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Old 01-10-2013, 09:53 PM   #31
corndog67
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Check this out North Carolina. I used to commute from Monterey, CA to Santa Clara, CA 4 or 5 days a week, 72 miles one way, for several years. I didn't even own a car for a few of those years. Now, how important is speed when you are commuting? I'm asking this because of some of the choices in your list, the CBR250, and whatnot. I commuted on an SV650, a CBR1000F, and a Triumph 955 Daytona. The SV was cool. But the big bikes, got good gas mileage when cruising at steady state speeds, say 90 or 100 mph. The SV cruised real good about 80 or 90. I'm not sure the police presence where you are located, but there were none at the commute times when I was out there. SoI tended to roll pretty fast.

But one thing I noticed about riding big bores those long distances, was that they were very comfortable, and there was very little stress on the engine. Something to think about, maybe getting a used Z1000 or something of the sort with very low miles, For $5000, you can get all kinds of good stuff.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:59 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by khager View Post
I'll have to put in another plug for the Wee-Strom. Low maintenance, all day comfortable, good mpg, and even a lot of fun in the twisties. The best jack of all trades, do it all bike out there for the money.

I am on my 2nd one, the 07 was great but the 12 is even sweeter. Not big changes just a lot of little ones. For starters, a little more low and mid range, smoother shifting and clutch, and a little quieter engine, handles a little better, a little lighter, oh and better looking too, kind of like a new girlfriend. I averaged around 50 mpg on the old one and 55 mpg on the new one.

The NC700X would be good but not as much fun IMHO. 6K redline is too low for a bike, unless your coming from a Harley! I think if they would have raised the redline, with hp to match the Strom, and offered ABS as an option without the auto trans, they would have had a grand slam. That new Honda CB500X looks good too but I don't know much about it.

Kawasaki Versys would be another good choice more fun from what I hear but not as comfortable, nor as many luggage options. I've done 600 mile days on the Strom no problem.
The new Weestrom was top of my list at the end of 2011, but the 2012 wasn't available mid-December, so I bought the Versys. For many, ABS and slightly higher fuel economy would tip the scales toward the Vstrom. But the smaller, lighter Versys with 17" front wheel is a win a lot of the time.

I'd really want to ride an NC700X before committing to one. Some love it, some hate it. I am willing to try this bike-with-car-engine idea though.

I find the Versys really comfortable. Some people complain about the stock seat, but it works for me, and of course there are aftermarket choices and seat mods.

I thought it had about as many hard luggage options as the Vstrom. People put Givi, HB, Trax, Pelican and Seahorse boxes on them. I don't know of a hard side case option that isn't wider than the bars though, and that would be nice on a commuter.

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Old 01-11-2013, 12:46 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by BigCanoe View Post
Hey all,

I am thinking of upgrading my little dual sport to something I can ride to work. My commute is 30 miles each way, on a 2 lane (each side) highway. I would need something that I can ride on nice days, but not necessarily when the weather is bad (have a truck for that). Still the more riding the better. Safety, reliability, service cost, MPG, comfort and of course price are all important. I don't have to carry anything to work besides myself.

I was thinking of one of the following:

Suzuki DR650
Suzuki VStrom 650 ABS
Kawasaki KLR650
Honda CBR250 ABS
Triumph Bonneville

Thoughts?
A DR650SE would check off all the boxes and be economical. A KLX250S, DR-Z400S or SM, or a WR250R would be just a little more $$ and slightly more complicated. You could also ride trails when not commuting. They are all fun bikes in the appropriate places, easy to upgrade, and have an aftermarket. Beef the KLX subframe if loading it. The DR flies interstate nicely for a thumper.

