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Just picked up a 2016 Honda CB300F with 600 miles. I just completed the first service and have put about 50 miles on it. I've now put about 200 miles on my G310R, which I also picked up used and subsequently completed the first service. I have a lot of experience with many, many bikes so this should be relatively reliable information for anyone cross-shopping and I'll try to keep it as objective as possible.

Initial impressions:

- **** the Honda is so nice and refined
- Feels quite peppy in the first 2 gears
- Much easier to wheelie than the BMW

Comparison:

- The Honda has a more basic 2-piston sliding caliper set-up, but there is no doubt that it is far better than the BMW's and actually best in class....even among the 300cc sportbikes. Excellent feel, power, and least amount of fade of any similar bike in this category

- Transmission is better in the Honda. Very accurate, short throws, with the perfect amount of effort although I did notice occasionally it was a little more prone to getting stuck in gear when not kicking up hard enough, moving too slow/not moving than the BMW. The transmission is geared incredibly well as compared to the strangely geared BMW, which has an awkward tall 1st gear. BMW's transmission is good too, but action effort is a little too light, and it does not feel as precise and is slightly clunkier

- The Honda has far better clutch engagement....it's perfect. The BMW is quite grabby and also lighter by comparison.

- Suspension and handling wise, I'll give the nod to the BMW. Ride quality for my 200-pound self (without gear) was actually quite comparable even though the Honda had surprisingly about a full 1" less travel both front & rear. The BMW is also clearly more eager to change direction, lighter-feeling, and with a lower center of mass. This is in part due to different tire models. From prior experience, I have noticed Michelin's Pilot Street Radials on other 300cc bikes have this effect due to a pointer profile whereas the IRC Road-winners have more grip, but have a flatter profile, which makes for slow (and annoying) steering. However, even though the BMW is more flickable somehow it still manages to also be considerably more stable, especially at speed....must have something to do with that long swingarm BMW managed to engineer by arranging the engine exhaust valve's at the rear of the bike to yield more space. The BMW is extremely stable at speed and is very impressive in this respect, yet still more eager to change direction. The best test for this is to try and initiate steering wobbles at speed by moving the handlebars quickly back and forth like a tankslapper. Overall, both handle exceptionally well.

- The BMW is undoubtedly faster nearly everywhere except off the line in 1st gear, where the Honda feels close likely due to gearing. I was able to achieve a 97mph top speed on the G310R vs. 87mph on the CB300F. Surprisingly, both bikes are at exactly the same RPM's at highway speeds in 6th gear. I was thinking the Honda would feel especially tapped out on the freeway and it does especially above 75mph, but it doesn't feel like I'm stressing the motor any more than the BMW...if anything it almost feels more at ease for some reason. Both cruise at 75mph or below just fine. The BMW could cruise at 80mph, I just feel guilty revving the motor that high for so long. I think the BMW may have minutely less vibration than the Honda, but I think this boils down more to the different feel of the motors. The Honda engine's power delivery is more pulse-like and dirtbike-ish than the BMW.

- Ergonomics and size, wise I prefer the BMW's ergonomics as a taller 6'2" guy. The BMW's ergos are magic...they work well for both short and tall riders. The Honda is decent as well, but not as good.


Other quirks to note:
- The gas cap on the Honda comes out when refueling...annoying
- Headlight is excellent on the Honda and a bit better than the BMW
- The BMW has nicer and far more useful gauges...however, I the classic colored warning lights and other indicators on the Honda look better, are brighter, and grab your attention more.
- The Honda gets about 10mpg (US) more than the BMW
- ABS not standard on Honda
- Somehow Honda suggests a 8,000 mile oil change interval with 10W30 vs. the BMW's 6,000 mile oil change interval with 15W50 (not common)
- BMW warranty (3 years...and excellent service) is better although early CB300F's (1 year) have had crankshaft recalls. In the future, the Honda will probably have fewer problems
- Both are easy to work on, but the Honda is easier and parts are far cheaper...$6.96 oil filter vs. $15.55. Far more used parts available for the CB300F....same as CBR300R and even some shared parts between the Honda Grom and CBR500R and CB500F
- The CB300F's massive and unsightly, heavy exhaust (integrated catalytic converter) gets extremely hot and will literally take 30 minutes to cool down whereas the G310R has the cat in the headers, a much smaller pipe, and one that cools off in just a few minutes. This is important if you plan on using cover and not melting it.

