Honda CB300F Problems: 4 Known Issues (Explained)

The CB300F is a variation on the entry-level sportbike, the CBR300R.

The two bikes share an engine, a single-cylinder little powerhouse pushing 31 horsepower and 20 foot-pounds of torque, powered by redesign-enhanced pistons, crankshafts, and rods.

The 300F is lighter than the R model, with a more upright seating position; it’s a commuter. 

An entry-level commuter powered by a small sportbike motor sounds reliable, but what are the common problems with a Honda CB 300F naked bike?

Scroll down and catch a few tips!

1. Can’t Find Neutral (Solved)

One of the most recurring problems the 300F has is finding and shifting into neutral.

There’s often a tendency to shift into neutral when at a traffic light, allowing you to take your hand off the clutch lever and chill for a while.

Owners of CB300F claim that as they try to shift into neutral, their bike stays stuck in first gear. When it’s time to throttle out of their lane, though, the bike takes off and shifts into second gear like a dream.

Then, at the next red light, it refuses to go into neutral all over again. 

The simple truth here is that while the 300F might be a tad harder to shift than some of the other commuters, the online trend seems to indicate that it’s often new riders who don’t know it’s a bad idea to put their 300F into neutral at a temporary stop.

Let’s explain.

  • When revving into motion from idle, you don’t want to go from neutral into first. 
  • Your CB300F has what we refer to as a sequential gearbox.
  • A sequential gearbox is designed to shift from first up to second, not from neutral down to first, then up to second.
  •  Staying in first at the light with your hand on the clutch lever and your clutch disengaged is the right way to ride—not hanging around idling in neutral. 
  • This gives your acceleration response and your clutch action a snappier feedback with a seamless transition into riding. 
  • Staying in first at stops is part of defensive driving. If a car enters your road space without seeing you or runs a light, etc., you have an advantage if you can hit the throttle, avoid upcoming traffic, and be on your way. 
  • Waiting on the red light with your hand on the clutch and your bike in first gear is part of riding responsibly. Gearboxes aren’t intended to idle in neutral when stopped. 

The CB 300F is a favored option for new riders. 

If you’re a first-time bike owner reading this, we’re not picking on you. 

It’s common for new riders to rest in neutral at stops and give their hand a chance to get off that clutch lever. 

The best antidote is to build that hand muscle while riding; it’ll happen quicker than you think. Hold your clutch at stops and feather your clutch for engine braking, and you’ll build the muscles you need to clutch on command with the best of ’em.

  • Motorcycling demands as much cognitive power as it does physical strength. Will your fingers have the stamina they need to hold the clutch in until the light changes by not squeezing too hard and therefore tiring yourself out faster?
  • They will. Challenge yourself to hold your CB300F clutch lever as soft as possible while maintaining the clutch’s disengagement. You got this. 
  • Roll up to your stops slowly, power walking your 300F for the last few feet. This generates not just motorcycle-riding clutch-hand strength but also builds the leg strength you’ll need to jump on something bigger if that’s something you’re into. 
  • It eases the strain as your hands rest forward onto your CB300F’s bars, flowing your wrists. This way, your wrist muscles take some of the weight off of your fingers.
  • Think of every red light as a chance to build the physical and cognitive skills needed to master the Honda CB300F.

2. Bike Stalls Out of Nowhere (Solved)

One of the more problematic issues we’ve encountered during our dive into the CB300F forums was riders claiming their bikes would stall out of nowhere. 

And to be clear, some of these riders bought their CB300F fresh from Honda, brand new; their bikes would stall out before they clocked any noteworthy mileage on her. 

There are more than a few reasons a 300F can stall out. Let’s get into the most common causes we encountered. 

The problem could be related to the ECU’s fuel map. A complimentary ECU flash/fuel system remap at the Honda dealership has fixed the problem for more than a few CB300F owners.

The Honda CB300F is a reliable standard commuter with a simple but efficient single-cylinder motor. If your Honda CB300F is experiencing stall-outs and you’re sure you’re hitting the friction zone on your clutch correctly, the next place to check is either fuel, air, battery, or spark.

Related: 4 Most-Common Problems With Honda VTX1800

3. Buzzing Vibration Sound

The first criticism I found in the forums regarding the 300F was more of a complaint than an issue; the problem?

The CB300F makes a buzzing vibration, in some cases described as a rattle—especially in the higher RPM range.

A few of the frustrated 300F owners even claimed they heard it over their exhaust sound. 

We encountered riders who spent their downtime tightening every bolt on their 300F fairing, loosened them all, and then re-tightened them in a fury of will to prevent the rattle from resurfacing. Even that didn’t work. 

After reading through incorrect theory after incorrect theory, we finally found some folks who got rid of the vibration on their Honda 300F.

