Author Topic: Commuting by Motorcycle?  (Read 2280 times)

Offline JeffOlson

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #30 on: July 17, 2017, 04:04:28 PM »
I commute by bike once or twice a week.  I like the variety of it.  If I did it every day, it might start to feel like a grind. 

My other commuter vehicle is a ferry from Larkspur, Marin to San Francisco, paid for by my work.  Not everything in my life is perfect right now, but when it comes to commuting I'm a lucky SOB.

Ah, the easy life!  I have a friend who commutes to and from Seattle on a ferry from Bainbridge Island. I wish…
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Offline TimmyTheHog

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #31 on: July 17, 2017, 04:19:44 PM »
Rear-end collisions are a constant worry, especially when "freeway" traffic yo-yo's between 70 mph and a dead stop.

For sure...

I think I look at my mirror 50% of the time and rest of 50% front.

Way too many ppl love to slam their brakes when they come up to a stop...
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Online Darren Williams

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #32 on: July 17, 2017, 06:02:36 PM »
Yes, except when the roads have ice. The main choice I have each morning is "which bike"?
The best part of riding a motorcycle is to tilt the horizon and to lift the front coming out of a corner and to drift the back end powering thru loose dirt and to catch a little air topping a hill and... yeah it's all good!

Offline ITSec

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2017, 06:08:04 PM »
Yes, except when the roads have ice.

Oklahoma? Ice?!?

Try riding in Edmonton!  :tongue:
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Offline Scud

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #34 on: July 17, 2017, 06:14:53 PM »
I have a short commute with no freeway. There are a couple choice curves between work and home - if I don't go in the most direct route, which I NEVER do. I like being able to filter up to the front of every stop light. I leave a pair of black (goes with everything) shoes under my desk so I can wear proper boots and not have to carry my "office" shoes back and forth.

Sometimes I go home for lunch, so I make four trips between home and office in one day. That's a "bonus" lunch-n-ride.  :laugh:
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Offline geoff in almonte

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #35 on: July 17, 2017, 06:44:57 PM »
Before I retired, I commuted to/from work from April to October.  It was a mix of slab and county roads - just over 60km (40 miles) each way.

My rain suit became part of my daily gear.  I left a pair of dress shoes, trousers, and dry socks in my cubicle.  I was able to adjust my work hours to avoid rush hour most days.

The ride to & from was the best part of the day!!

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Offline JeffOlson

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2017, 08:18:31 PM »
I do love riding (when I can actually move in a forward direction). Here I am thinking I might just try commuting on my Norge again this week. I need to be down at my parents' house in West Linn Wednesday night for Portland area meetings all day Thursday, then return to Olympia in the afternoon. Repeat Sunday night and Monday afternoon.

The only bad part of the commute is downtown LA, er, Portland, and the 10 or 20 miles right before it and right after it. Depends on how much energy/patience I have and whether I am up for an adventure in gridlock...
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Offline not-fishing

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #37 on: July 18, 2017, 02:05:18 AM »
In most cases, I can't see advantages over a used Honda Civic.  Throw in the cost per mile in tires, and the math don't add up.

You know I've heard this before but as an Estimator who's had to live by his estimates for the last 30 years that position  hasn't ever penciled out for me in California.

My Griso 1100 with 30,000 miles cost me $4500 used.  Sales tax $400, License $150 per year.  New tires and brakes $550, insurance $400 per year (100/300 with uninsured driver coverage necessary in California).  Fuel for 10,000 mi @ 45 mpg & $3.00/gal call it $700.  Thats $6,700 for the Griso for the first year and each year thereafter it ran me $150 License, $450 tires , $400 insurance, $700 fuel and $300 for maintenance which I do myself (20 cents per mile).  So I figure my Griso's going to run me around $14,000 for 70,000 miles or so.

The same year 2007 Honda Civic with 100,000 miles in California is going to cost me $7500 used.  Sales tax $675, License $200 per year,  Fuel at 29 mpg  is $ 1,050 per year, Insurance $750 and maintenance (SMOG) say $600 per year because it's front wheel drive I won't do clutches.   Tires run $950 for 40,000 or 2.5 center per mile which gives me a running cost of $20,000 for the same 70,000 miles.

I see a difference of 30% more for a car. 

The real problem is it's hard to get by with just a motorcycle in the household ever try to carry a 3' 75 lb Carpenter's tool box or 5' steel digging bar on one?