Conclusion: Both are fun and amazing in their own ways! Can't go wrong with either!
 

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Thanks for posting. You mention "both bikes are at exactly the same RPM's at highway speeds in 6th gear"...which is what RPM at 70mph?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for posting. You mention "both bikes are at exactly the same RPM's at highway speeds in 6th gear"...which is what RPM at 70mph?
I was going to say roughly 7200 RPM for both, but I wanted to provide accurate information for everyone so I calculated the precise engine speed for both and like I said it's surprising. The BMW is actually revving up higher!

BMW G310R: 7190 RPM at 70mph
Honda CB300F: 7136 RPM at 70mph
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Just going to make one quick update. I rode them back to back again. The BMW definitely has much better suspension and handling dynamics than the Honda, which the ride red crew seems to generally have down. It's not that the Honda is bad, but the BMW feels more compliant, yet supportive/firm, and also more eager to change direction. I can't think of any compromises in the BMW's setup. It's very well calibrated.

And again, the headlight on the BMW is annoying. It isn't as bright as the Honda's and the low-beam should stay on when the high-beam is flicked on.

The Honda is easier to ride however due to the clutch/transmission as well as more responsive brakes.
 

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Just going to make one quick update. I rode them back to back again. The BMW definitely has much better suspension and handling dynamics than the Honda, which the ride red crew seems to generally have down. It's not that the Honda is bad, but the BMW feels more compliant, yet supportive/firm, and also more eager to change direction. I can't think of any compromises in the BMW's setup. It's very well calibrated.

And again, the headlight on the BMW is annoying. It isn't as bright as the Honda's and the low-beam should stay on when the high-beam is flicked on.

The Honda is easier to ride however due to the clutch/transmission as well as more responsive brakes.
I agree that the headlight is terrible. I leave my high beam on all the time especially at night. The low beam only projects light right in front the bike and I don't like that at all. I wish someone would do an aftermarket headlight with better light output.
 

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IMHO the BMW has 1 thing the Honda will never have and that's the Roundel.

The Honda is I am sure a great bike with marvelous technology but BMW's have an aura and attract a certain mentality.

While I am sure I would like the Honda, I love my 310 and I don't normally like inanimate objects (puns and jokes gratefully welcomed...)
 

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I agree that the headlight is terrible. I leave my high beam on all the time especially at night. The low beam only projects light right in front the bike and I don't like that at all. I wish someone would do an aftermarket headlight with better light output.
Make sure you adjust your headlight position and get a brighter bulb, also think about getting an led park lamp. The benefit of an led park lamp is that it doesn't produce much excess heat, is brighter than the standard park lamp, and is more noticeable in peoples peripheral vision.
 

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Also:

41mm Forks on the BMW vs. 38mm on the Honda.
Braided SS brake lines on BMW vs. standard on the Honda.

Just wanted to include a couple things that were important to me when I was decided between the BMW and other bikes in it's class.
 

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Also there is a crankshaft recall for 2015-2016 years.
 

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BMW's have an aura and attract a certain mentality.
)
They used to, not so sure about that nowadays.
The only aura I see from the current crop of BMW's is when someone installs a illuminated roundel.:grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Also:

41mm Forks on the BMW vs. 38mm on the Honda.
Braided SS brake lines on BMW vs. standard on the Honda.

Just wanted to include a couple things that were important to me when I was decided between the BMW and other bikes in it's class.
Ah yes, you are correct. However, seemingly "higher-spec" does not necessarily mean better performance.

Beefier forks are usually a good thing although suspension quality/action is much more important and this is dependent on spring rates, damping, and frame geometry. Honda does a pretty **** good job with their setup although BMW does a little bit better in my opinion.

And as another case in point, the stainless steel braided lines and 4-piston radial caliper with a bigger rotor do absolutely nothing for the BMW's braking capabilities. The Honda sweeps the floor in the braking department with a very basic 2-piston sliding axial caliper on a 4mm smaller diameter rotor. The brakes are not great on the bimmer....hopefully pads can alleviate that.
 

