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Old 09-11-2012, 10:07 AM   #31
daveinva
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Okay, this is going to strike pretty much everyone as thread-shitting, but hear me out: a Can-Am Spyder RS.

Off the bat, you lose the ability to lane filter, and you'll need to park in car spaces. For all practical purposes, you're not on a "powered bicycle," you're in something the size of a small car ala Mini, SmartCar, or Fiat.

That said-- you're the size of a small car ala Mini, SmartCar or a Fiat. All of which are great urban assault vehicles in their own right.

But the advantages you DO get on the Spyder in the city are better than most any bike:
-- You can't drop it.
-- You don't have to put your feet down at every freakin' stoplight or traffic jam.
-- You can ride through, atop and over anything on the road. Potholes, gravel, debris, gators, leaves, construction plating, grooved asphalt, spilled fuel/oil/coolant-- nothing phases the ride. When you don't have to worry about what's under you, you get to pay attention to what's around you-- a huge advantage in the madness of city traffic.
-- Visibility: plenty more people see a Spyder than a bike.
-- If you get the semi-auto trans, no clutch cramp in traffic.
-- HUGE braking power (with ABS and traction control)
-- Liquid cooled.
-- Integrated storage.

(Oh, for full disclosure: the fuel mileage sucks compared to bikes, that's a downside. But what's gas when you have short city commutes?).

Anyway, after years of riding through city traffic on bikes and scooters, I was instantly fond of the Spyder, it gives me far more peace of mind than navigating the DC urban hell on my two-wheelers.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:11 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by tonysmallframe View Post
Second, don't get a GS or some other big dumb bike with wide ass hard luggage. You're not crossing the desert, you are driving 30 midtown blocks.
lose the sidecases, add a topcase and a tankbag.
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Old 09-11-2012, 10:46 AM   #33
sfrider300
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Hypermotard 796 has almost every virtue you'd want for the city: light, nimble, upright position, compliant suspension, great brakes. Downsides: low rpm fueling not so great, bars a little wide for filtering.

I've ridden the little Sym Wolf 150 in the city and loved it because you can filter through any situation. With it's tiny size and clip ons, no gap is too narrow.

But I live in a lane-splitting state. Can you legally do that in NYC?
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:09 PM   #34
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I live Downtown DC and work in Anacostia (across the bad river) and ride a 09 G650GS and I think its perfect. I have a top case and with a backpack I can take my gym bag, lunch, and wear the backpack with my school stuff in it. After work, I am off to class (Arlington, about 10 miles, maybe?) and then back to my apt downtown. Best purchase I have made since being here. Just another option to muddy the decision!
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Old 09-11-2012, 01:34 PM   #35
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I live in Philly, which I would stack up against any other city in terms of road madness. Ideally you don't rely on your bike for commuting and have access to public transportation to get you to work. In most American cities, where lane splitting isn't legal, there is really no advantage to riding your motorcycle on the surface streets, in fact a pedal bike will get you to most places faster. That said, a nice mid-size twin with upright handlebars is probably perfect. My Hawk GT certainly did the job, so did my buddy's SV650, though he put on clip-ons which made maneuvering more of a pain than necessary. Just bought an Apilia Tuono (love it!!!), which would make for a great city bike if the clutch pull wasn't so damn heavy and the turning radius sucks.

So yeah, for me, motorcycles are mostly a way of escaping the city, not the primary way of getting around. I think that's probably true of most urban riders in America at least.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:20 AM   #36
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I honestly don't think you could beat a KTM 690 Supermoto in the city. Even the 690 Enduro in SM form, which would be my choice in case I wanted to tour the state.
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:52 AM   #37
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If dual-sport / supermoto type, which seem otherwise ideal, it would have to have high-quality brakes (not like stock Japanese brand bikes like the KLR, DR650SE, WR250R/X, KLX250S/SF, DR-Z400S/SM, etc.)
The WR250X has pretty good brakes. Way better than the R version. The 17" front will also transfer brake power much better to the street. Best urban assault vehicle I have had so far.

Other than that, a Vespa 300GTS or so is awesome, but more for agility and convenience than for the "assault" part.

