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  1. #1
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    Anyone Have A Motorcycle?

    I understand that this forum is all about bikes and that this sub-forum is about living car free so any mods feel free to lock or delete this thread. But i had a question for all of you here. Do any of you have a motorcycle. I am probably selling my truck this summer and living car free but i might get a moto. So how many of you still do live car free but own a motorcycle?

  2. #2
    Peace, Love, Bikes
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    I'll be selling my car and going car free by the end of September. For my living situation now and the foreseeable future, the bike and bus will be mine. Maybe car share on the odd occasion. Depending on where career and life take me, a scooter or motorcycle could be a possibility.
    Andrew

    Life On Two Wheels

    Car free, one day at a time...

  3. #3
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    exactly what i want to do. plus my girlfriend has a car

  4. #4
    By Necessity. RDRomano's Avatar
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    Right here. When we got married, my wife and I realized we just didn't want to be beholden to two cars. We sold her Taurus, and kept my Fit, which she now drives....A few years ago, while living in Atlanta, I sold my Dodge Ram to my boss when I quit working for him. (Good guy, I just needed to move on. He needed the truck; I no longer did.) So I was left with just my BMW R1150GS. I was two-wheels-only for a little over two years. And lemme tell you, Hotlanna traffic is wickity-whack. I sold that bike to afford to go back to college, where I met my wife...I mean she wasn't my wife then, but...nevermind.
    Anyway, she had to listen to all my old glory-stories about riding my old motorcycles. So when we got married, she wanted one. We now have a Kawasaki Versys. (Another really great bike. No snob appeal, but no snop repair bills either.) Once we settled in Nashville, I discovered bicycles. I had gotten fat on motorcycles (and wife soup).
    I started riding bicycles in order to lose weight, so that I could enjoy motorcycling more...again. But I found that they are really enriching in their own right. Then I started running, so that I could enjoy cycling more.
    So today, my wife drives the little Honda on her 20-mile (one way) commute. About three days a week, I ride the Kawasaki to work. The other two days I ride my Kona. Saturday afternoons, the wife and I go for a nice relaxing moto-ride in the twisties (hell for a bicyclist is nirvana for a sporting moto-rider.) Sunday after Church, we go for a nice, relaxing cycle ride in one of the larger Nashville parks.
    My Kona's okay; I really want a fixie. My wife loves her Electra Townie. Our endurance is up to the place where we can putt-putt around the park for twenty miles or so before we're ready for a stop. It's also high enough that we can go for about a hundred miles on the motorcycle before enough fatigue sets in that we need to stop.
    Riding the motorcycle keeps my coordination and situational awareness very sharp, as everything happens faster. They're both a damn lot of fun. I think that the two sports reinforce each other in terms of skills. They even have similar catagories for machines. Cruisers. Sportbikes. Off-road. Commuter.

    Long story short...we've got the wife enrolled in the MSF beginning rider class for her birthday later this month. We're gonna get her a starter moto, with the eventual aim of going car-free. Two motos, and four-six bikes. We'd like a road tandem. That would be as close as we could get to a motorcycle experience on a bicycle. Hope this helps. good luck. feel free to PM me with any questions. I also sold motorcycles for just shy of two years, so I might be able to give you some perspecctive that the salesguys might not. Be well!
    --Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer, whose brother is a district judge, once observed that, "The role of a district judge is to decide quickly, wisely, and fairly. This is not to say that the role of an appellate judge is to decide slowly, foolishly, and unfairly, for that would usurp the function of the Supreme Court."

  5. #5
    By Necessity. RDRomano's Avatar
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    Damn that was a ridiculously long post. Sorry. Just for lifestyle and commuting, you might look at a Vespa, too.
    --Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer, whose brother is a district judge, once observed that, "The role of a district judge is to decide quickly, wisely, and fairly. This is not to say that the role of an appellate judge is to decide slowly, foolishly, and unfairly, for that would usurp the function of the Supreme Court."

