The Motorcycle as Primary Transportation thread

Message
Author
User avatar
totalmotorcycle
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 29576
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2003 7:00 pm
Real Name: Mike
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 30
My Motorcycle: 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Contact:

The Motorcycle as Primary Transportation thread

#1 Unread post by totalmotorcycle »

Welcome to a new thread which in time may become a larger TMW page (depending on popularity) as suggested by our member, CNF2002.

Contribute and help grow "The Motorcycle as Primary Transportation" thread with your tips, hints, and suggested bikes for living entirely on a motorcycle, without a car.

I know people do it and live it, I had my motorcycle licence way before I owned a car licence. For me, the motorcycle provided a lot more excitement and fun than a car ever could at the time and it gave me something to look forward to come spring sitting on public transit when the snow was on the ground. :D

So please do add any of your stories, tips, suggestions for living entirely on a motorcycle, without a car.

I look forward to reading them all!

Thanks for your help and support in this new thread.

Mike
NEW 2022 Motorcycle Model Guides
NEW 2021 Motorcycle Model Guides

Total Motorcycle is official Media/Press for Aprilia, Benelli, Beta, Bimota, BMW, Brammo, Buell, Can-Am, CCW, Ducati, EBR, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Husqvarna, Husaberg, Hyosung, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, KYMCO, Moto Guzzi, Moto Morini, MV Agusta, Norton, Phantom, Piaggio, Polaris, Ridley, Roehr, Royal Enfield, Suzuki, Triumph, Ural, Vespa, Victory, Yamaha and Zero.

lunchmeat
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:21 am
Sex: Male

#2 Unread post by lunchmeat »

I'm a beginner and I don't yet have a bike, but when I do have one this will be the lifestyle I have. No car, justa motorcycle. This thread might help those of us who have to do this.

Anyone have any tips for riding in the winter? Is there anything protective you have to do to your bike?
-lunchmeat

User avatar
totalmotorcycle
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 29576
Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2003 7:00 pm
Real Name: Mike
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 30
My Motorcycle: 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Contact:

#3 Unread post by totalmotorcycle »

lunchmeat wrote:I'm a beginner and I don't yet have a bike, but when I do have one this will be the lifestyle I have. No car, justa motorcycle. This thread might help those of us who have to do this.

Anyone have any tips for riding in the winter? Is there anything protective you have to do to your bike?
Well, I was lucky enough a couple of winters ago to ride 11 out of 12 months here in Calgary. I would ride as low as -5°C and as long as the streets were clear with no "wetness" at all on them. You have to watch out for the black ice on the road, gravel in the corners and treat the road and ride like it's raining.

Wear only a full face helmet (to stop the wind chill) and at stop lights hold your breath as long as you can as if you fog up the inside of your visor it takes A LONG time to clear or you have to ride with your visor open.

Umm, I didn't have any electric heating items (vest, pants or gloves) althought it would have been nice! I did put a small windshield on my bike to defect the icy air and also wore LOTS of layers of clothing and wind pants too. And snow boarding gloves (good for -20°C).

Hope that helps a bit. As to the bike, warm it up for about 3-4 minutes before you go. Use good gas and good tires.

Mike.
NEW 2022 Motorcycle Model Guides
NEW 2021 Motorcycle Model Guides

Total Motorcycle is official Media/Press for Aprilia, Benelli, Beta, Bimota, BMW, Brammo, Buell, Can-Am, CCW, Ducati, EBR, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Husqvarna, Husaberg, Hyosung, Indian, Kawasaki, KTM, KYMCO, Moto Guzzi, Moto Morini, MV Agusta, Norton, Phantom, Piaggio, Polaris, Ridley, Roehr, Royal Enfield, Suzuki, Triumph, Ural, Vespa, Victory, Yamaha and Zero.

User avatar
logitech104
Legendary 500
Legendary 500
Posts: 606
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2006 1:57 am
Sex: Male
Location: Washington State

#4 Unread post by logitech104 »

I think one of these is mandatory for anti-fogging. only $20
http://www.helmetharbor.com/gear/respro ... pening.htm

Also locking up your tires on ice will most likely make you crash, no matter what. I learned that the hard way.. :frusty:
[img]http://i97.photobucket.com/albums/l240/logitech104/fairyhugsig.jpg[/img]
[1981 honda cb400t hawk][2004 honda crf150f]

User avatar
Rydr
Elite
Elite
Posts: 245
Joined: Sat Nov 25, 2006 3:34 pm
Sex: Male
Location: West Coast

#5 Unread post by Rydr »

When I was 16 and first started riding and my motorcycle was my only form of mechanized transportation for a year and a half. When the second winter arrived I bought a car because I didn't want to ride in the snow anymore. Just to dangerous. I kept the motorcycle and I've never been without one to this day.

