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Wambo 06-28-2006 07:59 PM

Re: What's the Best Bike for Commuting?
With over 20,000 miles on my '04 650 V-Strom, I would say for all-weather commuting with a few mods, it is the best I have. The Buell CityX is more than great when the weather is warmer (above 50 degrees) since it is more fun! If you like Ducati's, the Multistrada (especially the 620) would be an excellent choice, since it handles well. Just my limited knowledge ;-)

jasonlion54 06-28-2006 08:05 PM

Re: Cowboy up?
Couldn't agree more about the "Cowboy Up" thing. I only see it on Poser's trucks in the city. Pisses me off to no end.

jasonlion54 06-28-2006 08:09 PM

Re: What's the Best Bike for Commuting?
I'm in Seattle too, and commute on an old naked bike. It sucks. Get something with wind protection, and put on some tires that grip in the rain, in case you have to ride in it.

The_Boy 06-28-2006 09:04 PM

Re: What's the Best Bike for Commuting?
No one has mentioned the Honda Pacific coast. I don't know when they stopped making them (late 90's???). But that bike was made for this. 800cc (?) a real trunk big enough for a full faced helmet, and a weeks worth of groceries. I occasionally see them for sale, fairly cheap.

crevans 06-28-2006 09:14 PM

Re: What's the Best Bike for Commuting?
I've been riding a Silverwing year round for the past 2 years. A better commuter has never been made. 45-55mpg, CVT (no shifting), 55 liters of storage under the seat, more nimble than most bikes at a crawl, 115mph top speed, and an ultra low C of G lets your feet stay off the ground until you need to be at a complete stop. It's also been great for cross country trips.

mn0024 06-28-2006 09:23 PM

Re: What's the Best Bike for Commuting?
After reading the criteria, I'm thinking a hybrid car might be the best solution in this case.

If you just want to commute to ride and have some fun, I highly recommend the 06' Tuono. I picked one up about 2 weeks ago, and it's a great bike.

xlr8r 06-28-2006 10:50 PM

Re: What's the Best Bike for Commuting?
Honda CB125 with a top box. 50 mph, 100 mpg, and the same width as table cutlery. If your trip to work is all suburban lane-splitting, it's the one. You do a bit of highway stuff on the way to work? Okay, Honda CB500. 100 mph, 70 mpg. If you're serious about this money-saving commuting idea, it has to top 60 to the gallon or you're not really trying.

Strmn8r 06-29-2006 12:12 AM

Re: What's the Best Bike for Commuting?
I have commuted on seven bikes over the last few decades: Honda CB100, '84 Honda 500 Interceptor, Honda VTX1800, Suzuki SV650S, Suzuki DL1000, Aprilia Tuono, '03 GSXR 1000. Here in Californi-eye-aye, a narrow bike is important, not only for lane-splitting but because of traffic congestion. So, hard saddlebags and wide cruisers are not ideal. Tail trunks, tailbags, and tank bags are good. Riding position is important. An upright riding position is best for seeing over traffic to look for openings and plan your line. Naked bikes, standards, less radical sportbikes, and adventure tourers are good. Let's not forget useable mirrors; one must keep an eye out for cops: radical sportbikes are out. Theft factor: any late model sportbike is a prime target for thieves for its fairing and parts. Also, liter-bikes tempt the swifter pilots amongst us to make rude, cop baiting maneuvers like passing strings of cars ten-deep at 150 mph just because you physically can.

What about economy? I've always found gas economy to be mainly a function of how hard I ride, not as much as of which machine I ride. I tend to go faster than the average motorcyclist, so I get the mileage of an economy car, which is good enough for me, especially considering that I'm riding a machine with the performance of an exotic car. What bothers me is constantly having to gas up. My commutes have usually been in the mid-30 mile range each way, so I visit the gas station every two and a half days. That gets old. So give me a bike with a big tank any day, preferably over five gallons. As far as the rest of motorcycle economics is concerned, I think it's largely a myth. Consider tires which last 6000 miles instead of 50,000 miles; no money saved there. Consider all the specialized gear you buy which ordinarily you would not, such as riding boots, multiple riding suits, helmets, $200 gloves, electric garments, moto luggage, bike accesories (!), locks, etc. and I doubt you are saving any money over an economy car. Maintenance items such as motorcycle brake pads cost way more than a car's brake pads solely for the reason that they just don't sell very many.

