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SaturnV 04-21-2005 10:53 AM

Re: Moto-Economics
I agree that you can find cars that are more expensive to run than just about any bike, but there are some additional 'hidden' costs associated with motorcycles. Gear, for example, can get pretty darned pricey. And typically the maintanence schedules for bikes run much more frequently than cars (although I'll grant that motorcycle maintanence can be somewhat simpler to perform).

But, yeah, a commuter bike (like a Nighthawk 750) can be very cheap to run and maintain, if selected as such. What I don't see a lot of is people looking for, or riding, 'commuter' bikes, at least around here - scooter, on the other hand, are breeding like rabbits in my neck of the woods. Many of the smaller displacement, more economical bikes are cursed with the stigma of 'beginner' bikes, from the standpoint of many folks out there, and are hardly given any credance at all in the buying process. Perhaps a movement towards using motorcycles as commuters would change that?

On a semi-tangential note, one of the things I like about reviews at MO is that they often include the observed mileage of the motorcycles tested - since one of the sellings points of motorcycles as commuters is their fuel economy, it's nice to have those points of data.


naco_traficante 04-21-2005 11:00 AM

Don't forget about snowmobiles
Gas will continue to go up and that will push the popularity of hybrids and motorcycles. However where I live it tends to snow in the winter and I refuse to ride below freezing or in snow. The Manifesto has to be adjusted according to the local riding season. Any Canadian MO-fos out there ?

Buzglyd 04-21-2005 11:31 AM

Re: Gabe's Manifesto
Maybe I can arrange for you to smell her phone.

orcyclist 04-21-2005 11:49 AM

Re: Gabe's Manifesto
I live in Portland and commute daily (Well, 20 days a month,out of 23 work days) on my BMW 54 miles (each way). Don't tell anyone but it really doesn't rain in the northwest all the time. I bet I have more confidence riding in the rain than those folks who only ride in the dry and then get caught in a shower - OH! MY! GOD! It's raining!! Pull over and wait for summer!! So it's raining - DEAL with it!

I ride in a one piece suit (Fieldsheer nearly as god as an aerostitch in my opinion and $200 on line!!) that is waterproof (at least so far) and quick to getr on and off.

Wear a reflective vest (oh and did I say WEAR A REFLECTIVE VEST!) My 94 BMW RS has antilock brakes, fuel injection, heated grips (I have a heated vest too) and is a great tool for me to prepare/unwind from the day. I wear a tie and slacks under the suit. Shoes go in the hard case. I can ride year round in comfort.

I actually like riding in the rain - as long as it's not pouring. I ride for sanity and becasue I like it. There's always lots of subtle and not so subtle pressure (Isn't it dangerous? WHat if it rains? Don't you get cold?) to conform. Sorry, conformity has never been my strong suit.

I have found that riding is a far more enjoyable method of commuting despite anything to the contrary. BTW I'm 56. I agree with your quailty of life statement. I had a former wife who was anti-motorcycle - (notice I said "former" :) It's cheaper than a shrink, too!

In my former job, I had a 15 min commute - by bicycle. Same stupid questions. It's all about conformity.

BTW I wouldn't commute the 50+ if I could convince the boss that I could be productive at home - but NOOOO - won't even consider me being out from under the thumb. But they pay me well, so I will put up with it for awhile.

gforces 04-21-2005 12:09 PM

Re: Don't forget about snowmobiles
Get some heated grips, a windshield, and studded tires. Now you have no excuse :)

pyratio 04-21-2005 12:15 PM

Re: Gabe's Manifesto
--I agree on the "takes longer" on the actual commute time. I have an old carburetor bike so I have to warm it up for 5 minutes minimum in order for it to ride decent in the morning. I notice that I take far less chances while riding too. I don't zoom to cut people off, I don't stand my ground and thumblock the horn as much as I veer out of the way of unconscious SUV drivers. On average it takes me 30 minutes to commute 8 miles in Hawaiian traffic on a bike. As opposed to 20 minutes for that same distance in my car.

I do get better gas mileage on my bike tho. It gets about 45mpg whereas my old 93 Nissan Altima gets only 20mpg.

I ride at least twice a week to work to keep my riding skills up and the bike healthy. Carbs don't like to sit. If I'm not busy I usually go riding around town on Sundays too, trying not to run into the Sunday riders here. It gets tiring waving at hundreds of bikers. In Hawaii all sportbike riders wave at each other all the time.

However parking for bikes is great in Hawaii. Takes me 2 seconds to park my bike as opposed to 5 to 15 minutes to park my car. Then I have to walk a mile to get to my building.

But yeah motorcycling is great, and I agree with the article too that it should be promoted as a viable alternative to driving a car or huge SUV.

naco_traficante 04-21-2005 12:18 PM

Are you the UNIX sysadm for the server farm, too ? Just a hunch.

sportbike_pilot 04-21-2005 01:11 PM

Re: Gabe's Manifesto
Well it's nice to know that at least one other person listens to Talk of the Nation.


sportbikebandit 04-21-2005 01:37 PM

Re: Gabe's Manifesto
LOL I was thinking that same thing.... No wonder he was able to call in..

ardnopes 04-21-2005 01:52 PM

Re: Some ya'll might be missin' the boat
<blockquote>I have two friends that are relatively new motorcyclists. TheyÂ’re very leary about riding to work because theyÂ’re worried about what co-workers and clients think of them. IÂ’m sure this is a pretty common syndrome.DonÂ’t you think weÂ’d have more people commute to work on a bike if it were more socially acceptable?</blockquote>

I hear so often about how the public at large has such a bad image of bikers, but I've never experienced it. I ride my bike to work nearly every day, and many people have had nice things to say but nobody has given me a dirty look, at least not that I've noticed.

Perhaps it's a function of location in the San Francisco area...bikes are a lot more prevalent here than in other places I've lived.

I love taking the bike to work...I actually look forward to commuting!

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