User avatar
Jadien
Elite
Elite
Posts: 207
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 3:31 pm
Sex: Male
Location: Phoenix, AZ

#6 Unread post by Jadien »

Thought I'd pick this thread out of the ashes as it may be helpful to us college kids who can't afford a car's gas mileage when it's almost $4 a gallon.

Since riding my bike as primary transportation, I've learned:
- Allow a solid 5 minutes in the morning to let the bike warm up; and an extra 5 to get it out from wherever you stash it and get the cover off.
- Gear becomes second nature, and because you get to the point where you don't notice it on, you need to do a mental check. (I almost left with my helmet and gloves sitting in the kitchen!!)
- The grocery store is a daily visit, now.
- The backpack / tankbag / saddlebag is your friend.
- Earphones that double as earplugs are awesome.
- The freeway is fun, but watch your speed. (I looked down and saw 105-ish the other day!!! :shock: )
The Man, The Myth, The Legend

2004 SV650S

User avatar
Jas0n
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue May 29, 2007 3:39 pm
Sex: Male
Location: Lancaster, PA

#7 Unread post by Jas0n »

For a 16 year old like me, a Bike would be a very practical thing regarding gas and a very reliable mode of transportation. Although a car will be my first mode of transportation (for learning purposes), over the months/years my bike will slowly replace the car in terms of primary transportation.

User avatar
Nibblet99
Site Supporter - Diamond
Site Supporter - Diamond
Posts: 2097
Joined: Sat Jul 24, 2004 10:46 pm
Sex: Male
Location: Back in Reading again
Contact:

#8 Unread post by Nibblet99 »

Know what you're getting into, there will most likely be times where you have to compromise safety, to some extent, to get the job done. Sometimes you will have to move bulky items (eg a new hoover) and your bike is your only transport. It makes sense to use home delivery services where possible, but thats not always possible.

So make sure you stock up on Bungee cords, a cargo net, gaffer tape and zip ties (a pair of cutters for these too), and a small serving of insanity.

Also saddle bags, tank bag, top box will become invaluable best if you can find some easily removable types

And for the love of all things sane, don't decide to learn to play the Drums :laughing:


***edit***
Finally if you plan to ride in the winter, as stupid as they look, you'll probably want some muffs to give an extra layer of wind protection on your hands
(just for example, heres a link to a pair so you can see what I mean, They cover the controls on the bike, meaning your hands stay warmer, and hence, your level of control over the bike stays higher)
http://www.hotbikebits.co.uk/ShowDetail ... oductID=62
Starting out responsibly? - [url=http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/BBS/viewtopic.php?t=24730]Clicky[/url]
looking for a forum that advocates race replica, 600cc supersports for learners on public roads? - [url=http://www.google.com]Clicky[/url]

andrwhock
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2007 6:03 pm

#9 Unread post by andrwhock »

For riding in the winter, an anti fog face screen is a MUST. I use one year round because I don't ever want to be put in a situation in which I have impaired vision on a bike.

lunchmeat
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:21 am
Sex: Male

#10 Unread post by lunchmeat »

I'm now on my "bike only" mode. Some advice - as someone else said, things become second nature, so you need to check them consciously. Due to not doing FINE-C, I rode off without checking my fuel pump, resulting in a short ride. Also check your gear - having it is important, but wearing it correctly is even more important. I almost rode off without fastening the chin strap to my helmet - I was at the end of the parking lot before I noticed.

Make up little ways for you to remember things, and then do them.

I guess gear is a big thing as well - I haven't quite gotten totally proficient with it. If your motorcycle is your only mode of transport, plan on carrying your gear with you all the time unless you have a way to fasten it to something, like your bike.
-lunchmeat

User avatar
Jadien
Elite
Elite
Posts: 207
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 3:31 pm
Sex: Male
Location: Phoenix, AZ

#11 Unread post by Jadien »

lunchmeat wrote:.... I almost rode off without fastening the chin strap to my helmet - I was at the end of the parking lot before I noticed....
:) If I had a nickel for every time I've done that, I'd have at least a couple hundred bucks by now.
The Man, The Myth, The Legend

2004 SV650S

User avatar
Ninja Geoff
Site Supporter - Gold
Site Supporter - Gold
Posts: 2981
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 4:55 am
Real Name: Geoff
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 7
My Motorcycle: 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
Location: Leyden, MA

#12 Unread post by Ninja Geoff »

Jadien wrote:
lunchmeat wrote:.... I almost rode off without fastening the chin strap to my helmet - I was at the end of the parking lot before I noticed....
:) If I had a nickel for every time I've done that, I'd have at least a couple hundred bucks by now.
lol, so have I. It's gotten to the point where I can strap it one handed if need be. :laughing:

But anyway, to add to the thread. Bike choice might want to be considered. Sure, a 1000RR might seem fun as your only mode of transport, but once you have to do a trip on superslab for 100 miles, you may be singing a different tune. Not saying DON'T buy the 1000RR, but consider practicality as a big thing to look for.

