Yamaha R3 Forums banner

Cruising speed, rpm, comfort

28042 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Corrie Linnell
Hey all,

I've been shopping around recently for a new (or at least new to me) motorcycle to replace the rebel 250 I learned to ride on, and was shown the r3 by a guy at my friendly local bike shop. Needless to say its peaked my interest.

So, I did a bit of searching and have found some good info, but not exactly what I'm after. I was hoping that some of you who have had a chance to put some miles on your bike could tell me how it behaves on the interstate/highway. Specifically, in the 70-80 mph range does it feel like the 320 is being strung out at all? What rpm are you sitting at when cruising within that range; does that seem like a reasonable rpm at which to cruise for an extended time? And finally, does the r3 offer a comfortable ride in said conditions?

A bit of background to give the questions more context:
I bought the rebel 250 I currently own so I could learn to ride, and had intended to use it to commute to school. While it has been a fantastic first bike for me, it is impractical for use on the interstate or highways where the speed limits exceed 60 mph (they say the rebel can do 80, but that is the indicated speed, and in reality its doing about 72; not to mention its sitting at the redline in 5th gear at this speed and sounds strung out to the point of likening it to a runaway sewing machine powered by angry bees). Unfortunately, my commute to school is 68 miles long each direction, taking almost exactly 1 hour when travelling with the flow of traffic; about 30 minutes of which are on the interstate with traffic going 75-80, 20 minutes on a state highway with traffic at 60-65, and around 10-15 minutes in town stoplight to stoplight. So now I find myself looking for an affordable, small displacement motorcycle that gets decent mileage and can handle the speeds that traffic realistically travels at so that I don't wind up on the interstate at 60 mph actual speed getting rear ended by the Chi O going 80 while texting and applying eye liner that "never saw [me]."
See less See more
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
You wont have any issues with the R3 on the highway. If you are still worried, something like a Honda CBR 500R or CB500F or Ninja 500 will suit you well. I had a honda CBR250 and while it could maintain 60mph easily and have a little extra in reserve...speeds above 70mph used to be a little dicey. The r3 on the other hand cruises nicely on the highway with more than enough left in reserve should you need to get around people.
Hey I just took my R3 on the interstate here in VA. going up "the mountain" at 75mph I believe I was doing 8000 on the tach. It felt good and had a lot left
My riding buddy has an R6, I have no problems catching him and on cursing speeds we cruise easily at 65. It is comfy and in car pools I hit 80/85+ head tucked in while he is chasing me.

Hope that helps.
I was cruising at speed in fifth by mistake recently. Not stressed at speeds up to 90 mph.
You can install a 15t front sprocket, and start out with a 30t rear sprocket on the Rebel.
I presume that you have an older model. Mine is a 2013 model, and the engine works a lot better after doing some basic tuning.

I regularly hit 80+mph on mine (rebel), and with a long road, and a little wind in the back, I can go 90mph on it, topped out at 92mph on the interstate, and that is with trunk and luggage cases.

I'm also looking at a bigger bike to upgrade from my rebel, because I can't always count on 85mph, like when the wind is bad it does only 80mph.

Here are a few things you can do to the rebel to make it faster:
1- The Rebel makes its peak hp around 7.5k rpm and it's peak torque from 6.3 to 6.9k rpm.
You must use at least a 15/30t setup, or a 15/28t sprocket setup, to get closer to these rpm ranges at top speed.
(it comes stock with a 14/33t setup).
With a 15/30t sprocket setup, first gear actually becomes useable, and you can still flick the clutch into first gear from a dead stop.
With a 15/28 you'd have to be more gentle.
In the case of a Rebel, lower RPM (@6.6-7.5k rpm instead of 9k) means better top speed performance.
There's no benefit running at 9k rpm top speed, when 12.5% of it's hp, and 35+% of it's engine torque is eaten by friction at these higher rpms, and re-gearing will make it feel like a whole new bike for an only $70 investment, not to mention with a 15/28t, a lot of the vibrations at speeds below 40mph will be gone.

2- After the sprocket change, You can lean with your left elbow on the tank while riding, duck forward, and put your feet on the passenger pegs instead of rider pegs. This will add at least 5 to 10mph on your top speed.
Better aerodynamics.
It makes little to no difference on the stock gears, because your bike is rev-limited, not limited by aerodynamic drag at wide open throttle.

3- Valve adjustments need to be done every 7.5k miles

4- keep the bike as much stock as possible. Aftermarket exhausts can degrade performance, if you don't rejet the carburetor.

5- Add a little 5w30 in your oil (stock oil is 10w40). I live in South Florida, and I dose 75% 10w40, and 25% 5w30 in my bike; roughly estimated.

The main speed improvements will come from putting your feet on the passenger pegs, and re-gearing the bike to run at lower rpms.

There's no substantial performance benefit gearing higher than a 15/28t (or 15/27t on the newer models) on this bike.

If riding comfort, and mpg matter to you, your next step up would be a Honda CB300F.
It won't be a big step up performance wise, since it's a single cylinder engine, but on average it does have about 5-10% better performance from a rebel.
The R3 is more of a noticeable upgrade, but even though the bike has more upright handlebars, I find the R3 still has a too much forward lean for the rider.
It's a lean more suited to halfway meet between track riders and road riders.
See less See more
I recently done over 740km on my R3. I am 5'11 and I seemed to get a sore ass between 100-150km's. But the way I look at it, that is my alarm clock to pull over to the side somewhere safe and hop of for a break to rest my body.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.