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derpherp 08-13-2011 11:15 AM

What kind of bike for commuting?
 
I commute about 2000km per month, mostly on freeway doing 80mph. What bike would be ideal for this sort of use? Would be my first bike.

Easy Rider 2 08-13-2011 03:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by derpherp (Post 264660)
I commute about 2000km per month, mostly on freeway doing 80mph. What bike would be ideal for this sort of use? Would be my first bike.

NONE. Honestly.

First bike, freeway at 80 MPH......receipe for disaster.

Read the threads here about "getting my first bike".
Take the MSF course.
Get a bike you are comfortable with and ON that is 400 cc's or more.
Get a decent size windshield.
Recent used, without a lot of plastic body work is best......unless you are rich.
Ride and practice for a year; only THEN do you venture out on the freeway at 80.

Consider that the MINIMUM safe following distance at 80 is about 9 car lengths. Study the freeway trafffic a bit and see how many cars observe that distance.

Also take a rough count of how many bikes there are during rush hour.
If you live near a BIG city, most riders have figured out that it is NOT a good thing to do.
Also if there is a sudden rain storm, showing up at work looking like a drowned rat isn't good either.

Having an accident at speed hurts a LOT more on a bike than in a cage.

pushrod 08-13-2011 04:27 PM

DH,

Honestly, the best vehicle for your stated application is not a bike.

Get a solid small car for that. At 80, some econoboxes get almost the same fuel economy as most "bigger" bikes.

If you REALLY want a bike, get a small one to learn on, and do the commute in the car until you have the skill (and a continued desire) to get a bike for the SuperSlab.

derpherp 08-14-2011 02:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Easy Rider 2 (Post 264677)
NONE. Honestly.

First bike, freeway at 80 MPH......receipe for disaster.

Read the threads here about "getting my first bike".
Take the MSF course.
Get a bike you are comfortable with and ON that is 400 cc's or more.
Get a decent size windshield.
Recent used, without a lot of plastic body work is best......unless you are rich.
Ride and practice for a year; only THEN do you venture out on the freeway at 80.

Consider that the MINIMUM safe following distance at 80 is about 9 car lengths. Study the freeway trafffic a bit and see how many cars observe that distance.

Also take a rough count of how many bikes there are during rush hour.
If you live near a BIG city, most riders have figured out that it is NOT a good thing to do.
Also if there is a sudden rain storm, showing up at work looking like a drowned rat isn't good either.

Having an accident at speed hurts a LOT more on a bike than in a cage.


Well I do have a car at my disposal so I'm okay with practicing for a year or so before hitting the highway.

I live in small city and commute to even smaller one, there is hardly any traffic (seriously I might see 1 or two cars max on the freeway going same direction) in the morning and not enough for any kind of traffic jam on the evening.

Anyway I'm not in any kind of hurry to go 100mph on my first day or anything so I'll take your advice. However I am still curious, how big of a bike would one need and what sort for the situation I described?

trenttheuncatchable 08-14-2011 07:06 AM

I have used a Ninja 250 to go 80mph (on the speedo) on the expressway in heavy traffic (chicago area) every Monday for a roughly 100 mile round trip for a couple of years. I used a smaller (less teeth) rear sprocket so that the engine wasn't as busy, but that wasn't actually a requirement.

It also got around 60 miles per gallon (measured).

Easy Rider 2 08-14-2011 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by derpherp (Post 264692)
However I am still curious, how big of a bike would one need and what sort for the situation I described?

I just LOVE it when people don't read ALL of what I post...........:rolleyes:

Covered that above. In general, you need 400cc's or more to keep up on the highway. 750 is plenty for anything legal.

Then, your second post is somewhat in conflict with your first. If the traffic on the highway really IS that sparce, why do you think you need to be going 80 MPH ???

derpherp 08-15-2011 08:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Easy Rider 2 (Post 264694)
I just LOVE it when people don't read ALL of what I post...........:rolleyes:

Covered that above. In general, you need 400cc's or more to keep up on the highway. 750 is plenty for anything legal.

Then, your second post is somewhat in conflict with your first. If the traffic on the highway really IS that sparce, why do you think you need to be going 80 MPH ???

Well you didn't exactly say that 400cc is good enough for highway, you said I should NOT go to highway and the recommended 400cc so I just thought you meant it as a good starter bike.

As to your question, well I want to get to work / home from work fast as possible, is this not obvious :D Who wants to spend their valuable free time on road?

seruzawa 08-15-2011 08:39 AM

No offense but getting a bike to do 80 on the highway when you've never ridden before is a bad idea. You should start on a smaller bike that you won't mind dropping because all new riders drop a bike occasionally, if only in the parking lot. Pick up a used dual purpose bike like a Super Sherpa or maybe a DRZ400 and ride the wheels off of it around town for a few months first. Don't forget decent gear, jacket and pants and helmet, too. That's my 2 cents.