In California bikes/scooters make sense because it rains less, doesn't snow unless your in the mountains and we can split lanes.  Also with California Gas costing 30% more fuel consumption makes a huge difference and a car gets lousy to zero mpg in stop-n-go traffic on the freeway

Now if you don't do your own maintenance then that's when cars get real expensive in California just to keep fixing the SMOG gear every two years as they get older.  and if it doesn't pass smog you can't license it
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Online tazio

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #38 on: July 18, 2017, 07:22:26 AM »
Hey, thanks for the effort to inform. :thumb:
May have to move to California  :boozing:
Now about that sweet LeMans of yours $$$... :drool:
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Offline Lannis

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #39 on: July 20, 2017, 12:58:58 PM »
I have a 100 mile round trip commute from east Texas to my workplace in Dallas.  I do it every work day, year round, regardless of weather.  On the few occasions when it's too bad for me to ride to work (ice storms, hail, tornados), I figure it's too hazardous to drive the car too, so I stay home.

In addition, I travel a lot for work, and if I can get there in a day's ride, I'll always take the bike.  Houston, Austin, Beaumont, even New Orleans.  Heck, a few times I've even done work trips to Atlanta on a bike.   If I have to fly somewhere, I'm still riding the bike to DFW airport, which is about 65 miles from my house. 

Why do this?   Mostly because I love riding, and on many days the two best parts of my day are the ride in and the ride home.  It is a very reliable stress-reliever.   A long commute on a motorcycle is a pleasure for me----the exact same commute in a car is simply torture.

I think this started for me 30 years ago when I was in my late teens and early 20s.  I had a 90 mile round trip commute to college, I owned a good motorcycle, and I did not own any cars.   Just got in the habit I suppose. 

I'm not sure there's a huge financial savings in commuting by motorcycle, as least compared to driving a beater Corolla.   On the other hand, I've already invested a lot of money in bikes and associated gear, so I might as well get the use out of the stuff I've bought anyway.  Financially, I've chosen to have some nice bikes for my commute, and I have not purchased nice cars for my commute--so I'm really just spending "car money" to enjoy something better, like motorcycles. 

Secrets for success?   You need great gear--I've got Sidi waterproof boots, Aerostich pants and jacket, good gloves and rain covers for the gloves.  Electric vest for winter. 

I also think it helps if you just dedicate yourself to doing this.    I don't have a daily debate about the weather or consider other factors while trying to decide "do I take the bike in today?"   No, it's just a given that I'm riding.   If it's always a day-to-day decision whether to take the bike, you wind up taking a car most of the time because it's hot and you prefer A/C, or it might rain, etc. 

Safety is the only serious downside for me.  Cell phone and text use has gotten noticeably worse.   On the other hand, I've strategically chosen the safest possible route to my destination, and I've made it my mission to carefully "study" that route over the years so I know exactly where the usual trouble spots are, where my escape paths are, etc. 

Maybe I'm deluding myself, but I feel that I keep myself pretty sharp by riding all the time, and objectively speaking, I almost never have what I would describe as a "close call" when it comes to traffic.   

What mostly worries me about my commute are more "freakish" accident scenarios---a deep jumping out at dusk, or me not seeing some spilled diesel on a wet road.

That's very close to what I would have written were I still commuting ... especially the part about "just deciding to dedicate yourself to it."

Sometimes it doesn't make financial or comfort sense - it's just something you do because that's who you are, and, on the average and over the years, it's better for you and your peace of mind and your degree of living life ....

Lannis
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Offline Testarossa

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #40 on: July 20, 2017, 01:44:49 PM »
My career was so checkered, and my commute distances varied from 20 feet to 40 miles. I used the motorcycle whenever weather permitted.

When I lived in Manhattan I generally walked to work -- two miles in 40 minutes. Later I commuted in from Westchester, on the Honda, then the Laverda, then the 850T, unless there was the potential for ice on the road, or teeming rain. When not on the bike, took the train in on the old NY Central Hudson River line and walked from Grand Central.

When I lived in Boulder and commuted to Denver it was the 850T for years, about eight months of the year. Big problem was summer heat, not traffic. Often went in early to avoid rush hour, and for the trip home loaded my mesh jacket with freezer packs. Then I worked in Boulder, and cycled about three miles each way.

