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  1. #21
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    A honda 125MTX was my only form of transport for the first 2 years of my driving, then a DRZ400. Bettwen the 2 i think i clocked up about 90K miles over thoes first few years accident free but theres more than a few depely engraved oh shit moments that will be with me till death. Over here training is bloody brilliant and it needs to be, no one will see you or make any allowances for you, your more or less playing a game of roulette with a loaded revolver apart from some one else is pulling the trigger and all you can do is duck - move out of the way!

    Still have the drz but its not been used for some 7 ish years now, they have battery issues and no kick start and i just got pissed of with it being less than 100% trust worthy, the MTX never ever broke down and i onlty had to be recovered once for a flat rear tyre. i guess i do miss it. I do very much intend to ride again, once i fit a kick start and a large capacity battery. its not dyeing that bothers me it would be the pain, so far i have never crashed but i have had it fall over twice, once breaking the clutch leaver and that really pissed me off!

    As to gear safety wise aside, i use to have a 30 mile each way commute to work, do to our shit road network that was circa 1 hour each way more at peak times even on the bike and filtering hard. You need decent warm insulated waterproof gear if you want year round use, heated grips too idealy or at least some kinda bark buster semi enclosed sheilds, cold fingers hurt! Other wise its just so unpleasant it can not be described especially after a hard day at work. That said i do love riding, there’s a sense of freedom you just don't get in any car. Its a lot more just you and the world and its a blast.

    Maintenance wise at those distances you clock up miles pretty fast, whilst most the modern bikes have no issues with reliability from the engine running and starting point, you will be doing way more maintenance than with a car. Gear gloves etc all wear out need replacing, there’s really not all that much of a saving compared to a cheap smaller second hand car.

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  3. #22
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    Do not get a 2 cycle engine.

    Do not get chain drive.

    Do not buy a Harley unless you want to spend 10 hours of service for 15 minutes of riding.

    Buy the best hospital and nursing home insurance you can buy. Remember, opiates are going to be impossible to get for pain.

    Doesn't matter if you become a quadriplegic, Social Security will continue to deny benefits until you get a lawyer, appear before a judge at least twice, etc. Takes about 5 years. Save money for living expenses.

    Get front, side, and rear cameras to record your accident.

    Watch YouTube videos of Bikers in wrecks.

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  5. #23
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    I'd look into some sort of covered motorcycle so that you can use it whether it's raining or not. I'd also check into one that has a back seat so you can carry other people(s) and whatever junk you might have. Most of these bikes also come with things like A/C, a radio, and heaters since it gets kinda cold at times.

    So my suggestion is a 2012 Mazda 3 hatchback with the 2.0L SkyActiv engine. It will get MPG that approaches or beats many bikes and can be bought for under $8K. As far as I'm concerned it's the best bike for people who don't know much about bikes.

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  7. #24
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    My experience:

    I recently started commuting (less than 2 miles) to college on a Rebel 250 that I got for a great price. It is a very small bike, and is geared to run through the gears pretty quick but still not end up going very fast.

    I grew up riding ATVs and switched to mountain biking (pedal bikes) and then switched to dirt bikes a few years ago. My school offers the basic rider's course for free ($20 reservation to hold your seat). Even after extensive experience mountain biking and dirt biking, the course was a huge help. I fully intend on returning for the more advanced/refresher course in a year or so.

    If you are any bigger than me (5ft 10 150lbs) then a rebel is absolutely not the starter bike for you. If I were to start over I would buy physically larger (frame size) bike and anywhere from 250-500cc.

    Personally, I am not worried much about riding in the rural(ish) college town that I am in. But I would not even think about bringing my bike home to the Chicago suburbs to ride there. That would just be asking for hospital bills.

    My advise:

    Take the course! Even if you have been riding off road for years, the basic course is worth it. You might feel like it is a waste of time when you are in the classroom, but once you are on the practice range the instructors will help you correct poor posture and bad riding habits. I have found myself using stuff that I learn in the course when I ride off road too.

    Find the right style and size bike for you. Bikes are easy to buy and sell if you want to start with a small engine size and work your way up. My roommate just sold his GS550 which was easy to ride and comfortable despite being heavy and over 500cc.

    GET GOOD GEAR!
    I went to a cycle shop that has an employee dedicated to finding the helmet that fits your head the best. I got both of my helmets there (dirt and street) and spent a solid hour trying on helmets and making honest comments about each one. Definitely well worth it in the end to get a helmet that fits correctly. Not only will it be much safer, it will be much more comfortable, so you won't even think about not wearing it. If you wear glasses, make sure you try wearing them with the helmet when you try it on.

    Practice the ride in your spare time before actually using the bike to commute. If there are multiple routes, try them each way. You may find one way to be much more comfortable on the bike. Or you may find a busy intersection with limited chances to safely join traffic in the direction you need to go.

  8. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ifixcnc View Post
    Craigs Risk an old Honda or Yamaha, they pretty much run forever with very little maintenance.
    Honda 250cc Rebel or Honda Reflex Scooter.

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  10. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by nerdyrcdriver View Post
    If you are any bigger than me (5ft 10 150lbs) then a rebel is absolutely not the starter bike for you. If I were to start over I would buy physically larger (frame size) bike and anywhere from 250-500cc.
    That's the type of advise I was needing. I am 6ft 200. It did not occur to me that a rebel, which is what I planned on looking for, might be too small.

  11. #27
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    well can tell you what not to get
    a Suzuki.
    if you want a rice burner stick with Honda or Yamaha.

    stay away from the crotch rocket style.
    you don't want one of those super bikes, insurance will kill you.
    you end up paying for those idiots that post those crazy videos.

    you want a 4 stroke of probably at least 650cc preferably belt drive.
    I think it was Honda that was making scooters in the range, as in a Vespa on roids.

    don't get black riding gear white helmet and brighter colored jacket
    helps the yahoos see you, but they will still try and kill you.