Weather protection. Big winshield means wide bike, which is bad, remember?. Small windshields with small fairings are better. Somethiing along the lines of an adventure tourer a la DL650, a sport tourer a la VFR 800, or a quasi-naked bike a la FZ1 or Tuono. Commonly though, such windshields mean wind buffeting which is a real pain. Look for a windshield which is swept back, such as the VFR or the Tuono. While these windshields offer chest protection and no head protection, at least the wind that reaches your head is smooth. If you choose a Suzuki DL, you can cut down the windshield and reduce the buffeting. Ultimately, 90% of your weather protective needs will be met with an Aerostich suit and a full face helmet. If you commute on motorcycle, invest the thousand dollars or so in this gear and you too will become a full time commuter, not just an occasional sunny-Friday-preceding-a-holiday-only type of moto commuter which is the most dangerous type to be. You see, if you commute daily, you get really good at it; with this skill comes satisfaction, a higher level of safety, and exquisite fun. FUN, that's why I commute by motorcycle. I will put up with a hell of a lot of the inconvenience and danger of motorcycling for that 80 minutes of bliss that make up my commute. What car people regard as a big headace, I regard as a daily vacation.

So, which bike? For those who favor comfort and practicality, get a Suzuki DL650 or DL1000, the DL650 for those who like nimbleness, the DL1000 for those who crave power. For those who type the word 'fun' with all capital letters, get the most visceral, most in-your-mother's-face commuting weapon known to commuterkind... the Aprilia Tuono.

robb_millett 06-29-2006 01:29 AM

Re: What's the Best Bike for Commuting?
You've ridden down to 40 deg F, huh? you live a paltry SIX MILES from work? lightweight. up here in MA, if you want to seriously commute, throughout the year, you have to be ready for temps in the teens and 20s, and having experirnce in this condition, trust when I say that merely adding more layers DOES NOT WORK, for more than 10-20 minutes, which, would be about 1/3rd of my 25 mile (one way) commute.

Ahh shallow youth...;-)

Since I started riding in 1975, I've commuted on every single bike I owned, from my entry bike (a 1972 Kawasaki F7 175cc enduro) to my current bike (a modified 1980 Yamaha XS850) with a variety of standards, sportbikes and cruisers in between, and each had their advatages and disadvatages in the commuting regime. Now though, as i've gotten older and find myself with absolutely nothing to prove anymore, I'm much more heavily leaning in the direction of the Mega-Scooters, in large part becuase I've never owned one, and having been so heavily invested in the motorcycle world for so long, that I find nothing there really captivates me, enough so to make me want to go into debt over it.

Megascoots, like the Suzi bugmanns, Honda siolverwing, and Yamaha majesty, (as well as the off brands - PIaggio X9 and BV500, Kymco Xciting 500, and Aprillia Atlantic 500) seem to have everythign I'm looking for: ease of use, LARGE internal storage, excellent real-world fuel economy, full frontal weather protection, economy of ownership, etc. Most of my motorcycling buddies look at me like I've got three eyes and antlers when I talk about my enthusiasm for scoots, but I can't deny it.

BTW, MO Staff, a two wheel enthusiast looking for comparison tests, or any real meaningful, intensive, road tests (beyond the 2003 Cycle World test of the Burgie 650 and the 2004 Canadian Motorcycle Guide test of the Yamaha Majesty) of any of the Megascooters finds mostly a dry desolate about it? Help a brotha out, man. ;-)

BillyO 06-29-2006 01:40 AM

Re: What's the Best Bike for Commuting?
Getting your morning commute to work and making a social statement also,you have several choices;Big Dog,Confederate Cycles,or Exile.

Drag pipes,open pipes,no freakin`pipes.

Brooks Brothers Suit with your secretary on pillion-showing a little bum in dental floss undies.

In no time,you will be CEO.

Think outside the box,dude.

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