Very glad to be "retired" and once again working in a home office.
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Offline KraZ440

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #41 on: July 20, 2017, 02:46:12 PM »
Very glad to be "retired" and once again working in a home office.
So, does this mean you commuting by motorcycle again?
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Online DaSwami

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #42 on: July 20, 2017, 04:41:03 PM »
98 miles round trip a day 4 days a week.  I do not go if it is raining before I leave, but I get caught on the way home a lot, especially this summer.  It's warm out, so no big deal.  The journey is never dull.  I hate riding in my truck to work!

Offline kmartin

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #43 on: July 20, 2017, 05:29:46 PM »
90 mi round trip a day, most of in on mountain roads on a Stelvio.  I hit a deer a few years ago which has taken some of the fun out of it, but still way better than a car.
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Offline Testarossa

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #44 on: July 20, 2017, 06:34:44 PM »
Quote
So, does this mean you commuting by motorcycle again?

It means I walk downstairs, have breakfast, and walk back upstairs to the office. I ride one of the motorcycles every day, but  for fun and errands rather than commuting.
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Offline dadsafrantic

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #45 on: August 17, 2018, 11:25:24 AM »
i was commuting 33-35k in the sf bay area the last 4 years on an aprilia caponord and mana.  rain or shine.  i've dropped to 20k starting tuesday.   :laugh:
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Online twowheeladdict

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #46 on: August 17, 2018, 12:23:36 PM »
I averaged 25,000 miles a year on two wheels until I got the infection in my back spring of 2017 that ate up my lumbar disks and had me down and took months to walk again without an aide.  Now I ride for pleasure only.

The only two things that I would avoid when riding on the street was ice and lighting.  Off-road, only lighting kept me from riding.   :grin:
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Offline kirkemon

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #47 on: August 17, 2018, 12:36:12 PM »
I ride to work almost everyday - 4 miles each way, 8 rt. Living under that big HOLLYWOOD sign and riding to the studios - no freeway!

Although, about once a month I have to go to Santa Monica in the morning, a bit of a challenge with LA traffic and roads, but driving a car is really frustrating to me.
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Offline Wissing

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #48 on: August 17, 2018, 12:57:25 PM »
I ride to work in downtown DC from Norther Virginia every day - unless icy or an inch of salt on the roads. Motorcycles are allowed in the separate HOV lanes and for free in the E-Pass lanes as well, which actually make the motorcycle an efficient mode of transportation. Not the most inspiring ride, but still a ride.
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Online twowheeladdict

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #49 on: August 17, 2018, 02:04:32 PM »
In most cases, I can't see advantages over a used Honda Civic.
I consider commute miles to be "crap" miles as in most cases the same route is taken day in and out. Half that time in the dark, dicing it out w/ pre- occupied sleepy cagers running late..
Throw in the cost per mile in tires, and the math don't add up.

I feel for you.  If my commute were crap miles I would be in a cage.  When I was commuting my commute had one stop sign and 4 traffic lights in 26 miles and no interstate.  Country living is nice. 

I worked from 0600 - 1530 with every other Friday off. 

I have been working from home for the past 18 months if I am not on the road for work.

I would chose something a little more fun than a Civic, manual transmission and rear wheel drive please if I start commuting again.
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Online Bulldog9

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #50 on: August 17, 2018, 03:05:13 PM »
I commute three to four times a week about a hundred miles round trip. I'll take the Norge 80% of the time, and the griso. Last month I bought a stornello and have ridden that a few times but it's not as much fun at 80 miles an hour on the highway. so I have to admit that some of the expansion strips and humps are fun when I'm launched all in the air. 😁

I prefer the Norge because it gives the obvious weather protection a little bit more comfortable and I normally just leave the top case and tank bag on for anything I might need to carry or pick up on the way to or from work.

I commute in the Metro DC area so it is on occasion not a lot of fun. I try and plot my route home on Google Maps before I head out of the office to avoid sitting in 8 Lanes of bumper to bumper traffic.

if you're worried about traffic you have to take some extra precautions like bringing water so you don't overheat and dehydrate. The other reason I like the Norge is the clutch lever is so light compared to the griso. The arthritis in my left hand can be murder in stop and go traffic.
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Offline Lannis

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #51 on: August 17, 2018, 03:15:28 PM »

I commute in the Metro DC area so it is on occasion not a lot of fun. I try and plot my route home on Google Maps before I head out of the office to avoid sitting in 8 Lanes of bumper to bumper traffic.