    Ironically it was an other bike that killed my 03 Harley road glide,
    had just under 200 k miles on it.

    yup one of those large displacement scooter wouldn't be a bad choice
    if you don't need to be macho, fewer people will try and kill you just for spite.

  12. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jancollc View Post
    Here's my commuter bike. It's not small or cheap or quiet, but it's a dream on the highways. Attachment 225416
    They are nice. I once owned three of them at different times. They are rather expensive any more.

  13. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmcphearson View Post
    That's the type of advise I was needing. I am 6ft 200. It did not occur to me that a rebel, which is what I planned on looking for, might be too small.
    You absolutely COULD start on a rebel. But it probably wouldn't take long for you to want something bigger, especially riding 30 miles per day. If you take the basic rider's course you can probably ride one. Most places that teach it use a combination of rebels and Yamaha TW200. An inch or two difference isn't huge between the two of us. You may find yourself comfortable on one, but most people won't. I personally prefer smaller bikes that are easy to flat foot at stops. My dirt bike is a CRF230 and I think it is the perfect frame size. Big enough to do anything I am capable of, but small enough to flat foot easily and maneuver through the woods. I can ride taller bikes, but prefer not to.

  14. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by 72bwhite View Post
    well can tell you what not to get
    a Suzuki.
    if you want a rice burner stick with Honda or Yamaha.
    don't get black riding gear white helmet and brighter colored jacket
    helps the yahoos see you, but they will still try and kill you.
    Can confirm. My roommate's Suzuki was an absolute PITA to work on and documentation was poor. I love working on my Hondas because of the documentation behind them. The only problems that I have faced have been due to me not looking up how to do the job and thus not bringing the right tools for the job.

    Personally, my helmet is matte black. But I plan on adding reflective stickers to it. In the end it was the best fit and has enough venting to stay cool in my short rides.

    I am looking for a new jacket though, and I want plenty of bright/reflective stuff on it. My experience as a cart attendant in high school has taught me that even with a neon orange safety vest, reflectors, and a machine with an orange flashing light, some people still can't be bothered to pay enough attention to not hit you or the machine. Fortunately, it was always at low speeds in the parking lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pressbrake1 View Post
    I commute on a bmw s1000rr
    Getting a bit dicey these days with moms who dont care and people with non eu licences who dont care and cant drive
    Thing is its 30mins by bike or 90mins by car
    A BMW10000rr? You must have a small penis,, I commute on a ZX14R so there. lol

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  17. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5 axis Fidia guy View Post
    A BMW10000rr? You must have a small penis,, I commute on a ZX14R so there. lol
    Im not in my late fifties so im not even allowed to sit on a 14!

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    It fits exactly NONE of your criteria, but there is only one answer!
    218 Aprilia RSV4 RR Model Page

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  20. #34
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    No seriously. These days my standard commuter bike is a DRZ400.

    This is fitted with 50/50 on/off road tires (metzler sahara3s) and a slightly
    modified gearing - to make it parkway friendly.

    50 mpg and 250 miles between fill-ups. This is my go-to bike when the
    roads or the weather turn ugly.

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  22. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5 axis Fidia guy View Post
    A BMW10000rr? You must have a small penis,, I commute on a ZX14R so there. lol
    HAHAHAHAHA!
    I am willing to test each of your bikes on the track, and award the winner......a broken, road rash'd, wrecked-assed bike.
    JKJK

    Either of those would seriously kick the ass of ANY of my previous toys.

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    "I am willing to test each of your bikes on the track,..."

    Track =/= commuting.

    Funny I never see any track guys on the taconic in February. I think basically the crotch
    rockets must have some sort of disable feature. The motor won't run if the temperature is
    below 30F, or if there's going to be any precipitation in the next three weeks.

    Maybe there's some sort of aftermarket computer tweak that lets those guys run in the
    winter.

  24. #37
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    I would suggest a bike around 500cc. It will have enough power, but not be too heavy, which is important if you are not an experienced motorcyclist.

    My 450 is just right.

    p1010004.jpg

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    Just remember there are 2 kinds of bikers, those who have crashed and those who will crash. Wear a good helmet and gear. You don't want your motorcycle to turn into a donor cycle.

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  27. #39
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    maxresdefault-2.jpg

    I drove bikes for years,had big and small. Best bike I had was a Honda XL600R on off road and fun.
    You say back roads, are there gravel roads? If so gravel can be a life changer on a Bike!

  28. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by rmcphearson View Post
    That's the type of advise I was needing. I am 6ft 200. It did not occur to me that a rebel, which is what I planned on looking for, might be too small.
    I'm 5'-9" and when I rode a buddy's Rebel 250 home for him right after he bought it I felt like I was riding a kid's toy. Glad it was only 20 miles because my calves were starting to cramp up from the seating position.

    Suggestion - sign up for the MSF Basic RiderCourse which is designed to teach you how to ride from square one and will give you a chance to try out some of the smaller bikes. This way you can try them out yourself and find out what works and have an experienced instructor to bat around ideas.

    NJ RIDESAFE.ORG: Motorcycle Safety Training

    BTW - If you study the accidents statistics roughly 2/3rds of motorcycle accidents are single vehicle crashes. So, not riding drunk or speeding or doing wheelies on the highway or otherwise riding like an immature jackass will greatly reduce your risk. Is it more dangerous than being in a car, yes, but you can control much of the risk.

    Steve


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