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Duke 390, Honda CB500F or Ninja 300?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Vabz, Mar 14, 2016.

  1. Hi everyone!

    I'm very excited to have finally received my Learner's License last week and am looking forward to riding and being part of the Netrider community.

    As a lot of newbies, I obviously haven't riden on the road yet and only have 2-3 hrs of practice riding in circles as part of the L's test. Either way, for the past couple of weeks, I've pin pointed the KTM Duke 390, Honda CB500F (or faired variant), Kawasaki Ninja 300 as my choices for a first bike.

    However, I haven't test riden any of them and don't know whether it's a good idea given the nervousness and inexperience to ride on the road for the first time with a demo.

    Anyhow, the Duke 390 and Ninja are my 1st & 2nd choices respectively. Even though the Ninja looks better and has that reliability, there is something about the Duke which i love. It's light, looks good and by all the reviews - has that extra fun aspect with it's 373 cc engine that I think I'd like both as a beginner and more experienced rider later on.

    However, it's listed at $6995 compared to Ninja's around $5500+ (with promotions), although I don't know the exact range for the 500F. That's around 1K - 1.5K difference for the two bikes (I want to buy a new).

    Now I'm 19 and as a full time Uni student ^ that's a big difference. Was wondering if any of you Duke buyers got a nice deal, maybe manage to get it for a few hundred less or anything else special? Also, is it really worth paying the extra for the Duke over Ninja, especially with some negativity around it (engine failure etc, jerky throttle and etc...)
  2. Congrats on the Ls and welcome.

    I found the duke to be quite a bit different to the other small LAMS offerings. So you will need a test ride I think.
    Surprised the R3 isn't in the mix for you though.
    The duke was cheaper than the ninja 6 months ago so not sure what's happened there...

    Sometimes not easy getting test rides as a learner. But flash some cash and you might find their enthusiasm change a little.

    Good luck.
  3. Welcome Vabz. I learned on a Ninja 250, and the fact that the 300 continues to sell by the truckload suggests that others are still finding it a great bike to get going on, so my vote is for the Kawasaki.

    The other two bikes are crackers as well, so you really can't go too wrong whichever way you go.
  4. Correction, Ninja are actually $6600 with the current promotion! So they are almost the same price, 2nd hand versions are around 5500! Will try to test ride tomorrow, see how it goes...
  5. Don't buy new. Plenty of good second hand bikes around that will save you money. Look at the Honda CB400 as well.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Have you considered the RC390 as well. They are around the same price if you like the faired look.
  7. Mate buy a late model used bike and you'll knock a third off the price. Many around with low km. Chances are you will drop your bike at some point and that really sucks when it's new!!
  8. Where are you in Oz?

    The KTM was / is quite an awesome little bike. Don't be fooled by what you read about engine problems and jerkiness - mine has been absolutely bullet proof so far - as long as you keep things standard and don't fit aftermarket engine controllers like power commanders etc. Although its a single cyl bike and not as smooth as a jap 4 cyl the 'jerkiness' really is quite easy to live with. In fact there are quite a few much more expensive bigger bikes out there that are a lot worse at low speed .

    When I upgraded I handed the bike over to the wife - she's as pleased as punch .
  9. I quite the Duke for some reason - the bike you fall in love with often is simply which is the best bike, but a matter of how they make you feel. Whichever way you go I'm sure you'll have a blast.

    Congrats on your L's and welcome to NR
  10. As iGolf said, consider the Yammy R3 as a possibility, I have been riding now for 55years and bought an R3 last June (their release date in Au). I have clocked over 8000k so far and loving it.
  11. My suggestion will be a bit sideways. Grab the cheapest bike you can and one without full/half fairings, a naked bike. Why? you will drop the bike either at a bit of speed or in the parking lot until you get used to it. Learner riders always drop bikes so the easiest way to save on repairs is to get a cheap bike that is easy and cheap to repair. One without full/half fairings, etc. That statement puts the Ninja 300 out the door but it is your choice. I like the look of the Ninja 300.

    For me, I was a returning rider, I bought a Kawasaki KLR650 last year and am happy with it. It just grunts away from the stop-lights.
  12. I cant comment on the KTM except that its not made by KTM but rather by bajaj auto in India.

    I have a CB500F and cant fault it. Except a gear indicator would be nice.
  13. Absolutely second this! Have had mine barely 6 weeks and I can't fault it. If you havent got bike yet then you should definitely check out the R3. Already clocked up 2000km and its a bike I can see myself riding for a number of years to come.
  14. Sit on them, some will fit you well and some may not. Then test ride the ones that fit you and feel good.