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Old 03-31-06, 01:23 PM   #1
explody pup
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Thinking about getting a motorcycle...

Does anyone here use a motorcycle for their sole means of motorized transportation?

I'm getting sick of dumping money down the car-payment hole so I'm going to sell my car. One option is to buy a cheaper used car and dump my money down a shallower car-payment hole.

Or...

My brother has an old Honda trail bike. It needs a rebuild on the carburetor, the exhaust remounted, and some road slicks. Other than that it seems to be in good shape. Nothing fancy... or even fast for that matter.

The only problems I can see would be going out of town for family stuff or work.

Just looking for opinions. Especially with the $3.50/gal forecast for gas this summer. My brother will probably talk me out of it, though.

Last edited by explody pup; 03-31-06 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 03-31-06, 02:55 PM   #2
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I used a motorcycle exclusively for 6-years in school. Dirt cheap, got 50mpg, could park anywhere on campus, maintenance was easy.
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Old 03-31-06, 03:32 PM   #3
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I used a motorcycle exclusively for 6-years in school. Dirt cheap, got 50mpg, could park anywhere on campus, maintenance was easy.
What made you decide to get a car?
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Old 03-31-06, 05:09 PM   #4
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Actually I shouldn't have said "exclusively" in that way, I did have a car for road-trips. But I never drove it to school since parking-fees were outrageous and motorcycles gets to park for free (downtown too). They always sold more parking-passes than there were parking spots, so you'd spend 15-20 minutes following people around trying to find a parking spot!

And riding in the rain sucked!!! Following cars on the freeway would end up soaking you all the way through due to the spray. Even when I was completely covered from head to toe in dry-suits with elastic sleeves & ankles, I'd still get wet because enough water would leak through the visor edges and collar that I'd look like the Michelin man filled with water. So, I would actually ride my MTB to class to keep the spray managable and campus was only 1-mile away anyway. I knew wannabe crunchy-granola tree-hugger tie-dye wearing debutantes who would actually drive out of IV, go around to campus, waste 30-minutes driving 4-5 miles to find parking and walking to class when it only takes 5-minutes by bike!

Considering that I only paid $500 for that motorcycle and it lasted as long as it did and got me around so well, it was probably one of the best investments I ever made!
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Old 04-01-06, 06:40 PM   #5
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One suggestion I should make is that if you are going to get a motorcycle, get good insurance. A relative of mine was paralised in a bike accident, and All State has been very cooperative about paying millions of dollars in medical bills.
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Old 04-01-06, 07:09 PM   #6
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One suggestion I should make is that if you are going to get a motorcycle, get good insurance. A relative of mine was paralised in a bike accident, and All State has been very cooperative about paying millions of dollars in medical bills.
Dunno if the danger of being on a motorcycle is the point you're making (still, thanks for the suggestion, yeah I'd be insured to the hilt).

I've always wondered about the danger of motorcycling and whether or not it's inflated or not. Most (not all) of the stories I hear second hand or in the press are a result of the bike driver being wreckless and making a stupid decision well in advance of the accident (driving drunk, for example). Yeah, there's a big risk of getting killed or paralyzed. But the same can be said about commuting by cycling or even a car for that matter.

Nevertheless, the idea is losing steam after I couldn't answer the question about what I'd do when the roads here get covered in ice.
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Old 04-01-06, 09:18 PM   #7
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In the case I brought up, solo cross country run+drunk driver= bad accident. I recall being told in drivers training that 98% of motorcycle accidents are the fault of someone in a car.

I'm not the sort who would say that motorcycles should be avoided. I ride bicycles, and as Sydney's death reminds us, bicycling is a deadly serious hobby. I also plan to get a motorcycle once I'm out of college and can afford it. With any 2 wheeled transportation device, my only advise is to wear a helmet, have good insurance, and drive carefully.

On the subject of what to do when theres ice, thats what you keep a car around for.
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Old 04-01-06, 10:36 PM   #8
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The problem is, there are certain things completely beyond your control, such as being slammed by a drunk driver. Since you're harder to notice on a bike, the matter is worse.
So assuming you're doing everything right and you get slammed, in a car, at least you get a protective frame around you. On a bike, you're basically protecting the bike.
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Old 04-02-06, 03:02 AM   #9
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^ So true. Someone very close to me was in a motorcycle accident just days ago Some guy didn't see her in the left lane and just pushed her with his car

Anyway from what she's told me wet pavement is very treacherous too. It seems it's so much easier to lose control of a motorcycle.

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Old 04-02-06, 08:49 AM   #10
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Take a motorcycle safety course.
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Old 04-02-06, 08:50 AM   #11
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The stats I've seen say that 50% of motorcycle-riders will be in a wreck at some point in their lives. And about 2/3rds of those crashes are due to the fault of others, cars pulling out of driveways and turning left in front of them are the most common. Riding with the assumption that you're invisible is the key to survival. I've been hit on my motorcycle once, on my bike 4 times and rear-ended in my car twice. Just that you don't have much protection on a motorcycle...
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Old 04-02-06, 09:16 AM   #12
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^^^ After more bikes than I can count, dirt, sportbikes, Harleys, even a scooter,
Ive fallen twice on the road and 1,000000000,00,00 times in the dirt since '75.
Common misconception.....you probably are going to fall but it is 99.9% YOUR
fault. Motorcyclists know where dangers lie and if you miscalculate any parts of the
zillions of information bits your brain should be processing while you ride you risk a
fall. If you fall on a motorcycle you have made an error in judgement. Its easy to
blame a car or say 'I had to lay it down ' but except for a few extenuating
circumstances it is always rider error.
Crashing is a motorcycle conundrum....you probably are going to crash but you are
the one in control of when it will happen
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Old 04-02-06, 12:53 PM   #13
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I think the safest way to ride motorcycles is to join a gang or club, and only do long recreational rides with them. Most people driving cars will very much try to avoid hitting a biker with a bunch of friends, because not only is a group of riders easily seen unlike a solo rider, but if you wrecklessly hit one of them, the rest of the gang will kill you.
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Old 04-02-06, 08:06 PM   #14
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That's jsut going to encourage the driver to run them ALL over...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michigander
I think the safest way to ride motorcycles is to join a gang or club, and only do long recreational rides with them. Most people driving cars will very much try to avoid hitting a biker with a bunch of friends, because not only is a group of riders easily seen unlike a solo rider, but if you wrecklessly hit one of them, the rest of the gang will kill you.
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Old 04-03-06, 05:50 AM   #15
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On the motorcycle you have the advantage of small size, acceleration and maneuverability.

