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Discussion Starter #1
I believe that I now have a legitimate reason to own a 3rd bike. In January I will begin commuting to and from work, something I have literally never done. With the weather here in southern Missouri I believe I can ride a bike about 80% of the time. The commute will be 40 miles round trip. 36 miles of that will be on a 4 lane divided highway with 65 mile per hour speed limit and minimal traffic. There will be 2 blocks of it in town with one traffic light and the rest is 2 lane highway.

I currently own a 2008 C14 and a 1987 C10. Of course neither of these are the "perfect" tool for the job. You guys understand.:biggrin:

Sooooo, while understanding that I am cheap, that I don't need to go fast on the commuter bike, hate to do maintenance, and have no image problems (I looked pretty darn cool on a Burgman 400 wearing full leather), what would be YOUR perfect tool for this job?

Money is no object in this exercise, I have credit cards and am not afraid to use them.

Curt
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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wow...that's pretty wide open. There are so many directions to go.

Are you looking for better gas mileage? Because either of your other bikes would be fine for it. At least in terms of comfort.

Personally, I'd try to find something with a shaft to avoid chain maintenance.
 

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a yamaha 650 v-star would do the job.. and a used one is dirt cheap (at least here) and would make a great little commuter bike.... of course so would a silver wing thing... overblown scooter
 

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MaNaMaNa DoDoDoDoDo
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Check out what everybody says about the vulcan 900 if you would consider a cruiser
 

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Discussion Starter #7
wow...that's pretty wide open. There are so many directions to go.

Are you looking for better gas mileage? Because either of your other bikes would be fine for it. At least in terms of comfort.

Personally, I'd try to find something with a shaft to avoid chain maintenance.
I know I left it wide open. I am not so much looking for advice, but for individual opinions on what the poster would choose, and perhaps why they would choose it. In my case, operating cost per mile is going to be my greatest concern. This includes purchase price, fuel, tires, insurance and maintenance of the bike. My inclination at this point is to use the old Concours and just run it until it dies and then replace it, perhaps with a 250 cc scooter.
 

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A used Ninja 500R. I did a 50 mile round-trip commute on it for over a year in the streets and did a few months doing a 25 mile round-trip commute on it after I moved closer to work. I got 46 mpg average and from what I hear, maintenance is really easy because it's "only" a carburated parallel-twin based on 20 y/o technology; I'm too old/lazy and don't have anough time to do valve adjustments myself. The bike is built like a tank and it won't let you down. Of course the bike will be comfortable for your daily commute also.
 

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Vintage bike addict
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I have an old Virago 700 I use to commute. Other than it inherent starter quirks I've had no issues with it. It's pretty easy on gas, shaft drive, Keeps up easily in traffic yet is small enough to move around in town traffic. Purchase price was very reasonable.
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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I know I left it wide open. I am not so much looking for advice, but for individual opinions on what the poster would choose, and perhaps why they would choose it. In my case, operating cost per mile is going to be my greatest concern. This includes purchase price, fuel, tires, insurance and maintenance of the bike. My inclination at this point is to use the old Concours and just run it until it dies and then replace it, perhaps with a 250 cc scooter.
Well, for just commuting, I liked my old VX800. Problem would be parts being hard to find, but it was a shaft driven V with good ergos. A cheap screen and you'd be good to go.

From that, with price being no object, the BMW F800ST would be good. good ergos, shaft drive, reasonable MPG, hard bags. Don't know if I'd want something much smaller for all the highway use you describe.
 

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Alien Test Subject
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Other than maybe gas milage, I'd say your C14 would do just fine.

But, for me, given the commute you describe, here would be my choices:

New
Z1000 - Fairly comfy for the highway use, and plenty nimble for the city stuff. Plus it has tons of power - I like power!! But if you have to carry stuff, you'll need to invest in some soft luggage. Probably not the most fuel efficiant either.

SV-650 or Ninja 650r - Great commuters! Fairly good on gas, VERY manuverable in traffic, while still being plenty ridable on the highway stretches.

