A daily commuter bike

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by r1oors, Oct 4, 2019.

  1. r1oors

    r1oors Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    Oddometer:
    110
    Location:
    New England
    I've gone from being too near to work to bother getting a bike out (0.8 miles), to living 35 minutes away, 15 of it being on the freeway, 15 of it being a beautiful country ride.
    Because of my close proximity and no time for riding, my fleet consists of antiques, cruisers and small bores.
    So now im thinking a faired bike would be a suitable addition to the fleet. My experience with faired bikes includes a Triumph Trophy, an R100RS, a Concours, and an old school Kawi Voyager. These days I'm more tour than sport and I'd prefer more protection for the highway leg of my daily grind.
    Voyagers are bullet proof and comfy, but a bit more than i need. A Trophy can be had cheap.
    Any bikes in the <$5000 range i should consider?
    #1
  2. Fakenstein

    Fakenstein Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,081
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    nc700 with some highway pegs? DCT if you get stuck in traffic on the freeway.
    #2
    EZMoney and frog13 like this.
  3. Patek

    Patek Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1,000
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    I have a 17 mile commute and do it on a Superduke. I sold my previous S1000XR as it was overkill for my purposes.
    #3
    Miklos86, tanukkki and xrmattaz like this.
  4. TypeRated

    TypeRated Airborne Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    356
    Location:
    SW FL
    While they’re probably overkill, an FJR1300 or ST1300 would fit the bill nicely.
    I was recently shopping for something similar. Ended up going for a bit more sport than touring and got an FJ-09.
    #4
    Stasher1 likes this.
  5. 72 Yamaha RD350

    72 Yamaha RD350 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2017
    Oddometer:
    533
    I have a 20 mile commute that is 50/50 country roads and outer urban traffic. I do it on a Road King which I thought would be less than ideal but turns out that I almost always stretch the ride to 25 miles each way because it’s comfortable and fun. One should never be in a hurry to get to work no matter how much you love your job.
    #5
    frog13, AwDang and Billy52 like this.
  6. Tripped1

    Tripped1 Smoove, Smoove like velvet.

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    28,542
    Location:
    Nippon
    Any bike will commute as long as you can carry whatever you need to carry.


    I usually commute on a 1290 Super Duke R.....I only take the car when its raining or I need to shop for something.


    When I had a 90 mile commute I did it on a Speed Triple, gas was +4.00 a gallon and it was pay 270 bucks a week to take the truck or 50 bucks a week to take the bike. That is a lot of tires and chains.
    #6
    rd400racer, tankshooter and frog13 like this.
  7. Drop_Center

    Drop_Center Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Oddometer:
    4,222
    Location:
    Rocky Mountains
    Don't overlook a well set up lightweight naked. Clutching around lots of weight gets tiring and so does the heat. Versys 650, SV, 919 are all superb in the city and good enough on the slab with the right add-on's.
    #7
    Ginger Beard likes this.
  8. Mykola

    Mykola Stoked

    Joined:
    May 23, 2016
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Honolulu
    This will be heresy to many riders, but have you considered a large-bore scooter? A Burgman 400 or similar? If it's not a hard "no" for you for emotional reasons, it would be a good choice from the capable commuter standpoint.
    #8
    Jim K., RedDogElvis, MHaz01 and 6 others like this.
  9. dnrobertson

    dnrobertson Big Bike, Slow Rider

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,366
    Location:
    Frankston, Australia
    Perhaps consider a V-Strom 650 (or the new Yamaha T7 if you can get it.)

    They won't chew tires or brakes like bigger bikes, keeping running costs low

    Nice upright riding position for good visibility.

    Fit a Givi or similar top box to carry stuff.

    And bullet proof. Mines got 100K miles on it and has cost me an alternator and a fuel pump. (apart from normal consumables).
    #9
    Davidprej, ausfahrt and side-burn like this.
  10. r1oors

    r1oors Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2013
    Oddometer:
    110
    Location:
    New England
    Well, I was thinking more weather protection. I used a Concours for a DD and got quite used to the fairing. Concours can be had pretty cheaply and with shaft drive, they're pretty low maintenance, but top-heavy as I recall. I like the idea of an ST or FJR if i can find one cheap.
    #10
  11. Bruincounselor

    Bruincounselor North Plains Drifter Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,553
    K1200LT. Super cheap to buy and operate as long as you do the maintainence yourself.
    #11
  12. TypeRated

    TypeRated Airborne Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    356
    Location:
    SW FL
    @thinkingofone had a pretty nice ST1300 for sale in NYC for sub-$4k. Our trade didn’t work out, but it looked like it would make someone a good daily.
    #12
  13. Stasher1

    Stasher1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    513
    Location:
    Lilburn, GA
    I've been riding an ST1300 as a daily commuter for the past year with no real complaints. Surprisingly quick/nimble enough to handle navigating through bumper to bumper traffic, and heavy/smooth/powerful enough to comfortably handle freeway runs. Add a decent sized Givi trunk, and you can carry almost as much crap as a Honda Civic.
    #13
    ausfahrt likes this.
  14. OConnor

    OConnor Bad juju

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,249
    Location:
    Midwest
    You can get an EVO bagger in that range. A little more interesting than many of the ST-type bikes.
    #14
  15. Stasher1

    Stasher1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    513
    Location:
    Lilburn, GA

    How so? Not arguing, just curious.
    #15
  16. OConnor

    OConnor Bad juju

    Joined:
    May 22, 2004
    Oddometer:
    6,249
    Location:
    Midwest
    IMO the air-cooled V-twins are more interesting than the almost too smooth, overly dependable, appliance-like ST1300/FJR1300/etc . Unless reliability is all that matters and at that price-point the Japanese bikes will undoubtedly be more reliable. Again, my opinion.
    #16
  17. Stasher1

    Stasher1 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Oddometer:
    513
    Location:
    Lilburn, GA
    Fair enough.

    My ST1300 definitely doesn't "stir the soul" like some of the other bikes I've owned, but it's been dead nuts reliable...which is my primary consideration when looking at a commuter. But, to be fair, I haven't ridden for fun in many years and rarely even touch my bike on the weekends. It's just transportation.
    #17
    EZMoney and OConnor like this.
  18. cruise_carter

    cruise_carter Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Oddometer:
    52
    Location:
    Durham Region, Ontario
    ST1300’s with reasonable mileage and well maintained can generally be found at a real decent price.
    fast, reliable, comfortable

    I am looking for another bike for tooling around but my ST will always be with me.
    blistering fast on highway, easy to travel on slower roads.

    my 2 cents..
    #18
  19. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Oddometer:
    15,532
    Location:
    New(er) Mexico
    It's pretty hard to beat a maxi scooter for locking storage space, which is a big deal for a commuter machine. And they will be smaller and (mostly) lighter than sport touring bikes. Plus nobody wants to steal them; in fact nobody will give it a second look.
    #19
    BigIron and frog13 like this.
  20. Rippin209

    Rippin209 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
    Oddometer:
    2,959
    Location:
    Los Banos CA
    I've been commuting on my NC for 5 years now and went past 90,000 miles last month, I've replaced 1 battery and 2 temp sensors (1 water and 1 air) other then that it's only used consumables and comes with a Frunk additional aftermarket options are plentiful and DCT is an option loved by many download.jpg

    You can find them with low mileage and accessories for around $3,000
    #20
    Davidprej, ausfahrt, EZMoney and 2 others like this.