I don't like most of the other choices for European city areas as they are pretty much all big and heavy and that's not helping in tight cities. In most American cities, pretty much any bike under 200kg would be okay for me. In San Francisco I'd go back to a scooter, just for all the stupid hills. A WR250X would be great for any city for me personally. But I've also done longer road trips on one, so I might be biased. I love that bike.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:16 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveinva View Post
Okay, this is going to strike pretty much everyone as thread-shitting, but hear me out: a Can-Am Spyder RS.

Off the bat, you lose the ability to lane filter, and you'll need to park in car spaces. For all practical purposes, you're not on a "powered bicycle," you're in something the size of a small car ala Mini, SmartCar, or Fiat.

That said-- you're the size of a small car ala Mini, SmartCar or a Fiat. All of which are great urban assault vehicles in their own right.

But the advantages you DO get on the Spyder in the city are better than most any bike:
-- You can't drop it.
-- You don't have to put your feet down at every freakin' stoplight or traffic jam.
-- You can ride through, atop and over anything on the road. Potholes, gravel, debris, gators, leaves, construction plating, grooved asphalt, spilled fuel/oil/coolant-- nothing phases the ride. When you don't have to worry about what's under you, you get to pay attention to what's around you-- a huge advantage in the madness of city traffic.
-- Visibility: plenty more people see a Spyder than a bike.
-- If you get the semi-auto trans, no clutch cramp in traffic.
-- HUGE braking power (with ABS and traction control)
-- Liquid cooled.
-- Integrated storage.

(Oh, for full disclosure: the fuel mileage sucks compared to bikes, that's a downside. But what's gas when you have short city commutes?).

Anyway, after years of riding through city traffic on bikes and scooters, I was instantly fond of the Spyder, it gives me far more peace of mind than navigating the DC urban hell on my two-wheelers.
Every one of your arguments also describes a Jeep Wrangler

Which is cheaper, gets the same mileage and has a whole lot less dork factor
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:59 AM   #39
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To be on the cheap, I would ride a bicycle.
If you are mechanically inclined, a Chinese scooter with decent underseat compartment.
In NYC, you're not going to need a motorized vehicle more than 25-30 hp that can easily carry you to traffic flow.
Any moto that require constant clutch and shifting, without capability to carry items without adding extra width or semi-perminent weight to the vehicle seems impractical to me.
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Old 09-12-2012, 07:17 AM   #40
apessino
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Originally Posted by Uglyprimate View Post
Every one of your arguments also describes a Jeep Wrangler

Which is cheaper, gets the same mileage and has a whole lot less dork factor
so true...

Not to mention the Jeep would handle better. Those 3-wheelers are what, 3 track vehicles? The absolute worst cornering dynamics one can imagine.
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Old 09-12-2012, 08:14 AM   #41
daveinva
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uglyprimate View Post
Every one of your arguments also describes a Jeep Wrangler

Which is cheaper, gets the same mileage and has a whole lot less dork factor
Funny you should mention that, seeing as I also own a Wrangler. And yet I still ride my Spyder in the city... incredible how one can have fun riding *all kinds* of wheeled vehicles, isn't it?

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Old 09-12-2012, 08:16 AM   #42
daveinva
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Originally Posted by apessino View Post
so true...

Not to mention the Jeep would handle better. Those 3-wheelers are what, 3 track vehicles? The absolute worst cornering dynamics one can imagine.
"Absolute worst"? Ummm, no. And as a Wrangler owner, there's no way in a cold hell it handles better than the Spyder.

But your opinion is appreciated
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:04 AM   #43
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-1 on the 3 wheelers, wide and one of the wheels is gonna hit every pothole.

+1 on pedal bikes or one of these: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5SqoyR8Ht0
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:51 PM   #44
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I just moved to the Washington DC area... My Ninja 650 performs great in this environment, but all this fragile plastic worries me. I'll be trading to some kind of naked bike soon I think. I wish 2012 Kawasaki ER6N would've been imported to the states.
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:09 PM   #45
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Once upon a time....

I haven't lived in Gotham for several decades now, but back when people would occasionally still refer to JFK as Idlewild, I found a pretty little CL 350 in burgundy, "universal pattern" tires, simple chrome luggage rack. Good for the run from Fordham in the Bronx down to the fleshpots of Manhattan & still capable of a scoot up 95 to the Berkshires or up the Hudson to Vassar on a weekend. As I remember, my helmet cost $9.00, no DOT then. (real helmets had Snell Cert. but they cost real money) I also had hair under the helmet then, as well.
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