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Ah yes, you are correct. However, seemingly "higher-spec" does not necessarily mean better performance.

And as another case in point, the stainless steel braided lines and 4-piston radial caliper with a bigger rotor do absolutely nothing for the BMW's braking capabilities. The Honda sweeps the floor in the braking department with a very basic 2-piston sliding axial caliper on a 4mm smaller diameter rotor. The brakes are not great on the bimmer....hopefully pads can alleviate that.
I agree the braking performance on the beamer is not great, I think the SS braided lines are something I would want to convert right away on any bike that doesn't have them simply because, over time, they will not expand/stretch. They also look better. :wink2: As for the 41mm forks, again it's an aesthetic thing for me I like a beefy front to a motorcycle and tapered rear, but beauty is in the eye...
 

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I agree that the headlight is terrible. I leave my high beam on all the time especially at night. The low beam only projects light right in front the bike and I don't like that at all. I wish someone would do an aftermarket headlight with better light output.
Make sure you adjust your headlight position and get a brighter bulb, also think about getting an led park lamp. The benefit of an led park lamp is that it doesn't produce much excess heat, is brighter than the standard park lamp, and is more noticeable in peoples peripheral vision.
I played with the adjustment and also had the dealer check it. It was where it was supposed to be. I bought an LED headlight and it still wasnt that great on light output. I ended up putting a led parking light and Sylvania Silverstar Ultra halogen in it. So far it does a good enough job.
 

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Anyone know where the Honda is manufactured?

All BMW motorcycles used to be made in Germany, until this 310.
Honda recently had outstanding quality. I had heard they were making all their motorcycles back in Japan.
Not sure if this is so.
Trying to figure if quality control is on par out of the homeland?
Thinking entry level motorcycles are very similar to entry level automobiles,
less features and quality to save on costs of production.
Hence cheaper labor in India.
 

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I can confirm that the CBR250R was made in Thailand, so the 300 should hail from the same parts.

As for your thought process....it still applies. Probably what sent BMW to India, along with the other Germanic three letter motorcycle company.
 

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Also:

41mm Forks on the BMW vs. 38mm on the Honda.
Braided SS brake lines on BMW vs. standard on the Honda.

Just wanted to include a couple things that were important to me when I was decided between the BMW and other bikes in it's class.
don't forget, horizontal vs vertical split cases, I have a cfr250l and it sprung a oil leak from the case halves at the very front and a number of them have also sprung this leak, of course the BMW engine has had a issue with a failed seal letting them suck down oil and smoke like a two stroke. BMW has oil cooler the Honda does not.
honda has precise control over coolant temperature, they warm up quickly, the BMW warms up slower and can also not warm up fully when ambient temps are low or you find yourself in rain.
when we were riding up on the Cherohala parkway we got caught in a health down pour up near the 5000 foot elevation and my 310gs engine temp dropped all the way down to 140*f
 

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Discussion Starter #20
don't forget, horizontal vs vertical split cases, I have a cfr250l and it sprung a oil leak from the case halves at the very front and a number of them have also sprung this leak, of course the BMW engine has had a issue with a failed seal letting them suck down oil and smoke like a two stroke. BMW has oil cooler the Honda does not.
honda has precise control over coolant temperature, they warm up quickly, the BMW warms up slower and can also not warm up fully when ambient temps are low or you find yourself in rain.
when we were riding up on the Cherohala parkway we got caught in a health down pour up near the 5000 foot elevation and my 310gs engine temp dropped all the way down to 140*f
Awesome! I learn new things every day! Actually one of the first things I noticed on the BMW was that it warmed up quite slowly and cooled down very easily. The engine definitely runs cool, which is a good thing I think. The Honda on the other hand runs pretty hot, especially that damned exhaust with the integrated catalytic converter. Which really begs the question as to why Honda recommends only 10W30 and BMW recommends only 15W50....I'm completely boggled by this.

140 is admittedly quite low...is that dangerous to the engine? Something to look out for? On my other bikes I've never seen below 160 on the highway during some cold nights.
 
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