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CBR300R or CB400?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by newblood, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. Hi all!

    I'm getting my Ls really soon (exciting! I hate public transport) so I'm shopping around for my first bike. I've narrowed it down to 2 bikes - the CBR300R and the CB400 (ABS versions).

    Now I need some advice from you, esteemed members of the Netrider community, to help me make a final decision. (I won't be buying the bike right away, but giving it maybe a month because I need to get some things sorted out first.)

    I'll mainly be commuting about 40-50kms a day, but I might take some proper road trips (to Canberra and such) once I get my reds. Commuting will most likely include taking the bike onto a freeway just to avoid the peak hour mess that is Parramatta Rd.

    Here's my reasoning for each bike:

    • Looks amazing
    • Lower seat height (I'm short, 5'2"/158cm tall with a 28"/71cm inseam, so I really do need a low bike, but not a cruiser)
    • Japanese made (better build quality?)
    • No fairings to cry over when I drop the bike
    • Feels a bit more comfortable to me after I sat on it for a bit
    • $$$$$$$$$$$ (if I go with the CB400, I'll probably buy used, but they still cost more than a 300R brand new)
    • Higher maintenance costs (4x spark plugs, V-Tec, etc.)
    • Slightly less fuel efficient
    • $$$ not as expensive
    • Lower maintenance costs (probably a bit easier to maintain too)
    • More fuel efficient
    • Comprehensive insurance much cheaper, but a bigger fraction of the cost of the bike (I'm 20 this year, so the premium won't reach reasonable levels for a good long while)
    • Lighter (again, I'm small)
    • Thai made...
    • Fairings
    • Might get bored with it (I'm not a hoon though)
    • Need to get it lowered just a bit
    I haven't mentioned the Ninjas because I'm not too fond of the styling on them - a bit too aggressive for my taste. Please feel free to recommend some other bikes for me if you feel my reasoning isn't quite right. I haven't really considered bikes with higher displacement because the insurance premiums will just get too expensive, and the seats will get too high. I would also prefer the bike to have ABS, just as a safety net. That being said, I will absolutely take time to practice proper braking, so I could probably live without it.

    Aaaand someone will tell me I'm overthinking this, judging by the length of this post.

    Anyhoo, thanks for your help!
  2. Cb400 is a great bike. That's my choice. There's a thread on here on them u might want to check out
  3. #3 Mcsenna, Jul 30, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  4. At your height the CB400 is a no brainer. It's a far better bike than the CBR300R as an all round machine and has a fair amount of capacity once you grow.

    Similar between the two every 6,000km. The 24,000km service for the CB400 is pretty costly (VTEC check and adjust)
    Build Quality
    The CB400 is built for the Japanese market in Japan and is probably superior to the CBR300R. The CB400 uses higher quality components and was designed for the compact rider
    CB400 holds value reasonably well (may change with the Street Triple LAMS etc around now) and the CBR250R seems to drop value pretty quickly. The CB400 probably won't loose too much if you buy second hand.

    In the end go with the one you like the most after riding. Of the two I think the CB400 would be better in the long run particularly as you might find it takes a while to find an "upgrade" suitable for your height. Or you can learn to hop on and off every time you stop and start (google short people and R1200GS)

    Mcsenna and basejumper mentioned the other threads - just do a search on CB400 in the forums.
  5. That thread is so long, someone should turn it into an encyclopedia! :eek: I'll do my best to get through it though, thanks.

    I'll make sure to do that (and try to not drop the demo bike :sorry:). I did have a quick look at that thread, and for a while I did consider the Duke but then I read some horror stories about the quality of the India-built bikes and decided against it. The poster of that thread also has the full gamut of unrestricted bikes to look at, lucky...

    Thanks for that insight. Do you have a rough figure on how much that VTEC adjustment costs? I don't want to take on an already expensive bike just to find out down the line that I can't afford to service it, since I don't have the most stable job :(
    About the hopping on/off thing - doesn't seem to be the safest thing to be doing on any road with cars on it! I think any future bikes I get will need to be lowered to oblivion before I stand a chance in hell of riding them. (n)
  6. Spark plugs aren't that expensive.
    If you're really concerned about VTEC maintenance costs, you could try asking Honda. I've found most shops pretty up front about service costs.
    If the height thing is a problem, there are a few solutions.
    1. Lowered suspension. I think this one must be professionally done and I would be wary of it.
    2. Reshaped seat. If there's no loss of comfort then OK.
    3. Taller boots. See here for review of Daytona Ladystar boots http://www.riderforums.com/riding-gear/54263-daytona-ladystar-gtx-boots-worth-money.html
    These are expensive but are at least transferable from bike to bike.
  7. How far will you ride? I had a CBR250R, and it got about 90mpg. The CB400 gets maybe 55mpg, so there's a fair difference in economy, but the smile factor makes up for it. Unsure what the CBR300R would get. The CB400 will last you long after your off your P's, the 300 maybe not so much. (but i've never seen a 300, let alone ridden one)
  8. Miles per Gallon??? Showing your age there Gooza
  9. Yep :oldman:, I could convert to l/100km, but I like mpg better.(y)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Yeah I guess, but I'd still have to buy more than one spark plug for the 400. :grumpy:
    Good idea, I'll call up the dealer tomorrow and ask. I don't know how they'll answer me - I haven't heard many good things about servicing at Honda dealers in NSW (with Action having closed down, Sydney City are the closest and Fraser is all the way up in Newcastle).
    And those boots look beefy! I wonder if those soles could potentially interfere with the wearer's ability to operate the gear shifter/rear brake? Too bad they're so expensive, otherwise I'd pick a pair up in a heartbeat.

