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Experienced rider....looking for something fun and small. I don't need to do 170mph anymore.

Had a 94 Ninja 250 years ago...fun beast. Until I picked up my R3 I was riding a Vstar and a old school modded up 1980 GS550E (huzzah for old school cool!!)

Drove new Ninja 300....liked it but dealer was high and didn't want to deal, even on older inventory. Most expensive $5500 plus title/taxes/tag/dealer fee. I did feel this would be a great competitor to R3. Different type of driving - more relaxed posture. The bike winds up the tach for days...most power was up top but it was there. If they had wanted to deal I might have wound up with one. I did NOT like the color choices though...I get it..Kawasaki Green...but how about choices of Black and Black / Green? Fairings seem old school but have always been really good (dang near looked like my old one). Don't quote me but I think their windscreen was the best of all. Taller and wider.

Sat on Honda CBR300R and F. Liked them but bikes are almost half the power of other bikes. According to the interwebs there's no good way to get any more out of them. I did think the bike was super super light and thin. This thing felt like I could swing it over my shoulder and carry it around. They had the "F" naked version with very little fairings and a different dash. I actually liked it but he didn't have one for sale (inside bike was waiting for new owner). I bet on slow twisty roads these things would be a hoot. I also sat on the CBR500...They felt...old? Don't know how to describe it but felt like I was on a mid-90's bike. Price is good on them (for a 500) though. Also dealer was one of those "I'll call you back with 'real price' and what I can finance you for'' I called HIM 3x over a couple of days. He kept saying he was waiting on Honda...

In the meantime I went to Yammi dealer...had the bike in a few hours. Great dealer and got a good deal on it.
 

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My local dealer is a Yamaha / Honda / Kawi dealer so I was able to check out all three in the same place at the same time. Prices were all essentially the same and dealer was willing to negotiate a bit too. It was March and they even threw in the free delivery to my house so I wouldn't have to ride it in the cold!

In the end for me it was about the looks and the Yamaha won out because it looks better than the other two and came in the blue I wanted whereas the other two had limited colour options and I didn't really like any of them that much.
 

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I did NOT like the color choices though...I get it..Kawasaki Green...but how about choices of
This is one of the major things that stopped me from buying the N300. New schemes every year that felt like Playskool designs. The one grown-up orange scheme was Australia/Canada only. The 2016 abs red scheme is nice though. KRT and SE are right out.

but I think their windscreen was the best of all. Taller and wider.
Small niggle but yeah the Kawasaki wind screen mount is more flexible in options compared to our R3.
 

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I did a 2 day test that included the R3.

The test bikes- Were all 2015s

RC390
R3
CBR300
Ninja 300
CBR500
GW250
ER6F (ninja 650)

The track that held the test was Calabogie.

Am I a moto-journo, or pro racer? No. Just a guy who knows some people from the race track, who were looking for riders who had consistent times and had the ability to be subjective.

The Best-

The RC390 was easily the best bike on a race track, its suspension, brakes and chassis were all much better than the other test bikes (yes even the R3) its motor was torquier with its single, and the areo provided good protection from the wind in a race tuck.

The R3 was second for me. The motor was sublime, the aero was decent, and it handled well enough. Where it fell down was soft brakes, and a mushy rear shock (none of the bikes were set up for the testers riding them...and I am 245lbs. The rear shock was set at the #3 setting...waaaay to soft)

The ninja 300 was third. The old war horse still has it. The engine performs with out any trouble, and felt smoother than the R3 and the RC390. I felt more crampt on the Ninja but being 6'1 doesnt help. The bike stops, turns and accelerates perfectly but the front tends to lack feel in serious "S" bends (when over the 65mph speeds)

The ER6F is 4th....yes its an unfair fight. It was the fastest, and the biggest. It was a fun motor, and could easily be a perfect starter bike (or all around bike) its areo was garbage, and its front end flexed like a gymnast under hard cornering (Kawasaki fork brace please!) the brakes are amazing, and it wheelies effortlessly.

The CBR300 is 5th...because while it does nothing bad....it does absolutely nothing well. It was boring, and perfect. As Honda does, it makes perfect people movers. As a racebike...it needs a lot to even match a stock R3 or RC390.

The GW250 was 6th...what a surprise. Sure its 2nd last, but I thought it would have been rubbish. But the little bike is perfectly balanced, and while not fast is perfectly adequate for running around tight and twisty tracks or mountain roads without ever missing a beat. The chassis and brakes are perfect for its small motor.