If you don't ever want to ride trails with it, and buying new(er) doesn't really bother you, try a CB500X ABS or DL650 ABS for commuting.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:57 AM   #34
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Supermoto

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Originally Posted by IheartmyNx View Post
Or a KTM, EXC.
That one too, I just can't say bc ive never owned a KTM ( I want to tho, it's on my bucket list). But a Supermoto IMHO offers the best compromise. You can commute w sticky rubber, second set of wheels for dirt and even do some touring with the addition of a Giant Loop.
Who knows you may even b able to attach one rot of wind Protection. Acerbic makes a couple and you can find them at Cee Baileys

Oh yeah, forgot to mention the fun factor! These bikes are fun, why get a boring tool to make the ride to work monotonous? Someone also suggested Speed or Street Triple. I say yes.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:41 AM   #35
Mambo Dave
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corndog67 View Post
Check this out North Carolina. I used to commute from Monterey, CA to Santa Clara, CA 4 or 5 days a week, 72 miles one way, for several years. I didn't even own a car for a few of those years. Now, how important is speed when you are commuting? I'm asking this because of some of the choices in your list, the CBR250, and whatnot. I commuted on an SV650, a CBR1000F, and a Triumph 955 Daytona. The SV was cool. But the big bikes, got good gas mileage when cruising at steady state speeds, say 90 or 100 mph. The SV cruised real good about 80 or 90. I'm not sure the police presence where you are located, but there were none at the commute times when I was out there. SoI tended to roll pretty fast.

But one thing I noticed about riding big bores those long distances, was that they were very comfortable, and there was very little stress on the engine. Something to think about, maybe getting a used Z1000 or something of the sort with very low miles, For $5000, you can get all kinds of good stuff.
I used to do 40 miles each way, 95% of it a fast highway (so 80 to 90 MPH), and I agree with many parts of your post. The big bore bikes will be stressed less, and that does translate into less stress on the rider. Wind buffeting, rider position and everything else has to be considered when taking on commutes that long, that often (I did mine every single day of work for well over a year, so no cages even if the weather got so bad that cages were pulled off to the side of the road, or skipped getting on the highway altogether).

But the OP is riding two-lane, so I highly doubt his speeds will be as high as our average speeds were. Now I've done my 80-mile-a-day commute on my DR650 many a time (geared up for the highway), but I'd rather have had two cylinders even if they were the same cc's for all that riding.

Still, since he isn't doing the big speeds of big highways... a big bore bike probably isn't needed.

At the other end - what he's proposing with dual sports - the advantages of a single cylinder being so much lighter in case one drops it on the trails is a moot point for that many road miles.

----

Something else to consider, OP, is that if you've never done it before, planning to carry your work stuff in a back-pack is a teenager's, or once in a blue-moon commuter's, short-sighted plan for that many miles that often. You are always far better served by having a nice sized rear rack for goods (ideally wide and large enough for a laptop case to be tied down on it, plus groceries when you stop to pick some up), and in keeping your upper torso free. Some guys don't like dual-sports with racks, so it's something to consider.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:13 AM   #36
Al Goodwin
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I vote for the KLR....plus, you can buy a new one for under $6,000.....very good used ones in the $2500-$3500 range.

61,000 miles on mine and still doing fine.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:13 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by BigCanoe View Post
. My commute is 30 miles each way, on a 2 lane (each side) highway.
This reads to me like interstate or built-up state highway, not country road.
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:29 AM   #38
Mambo Dave
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Originally Posted by ph0rk View Post
This reads to me like interstate or built-up state highway, not country road.
I was mistaking the terrain of NC as something other than it is... you're right that he doesn't seem to live near the hills. May be pretty straight roads, but I bet the local police are strict enough that he won't be doing the true 80 to 90 MPH every day that some of us have. I'd probably still vote for a WeeStrom or, again, if there is some Sportster model that is actually comfortable to ride (but I've been reading that there isn't ... I just tire of the nuances of a chain when I could have a belt for commuting).
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:50 AM   #39
eatpasta
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I love hearing stories about those super high mileage bikes.... just makes me want to ride more

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Old 01-11-2013, 07:54 AM   #40
motorat
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also look at the guzzi v7.
looks like it would be a good do it all type bike.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:25 AM   #41
corndog67
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also look at the guzzi v7.
looks like it would be a good do it all type bike.
With 37 HP. Not enough (in my opinion).