    (Note to self: MPG to L/100KM converter http://www.vangeyn.net/mpg/)
    My commute to uni is about 25km each way, and work is close enough for me to ride my pushbike to so I won't have to worry about that. So 250km a week, give or take. Obviously better fuel economy is preferable, and from what I've read, the 300R's petrol sipping is a bit like the 250R's. I've also heard that the 400 basically churns through fuel at higher revs (i.e. when in VTEC). However I just can't decide if better fuel economy trumps keeping the bike for longer.
  11. Jap built Vs Thai built to me personally is reason enough to buy the 400.
    VTEC inspections sound costly, but check by way of search(I'm unsure myself for the CB400)if getting the service done is necessary at 24km, it may be the case that from experience, you could skip 24km and wait until 48km, I'm unsure.

    Spark plugs are a few $ each, your coffee probably costs no more than a plug.
  12. I've heard from some that have tried them that yes, the boots CAN interfere with gear changing.

    I had my bike lowered; it's great.
  13. Some boots that are thick at the front can make it difficult to change gear. U just need to adjust the gear lever up a notch to give a bit more room to get your toe under it. Pretty easy
  14. FWIW, My CB400 is a much nicer bike than the CBR250R I had. I would never go back to the CBR.

    And just to prove to all I do know what the metric system is :arghh: here's a sheet of my fuel consumption.

    Litres $Total ODO Trip $ / L L/100Km MPG $/100km Octane
    12.68 $19.43 259 $1.532 4.90 57.7 $7.50 One Bar 95 Caltex
    13.59 $21.27 318 $1.565 4.27 66.1 $6.69 Flashing 91 Shell
    14.18 $24.09 300 $1.699 4.73 59.8 $8.03 Flashing 98 Caltex
    14.24 $22.31 260 $1.567 5.48 51.6 $8.58 Flashing 98 BP
    12.08 $19.07 $1.579 91
    2.20 $3.45 $1.568 91 7-Eleven
    14.35 $21.32 5000 $1.485 Flashing 91 BP
    6.89 $9.98 5139 139 $1.449 4.96 57.0 $7.18 4 Bars 91 Shell
    14.99 $23.97 5440 301 $1.599 4.98 56.7 $7.96 Flashing 91 Shell
    15.00 $23.54 5761 321 $1.569 4.67 60.5 $7.33 Flashing 91 BP
    9.89 $14.83 5948 187 $1.499 5.29 53.4 $7.93 2 Bars 91 Caltex
    14.50 $21.24 6248 300 $1.465 4.83 58.4 $7.08 Flashing 91 Shell

    Edit: Lost all its formatting, oh well.

    PS: Get the CB400, you wont regret it
  15. #15 AD-HUI, Aug 1, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
    90MPG - 2.6l/100km on the CBR @Gooza@Gooza ? Your really conservative on the throttle. Ill be lucky if I get under 3.1L/100km. =D

    The CBR is great, cheap to run, cheap to maintain (service cost me $40, genuine oil, filter, gaskets), light, learner friendly (not sure about the 300 but the 250 held up with no fairing damage when I had my off)

    Either decision will end at the same outcome. Riding a bike, which is a win. (y)

    Edit: Gooza use Fuelly (in my signature the green icon) great for tracking fuel consumption.
  16. If we're going to go metric, then we're going every inch of the way......
  17. Hi @AD-HUI@AD-HUI . You've been with me on rides, you know I'm not too hard on the throttle. :rolleyes: But I still have fun.

    And as you rightfully stated, getting on any bike is a win.

    I found that the I4 was like a sewing machine after the Single, made the CBR feel like a Diesel :whistle:
  18. Miles per gallon mean nothing to me when riding a bike. It's all about SMILES per gallon
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Thanks all for your input, you've certainly given me a lot to chew on! Given the overwhelming majority recommending the 400, it looks like I'll soon be in the market for a used CB400A in reasonably good nick - there seems to be a shortage of them in NSW (if you're selling one, shoot a message my way ;) ). I'll leave the CBR300R as a backup plan if things go belly up.

    Golly gosh I'm excited! :D
  20. Newblood sorry I didn't reply earlier. I haven't had a 24,000km service done but a bit of googling suggests between $800 and $1,100. Sounds a bit stiff but not much different to a major for a car.

    Economy is totally dependent on the right wrist.

    The CB400 is perfectly happy sitting on 5k everywhere (about 80kmh in 5th and 100kmh in 6th). There is a buzy zone (vibration through the seat and bars) around 5.5k.

    But you can keep it down a gear and in the VTEC zone. I run 8km into the city and about 75% is at 80. Normally do it in 3rd gear (8.2k) just because the bike feels better, more responsive. 4th will drop those revs to the bottom of the VTEC band (6k).

    I'll be selling mine shortly only because the bike is a little on the small side for longer rides (my knees hurt due to advanced age - 40 =D), and my restriction is ending. I would love a CB600 Hornet if it was still sold, not sure how the CB650F will go.