The CBR500....Last....by a mile! What a complete POS. Barely faster than the CBR300, Handles like a truck, and had brakes made of what felt like wood...Looks like a cool looking baby blade...but thats where the good things stop.
 

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The CBR500....Last....by a mile! What a complete POS.
Yeah, I had a CBR500R and sold it.
I like the R3 much better than the CBR500R. But I wouldn't have put it last. It's not as bad as you say it is. It's a great bike for new riders to learn on, and it's rock solid reliable. Looks good, too.
It's a good bike to commute on. It gets great MPG.
 

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Yeah, I had a CBR500R and sold it.
I like the R3 much better than the CBR500R. But I wouldn't have put it last. It's not as bad as you say it is. It's a great bike for new riders to learn on, and it's rock solid reliable. Looks good, too.
It's a good bike to commute on. It gets great MPG.
I can easily see the CBR 500R being last in terms of track performance, which is specifically the context he's rating them in. Its fat and relatively underpowered compared to the other offerings. Its a good street bike for sure (much better than the lackluster CBR 300r) but I don't really think anything about it is suited for the track. Maybe it should have been above the GS250, but I've never ridden that one. Makes sense that the CBR 300R edges it out b/c Im sure it handles infinitely better than the 500R.

Honestly the 500R line kind of pisses me off. It has so much potential to fill the gap between a powerful 600 and a 300 but it blatantly fails. The 500R has the look and feel of a big bike... without any of the other good features of a higher end bike, lol. It is expensive for what it is, and its embarrassing that the R3 performs better than it. FFS, the top speed on the 500R is less than or equal to the R3. The 300R and 500R are just lame offerings. Both of them miss the mark, IMO. Why spend money on the mediocre 300R over an R3, which is better in virtually every way? The 500R has some advantages over the R3 in terms of comfort and low-end torque that are great on the street, but other than that the bikes are very similar performance wise, but the 500R is considerably more expensive.

Honda should put the 500R engine in the 300R chassis. Do something radical, change the game. Give the world something different than what the competition is doing, like Yamaha did with the new R1. The stale offerings are kinda representative of Honda as a whole, to be honest. The Grom is the most innovation Honda has had in ages, and that is downright embarrassing. The Fireblade, while iconic and awesome, is light years behind the competition in terms of tech. Comparing a 2016 Fireable to an R1, ZX-10 or S1000RR is laughable. The honda has the engine and years of consistency, but that is it. Maybe Honda doesn't care, but IMO its sad to see a company that does so many things extremely well unable to branch out a bit and apply that consistent, high quality design in new and unique ways. They just don't seem to care about pushing the envelope anymore, and that makes me sad.

Curious how you feel about the bikes and Honda as a whole, seeing as you are a big fan of the Fireblade and all. Cheers, bud.
 

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I think you hit the nail on the head here. I was thinking that a 500 would be a natural step up from the 300 but after reading about the CBR, I was severely disappointed.

I thought that it would have been a 4 banger instead of a twin for one thing. And really power wise, the 300 isn't that far down from the 500 anyways.

I think just like the Ninja 500, the CBR500's days are numbered. Might as well just go up to the 600 cc.

But even looking at those offerings, besides an R6 there isn't much that really gets me excited. I'm sticking with the R3!
 

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Saw a rider on a 300R in town a couple weeks ago (on way to Bay2Sac ride), and he was rocking it just fine, it's no slouch.
 

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The R3 was second for me ... Where it fell down was soft brakes ...
Nice write-up. This is the one performance detail that I plan to address on my R3, the front brake. I could be wrong but it feels weaker than my old Ninja 250 even.

My question is, SS brake lines + sintered pads will do the trick for improved front brake? I don't need all the brake, just some improvement. Or do I have to change more hardware than that?
 

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Nice write-up. This is the one performance detail that I plan to address on my R3, the front brake. I could be wrong but it feels weaker than my old Ninja 250 even.

My question is, SS brake lines + sinister pads will do the trick for improved front brake? I don't need all the brake, just some improvement. Or do I have to change more hardware than that?
Steel lines and sintered pads would do the trick.

If you are racing I would suggest a smaller Master Cylinder.
 