Unless you're going in to work at 5:00 AM and leaving before 2:00 PM, I don't see how that's possible in any direction .... ?     I've only been under GPS control once up there; a friend had one to get us to the downtown Mall area from Manassas one morning, and it took us down every residential street, redirected us everywhere, and finally dumped us into 8 lanes of stop-and-go traffic.

Otherwise it's just jam-packed all the time.   If I thought I had to commute into DC every day in my job, I'd quit and take that job as towel boy on Turkish tramp steamer that I've heard was open .....

Lannis
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Online Bulldog9

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #52 on: August 17, 2018, 03:58:09 PM »
Benefits of being a local and knowing the flow.

Thankfully, live in a sweet spot (by Mount Vernon), and take back roads to the south ramps of the WW Bridge, then go North from Alexandria towards Baltimore in the AM and South in the PM. Heaviest traffic is travelling the other way. Most mornings I am heading in between 530 & 6, and afternoon 5pm-6pm. 295 Baltimore Washington Parkway can be an issue due to 2 lanes. 50 minute average in AM, 1 hour in PM. I can also pop over the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, navigate East and then North. East side of the beltway is better than the West and Southwest. 

As for quitting, nah, I just go where my Great Uncle Sam sends me....... Though the chains come off April 2021.............

Unless you're going in to work at 5:00 AM and leaving before 2:00 PM, I don't see how that's possible in any direction .... ?     I've only been under GPS control once up there; a friend had one to get us to the downtown Mall area from Manassas one morning, and it took us down every residential street, redirected us everywhere, and finally dumped us into 8 lanes of stop-and-go traffic.

Otherwise it's just jam-packed all the time.   If I thought I had to commute into DC every day in my job, I'd quit and take that job as towel boy on Turkish tramp steamer that I've heard was open .....

Lannis
« Last Edit: August 17, 2018, 04:00:20 PM by Bulldog9 »
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Online Toecutter

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #53 on: August 17, 2018, 04:25:49 PM »
I commute from the first day that there isn't ice on the roads in spring, to the first day that the ice on the roads appears in fall. Which works out to about 6 months a year, give or take depending on what El Nino is up to.

I did it when I lived in the big city for years, and I do it now that I live in the sticks, too. I prefer doing it out here over the city, but it sure was preferable to driving, in the city.

I carry a small 9 Litre backpack, bungie it to my rack and away I go. If need be, I upsize to my 20L pack.

In the city my commute was about 60 km daily. Out here it's closer to 70km. Packs the miles on the odometer pretty damn quick.


I spent a year car-free in the city... did everything on my bike. Groceries (once packed home $100 worth, through careful assembly), takeout, everything. Helped my fine tune my gear requirements, and, honestly, made me a much better rider.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2018, 04:31:37 PM by Toecutter »

Online Toecutter

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #54 on: August 17, 2018, 04:28:32 PM »
Oklahoma? Ice?!?

Try riding in Edmonton!  :tongue:

Bah. Edmonton's a breeze. I used to commute from South Central to Acheson. I think my coldest ride to work on record was -15, (can't remember the year, but it was super late snow), and the latest ride I ever had while living there was November 28th, from Edmonton to Red Deer and back. Earliest I was ever back on the road was March 2nd. That was a good, but chilly, year for riding.

Online Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #55 on: August 17, 2018, 04:36:33 PM »
Work???? What is this work you are talking about? <scratching head> It seems like maybe I used to do that? Maybe? Rode there?
Can't remember..  :cool: :boozing:
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Re: Commuting by Motorcycle?
« Reply #56 on: August 17, 2018, 07:06:51 PM »
My choice for commuting really depended on where I was living. In Albuquerque, NM and Knoxville, TN, Newburgh, NY I nearly always took my motorcycle or my bicycle. I even walked sometimes. However, in Houston or New Orleans it was tougher to make the commitment. Houston is a bad dream for a commuter: the volume of traffic is high and tempers tend to be short. My commute in New Orleans was about 50% over water and crosswinds on long bridges really take a great deal of fun out of the ride. Most of my motorcycle/bicycle accidents occurred when commuting (including a nasty one in Knoxville). I still enjoyed such rides, but not as much as the open-ended trips on unfamiliar roads.
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