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Ninja 300, CBR300 or CBR500?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by cappuccino, Aug 24, 2015.

  1. I am looking to get into the world of motorbike riding but need advice on which beginner bike would be most suitable for myself.

    After doing some research, it seems to come down to the Ninja 300, CBR300 or CBR500.

    My main priorities are:
    - Safety
    - A forgiving bike that allows me to learn the skills of riding
    - A forgiving clutch and easy gear change
    - Low seat height (i'm 165cm tall, short!)
    - Light (i'm small! Need something I can pick up when I stack it!)
    - Balanced (it's been a while since i've ridden anything two wheel, need to get back into balance)

    I will be riding on urban roads, motorways, nothing off road.

    The two main safety features i've read about are ABS and a slipper clutch. On that basis, the Ninja 300 has both but the CBRs only have ABS (i'm looking to get the ABS versions in all of the above). Though, what are your opinions on the necessities of a slipper clutch? ABS and good brakes seems to be the most important for beginners, but a slipper clutch does not seem absolutely necessary unless you like to do stupid rapid downshifting without matching the revs. Though, given these bikes are down on power, how much damage can you do when you muck up a downshift without a slipper clutch?

    Other than that, reviews seem to be mixed, some say the CBRs are more refined in terms of riding and comfort. Most seem to say the CBRs are the best for beginners. But some reviews say the Ninjas are super easy to shift gears and also a great option for beginners.

    Between the CBR300 and CBR500, I just threw in the CBR500 since many say the lower performance of the 300 will piss you off after a few months. Whereas, the CBR500 will have more life in it after you get over the initial learning learn.

    I'm open to all other options as well!

  2. If you're a total noob you should be fine with 300cc for a while. My wife has the Ninja and it is very easy to ride, and you should fit it fine. I hear good things re the Honda too though. Best option is to go sit on all your choices at a bike shop and see what feels right for you. Have you got your L's yet? If not, go get them first as well because you'll ride 125cc generally for that test. Following that you're in a position to actually test ride the bikes you're looking at, and that's really where you'll make the decision.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  3. Only you can work this one out.
    Test ride all the bikes you can then pick one which best suits you!
  4. Just get a Daytona 675.

    But in all seriousness, the slipper clutch is not a necessity I had two learner bikes and I saw no noticeable difference.

    Honda's are more forgiving, the Ninja has a rock hard uncomfortable seat and in opinion were nothing to go on about as far as a learner bike goes.

    Have you thought about the Yamaha R3? it has more power than the Ninja and CBR300.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  5. +1 for the R3
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. +10039493910104 for the Yamaha R3 ;)
  7. My son rides a CB300 and loves it. He opted to go for the naked as it's light, zippy and thought it would be cheaper to fix if he dropped it. Good seat height too.
  8. Regarding power; more is better, lets be honest anything bigger than a 125 and you won't use it all immediately anyway and you'll be happier to have when you do want it. Worst thing that happen messing up a downshift is the rear getting a bit lively but by the time you're ready to be going that hard it won't be an issue. The yam r3 or cbr500 are the better options.
    Not when: If. It is absolutely not a certainty; better not to summon fate.
  9. you need to test ride them - the MT03 is pretty awesome ( I am biased) but seat height is 805mm - I am 171cm and can nearly flat foot it. :cat:
  10. I am a newbie and bought a second hand CB500FA a couple of weeks ago. It has exactly the same engine as the CBR500. So far I love it, it has great low end torque and which is great for me as I am still learning !!!
  11. Check out Motorcycle Ergonomics if you haven't already.

    Compare insurance before you buy. The baby Ninjas are bought and crashed by many learners, so the premium might be disproportionally high.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. To be honest, as a learner, it doesn't really matter which one. You probably won't feel the difference between them except for ergonomics. So....

    - Test ride them all.
    - Then if you still can't decide which one.
    - Buy the cheapest.
  13. Bigger is always better.

    Now.......................... back to the bikes
    • Funny Funny x 2
  14. Hi there, just adding my 2 cents...

    I am about the same height (vertically challenged) as you at 170cm. When I was looking for my new bike, I thought of everything except for weight. I bought a Honda CBR500RAE, and I absolutely love it and can not fault it's performance. The build quality is excellent and I have added an IXIL slip on exhaust which gives it a great sound, fitted a GARMIN ZUMO GPS unit, wired up a lighter socket for USB charging, and a few other bits.

    But... it is heavy for a 500cc bike, at 209kg (a DUCATI 1200 Monster weighs less) and the weight is up high which makes it feel a bit 'tippy' when you are slow maneuvering or paddling when parking. I do find it difficult to waddle the bike backwards up any sort of incline as well. I have dropped it once (luckily I had Oggy knobs installed - highly recommend these, nil damage at all) because I wasn't used to the top heaviness. In hindsight, I also would have preferred the CB500X for it's wider and higher handlebars (and more room to mount gadgets).

    You mentioned that the CBR may have more power too, but it does not when you consider power to weight ratio and that brings the Ninja closer if not ahead. I'm sure 'Old Maid' will be able to offer a better perspective there. The KTM 390 is also a great example of the power to weight factor.

    Whatever you get, you can't really go wrong, they are all fantastic bikes and you will upgrade eventually anyway. My sights are now set on the BMWS1000XR for my long service leave touring adventures (and which is a mere 20 kgs heavier than my Honda and has almost quadruple the power and torque !).

    I hope that was useful, good luck, stay safe and have fun :)
  15. EMCC Ride 11 July 2015 (8). BWS22Aug15 (6). Rhonda the Honda :)
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Thanks all, really good feedback. Sounds like I have to test ride these before I can make any decision.
  17. #17 cappuccino, Aug 24, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
    That's a really good point! I forgot to consider the insurance.

    Ninja 300 ABS: $629
    CBR300R ABS: $436
    CBR500R ABS: $629
    Comprehensive with NRMA. The Ninja is by far more expensive. the CBR500R is the same, but it is insured for a higher amount, 2k more.
  18. Good tip about the Oggy Knobs! I was wondering what you can do to best protect the bike in that sitution. I have to read the othe threads in ghis forum, some really good advice around here.
  19. Duke 390. Light, forgiving, easy to manoeuvre and do u turns.
  20. I'm never doing a track day in your group
    • Funny Funny x 2