We all know the disadvantages.

I don't beleive that crashes on a motorcycle are inevitable.

The M/C safety course I took stressed situational awareness in addition to the basic safe riding techniques. Simply pay attention to what's going on around you, and ride so you have time to react.

I used my M/C to commute daily in the LA/Orange County area with not even a close call. That was for well over 100,000 miles.

Ride safely and have fun!
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Old 04-03-06, 06:08 AM   #16
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You know, you could just buy a faster bike.
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Old 04-03-06, 12:50 PM   #17
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Hey pup...

Looks like you opened up a can of worms with a simple question...

I have a Bike, 04 FatBoy Harley. I also have a Big Arse SUV, full size Bronco. I can't remember starting the Bronco. The Harley has sat for more then 10 months now, I am close to my personnal Goal of Commuting for 1 full year!

Been telling the guys at work, I will sell the Bronco and ride the Harley from time to time, but most times I will ride my Commuter Bicycle. I am already looking into buying a 3rd Bicycle for commuting.

The bicycle I use now for commuting is a Trek MTB. The next bicycle will have Skinny Tires for these old bones!

Ride the Motorcycle for nice days, and when the weather gets BAD, Ride your Bicycle!
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Old 04-03-06, 02:33 PM   #18
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I am close to my personnal Goal of Commuting for 1 full year!
Good job, Walkafire (especially considering Colorado winters). I'm actually going to start commuting via bicycle soon. The only thing I'll lack after some parts come in the mail this week will be something to carry all my crap in.

That's partially the reason (aside from finances) why I'm considering getting a motorcycle as my only other means of transportation. If I can do it by bike then I can do it by motorcycle, too. Especially considering that sometimes I'm just not going to want to bike some places, my brother's house for example. It's about an hour and a half one way by bike and that's just not feasible for my schedule.

Only real problem is that I've never driven a motorcycle. That and resistance from the family are the main things that are holding me back. Weather, not so much. I'm still young and can handle it for a year or two until my money situation smooths out.
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Old 04-04-06, 05:19 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by explody pup
Good job, Walkafire (especially considering Colorado winters). I'm actually going to start commuting via bicycle soon. The only thing I'll lack after some parts come in the mail this week will be something to carry all my crap in.

That's partially the reason (aside from finances) why I'm considering getting a motorcycle as my only other means of transportation. If I can do it by bike then I can do it by motorcycle, too. Especially considering that sometimes I'm just not going to want to bike some places, my brother's house for example. It's about an hour and a half one way by bike and that's just not feasible for my schedule.

Only real problem is that I've never driven a motorcycle. That and resistance from the family are the main things that are holding me back. Weather, not so much. I'm still young and can handle it for a year or two until my money situation smooths out.

Before you drop the coin on a bike and gear 'pup, why not take a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course? This will give you the information you NEED to effectively and safely ride a motorcycle in just about any situation. In most cases, you can use their bike and gear. Should you then decide to get a bike and ride it for a couple of years you can look in to taking a C.L.A.S.S run by Reg Pridmore. This is just too much fun on two wheels! I've don it once at the Pocono PA track and twice at the old Loudon, NH before it went under the N.H.I.S. plow. In any case, I'd reccommend you get Keith Code's ~ A Twist of The Wrist video. It's a bit dated (and corn-ballish)... 1980's era, but still lots of good relevant information.
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Old 04-07-06, 01:14 PM   #20
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Hey Pup,

Your situation is excactly why i got a bike. I used to ride years ago until a high speed lowside had me stopping for awhile. Now that im older and wiser, i figure i can handle it. I got a Ninja 250 used off ebay, rode it for awhile out grew it and bought a Ducati Monster 620 and sold the Ninja. The downside is around the same time i bought the Ducati, I had to buy a new car too. A Jetta TDI. Guess which get the better gas mileage? The car does. Oy!
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Old 04-07-06, 01:21 PM   #21
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Motorcycles are teh sux0r. Takes sooooooo much longer to recover from a motorcycle crash then a bicycle crash. I got a wild hare up my ass and was pondering about it this morning but thinking about wet roads and people not seeing me and taking a corner too fast sent shudders and visions of immense pain to every part of my body that has taken pain from my cycling accidents.
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Old 04-07-06, 01:38 PM   #22
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the best way to learn is:

MSF course
Keith Code books
Track Days

motorcycle skills when done with learning in mind
will make you a faster and better cyclist. your cornering
speed will go up. that is, IF you have a decent street
motorcycle, read and learn the Keith Code books, and
apply what you learn to everyday motorcycling.

it takes work, but it will -always- enhance your bicycle
ability road or dirt. your reaction time to any 2-wheeled
dynamic will increase and that makes your biking ability better
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Old 04-07-06, 03:36 PM   #23
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Old 04-07-06, 04:31 PM   #24
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who?
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Old 04-07-06, 04:44 PM   #25
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who?
you
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