimes ride is painfull experience, but still not deal breaker, yet0:)
 

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First off, congratulations and just keep riding. The skills you learned in the MSF will carry you through IF you remember to look ahead and in the direction you WANT to go. I'm 64 years old and just began this new adventure in life and my real regret is not starting riding sooner. Like you, I experienced the same butterflies and "what if's" when I was getting in my gear but just told myself to remember to pay attention, give an escape path, and when facing something iffy to err on the side of caution.

I've been riding less than two months and have about 500 miles on my '19 Rebel. I elected to go with the 500 instead of the 300 as I wanted more torque to get me out of trouble if need be. Driving cars competitively gave me experiences with proper apexes and operating a manual transmission for over four decades got the clutch down good so haven't had problems with that part. The only time I stalled the Honda was when I shifted into first with the stand down (a good thing). Folks have complained about the seat and my bike came with the aftermarket Corbin "two up" seat which was a huge selling point for me. It's comfy as hell and I feel I could ride the bike all day without pains in the gluteus maximus areas. I sat on several bikes but the Rebel has good standover and my feet are planted with slight bend in the knees at stops; this was also a confidence builder.

As for tutorials, there are excellent youtube vids out there and my favorite is DDFM (DanDantheFireman) as he has experience as an instructor, rider, and as a firefighter/EMT has seen the ugly side of riding first hand. Riding at highway/city speeds is pretty easy compared to the slow stuff and I still struggle with that at times. Each ride should be a little push over the one that preceded it and if you're not comfortable with where you are on the roadways, signal and pull over when safe to let traffic by. They and you will appreciate it and it won't be another thing to focus on when your mind is already struggling to factor in the "bogies" that are there already. Hope you continue to post up and that your riding goes well.

Mary Pozzi
 
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