  6. #6
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    Good post thought...i am actually currently savin for a bike. i have a gary fischer ged ss right now as well as my bmx bike but i want to get me a good supermoto bike. like a suzuki dr-z400 sm or a yamaha wr250x. wish i could afford to get a good supermoto bike like a Husqvarna or something. or get me that bianchi san jose i've been drooling over

  7. #7
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    I had a motorcycle when I was young. A Honda CB400F bought new for less than a thousand. It was a great bike.

    When I got married, my bride was a former coroner and "no motorcycle" was part of marrying her. She considered motorcyclists to be organ donors.

    Now that I am single again, I find myself tempted again. A Suzuki SV650 looks pretty good or go cheap with a Kawasaki Ninja 250.

    But as RDRomano pointed out, bicycles burn more calories. And I'm still trying to recover financially so not spending money sounds good too.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  8. #8
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    I'm looking into the motorcycle thing myself but it seems like every one has been in an ugly accident. I'm just worried that I'm going to be just another stat. Just a couple of weeks ago, I saw a motorcyclist killed on the road, hit by a cab that broke a red light. It was ugly.

    I rented a car the other day and was scared just having to deal with all the speeding vehicles driving like there's no tomorrow. I would just imagine how horrific that would be on a motorcycle!

    Regardless, I can see how relaxing it could be if there wasn't so much traffic. It looks like a lot of fun. More places to explore with my GPS.

  9. #9
    By Necessity. RDRomano's Avatar
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    Thing is: unlike on a bicycle, you get body armor on a motorcycle. If it's too hot to waer your gear, it's too hot to ride, was what my instructor told me, and that was in south Florida. Situational awareness is vital. You have to take the safety course offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. You have to spend for good armor/gear. Motorcycles are much more stable than bikes, can be leant over MUCH further (which is darned fun once you've aquired the skill for it). I've got approx. 63,000 miles under my belt on a motorcycle since I started riding in 2003. I've never been in a wreck. OK, once I went down in a deserted (and very sandy/gravelly) parking lot between the Waffle House and the motel, at 2:30am, after having been on the road for 14+hours, on the maiden voyage of a new (unfamiliar) bike. I was going about 2mph. But a wreck? Never. (knock on wood.) You do have to ride paranoid. Because you have an engine, all the mercy and consideration you get as a bicyclist from the cagers goes out the window. But wait, you say, we don't get any mercy or consideration now. Exactly.

    Still, cost-wise, there's no argument between a cheap, beater, hooptie car and even a quite nice motorcycle. Sure, a REALLY expensive bike (BMW, H-D, Ducati...Mmm, Ducati --drool--) can set you back $15-20k. But unless you're 16 yrs. old w/ DUIs, insurance IS cheaper, you WILL have incredible fuel economy even compared to penalty-box cars, maintenance IS radically reduced (the parts logically CANNOT break if they're not there...pwr. door locks, pwr. steering box, hatchback latch/lock, for examples).

    In california, you can lane-share legally on a motorcycle. You can do 99% of the same camping on a moto that you can on a touring frameset. The carrying-capacity restrictions are about the same, but I promise you will get better views on the way there from a motorcycle. Mountains = your friend now.
    --Supreme Court Justice Steven Breyer, whose brother is a district judge, once observed that, "The role of a district judge is to decide quickly, wisely, and fairly. This is not to say that the role of an appellate judge is to decide slowly, foolishly, and unfairly, for that would usurp the function of the Supreme Court."

  10. #10
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    I have never ridden one and am probably going to get me a kawasaki klx110 soon because they are cheap to upgrade and they have an extremely large aftermarket following plus they look really fun. it will be no bike to ride on the streets but just something fun to play around with. as far as getting in an accident i am not too worried plus you dress for the crash and not for the ride. but i mean all of us can ride a bike in town with traffic haulin @$$ past us it shouldn't be that bad i think. personally i stay away from busy streets when i ride and stick to the smaller sid streets, not only because its safer but because its far less stressful

  11. #11
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    I had a motorcycle when I was young. A Honda CB400F bought new for less than a thousand. It was a great bike.