The Spaceman 08-15-2011 10:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by derpherp (Post 264660)
I commute about 2000km per month, mostly on freeway doing 80mph. What bike would be ideal for this sort of use? Would be my first bike.

If you don't need to bring stuff along, go with a 1000cc or larger supersport bike. The GSXR 1000 or BWM S1000RR are examples.

If you want to tote some stuff along, get a VFR1200, a Kawaski Concours 14, or possibly the Triumph Sprint GT. They have or can be equipped with luggage.

Have fun and be careful!

derpherp 08-15-2011 11:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by seruzawa (Post 264800)
No offense but getting a bike to do 80 on the highway when you've never ridden before is a bad idea. You should start on a smaller bike that you won't mind dropping because all new riders drop a bike occasionally, if only in the parking lot. Pick up a used dual purpose bike like a Super Sherpa or maybe a DRZ400 and ride the wheels off of it around town for a few months first. Don't forget decent gear, jacket and pants and helmet, too. That's my 2 cents.

No offense taken, safety before everything else. However I have to say that I am not going to buy dual purpose just because of the fact that I'm 22 year old 220lbs guy and there are lot of those bikes in my town ridden exclusively by 16 year old kids. I don't plan to ride for image or anything and honestly don't care that much about the bike but I am not going to be a part of that gang 8-)

Quote:

If you don't need to bring stuff along, go with a 1000cc or larger supersport bike. The GSXR 1000 or BWM S1000RR are examples.

If you want to tote some stuff along, get a VFR1200, a Kawaski Concours 14, or possibly the Triumph Sprint GT. They have or can be equipped with luggage.

Have fun and be careful!
Well those bike definitely are years away for me unless I want to kill myself 8)

The_AirHawk 08-15-2011 01:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by derpherp
Well those bike definitely are years away for me unless I want to kill myself 8)

OH. MY. GAWD!

A New Rider with a lick of common-sense!

It's a Sign of The Apocalypse!!!!!!

trenttheuncatchable 08-15-2011 02:48 PM

If you're 220#, get a used Ninja 500. You can ride it as long as you want (this means, you don't have to trade up if you don't want to, the Ninja 500 has enough oomph to get you wherever you want to go).

12er 08-15-2011 05:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trenttheuncatchable (Post 264831)
If you're 220#, get a used Ninja 500. You can ride it as long as you want (this means, you don't have to trade up if you don't want to, the Ninja 500 has enough oomph to get you wherever you want to go).

I second that, cheap too, purchase and insurance.

Easy Rider 2 08-15-2011 06:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by derpherp (Post 264796)
Who wants to spend their valuable free time on road?

Who wants to spend their time in a hospital bed........or in the ground.

This is NOT a laughing matter. :(

Easy Rider 2 08-15-2011 06:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Spaceman (Post 264806)
If you don't need to bring stuff along, go with a 1000cc or larger supersport bike. The GSXR 1000 or BWM S1000RR are examples.

Incase you haven't noticed.........you are in a TINY minority here with suggesting a 1000cc supersport as a first bike.

You aren't REALLY serious with that, are you ?? :rolleyes:

The_AirHawk 08-15-2011 09:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Easy Rider 2 (Post 264853)
Incase you haven't noticed.........you are in a TINY minority here with suggesting a 1000cc supersport as a first bike.

You aren't REALLY serious with that, are you ?? :rolleyes:

He's also Whirlpool or Maytag or whatever his name was. So what do YOU think?

The Spaceman 08-16-2011 06:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Easy Rider 2 (Post 264853)
Incase you haven't noticed.........you are in a TINY minority here with suggesting a 1000cc supersport as a first bike.

You aren't REALLY serious with that, are you ?? :rolleyes:

The guy's criteria was a bike that could easily handle an 80 mph commute on the Interstate every day. Those bikes are great choices for that purpose, especially the sport touring bikes.

It's up to him to decide if he's ready for them or not.

seruzawa 08-16-2011 06:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Spaceman (Post 264878)
The guy's criteria was a bike that could easily handle an 80 mph commute on the Interstate every day. Those bikes are great choices for that purpose, especially the sport touring bikes.

It's up to him to decide if he's ready for them or not.

Well, an SV650 or a Versys could handle that with ease for that matter. They also are better commuters because of the substantially lower weight than the current run of pork tourers.

