A modest motorcycle for commuting - Any suggestions?

Discussion in 'Cars, Bikes 'n AFVs' started by EX_STAB, Sep 13, 2007.

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  1. I'm looking at getting a motorcycle for commuting to save money on petrol and time stood in traffic.
    I've not had one before but I started a separate thread on getting trained etc.
    The question here is:
    What size and type of bike will do 12 miles of busy 'A' road followed by three miles of heavy town traffic with a 16 stone bloke on it? Particularly, which ones will do this economically, safely, (not crawling along and getting overtaken) and not cost a fortune to buy or tax?

    I'd thought a 250 would probably be the thing but just some sort of cheap plodding affair. The old Honda Bogseats wouldn't cut it with the traffic on the 'A' road.

    Any ideas?
  2. For a first bike, try a Yamaha Thundercat (Fat mans R6). Comfortable, fast and reliable. It won't break the bank and being Japanese has bombproof build quality.
    Don't fall into the trap of buying something small for the first year after your test, the cat is a very versatile bike and is just as happy fertling through traffic as it is on the motorw..ahem Autobahn doing 130mph.
  3. A quick easy cheap way is to get a 125cc. You only need to do your CBT then and you are away.

    There is some good models out there. A previous pupil of mine had one that looked exactly like a 600 and shifted quite well. Can't remember what it was though.

    The CBT only lasts two years so you will need to keep renewing costing you around £100 every two years, or do a Direct Access Course and get a 500cc.

    Kawasaki ER500 is cheap to run, cheap to buy and bounces well which is why so many training schools use them.

    Hope this helps
  4. The thing is, I'm not really interested in motorcycling as a pastime. If I was I'd probably choose some ancient British classic that dropped oil everywhere and that you couldn't get the parts for. If lots of people buy a small bike and then decide they'd really wanted a bigger faster one, aren't there a lot of cheap small (sub 500cc) bikes on the market? Acceleration is all to the good but to be honest I'm not interested in doing 130 mph in anything that wasn't intended to fly!

    Twenty years ago I'd have been thinking something like this:
  5. Do you mind getting wet? If not you'll not need a screen or fairing. Small -medium trailie or moto, nippy, not very comfy but you're only doing fifteen miles each way. Not much fuel capacity so you'll be filling up more often. Depends how much you want to spend too.

    Maybe you should read the bike press. The writers do 'living with such and such a bike' features. 'Ride' magazine is the least small c0ck wheelie bragging of the bike press IMHO.
  6. Also bear in mind that if you don't do the Direct Access course you can stay on a restricted 33bhp bike for a couple of years and wait for your full license.
    A Suzuki Bandit with a restrictor kit would be ok.

    Theres a place in Bexhill, East Sussex that do restrictor kits. I think they're called FIM.
  7. If you want to ride a 250 you may have to sit a test. It is down to the BHP less than 33BHP and you can ride it having done a small bike test.
    If that is the route you wanted I would recommend going straight for the Direct Access Course (DAS).
  8. Consider a Gilera Runner 200 scooter. It has a proper frame and is quite fast and does not cost the earth to buy,service or run. If you need something larger the Nexus is a 500 which should do any sane person.

    If you are not an experienced motor cyclist I strongly advise some training from the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

    Awaiting the incoming from the Neanderthals.
  9. You said Scooter "HA HA"
  10. All the scooters i see round here don't seem to have the power to mix it with the traffic on the A roads or the fast lane changing ring road.
    Is up to 33 BHP classed as "small bike" then? What does this equate to in typical modern engine sizes?
  11. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    Take the direct access route - either as a course or over time.
    From what you say about your needs, you should look at "super scooters" Suzuki Burgman etc. They keep the elements off better, easy to ride, very practical for commuting with storage etc.

    Your first bike does not need to be your last - you can always upgrade to a touring bike or other at a later date, so look for things that are reliable with a good resale value.
  12. Ex Stab.

    I have just done the same thing. I done my CBT and bike training going for Direct Access, however you could do a restricted course to 33bhp most garage's will be able to restrict your bike.

    Having spent a couple of months looking for the right bike, the best place to look is Bike Trader and MCN both are online. You can get a good guide from Parkers Guide online.

    The best bike thing is a personal one however if you are 16 stone, you will need a middleweight bike 500 / 600 cc. There is some great bikes out there if new look at Kawasaki ER6 or Versity and Yamaha Fazer, second hand Kawsaski ER5 or Honda CB500.

    There is also hundreds of bike clothing shops online.

    Hope that helps you. Ride Safe
  13. For all the merits of scooters, they are just too gay.

    Seriously though, a scooter if you want to arrive in the kit you'll be working in, relatively dry and muck free. Some of the bigger scooters in the right hands can outperform bikes in the wrong hands.

    The most evil looking biker (beard, scowl, huge forearms, tats, open lid, the ish) I ever knew had a very lame commuting bike because it made perfect sense. For the hardcore part, he had a Bandit 1200. If you aren't going to do the lifestyle biker thing and never be temped to disappear to the Alps next week, get a scooter. Very economical, if gay.
  14. Yes, scooter. In my youth (the sixties- Mods & Rocker days - they were known as scooters).

    My Gilera runner does 0 - 60 in 5.5 secs. I know it's not very fast for some but it's all I can handle.
  15. That it is, you will be restricted to a small bike for so long then automatically entitled to ride any size bike after 2 years (if my memory hasn't failed me)

    Teaching wise and cost wise the DAS is the most cost effective and best route.

    One guy I taught still rides around on his ER500 with handle bar warmers and a fairing and is quite happy with it.

    Beaware it is addictive, you will want a bigger, faster bike eventually