    When I got married, my bride was a former coroner and "no motorcycle" was part of marrying her. She considered motorcyclists to be organ donors.

    Now that I am single again, I find myself tempted again. A Suzuki SV650 looks pretty good or go cheap with a Kawasaki Ninja 250.

    But as RDRomano pointed out, bicycles burn more calories. And I'm still trying to recover financially so not spending money sounds good too.
    I am looking in to those two myself actually. If buying new I think SV650 is a better deal at the moment, Ninja 250 has a huge premium right now since everyone wants it.
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  12. #12
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Went car-free from 2000-2007. Due to obligations at school I got a scooter last summer, a Genuine Buddy 125cc Series Italia, for those that care. For those that don't, I paid $3000 out the door, which comes with a 2 year warranty on all parts and labor, 1 year roadside assistance, I paid $101 for an entire year of insurance, it can go 70mph and gets 90-100 mpg. Maybe now you do care.
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  13. #13
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    I was actually thinking of the Honda Ruckus scooter for school and around town but was not sure if i wanted to spend the $ on a scooter when i could just get a bigger bike. The scooter is really cool looking though

  14. #14
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    I would love a motorcycle, but I think it would be a bad idea for me at the moment.

    We have an old scooter sitting around but I decided that I'm not riding the thing without proper gear, and if I had proper gear, I wouldn't ride a scooter.

    The fact that here in Australia you are 27 times more likely to die on a motorbike means its not a decision I'm going to take lightly. For the time being I'm going to stay motor free (not a big fan of that archaic piece of technology any more).

  15. #15
    Senior Member stevegor's Avatar
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    My wife has always had the car since we married, I have always cycled to work, apart from the rare times when I had a motorcycle for a few months, but I got sick of losing my fitness so I got back on my bicycle. However, I recently bought a Kawasaki ZR7....my excuse??? my son needs me to ride with him when he gets his license....

  16. #16
    everyone has a plan... sleazy's Avatar
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    ive got a Husky Supermoto for sale. SM450... i'm in Florida if youre close. full street legal. funnest bike i've ever owned (and ive ridden/raced everything for over 16 years).
    ____________________________________________________________________

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  17. #17
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    why you sellin the husky? if i was close to florida i'd definately thik about it

  18. #18
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    Got my motorcycle license in 1976 and have been utilizing a motorcycle as my main bit of transportation since then. A lot of those years, I concurrently biked and, er, biked (there's this little problem that a lot of cycling slang passed over directly to motorcycling with the same meanings). I currently utilize motorized two wheels Tuesday through Friday, and pedal the commute on Saturday - 21 miles each way, and I only work until 1500 on Saturdays.

    Recently, I picked up something that is for me very new and different - a Chinese made (Qingqi) 150cc scooter. We sell them at the Honda shop where I work, and I'm the first employee to start using one seriously as daily transportation. My initial impression (just got the scoot through the first half of break-in and have been using it for a month) is that it's very different from a motorcycle and, if you're just talking about commuting rather than sport riding, superior to a motorcycle. Less fuss (automatic transmission, only three controls besides the electric switches: Throttle and two brake levers), and it handles in crowded traffic better than any motorcycle I've ever ridden. In rush hour, it's almost a good as a bicycle.

    If you look in this direction forget those 50cc jobs that you can ride without a motorcycle license, registration, insurance, etc. that sell for $1000 or less. Given their performance (top speed of about 25mph, you're still hugging the edge of the lane in traffic), you're much better off staying with a bicycle for getting around. Going up to the bigger model, you're now talking an easy 50mph speed (mine will probably top out about 60, will find out once break-in is complete), 70mpg and a bit above, and you stay right in rush hour traffic, cutting and thrusting with the best of them. All this for a purchase price of $1500. Just make sure whoever is selling them is actually servicing them, too, and carries parts. There's a lot of people selling those things with no backup, and in those cases, you're screwed.