The Spaceman 08-16-2011 07:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by seruzawa (Post 264882)
Well, an SV650 or a Versys could handle that with ease for that matter. They also are better commuters because of the substantially lower weight than the current run of pork tourers.

Of course my answer was tongue in cheek; the guy's post was ridiculous.

I commute at 80mph, not every day, but a good percentage. My 1000 is right in it's sweet spot at 80, at about 50% of RPM. A 650 is working really hard at that speed, especially if you hang saddlebags on it. A Versys might handle it, but I'll bet it would be buzzing like a bee at 80.

trenttheuncatchable 08-16-2011 07:43 AM

Yeah, my 1100XX would be at a bit over 4k. But I wouldn't recommend that bike to anyone starting out. And modern engines don't really have a problem "working hard".

seruzawa 08-16-2011 12:08 PM

I commuted 85 miles a day on an 80 KZ750 at 75-80. I put 55,000 miles on it without a hitch. Handled it just fine. The amounts of power people think they need to cruise the Interstates these days is nuts. any bike in the 500-750 range can easily do it.

Heck I used to cruise 75 on a 1960s era 650twin. Maybe it had 45hp on a good day.

Americans. If they need a .38 Special they of course opt for the .454Casull.

The_AirHawk 08-16-2011 12:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by seruzawa
Americans. If they need a .38 Special they of course opt for the .454Casull.

The 7th Bullet's for Evil....

Captain Steve 08-16-2011 12:45 PM

My first bike was an EX500 (ninja). It did interstates just fine. I did many a trip from Norfolk,VA to Boston, MA with a Navy sea bag on my back for the weekend with it.

Duken4evr 08-16-2011 07:48 PM

Find a used low miles Suzuki VX800. It has shaft drive, it will do 80 and it will last forever. It would probably survive the inevitable lowside new rider crashes pretty well too.

You might die of boredom, but that would be an efficient choice.

newagetwotone 08-20-2011 09:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Spaceman (Post 264883)
Of course my answer was tongue in cheek; the guy's post was ridiculous.

I commute at 80mph, not every day, but a good percentage. My 1000 is right in it's sweet spot at 80, at about 50% of RPM. A 650 is working really hard at that speed, especially if you hang saddlebags on it. A Versys might handle it, but I'll bet it would be buzzing like a bee at 80.

You are talking out of your rectum sir.

A ninja 500 will easily do 80 all day on the highway. Saying that a NEW 650 will struggle, work or any other word that makes it seem like its a problem is bull.

dylanmo 08-24-2011 07:16 PM

The above is true. I go 85 miles a day, mixed 2-lane and 6-lane on a ex500. If anything, low-displacement bikes are light and get pushed around a bit in the wind currents on a freeway, which is what's annoying. More POWAH won't fix that.

Also, bungee your gear down or get some softbags, or both -basically don't wear a backpack is my advice.

The Spaceman 08-25-2011 06:32 AM

Fine, if you guys want to ride down the interstates on girly bikes busting their guts to keep up with traffic, go right ahead. I'll wave as I pass you, just to show there's no hard feelings.

As for my rectum, Mr. 2Tone, lean in close. It has a secret message for you.

Easy Rider 2 08-25-2011 07:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Spaceman (Post 265438)
Fine, if you guys want to ride down the interstates on girly bikes busting their guts to keep up with traffic, go right ahead.

How to win friends on a motorcycle forum: Insult other riders bikes. :o

Do you have to work at being an ass......or does it just come naturally ?? :p

The Spaceman 08-25-2011 07:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Easy Rider 2 (Post 265440)
How to win friends on a motorcycle forum: Insult other riders bikes. :o

Do you have to work at being an ass......or does it just come naturally ?? :p

I wish I could say it was easy for me, but I'd be lying. I've always wanted to be like George, aka Long Ride, but I just don't have the deep-seated anger and resentment required to step up to his level. You'd have liked George; you two would have had some snappy repartees, no doubt.

seruzawa 08-25-2011 07:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Spaceman (Post 265438)
Fine, if you guys want to ride down the interstates on girly bikes busting their guts to keep up with traffic, go right ahead. I'll wave as I pass you, just to show there's no hard feelings.

As for my rectum, Mr. 2Tone, lean in close. It has a secret message for you.

Ha! Riding a '67 Ducati 250 Scrambler on the freeways of L.A. is "busting your guts". We'd have killed for a bike like an SV650 or EX500.

How things change.

rickyeby 09-05-2011 01:11 AM

i ride a ninja 250 on the freeway doing 75-80 once every week. One way its 95miles. The engine is doing 9000rpm at that speed. I do this only if traffic is low. if i am in traffic i go slower so i have reserve power( the little 250 is almost topped out at 80mph and acceleration is sluggish after that). I just got a vfr750 to take over the commute.