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Curious how you feel about the bikes and Honda as a whole, seeing as you are a big fan of the Fireblade and all.
It's easy to see why you feel the way you do about Honda. Much of what you said is certainly true.
( So much to discuss.... here we go: )
The Honda 500 line - These bikes were originally designed for the European market under the A2 licensing system. Lots of people in the USA thought Honda should release them in the States, too... so Honda brought them over here. The biggest PROBLEM with the 500-line is the ENGINE. Honda was limited to 47hp for the A2 market. Honda tried to boost the torque, while staying at 47hp. This resulted in a boring engine that feels like a riding-lawnmower. HONDA needed to use a modified version of this engine for the USA market. USA has no STUPID A2 license rule. ( Thank GOD )
The 500-line needs around 75hp to be what it needs to be for the USA market. This would have required a total engine re-design, which would have pushed the price above where it needed to be. In theory, you don't redesign the entire engine, you just redesign the cylinder-block and head. Go bigger bore, more displacement, bigger valves, bigger cams, higher revs, MORE HP! The problem with the 500-line engines is: the cylinders are INTEGRATED into the CRANKCASE. It's all 1-piece. So that blows the whole thing.
NEXT issue would be: SUSPENSION.
As we all know... YAMAHA screwed the pooch on the FZ-09.
You can't just stick a powerful engine in a crappy chassis and expect it to be great. It's NOT. If the engine overpowers the chassis, you got problems. The first thing you do with a brand new FZ-09 is send it straight to your favorite suspension tech! Throw around $1,500 at it, and you have a bike that rides like it should have straight out of the crate.
:|
ALL these improvements mean the PRICE of the bike goes UP. ( There is no such thing as a free lunch! )
If the price of the bike goes UP too much, it now interferes with another product the company makes. In response to people complaining about the CBR500R, HONDA releases the CBR650F. There is your inline-4 engine you say you want. The 650F has more power, as well. Funny how they initially offered the 650F's at over $8,000... but now they are around $6,500. Obviously, they aren't selling very well. ( Just like the Yamaha BOLT line of bikes. ) The NEXT step UP would be the CBR600RR. Which as we all know... is a TRACK BIKE. So naturally, it has better components on it, and it costs more. The big difference between a ROAD bike, and a TRACK bike is typically: RIDING POSITION.
All these racey supersport bikes have the same "full-tuck" riding position some people hate. So if you want a capable "sportbike".... but you hate the racey riding position... you can always buy an APRILIA TUONO!
:D
 

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PART II:

How the CBR1000RR compares to the current crop of LITERBIKES:
Different "schools of thought" on this subject.
In one corner, you have the armchair racers who like to argue "specs". These guys typically don't even own or ride a literbike. Some of them don't even own a motorcycle at all. These guys like to tell you how NECESSARY all the new "electronic rider aids" are, and how the bike isn't worth a $hit unless it's making 200hp to the rear wheel.
In the OTHER corner... are guys like ME.
Guys who don't do the "track thing". Guys who want a good VALUE. Guys who don't want or need "the latest electronic rider aids". Guys who appreciate a reliable, refined machine that has been patiently and methodically improved incrementally over many years.
As we have ALL seen from the new YAMAHA R1.... radical changes sometimes take a step BACKWARDS.
( Transmission gear RECALL fiasco! )
Test-riders who have ridden the latest generation FIREBLADE on the track and the street all say the Fireblade may not have the latest electronic-rider-aids package that the other literbikes have, but the chassis is so well-sorted out, it doesn't NEED it! The engine in the current Fireblade also makes excellent "useable" power where you want it most: in the MIDRANGE.
Too many of the newest crop of literbikes make their fancy horsepower numbers ABOVE 10,000 rpm's. If I wanted to ride around town at 10,000 rpm's... I would have bought a 600!
:laugh:
One thing that hurts the FIREBLADE top HP numbers is the fact that HONDA chose to limit the top-end power through the ECU above 10,000 rpm's. IF you see a HP/TORQUE dyno chart for all the new literbikes, you will see the FIREBLADE actually makes MORE power than most of the other bikes below 10,000. This includes the fancy new R1!
The "peak HP" number is less on the Fireblade, because of the ECU restriction. That's it! GOOD NEWS is: you want to fix that little problem? It's very easy to do. You just buy a $80 BAZZAZ Z-BOMB, and plug it in!
The Z-Bomb gets rid of the top-end ECU restriction, and the Fireblade makes 10 more HP on the TOP-END.
:D
Lastly... we come to PRICE. The "price" is all about the "value". Bang-for-the-buck.
What can I buy a NEW CBR1000RR OTD for right now?
A he!! of a lot CHEAPER than I can buy a ZX10R, R1, or anything from Europe!
Dealers are willing to deal on a Fireblade, because they aren't the "latest and greatest" trendy thing going right now.
Don't even think about a Ducati literbike. OUCH.
New Fireblades can be bought for around $12,000 OTD.
Cheaper if you really take your time and shop around.
You won't touch a new R1 or a new ZX10R for anywhere near $12k OTD.
Last I checked, ZX10R and R1 was no less than $16k OTD.
I can do alot with an extra $4,000 bucks!