    Now, as to a motorcycle . . . . . . the biggest problem you're going to have is almost nobody makes what you'd call a commuter motorcycle. And those who have tried have failed miserably in the marketplace, as selling motorcycles is all about image, performance, lifestyle. The last time you had an industry seriously making a practical, economical motorcycle for the guy going to work every day was England - and that market was killed when the Mini came out in 1959. Nowdays, they are primarily toys made to do one job, and boringly going to work every day is not that job.

    Yeah, there are nice old Japanese vertical twins out there, Honda CB350-400's, Kawasaki KZ440's, but parts are starting to get extremely hard to find, and if it's in really nice shape an antique collector has already grabbed it.

    The SV650 is a nice bike - it'll work nicely as a commuter, although it's a bit more sporting than I'd like for the day to day grind. Of course, you can play on the weekend. My boss at the Honda shop has one, loves it. Look at a Honda VLX (VT600C in Honda speak) cruiser. They may not be your style (I'm assuming from your posts you're probably in your 20's), but any cruiser makes a better commuter than a sportbike until you start getting into the real big chrome encrusted jobs. Take a look at a modern Triumph Bonneville - in style it's a typical motorcycle, excellent for commuting, comfortable, reliable, reasonably fast. Look at a Honda 250, either Nighthawk (a nice standard motorcycle) or Rebel (cruiser). I like the Nighthawk much better, if I was looking for a strictly commuter motorcycle, this would be my first choice.

    As to what I ride? Tuesday thru Thursday is the scooter. Friday is church (motorcycle club meeting) so the Harley Springer Softail is mandatory. Saturdays is either my Bianchi or Magneet tourers. There's also a Triumph Trident just shy of 100K mileage in the garage which is my long haul tourer, a '69 Triumph Bonneville cafe racer, '69 Honda Super 90, and a 1930 Indian 101 Scout. Yeah, I've got a pickup truck - it's allowed one tank of gas a month, and is only used for work when it gets cold and wet. I tend to ride year round, and have all the clothing for anything from 20 degree winter mornings through bloody near hurricanes. If you're talking winter riding, biking is a lot easier than cycling. You just bundle up and leave enough motion for your hands and feet to function. In the same conditions on a bicycle you have to dress to actually be able to move.
    Syke

    "No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton

  19. #19
    Senior Member sykerocker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by impure View Post
    I was actually thinking of the Honda Ruckus scooter for school and around town but was not sure if i wanted to spend the $ on a scooter when i could just get a bigger bike. The scooter is really cool looking though
    Probably the best 50cc scooter made, and actually has enough performance over the competition to be less of a sitting duck in traffic. Once again, it's not just size or style - as I've discovered, you're really talking apples and oranges despite both having two wheels, a motor and handlebars. And I'm finding out the scooter is the better commuter.
    Syke

    "No wonder we keep testing positive in their bicycle races. Everyone looks like they're full of testosterone when they're surrounded by Frenchmen." ---Argus Hamilton

  20. #20
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    If it was up to me i would get me a Honda CRF150R and supermoto it

  21. #21
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    Quote Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
    Now, as to a motorcycle . . . . . . the biggest problem you're going to have is almost nobody makes what you'd call a commuter motorcycle. . .The SV650 is a nice bike - it'll work nicely as a commuter, although it's a bit more sporting than I'd like for the day to day grind.
    If you're tall, the DL650 (Vstrom) makes a very good commuter that sells very well (especially in Europe), with 50 mpg, decent wind protection (with the help of aftermarket fix to head buffeting at high speed) 40 ft-lbs and 60 HP all in a sub 500 lb package. Its the same motor as the SV650 but geared down a bit. The ergonomics are also much more upright. Downside is a 32" seat height. Still I like mine

    One thing I'll point out, since I think many people in the car-free forum do it for environmental reasons, is that most motorcycles in the US pollute more than cars. They get better MPG, but the emmissions standards for bikes are not what they are for cars. Be sure that if this is something that is near and dear to your heart that you examine prior to purchasing.