VFR-800 - Think of your C14, only a tad smaller. Ultra smooth powerplant, sporty enough to cut through traffic, touring oriented enough to supply you with good wind protection, and even has optional hard luggage if you want.

Used (this is wide open)

SV-650 - see above

Late 90's 750 Nighthawk - great "do-everything" bike. Bullit-proof, and cheap and reliable to own.

ZRX-1200 - Lousy gas milage (reletively speaking) but lots of power - I like power!!!!

CBR 600 f3 - Lots of used ones floating around, so you can find decent ones fairly cheap. Great 'middle-of-the-road' sportbike that is just as happy commuting as it is running the twisties.





I couldn't use a scooter for commuting. To me, it's just not riding. They're fun, but I want the motor between my legs, a tranny I actually have to shift myself, and full-size wheels and tires.

I also don't generally consider/recomend cruisers for commuting. Though I use my Meanie regularly, and many others commute on theirs, when I hear "commuter bike", I think of something light and nimble, that can slice and dice through congestion like a Ginsu knife. Most cruisers, even the smaller ones, just don't dance like a standard or sportbike does.

I'd also normally recommend/consider a dual-sport or motard for commuting. Especially if you deal with alot of city congestion, but with so much of your commute being 2-lane, divided blacktop, riding a motard might get real old, real quick.

So for me, I'd want the ZRX. But I rarely have to carry anything but myself to work, like a little bigger of a bike thats still nimble, am willing to put on sport-touring tires (as opposed to the really sticky stuff), don't mind 30mpg (still better than most cages) and have to deal with a lot more city traffic than you. Plus, it's got plenty of power. Did I mention I like power!!!!! 8)
 

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Alf not Elf
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Friend has a Burgman 650 neat bike. This guy is huge 6 foot 4 just under 300 pounds. He wears half helmet and leathers on it looks freaking hilarious but gee no one ever says anything to him about how funny he looks go figure.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the opinions, guys. I am a bit surprised that the consensus seems to be for a bigger bike. I will likely replace the Concours 10 with something chain drive of about 250 cc. I can modify sprocket size to that cruising at about 60 will be in torque range, add a luggage carrier of some sort with a box (picture the Honda trail 90's of the 1970's with the plastic milk crates strapped to them), and modify a fairing style windshield to fit.

The lighter, smaller bikes should be easy on tires and gas. Yes, it may look goofy as heck, but I already look pretty darned strange according to my wife.
 

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Alien Test Subject
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Have you considered a late 70's or early 80's UJM? KZ/CB 450/500/650/750 etc..

Decent on fuel, very reliable, a little more stable on the highway, you can put cheap, rock hard tires on them, and the best part...

(drum roll please)

... the milk crate will look perfect on it!!!

 

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Spinach Eating Moderator
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I'd say a Vulcan 500 would be about perfect for this type of duty.
Great mileage, low maintenance, stunning good looks, nimble in traffic.

Pair of saddlebags and a shield, and you're set.
 

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Premium Member
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I'd say a Vulcan 500 would be about perfect for this type of duty.
Great mileage, low maintenance, stunning good looks, nimble in traffic.

Pair of saddlebags and a shield, and you're set.
+1, I have a 75 mile roundtrip commute and the Vulcan 500 is about perfect. With your concern about maintenance, you could add a Scootworks belt drive and all would be good.

However, if I had your 40 mile commute I'd go Honda Rebel. 70+ mpg and very nimble and almost indestructable.
 

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Novice Tank Roller
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Thanks for all the opinions, guys. I am a bit surprised that the consensus seems to be for a bigger bike. I will likely replace the Concours 10 with something chain drive of about 250 cc. I can modify sprocket size to that cruising at about 60 will be in torque range, add a luggage carrier of some sort with a box (picture the Honda trail 90's of the 1970's with the plastic milk crates strapped to them), and modify a fairing style windshield to fit.

