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Old 06-29-2006, 06:07 AM   #51
Buzglyd
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Default Re: What's the Best Bike for Commuting?

Numble is a combo of nimble and rumble. How could you not know that?
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:11 AM   #52
jhinton
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Default What's the Best Bike for Commuting? A CAR!!

As someone that has commuted exclusively on a motorcycle for the last 5 years I usually recommend against it if the goal is to save money. The reason is because in the end it doesnÂ’t really save money. Most people fixate on MPG instead of $ per mile. Yes, you may save some on gas but the savings are offset by increased cost of maintenance, insurance, and especially tires. In addition, you only really save money on gas if you compare the typical family car/SUV/truck to the typical motorcycle. Really, are you hauling the family to work everyday? No, usually you only driving to work with 1 person so why the 7 passenger SUV? If you compare a diesel, hybrid, or small car youÂ’re not really even saving on gas.



Being an engineer and therefore a nerd, IÂ’ve kept all my receipts and recorded every expense for my vehicles in a spreadsheet. For example our current vehicles:



I commute on a Â’02 BMW R1150R. It has a nice upright riding position, saddlebags, ports for heated riding gear, and big ugly windshield I put on for winter. IÂ’ve averaged 42 mpg and my sport-touring tires have lasted on average 5000 miles. For just operating expenses (fuel, tires, maintenance, insurance, etc) my BMW has cost $0.22 per mile. Total cost including purchase price is $0.75 per mile.



My wife commutes in a Â’03 VW Jetta Wagon TDI. It has comfortable seating for 4, and lots of luggage space, AC, heat, and a CD player. She has averaged 49 mpg and the performance all-season tires last 36K miles. For just operating expenses, her Jetta has cost $0.07 per mile. Total cost including purchase price is $0.27 per mile.



So it cost me 3 times more to commute on my motorcycle than for her to commute in a modern turbo diesel car. It would cost me less to buy a $5000 Â’00 Toyota Echo and save the motorcycle for pleasure riding. We would do that but my wife wants a Mini next year so IÂ’ll be getting the VW for commuting.



If you really want to commute on a motorcycle and live in an area that riding a motorcycle has benefits such as HOV lane access and lane-splitting then I vote for a small dualsport like the KLR250 or Super Sherpa. A Ninja 250 or 500 would be also be good choices. For a bike to be cheaper than a car you need at least 60-80 mpg and low horsepower to save on tires. Add a tailtrunk and youÂ’re ready to go. The superscooters are easy to use and have great storage options but get pretty bad mileage for what they are. A 250cc to 500cc scooter should be getting better than 40 to 50 mpg IMHO.

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Old 06-29-2006, 06:16 AM   #53
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Default Re: What the what?!

Dear Pastor,

Please forgive Buzz for saying "h*ll".
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:21 AM   #54
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Default Re: What's the Best Bike for Commuting?

Weather protection, storage space, agility, economy? Oh, Big Scooter, certainly. Those things are perfect in that role. The 500s are plenty peppy, too



I would have a commuter-scooter myself, except that my small pee-pee demands a ZX-14, otherwise I suffer humiliation when I show up at the Rock Store. (giggle)
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:22 AM   #55
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Default Re: Cowboy up?

Cowboy up came from Boston in 2004.



One of our shaggy idiots on the Red Sox started saying it and "Red Sox Nation" repeated it endlessly during the whole World Championship run.



It must have started to spread. No one says it here anymore though.



It did not originate here AFAIK but the Red Sox definitely made a massive contribution to it's current popularity.
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:22 AM   #56
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Default Re: What's the Best Bike for Commuting?

I'm too busy checking out drag pipes, leather doo-rags and tat designs. The GPTB has time for nothing else!
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:26 AM   #57
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Default Re: What's the Best Bike for Commuting? A CAR!!

However, when your other vehicle is a 16-17mpg 3/4 ton truck you do save money after figuring in tires, etc.



Those TDIs are awesome. I'm trying to talk my wife into a Golf or Jetta diesel when (or if) the Legacy gives up the ghost. My friend's Golf gets way over 50mpg regularly. Beats the crap out of those hybrids.
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:36 AM   #58
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Default Re: What's the Best Bike for Commuting?

Big scooters are excellent for commuting. The bike I'd pick is no longer in production, the Honda PC800 Pacific Coast. Decent handling, very,very little maintenance, built-in trunk. I like the Honda Deauville also, but we can't get it here.
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:39 AM   #59
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Default Re: What's the Best Bike for Commuting?

Yah... there are practically no bikes available in the US which actually make any sense for commuting.



The 250cc streetbikes from each of the big 4, A few of the dual sports, etc... that's it. Fit them with hard luggage and they make for good commuters.



Otherwise everything else on the road, especially anything with any sporting bent, is WAY too expensive to operate as a commuter.



The bikes I've had so far are the SV650 and the VFR. Neither one is anywhere close in cost or practicality to any of the cars I've owned.



I put 60,000miles on a Ford Focus over 5 years while riding the bike to work when I felt like it. All the maintenance on that car probably added up to maybe $2000 over that time period. It got 25-30mpg. I put one set of $500 tires on it. A Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla would have been even better.



My VFR would probably cost me almost $10,000 in maintenance over $60,000 miles. And I make that estimate assuming I continue to do all the maintenance myself except the most major tasks. It only gets about 38mpg average in our traffic. The gas expense is definitely way less then my car but nowhere near enough. My SV650 averaged about 50-55mpg and that was still not nearly enough.



Even way more frugal sportbikes then the VFR with much less expensive maintenance eat through tires at a prodigious pace. If you get 5000 miles out of your tires and pay $400 for each set of tires & change you are looking at $8,000 in tire expenses for 100,000 miles of commuting. Barely any commuter cars will even go through $1,000 in tires in 100k miles. I've managed to put 10,000 miles on a set of tires before but barely anyone I know does that on a japanese bike on a regular basis. 5000 is much closer to average I think.



If it weren't for their super high cost to buy most big H-Ds are probably more practical commuters then Japanese bikes... they certainly burn much less gas and destroy tires much more slowly. Even if hourly charges for maintenance are exactly the same parts costs for H-D and Buell appear to be about 1/3-1/2 the same parts from say Honda. As long as the H-D does not break down too much it is going to be cheaper to run then a more reliable Honda.
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Old 06-29-2006, 06:41 AM   #60
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Default Re: What's the Best Bike for Commuting? A CAR!!

really! Autoweek recently did a comparison test of fuel mileage in several various vehicles, amongh then a Prius, and Jetta TDI...the Jetta whipped up on the Prius getting 49 measured mpg...



right now, my car (a $400 ;94 ford escort wagon) returns a real 35 mpg, to my XS850's 40-41... I can see a diesel in my future.



...along with a Yamaha Majesty.
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