  • One rider discovered a fairing bolt they had never noticed before underneath the faring towards the bottom of the bike. 
  • The best way to get rid of the rattle noise on the Honda 300F is to tighten the fairing bolt on the lower right side of the fairing. 

Shout out to the moto-G who put that out there in the forums, but is this a cure-all solution for the annoying noise? Because another rider we heard from claims they got rid of it with a whole other approach:

  • A different Honda 300F troubleshooter deduced that, on his bike, the rattle was coming from the fuel cap. 
  • The next time they heard the obnoxious vibration, homie applied some pressure onto their fuel cap, and right before his ears, the noise went away!
  •  When they got back home, this 300F owner took their gas cap off and installed it with more intent. They claim the noise went away for good.

In the end, we assume two different rattling sounds are being described, with two other culprits behind them; the gas cap and the lower fairing bolt. Maybe it’s because of two distinct causes that it’s so hard for 300F owners to troubleshoot. Try both solutions. 

The good news is that regardless of whether it’s your gas cap or fairing bolt that’s causing the obnoxious vibration buzz on your Honda CB300F, it’s not indicative of engine or transmission trouble. 

Related: 4 Most-Common Problems With Honda CB650F

4. Side Stand Makes Bike Sit Too Tall

Here’s another issue on the list that might at first seem like a complaint, but knowing about it could prevent some damage or even an injury; we figured we’d share the deets.

The Honda CB300F’s side stand holds the bike more upright than other commuter bikes. This catches some riders off guard.

Here’s a testimony from a real-life Honda CB 300F owner:

The kickstand keeps the bike more upright than with other motorcycles. I might even worry about parking in a strong wind. It helps to turn the bike to the left as you lock it. That gives it more of a lean, but the issue I have is that I always get on and off a bike with the kickstand down. Getting on is no problem since the seat is low, but getting off is harder than any other bike I have ever owned because instead of just sliding off on the left side, you have to work at both scooting off and not allowing the bike to get even more upright. It’s hard to explain any better than that, and I am getting used to it.

There you have it. It’s not that it’s an issue with the bike that affects you while you’re riding, making it a peculiar item on our list this time around. That said, being aware that the 300F stands taller than its contemporaries gives you the foresight to be attentive during mounting, dismounting, and parking.
Be wary of inclines that might counterbalance the tall kickstand and flop your bike over in the opposite direction; you got this.

Related: 4 Most-Common Problems With Honda CB500F

General Pros and Cons for Honda CB 300F

Here’re some pros and cons of the Honda CB300F:

Pros

  • The CB300F equips a Honda-dependable, 286cc single-cylinder motor. 
  • Great first bike, especially for riders looking for a reflexive and easy to ride commuter.
  • The CB300F’s seat is low enough to float a rider just 30.7 inches from the pavement; low center of gravity makes it easy to handle, whether riding or walking. 
  • Its agile frame enhances the 300F’s handling and maneuverability, not just for easy traffic navigation.
  • Its nimble handling makes the CB300F great for developing a keen sense of handling on technical curves and switchbacks.

Cons

  • Problem Fidning Neutral (Solved)
  • Bike Stalls Out of Nowhere (Solved)
  • Buzzing Vibration Sound

What Do the Reviews Say?

The CB300F makes a great commuter if you ride in tight traffic, especially if you can legally split lanes on the freeway. The bike’s small stature allows you to sneak through the narrow spaces left by sloppy drivers peeking at their cell phones, but you’ll have to be extra vigilant. You are much easier to be overlooked, no one is going to hear the quiet bike coming, and you can’t squirt away from danger as quickly as on a mid-size bike.

Despite its small displacement, the CB300F is an inspiringly capable ride. The liquid-cooled DOHC single is moderately oversquare, and has a 10,500 rpm redline. Novice riders will appreciate the ease of getting the bike moving with the useful, low-end torque, and everyone will enjoy the healthy mid to upper-mid range power where the CB300F really shines.

The power delivery is broad, from a nice pull at 4000 rpm, up through 6500 where it flexes its 286cc of muscles, all the way up to about 8000 rpm, at which point it starts leveling off. The CB300F’s responsive and willing nature, along with its ease of handling, encourages an enthusiastic ride.

https://ultimatemotorcycling.com/2016/11/02/2016-honda-cb300f-review-commuter-and-canyon-carver/

What’s the Resale Value of a Honda CB300F?

Year Mileage Price
2015 8,064 $3,200
2016 6,639 $4,290
2017 1,577 $3,830
2018 78 $4,999
2019 1,951 $4,950

Sources

2016 Honda CB300F Review | Commuter and Canyon Carver | ultimatecycling.com

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