For my move I'm in the early early stages of planning, one of the things I'm considering is a new bike that's designed to gobble miles. Something you'd see at a BMW rally would be nice :laughing: Sure, the ninja is great for distance, but it can get cramped, ecspecially for me and my rather stocky frame. Having both the Ninja AND a BMW for commuting would be nice...
[img]http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/3563/41350009.jpg[/img]

User avatar
Skier
Site Supporter - Platinum
Site Supporter - Platinum
Posts: 2243
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2004 4:44 pm
Sex: Male
Location: Pullman, WA, USA

#13 Unread post by Skier »

totalmotorcycle wrote: You have to watch out for the black ice on the road, gravel in the corners and treat the road and ride like it's raining.
This may be nitpicky, but I think that's the wrong approach. You have about 80% of dry traction available when it's wet out. When there's snow on the ground or the possibility of snow on the ground, one should ride as if there's about 15% of dry traction available. This can help a great deal when it comes to actually stopping for intersections if you do find that patch of black ice. :shock:
[url=http://www.motoblag.com/blag/]Practicing the dark and forgotten art of using turn signals since '98.[/url]

User avatar
ElChado87
Elite
Elite
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:53 pm
Sex: Male
Location: Edmonton-Alberta

#14 Unread post by ElChado87 »

I recently replaced my car thanks to the insurance alone costing more annually than to ride, so here is a tip, watch what kind of bike you ride! I bought a 2006 Suzuki SV650S, based on some good reviews of the SV650N (Naked), and the price was right. But I should have paid more attention to rider position, the reviews said the SV650 was comfortable as you sat fairly upright, when I asked the dealer about the difference between the SV650S and the plain SV650, he told me it was just that the S had a mini fairing and twin headlights, but failed to mention, or even notice himself, that the riding position is much more aggressive as the handle bars are clip-ons on the S, not the more traditional clamp style, thus giving more of a racing position. Fun at first but on a long run its very tiring on the wrists, and changing out the clip-on is a costly venture ranging from putting on taller Hawk GT clip-ons that fit, to installing costly convertibars http://www.convertibars.com/ to swapping all the components from an SV650N to an S. Where possible I would recommend NOT getting a sport bike, or anything with an aggressive riding position.
Just a thought. :wink:
In a World without Walls and Fences, who needs Windows and Gates?

User avatar
sv-wolf
Site Supporter - Platinum
Site Supporter - Platinum
Posts: 2278
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 8:06 am
Real Name: Richard
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 12
My Motorcycle: Honda Fireblade, 2004: Suzuki DR650, 201
Location: Hertfordshire, UK

#15 Unread post by sv-wolf »

ElChado87 wrote:Where possible I would recommend NOT getting a sport bike, or anything with an aggressive riding position.
Just a thought. :wink:
Well, in principle I'm with you 100% on that one, ElChado, but I'd have to say that having ridden an SV1000S for three years as my only means of transport I have few complaints. If I sit up near the tank, I am nearly upright. Having a full fairing helps to keep the weather off, and the standard screen is very good. The bike's aerodynamic screen means I don't have to tuck in much at speed and can keep a fairly comfortable position. Having said that, comfort is very personal and it will probably depend on the rider's size and proportions.

The SV1000S is the best all-rounder imaginable. I commute to work on it every day, I do a fair bit of motorway riding on it, I joy ride on it and I take it on long tours and camping trips. The most I have ever ridden on it in one day is round about 800 miles. I got off stiff and a bit creaky on that occasion but that was the worst of it. With a bit of ingenuity I can get a hell of a lot of luggage on it using just soft panniers, tank bag and cargo nets, plenty enough for a long camping trip. It's a great bike for almost any use you want to put it to.

Of course, it is not as comfortable as many an upright tourer for long-distance riding, but unless you can afford a whole stable of bikes you are going to have to make some compromises On the SV1000S the compromises are very manageable.

My new Daytona 955i, on the other hand is definitely a fun bike. Long trips can be quite tiring and painful on the wrists. I have very small wrists and they don't take too much punishment without becoming very uncomfortable. However, I'm told by other Daytona riders that a good set of bar risers will make a lot of difference. Still, I've kept the SV for now, if I want to go any distance.