The lighter, smaller bikes should be easy on tires and gas. Yes, it may look goofy as heck, but I already look pretty darned strange according to my wife.
Or a V2K! :biggrin:
 

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.... of course so would a silver wing thing... overblown scooter
I was told by a nice young lady that a Silver Wing is a "STEP-IN MOTORCYCLE" - HA....yeah right.
 

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I believe that I now have a legitimate reason to own a 3rd bike. In January I will begin commuting to and from work, something I have literally never done. With the weather here in southern Missouri I believe I can ride a bike about 80% of the time. The commute will be 40 miles round trip. 36 miles of that will be on a 4 lane divided highway with 65 mile per hour speed limit and minimal traffic. There will be 2 blocks of it in town with one traffic light and the rest is 2 lane highway.

I currently own a 2008 C14 and a 1987 C10. Of course neither of these are the "perfect" tool for the job. You guys understand.:biggrin:

Sooooo, while understanding that I am cheap, that I don't need to go fast on the commuter bike, hate to do maintenance, and have no image problems (I looked pretty darn cool on a Burgman 400 wearing full leather), what would be YOUR perfect tool for this job?

Money is no object in this exercise, I have credit cards and am not afraid to use them.

Curt

Curt, I'm not experienced enough in motorcycles to offer my opinion.

But, Curt... Step away from the credit cards. Be Afraid!!! Be very very afraid!!! I know about the evil that comes with possession of a credit card.
You must not give in to the dark side Curt.

You must resist the temptations of the evil Darth Citi.
You must avoid the calling of Lord Bank of America.
From Wallet Remove the buring sensation known as Dark Lord Capital One.

Focus Young Jedi. There is a better way... The Kawasaki way.
 

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That is a great list actually.+1!!!!

Other than maybe gas milage, I'd say your C14 would do just fine.

But, for me, given the commute you describe, here would be my choices:

New
Z1000 - Fairly comfy for the highway use, and plenty nimble for the city stuff. Plus it has tons of power - I like power!! But if you have to carry stuff, you'll need to invest in some soft luggage. Probably not the most fuel efficiant either.

SV-650 or Ninja 650r - Great commuters! Fairly good on gas, VERY manuverable in traffic, while still being plenty ridable on the highway stretches.

VFR-800 - Think of your C14, only a tad smaller. Ultra smooth powerplant, sporty enough to cut through traffic, touring oriented enough to supply you with good wind protection, and even has optional hard luggage if you want.

Used (this is wide open)

SV-650 - see above

Late 90's 750 Nighthawk - great "do-everything" bike. Bullit-proof, and cheap and reliable to own.

ZRX-1200 - Lousy gas milage (reletively speaking) but lots of power - I like power!!!!

CBR 600 f3 - Lots of used ones floating around, so you can find decent ones fairly cheap. Great 'middle-of-the-road' sportbike that is just as happy commuting as it is running the twisties.





I couldn't use a scooter for commuting. To me, it's just not riding. They're fun, but I want the motor between my legs, a tranny I actually have to shift myself, and full-size wheels and tires.

I also don't generally consider/recomend cruisers for commuting. Though I use my Meanie regularly, and many others commute on theirs, when I hear "commuter bike", I think of something light and nimble, that can slice and dice through congestion like a Ginsu knife. Most cruisers, even the smaller ones, just don't dance like a standard or sportbike does.

I'd also normally recommend/consider a dual-sport or motard for commuting. Especially if you deal with alot of city congestion, but with so much of your commute being 2-lane, divided blacktop, riding a motard might get real old, real quick.

So for me, I'd want the ZRX. But I rarely have to carry anything but myself to work, like a little bigger of a bike thats still nimble, am willing to put on sport-touring tires (as opposed to the really sticky stuff), don't mind 30mpg (still better than most cages) and have to deal with a lot more city traffic than you. Plus, it's got plenty of power. Did I mention I like power!!!!! 8)
 
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