Novices and More Advanced Riders Will Appreciate the Honda CB300F
At first glance, Honda's latest model motorcycle is targeted to a more novice demographic. Upright seating position, short gearing, and neutral ergonomics all indicate as much, but there's a bit of a little devil on the shoulder of the 2015 Honda CB300F; acceleration in the higher RPMs will make you forget you were riding a 286cc single-cylinder engine, and the windblast is impressively unnoticeable at high speeds.
So, a ride that might be aimed at the amateur, but rides like a pro. Must be exorbitantly expensive, right? Nah. Priced at only $800 more than the Honda Grom 125, I'd say you're pretty much looking at a steal.
The CB300F really shines as a stroll-the-neighborhood, get-to-work kind of bike. You might even enjoy sitting at red lights; well, it might not be your favorite thing to do, especially if you're in a rush, but you'll enjoy the experience more than on most comparable bikes. Most riders will have an easy time standing flat-footed at stops, as the seat height is just 30.7." For the more vertically-challenged, Honda is making available an accessory seat that sits an inch lower.
You can view this next aspect two different ways, depending on your experience as a rider: The six-speed transmission will prevent you from hitting higher speeds while in first gear, and you'll probably have to shift into 3rd in order to keep up with street traffic. That being said, if this is among your first experiences riding motorcycles, you might not want that slap-in-the-face acceleration off the bat. As long as you keep your right hand busy on that throttle, the small displacement engine wont keep you down. A downside is that you might have some cranky shifting when hitting first gear from neutral, i.e. at a stop.
What's fun about this Honda, and maybe a little too fun (nah, I'm kidding, there's no such thing as too fun), is the mirrors are situated exactly where you'd want them to be if you were weaving in and out of traffic: above the mirrors of smaller cars, and below those of SUVs.
Wondering about the handling? The 300 isn't meant for sharp turns at high speeds, so you might end up with some twitchiness at moderate turns. To help with this, Honda has equipped your beast with IRC Road Winner RX-01 tires. Yes, these are the same tires that come standard on the CBR250, the Kawasaki Ninja 250 and 350, and the Z250.
To hit the point home, you'll really notice the weak suspension if you're flying fast on rocky roads, but as long as you stay off the dirt, you'll be more comfortable than in your own bubble bath. Freeways will be your friends, even over the speed limit, but the CB300 will keep you audibly informed of your high speed. You know that feeling of cruising, and then looking down to realize you're at 119 mph? That's not what this bike is about.
This Honda model is really wonderful if you use it for its intended use. Keep your bike at average speeds, and the 300 will work hard for you. You'll appreciate its 70+ mpg with a 3.4 gallon tank, especially if this is what's getting you to and from work (or the bar, or that store with the smoking-hot clerk, or wherever it is you go most often).
Its great to have a bike that won't scare the novices off, especially with its easy handling and slick style. At the same time, the CB300F has enough power to invite the more advanced rider to a affordable treat.