For anti-fogging I used a Fog City insert for a year or so. That was very good, but I got a pinlock on my last helmet and that is amazing. Fogging? I've had the pinlock about a year now and I can't remember what fogging is like!
Hud

“Man has no right to kill his brother. It is no excuse that he does so in uniform: he only adds the infamy of servitude to the crime of murder.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley

SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

User avatar
ElChado87
Elite
Elite
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:53 pm
Sex: Male
Location: Edmonton-Alberta

#16 Unread post by ElChado87 »

I agree with you there too, I do enjoy the fairing, but I find that on the highway I get some severe helmet buffeting, but Givi makes a spoiler to fix that problem for about 120 CDN. But I have managed to cram a lot of stuff onto into, including a huge rear sportstand. That another complaint about the SV650, at least 2nd gen, is no center high stand. Makes chain maintenance on the road a bit trickier, but I did find an SW-Motech stand though it is pricey plus a tricky install. So I would also try and get a bike with a factory center stand. But I am lovin this bike as a daily rider, good mileage, more than enough power to get into trouble with, and it's rather light and handles well for two-up riding.
2nd consideration-- How much 2-up riding will you be doing? I know my lady does not appreciate a long ride on the pillion, and with this being our one vehicle, it sometimes gets in the way of trips. So maybe consider your passengers a bit too if you plan on having a few. :mrgreen:
In a World without Walls and Fences, who needs Windows and Gates?

User avatar
sv-wolf
Site Supporter - Platinum
Site Supporter - Platinum
Posts: 2278
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2003 8:06 am
Real Name: Richard
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 12
My Motorcycle: Honda Fireblade, 2004: Suzuki DR650, 201
Location: Hertfordshire, UK

#17 Unread post by sv-wolf »

Ah yes. I agree. The pillion seat is not that comfortable on either the SV650 or the SV1000. If anyone is going to do a lot of two-up riding then they would need to look elsewhere. To be fair, though, the pillions on both models are reasonable for sports bikes. I think they are OK for short or shortish rides.

From what I can remember of my SV650, I got more wind buffeting on it than I get on the SV1000, but I think a lot depends on how fast you like to ride!!!!!

The handling on the SV1000 is harder work than on the 650. That would be the main negative comparison I would make between the two, but it depends what you want out of the bike. Some people would find that a plus.
Hud

“Man has no right to kill his brother. It is no excuse that he does so in uniform: he only adds the infamy of servitude to the crime of murder.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley

SV-Wolf's Bike Blog

lunchmeat
Veteran
Veteran
Posts: 94
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2006 12:21 am
Sex: Male

#18 Unread post by lunchmeat »

Here's one.

If you have a mesh jacket and you have a liner, always carry it with you. Find a way.

Because you'll regret it if you don't, which is no fun.
-lunchmeat

sasuke
Rookie
Rookie
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 5:21 pm

#19 Unread post by sasuke »

Hi everyone, I'm new here. I have a question about a Motorcycle being the primary transportation. I plan to buy a bike soon, possibly 250cc, but no more than 500cc of course.

But my main question is, I plan on commuting once every week, or every other week. It's about a 3-4 hr drive. Visiting the girlfriend. I would get a car, but I have a lot of bills to pay too. So I plan to Cash a starting bike.

My job involves/relies on a lot of driving and safety. I know no one is a perfect driver, so please don't flame on it. I plan on taking the Motorcycle Classes too to teach you how to Ride, and all the other good stuff. And yes, I plan to also ask a lot of questions. Even this one again.

But coming from vet riders, do you think it's a good idea to be buying a Motorcycle to use for 4hr drive commutes, every now and then, if I can't do the every week or every other week? Or are my dreams of riding shut down and I should just buy a car? Really love to hear any response. This is the main fear/question in my mind. Thanks.

User avatar
Ninja Geoff
Site Supporter - Gold
Site Supporter - Gold
Posts: 2981
Joined: Tue Jul 26, 2005 4:55 am
Real Name: Geoff
Sex: Male
Years Riding: 7
My Motorcycle: 2006 Kawasaki Ninja 650R
Location: Leyden, MA

#20 Unread post by Ninja Geoff »

4 hours? that's it? :wink: just kidding. Just keep on regular maintenance, and the bike will take you on 40 hour rides without any issues. Though your butt might not like you after 40 hours in the saddle :laughing:
[img]http://img38.imageshack.us/img38/3563/41350009.jpg[/img]

Post Reply