  22. #22
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    The Ruckus is cool, but the Big Ruckus (which Honda stopped selling last year,) was even cooler. I want to find one on E-bay after I get out of school.

  23. #23
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post

    Now, as to a motorcycle . . . . . . the biggest problem you're going to have is almost nobody makes what you'd call a commuter motorcycle. And those who have tried have failed miserably in the marketplace, as selling motorcycles is all about image, performance, lifestyle. The last time you had an industry seriously making a practical, economical motorcycle for the guy going to work every day was England - and that market was killed when the Mini came out in 1959. Nowdays, they are primarily toys made to do one job, and boringly going to work every day is not that job.
    That sounds about like the American bicycle industry up until just a few years ago, either road or mountain with not much in between but fugly "hybrids." Good post BTW.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bikeforums
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    I ride a Raleigh Gruv 2.0 with a 32cc two stroke motor kit. It only gets 132 mpg at this time. The company said it would get 160-180 mpg. Perhaps when it is fully broken in the mileage will improve.

    The top speed is about 27 mph on level ground without any wind. The motor kit weighs under 14 pounds. The bicycle can be parked anywhere and it is light enough to be carried up stairs and stored on my apartment balcony.

    It can be pedaled without the motor running which makes it stealthy around crowds of people and police at public outdoor events. If it runs out of fuel it can be pedaled to the nearest gas station.

    About the Honda Ruckus; it will be OK for speeds below 40 mph. I owned a Metropolitan scooter with the same motor. It will go 39 mph when new but as it gets older it will go slower. I sold mine with 8000 miles on it. By then its top speed was only 36 mph and the fuel mileage had dropped from a high of 100 when new to 88 when it was sold.

    Honda and the other Japanese motorcycle companies make great commuter scooters in the 150 cc range, they just don't sell them in the USA. They also make great commuter motorcycles for Europe.

    I owned a Kawasaki 500 LTD Vulcan cruiser. It will smoke the Honda VLX 600 and most 800cc cruisers. It is way more comfortable and cheaper to maintain because it has an inline engine. I intend to buy another motorcycle some day. I like the smaller cruisers. If Kawasaki would get rid of the black color of the current Vulcan 500 LTD I would like another one of those. They get 54-56 mpg. A Suzuki S40 (652cc single) cruiser is slow but gets 61 mpg.

    Cars are so much more comfortable than motorcycles, but when I ride inside a car I don't feel as safe (except on icy roads). I'm always fearful of bumping into something or having someone else bump into me. I don't feel that at all on a motorcycle.

    I would buy a Genuine Buddy or an Argo scooter if there were any local dealers. Alas there are none. Anyone buying a new Vespa or Piaggio better have access to a dealer or have good electrical mechanical skills.
    Smallwheels

    Take my stuff, please. I have way too much. My current goal is to have all of my possessions fit onto a large bicycle trailer. Really.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    A couple of years ago, I was strongly considering a motorcycle. I'm car-light and I thought I could cut back on fuel even more if I had a motorcycle.

    However, a motorcycle here would at best be transportation for eight months. From mid-November to mid-March, the temperatures and the winter road conditions would force me to park the motorcycle and use a car. I'd rather have just one internal combustion vehicle rather than two.

    If I lived on Vancouver Island or in B.C.'s Lower Mainland, I might consider a motorcycle. Those areas have a much longer motorcycle season and they don't have the winter conditions we have in the rest of the province.
    Life is good.

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