|2015 Honda CB300F|
My first two bikes were 600cc super sports (wrist strain, awkward seating angle), my current bike is a very comfy but kind poky PCX150 scooter, the next one we plan to add to our vehicle collection is a Honda CB300F. Not until the 2017 model year at the soonest. I have to save $5k after paying off $4k of existing credit card debt at 17% interest. This gives Honda that time to recall all the 2015 and early 16 models that have defective crank bearings and defective camshaft bearings. The fix from Honda is not out until Aug 2016.
The CB300F is the next one. Honda has legendary reliability with its power-sports and small engine products, and with 286cc of liquid cooled displacement, it produces 26hp, roughly good for a maximum speed of 90mph, it can cruise at 70mph at 8000rpm, well below its 11,000 rpm redline. The Single big piston spans a bore of 76mm traveling a stroke of 63mm, the dual over head cam system and 4 vales combine with a PGM-FI fuel injection system into a 38mm throttle body, the ignition system is computer controlled with electronic advance adjustments. Known as a thumper, the vibration from the single over square engine is largely mitigated by a counter balance shaft that is according to real world reviews able to keep the beat to a comfortable minimum all the way up to 9000rpm at the top of 6th gear, roughly equal to just over 80mph. That is a fast spinning single. The digital display shows all the useful information at a glance with a high contrast sun light readable black and yellowish white LCD giving up the data for your eyes. the headlight sports an H4 bulb, with lots of aftermarket options easy to swap in. Returning between 55 and 80 mpg, its a fuel sipper, with a clean burning engine, and 2x the power of our PCX-150 scooter, which makes sense since the CB300F has as almost twice the displacement.
After another round of research, its definitive. Now only the timeline is in question. Call it pause a to 2026, when battery electric motorcycles from Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki are well into competing with 200mi of range per charge, for under $12,000. This is the bike I really want, an electric bike with an onboard gas range extender. Something like a 0.5 gallon fuel tank with a 50cc fuel injected liquid cooled engine generator carefully hidden under the rear seat. The BMW i3 Rex is the platform inspiration, and 200mi of single charge range. Lets say you want to go on a road trip. You charge it up, top off the tiny fuel tank, pack along some 85% full MSR bottles with spare fuel, and go. After 140mi of riding, you stop for a break for 2 hours and let the generator charge it up. The tuned high performance generator fills the battery up and keeps running when you hop back on in charge assist mode for up to 6 hours. When the battery is low, 20% remaining and the generator is at full tilt help, the performance will go into super eco + mode until the bike is plugged in. When there is a maximum remaining range of 20mi left, all sorts of warnings will go off. The phone tethered GPS system will direct you to a public L1, L2 or L3 charge location. The generator has a time-out feature to protect it, so it can never run for more than 6 hours continuously. This is the kind of machine I dream of in the future. An electric one with a gas range extender!
1985 Nissan 200SX coupe : 28mpg : 38,000mi: sold
1999 Toyota Celica 1.8L, 5sp, 29mpg, 60,000mi: sold
2005 Toyota Prius : Hybrid 46mpg : 110,000mi so far : still going strong
2014 Honda CRZ: Hybrid 40mpg : 5,500mi minty 6sp manual
2013 Nissan Leaf : Leased 24mo : $7000 : returned to Nissan
1992 Subaru Legacy L : Free : 28mpg: Pending Legal Title Translation
1999 Honda CBR-600F4 : 14,000mi of riding : 46mpg: sold
2004 Suzuki GSR-600 : 8000mi of riding : 42mpg : traded for PCX
2013 Honda PCX150 : 2700mi of riding : 90mpg : minty 2up barely
The PCX will become the one that Meg uses to ride next to me Since she is smaller and lighter, it performs even better with her onboard. The low seat hight and automatic transmission are also a good paring.
The 2013 Nissan Leaf S was fun to try for 24 months, I logged in about 5200 miles, my father another 4000. The 85mi maximum practical real world range when new was the problem, along with rapid battery fading that was already obvious after 2 years, this despite my regular use of long life mode, keeping the battery between 30 and 80 percent full. Sadly the battery technology is not ready for everyone yet, but the Nissan Leaf is a great city car! If you have a short commute, the Leaf is ideal, a beast for acceleration performance, solid ride quality, really nice build quality, a refined overall silent cabin and low noise operation, sleek and stealthy, it was the only "White" vehicle I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying!
2015 Honda CB300F : 65mpg : not yet acquired : addition the result of more than 20hours of research pending a complete review of available motorcycles. The KTM Duke 250 looks good as well, but I like the Honda for reasons that can only be expressed by the terms "Simple Reliable Joy Fun" : It can be hyper-mile driven to over 80mpg : the single cylinder engine makes lots of low end torque, making it idea for city use, but it has enough power to comfortable cruise at legal freeway speeds with enough energy headroom for passing, and is able to cruise at 80mph as well, with a little vibration. It redlines at 11,000rpm, so its a feat of engineering! I already looked up the kind of battery and headlight bulb that it uses and feel ok with what it will take to make it better LiFePO4 and LED H4 action. Otherwise the whole things is staying bone stock. No pipe, no special intake, no power commander, bone stock, reliable, clean, quite, fuel efficient.
My first motorcycle driving experience occurred in 1995 on a 1980's Suzuki 400cc dirt bike in a crudely graded barely improved construction site, mostly dirt mounds, early in development. I pegged the throttle and dumped the hand clutch in 1st gear and the bike sprang out from under me, I went ass over apple jacks off the back : lol
My wonderful cousin Scott let me borrow his 1989 Honda Hurricane motorcycle, and 85hp 600CC sport bike when I was 16. I promptly bought a bright yellow Arai Signet GT helmet, Racing Leather jacket, and signed up for the Washington State Motorcycle Safety Training Course. In 2001, I purchased my first sport bike in secret, my mother had forbidden me, it was a 1999 Honda CBR600F4. I sold this bike along with my old Celica when i purchased the Toyota Prius II back in 2005. In 2008 I decided to get a sport bike again and thats when I found the 2004 Suzuki GSX-R600. I had this bike for 5 years before trading it in for the Honda PCX-150. The idea was to get something cleaner, more fuel efficient, and something that Meg could operate easily on her own. This brings us to today.
We were over at Lake City Powersports getting some warm moto-gloves, some special parts for the PCX, and struck up a longer conversation with Timothy, a super friendly english major sales guy who assuaged Meg's concerns about operating a manual transmission motorcycle, showing her the Honda Grom as a small, 4 speed manual 125cc air cooled fuel inject 9hp single that tops out at 56mpg stock. It can be tuned with a big bore kit and re-toothing the final drive for about $1000 to make ~13hp, and raise its top speed to ~70mph. Timothy then had Meg sit on the Honda 300F, a naked 286cc street bike with 6 gears good for 90mph max from its 26hp liquid cooled counter-balanced single engine. Meg will be able to pilot this one with some taller boots, and a special low seat the Honda sells as an accessory. I want the low seat to improve the relaxed seating geometry anyway. The main idea is that Meg and I will be able to go riding together
I am not buying anything, including the CB300F anytime soon. I have credit card debt at 17% interest that I have to pay off first. I am also inclined to get a used Honda Grom, to play with instead, realizing that my primary use case for the power sports is for fun, light errands, and enjoyment. The spirit of enjoying things I already have must remain dominate now. I have not the time, money, energy, space allocated or several other things I need to do to add another vehicle to our collection.
See the discussion thread about CB300F recall warranty and service issues pending
See the discussion thread about CB300F recall warranty and service issues pending