My friend rides a '82 cb450sc nighthawk and that bike has enough power to do the commute at 80mph. he has dropped the bike at slow speed to stand still a few times and had to change nothing. i would recommend one of those older mid displacement universal japanese bikes for your first bike. any post 1980 japanese bike engines have no problem doing consistent high revs. or you can get a nighthawk 750 which has the shaft drive and hydraulic valve lifters for low maintenance.

It also depends on how tall you are. if you are really tall u might want to get a klr650, or f650gs or similiar. I am 6ft and 185# and 90 miles is about the limit i can do in a strecth in the ninja 250. But on the vfr i can go much longer. i do not no that limit yet.

as you have a long daily commute your fit on the bike will be important so you wont be totally tired by the time you get to work.

Yingchun5207 09-07-2011 03:57 AM

My 1100XX would be at a bit over 4k. But I wouldn't recommend that bike to anyone starting out. And modern engines don't really have a problem "working hard".

Squid Killer 09-07-2011 12:30 PM

I commute 45 miles each way in heavy traffic on an EX250 all the time. My average speed is 80mph most of the time. No problems at all. The bike is quite capable of this.

Easy Rider 2 09-07-2011 02:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squid Killer (Post 266203)
The bike is quite capable of this.

But for how long ??

There is little question that running an engine at those speeds is hard on it.

For every mile traveled, that engine makes about 3X the revolutions that mine does. And the higher it rev's, the more strain there is.

I've heard of several riders who have beat their 250s into the ground around 25K miles.

Squid Killer 09-07-2011 02:27 PM

Mine has over 20,000 miles on it and still going strong. My friend has well over 60,000 miles on his and he weighs about 260lbs. If someones EX doesnt last past 25,000 miles I wouldnt blame the bike. The bike redlines after 14,000 RPM and cruising the highway isnt a strain on it.

testcase 09-07-2011 02:32 PM

That's a lot. Considering SK's commute, that's more than enough to do a full work year of commutes (assuming he works every single weekday and never gets holidays). Also, the wee Ninjas... they trade hands often. I rode my EX250 for a single season (used it for freeway commuting) before I sold it for what I bought it. I don't remember how many miles were on it when I got it, but I think I was about the third or fourth owner. He could spend a year on it and then move up when comfortable to something else.

Like the saying goes, "It's the first bike, not the last one."

The_AirHawk 09-07-2011 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Easy Rider 2 (Post 266212)
But for how long ??

There is little question that running an engine at those speeds is hard on it.

For every mile traveled, that engine makes about 3X the revolutions that mine does. And the higher it rev's, the more strain there is.

I've heard of several riders who have beat their 250s into the ground around 25K miles.

It likes it, thinks you're just playin' with it around 12k.

The Spaceman 09-08-2011 07:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Easy Rider 2 (Post 266212)
For every mile traveled, that engine makes about 3X the revolutions that mine does. And the higher it rev's, the more strain there is.

I know that seems right instinctively, but I'm not sure it is actually true. It may depend on how you define "strain," or at a minimum what kind of engine you're talking about.

Take your modern, highly oversquare 600 cc supersport engine, ferinstance. I'll bet that engine has less "strain" at 10k rpm than it does at 5k.

That would not be true for a long-stroke, pushrod engine like most cruisers have.

Easy Rider 2 09-08-2011 08:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Spaceman (Post 266244)

I'll bet that engine has less "strain" at 10k rpm than it does at 5k.

What kind of warped logic leads you to that conclusion ?? :rolleyes:

The main point wasn't about the strain, necessarily, but the potential wear of the engine "traveling" 3 times as far to cover the same distance on the road.

As a general rule, a high rev'ing engine has a shorter life span than one that is geared higher and runs more slowly. Exceptions no doubt apply on both sides.

The_AirHawk 09-08-2011 10:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Easy Rider 2 (Post 266248)
What kind of warped logic leads you to that conclusion ?? :rolleyes:

The main point wasn't about the strain, necessarily, but the potential wear of the engine "traveling" 3 times as far to cover the same distance on the road.

As a general rule, a high rev'ing engine has a shorter life span than one that is geared higher and runs more slowly. Exceptions no doubt apply on both sides.

Because the engine is probably "lugging" at 5k, whereas it is near the torque-peak at 10k.

You of all people should know that lugging any engine (aside from possibly a tractor) is bad for it, especially something with tiny, long valvestems, and thin, hollow camshafts (delicate rods, short, slipper-style pistons with high, narrow rings, etc......)


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