Originally Posted by RideFreak
I ride with a friend who has an '05 and it's a great bike, he just replaced the sparkplug this year for the first time
and it gets ridden. There's differences of course but the older 300s are still very good bikes. The powerband can be adjusted like the newer models.
I don't consider the estart weight penalty to be a big issue, last time I bought a battery I got a Turntech which is pretty light so most of the estart's weight is now down low where it isn't as noticeable.
I have an '05 and I love it. Once warm it starts 1st kick every time and 3rd kick when cold, like clockwork. With the auto clutch the no estart isn't a big deal to me as it never stalls. Maybe someday I'll upgrade to a newer one but I have mine set up exactly how I like it and it is my most favorite bike I have ever owned.