And if you put a high quality chain and sprocket set, very little maintenance.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:43 AM   #42
dwoodward
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New, cheap, looks fun: Honda CB500X-ABS.

http://powersports.honda.com/2013/cb500x.aspx


The CB500F is $5999 with ABS, the CBR500R is $500 more; I'd expect this to be in the same ballpark.

Used, MORE fun, Sexy: Street Triple.

Huge following: Wee Strom.

Ride it to work today, Ride it to the other side of the country next week: Used ST13 or FJR. (I just sold an '04 FJR-ABS, 67k miles, $4500)
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:52 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by Mambo Dave View Post
I was mistaking the terrain of NC as something other than it is... you're right that he doesn't seem to live near the hills. May be pretty straight roads, but I bet the local police are strict enough that he won't be doing the true 80 to 90 MPH every day that some of us have. I'd probably still vote for a WeeStrom or, again, if there is some Sportster model that is actually comfortable to ride (but I've been reading that there isn't ... I just tire of the nuances of a chain when I could have a belt for commuting).
plenty of hills in the piedmont, where he is - I am just north of that lake near him.



in fact, he is probably riding on us1 and 64, exactly the built-up state highway I was thinking of. you can sing along at 75-80 on 64 all day if you want, and still get passed, at least until it devolves back into a windy state road. us1 is pretty similar until South Carolina.

I was trying not to just come right out and suggest a vstrom, but, well, vstrom.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:19 PM   #44
Toto
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I had a 2008 Wee ABS before I got my CBF1000.
The only reason I got the CBF was the price for old stock new 2009 was such a good deal.
Bought it June 2011.
Really the Wee is an EXCELLENT allrounder!
Needs a Madstat mount for the windshield..about a hundred bucks and maybe a taller windscreen.
When I bought the Wee the dealer was kind enough to swap a V1000 seat that is an inch taller as I am tall for free.
Got a good price on it also.
The Wee will never win any beauty contest, but it is just a great bike.
A great ,smooth and surprisingly flexible powerfull motor for a V twin 650.
There is a reason they have such a following.
You can find lots of info on the on the Stromtrooper forum.
Lots of great gals and guys on the forum also.
Lots of get up and go on the slab also...not a litre bike but much more then just acceptable...even with two up if you stir the shifter a bit....and reliable as can be.
The Wee is a sweety pie!
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:30 PM   #45
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When commuting you need to consider not only MPG but incremental and major maintenance costs as well. Things like insurance costs, oil changes, valve checks and tires will add up quickly and must all be considered. I used to commute on an '08 Versys. It was great, about 50 MPG, decent luggage options, decent running costs, etc. I rode it for about 25,000 miles in just under 2 years before moving on.

I now commute on a KLR, while not as good as the Versys in the power and spirted sense, it is better as a commuter in many many ways:

Tires are dirt cheap to buy and change (got spoons) and last forever!
Oil changes and filters are cheap
Valve checks are infrequent and take less than an hour to do.
Low tech means less to break or deal with
Longer range than a Versys and many other bikes
Insurance is stupid cheap for full cover, buy a cheap one and full cover is optional.
Aftermarket new and used is HUGE, making finding things like luggage and suspension bits cheap and easy
Expect about 50 MPG on a stock bike

Overall TOC for a KLR is pretty darn cheap, the up front cost is cheap and you can find a used one, fully commuter farkled out far cheaper than many other bikes. If it falls over, little to break and tons of aftermarket protection available. It is also less likely to be stolen than a lot of other bikes...and finally, you can ride it almost anywhere at any time.

Certainly the Strom and Versys are better bikes, but for a commuter when cost per mile is a consideration, and you consider ALL costs, such as upfront, running and maintenance costs, you would be hard pressed to beat a used KLR.

As for small thumpers, I tried to commute on my KLX250s with some Wolfman luggage, it was okay, but in the cold I wanted more wind protection and a bit more amps for heated gear, the KLR fit perfectly.
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