IN CLOSING...
It really depends on what you want, and what you are willing to PAY to get it.
I ride for fun, I don't "track".
The CBR1000RR is perfect for ME! It's more bike than I would ever really need, and nothing I DON'T want!
It looks amazing, is super reliable, easier to work on than a Euro-bike, cheaper to own and maintain, FAST as $hit!
What would a new R1 or ZX10R give me that my Fireblade can't give me? NOTHING!
( Nothing except less money in my bank account, because those other bikes COST MORE! )
:laugh:
 

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What a nice looking ride :eek: but 472 pounds wet for $17K?
AGAIN.... you are complaining about "specs". Please try not to get caught up in "specs".
GO test-ride the new 1100 V4 Tuono... and then come back and complain.
The only thing you will be complaining about is you didn't BUY it and take it HOME!

The sound of the engine, the stupid amount of power, the overall ride-quality.... the TUONO is BOSS!
If I were rich, I would have a new TUONO in my garage right now.
That engine drinks gas like crazy.... but it sounds like MAGIC!
:D
 

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AND ANOTHER THING ABOUT LITERBIKES:

Everyone always argues about "can you ride your R3 to it's LIMITS" ?!?!?
Most people think the answer is: probably NOT!

So imagine a LITERBIKE.
How many people on this forum can ride a new CBR1000RR to it's limits? I know I can't!

So WHY would I run out and get a brand new R1? Will the new R1 magically allow me to ride it to it's LIMITS ?!?!?
Hahahahaha! Probably NOT!
:laugh:
 

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Problem is time ... :(
Yeah, that's life.

TIME.....or.....MONEY. Pick ONE! :crying:

Right now, I have TIME. And that's okay. More time to RIDE, as long as the weather cooperates!
 

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AGAIN.... you are complaining about "specs". Please try not to get caught up in "specs".
GO test-ride the new 1100 V4 Tuono... and then come back and complain.
The only thing you will be complaining about is you didn't BUY it and take it HOME!

The sound of the engine, the stupid amount of power, the overall ride-quality.... the TUONO is BOSS!
If I were rich, I would have a new TUONO in my garage right now.
That engine drinks gas like crazy.... but it sounds like MAGIC!
:D
Can agree...

Road the 1100 Ape to Deals Gap from Canada....What a wicked motorcycle. Gobs of power, big wide bars mixed with the rear sets = comfort and maneuverability.

That V4 sound though...came in my pants. Had a set of Arrow pipes on it too.

I had a set of soft Kappa bags strapped to the rear, and my givi tank bag and did 879kms in a day twice. And I wasn't anymore tired on that thing then I was on my Bandit 650.

You want pure sexy every time you roll on....buy a Tuono
 

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Apologies for re-opening a post that is 1+years old.
I bought a 1 year old CBR250R from a guy who had to leave Thailand in a hurry 3 years ago.
Price he accepted was next to nothing on a 1year old bike.... I digress.

It is fitted with Pirelli Diablos and could out scratch my R3, but not keep up in acceleration or pulling away from a corner. But it handles better than the R3. I looked at the CBR300 (286cc) but that is only an increase of 40cc, it is also a longer stroke and does not freely rev same as the 250 (246cc).
That is why I then bought a R3, the CBR stayed mostly in the garage.

Now Takewaga do a big bore/piston change to 305cc, with racing cams, bigger injector, new fuel controller. That fitted along with a sports exhaust it keeps up with the my R3 in its standard trim.
Specs are for reading, the proof is the feeling and feedback you get when pushing it.

The engine cc is now 19.34% bigger.
On the dyno to set up new controller to the bigger injector and cams. Power is up 28.57% from stock.
Racing pads fitted. Tyres already fitted are Pirelli Diablos which show up the Michelins on the R3.
Total cost for a new (Modified) CBR305R has been peanuts.
Donor bike bike was $1,375.
Exhaust + Big bore + Cams + controller + Dyno and fitting came to $1,034.
Total = $2,409
My new R3 MotoGp edition cost me $5,857 here in Thailand. But there must be a few guys here that do not mind getting the spanners out and doing mods. If in a few years big bore kits/racing cams become more available I will try and get a scrapped/crashed R3. Remove engine, strip down and modify and then retrofit to my R3 ..... If I am still alive... I am 62 years old already
 

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