Motorcycle for work?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by mcpenner, Jun 21, 2021.

  1. kvango

    kvango Been here awhile

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    Reality Check — :deal

    E0150C76-7B47-425C-BEC1-FC136AC13DE2.jpeg



    If you have a car for winter months —
    An S10 (had a 2012) is a good choice for a fair-weather ride. reliable and solid on the road. Seat and windscreen (might) need upgrading. Mileage not that great with luggage if traveling 80mph - 130 km/h.
    Kevin.
    #21
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  2. fastring

    fastring Been here awhile

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    NC7X0X or S10 or Vstrom.
    #22
  3. m.taylor

    m.taylor Adventurer

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    As much as I love my v strom, the fuel range kinda disqualifies it based on the criteria given. Range leaves a bit to be desired.
    #23
  4. Dirty bike

    Dirty bike EricV

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    The 2014-on bikes are smoother. They got upgraded clutch basket, anti-vibe bar risers and a host of smaller improvements, plus Cruise control and the option of ES suspension. Later, ('17?), went to all ES bikes. I put 109k on my '12, including riding the '13 IBR, and 46k on my '15. I can point you to a maker of flat bed fuel cells that will give you a big load platform on the back and 11+ gallons of fuel, so a 450+ mile range, or 725 km that you could push to 800 if need be.

    The aftermarket CC units work ok, the McCruise is expensive. You might as well get a later model with the improvements if you're going to be riding it as much as you suggest. You'll appreciate them. I did the clutch basket swap on my '12 and later custom suspension at 100k miles. The bikes easily go to 200k miles if you pay attention to the cam chain tensioner and replace it every 52k miles or so. After that, oil, tires and ride.

    The '14-on bikes also have more features integrated into the ECU and dash display, like a very broad control of the heated grip settings beyond just hi, med, low. You can set each level in increments of 10. Dual trip odo, plus the main odo on both bikes. The S10 does everything well w/o drama, but it's not over priced or sexy. :D
    #24
  5. steveeeg

    steveeeg Adventurer

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    Ive been using a nc750x manual for last 2 years
    50 miles to work mainly motorway average 80 mpg
    service every 8k
    really easy to work on
    Down side if its your only bike ( it was for me ) just not much fun to ride , great to work and back but did not want to ride for fun
    Just sold mine and buying a dl1050 ;)

    That wont do 80 mpg ...

    Cheers Steve
    #25
  6. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. My top choices so far are probably the Super Tenere and Goldwing.
    As has been observed I would only be able to use a motorcycle about 6 months of the year. The suggestion of a small car is well taken, but such a vehicle is not adequate for northern Alberta in the winter. I will be driving a mid size or large all wheel drive SUV with studded winter tiers.
    I have an older Goldwing and it is surprisingly competent of well graded gravel roads. I don't know if I would call such riding fun but I have no fear unless there is sand or mud. But in all reality I would be 90% plus on pavement.
    #26
  7. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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    Yup, that is my reality!
    #27
  8. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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    I do have a 1996 Wing that I would upgrade to a newer model if I were to choose this rout. And yes, the Wing is surprisingly capable on gravel as long it does not get sandy wet or rough.
    #28
  9. VeryBumpy

    VeryBumpy Been here awhile

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    I assume the Tenere (vs other adv bikes) due to the lower maintenance shaft drive?
    #29
  10. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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    shaft drive, cruise control, fuel range, bullet proof reputation, luggage capacity and for unexplained reasons it has always appealed to me since it first came out.
    #30
  11. CajunRider

    CajunRider Been here awhile

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    Don't know if you're looking at used, but how about the older sport tourers? These are starting to go for cheap in the used market.

    Honda ST1300, Yamaha FJR1300, Kawasaki Concourse 1400

    Bonus points on all 3 of these:
    - Good to great weather protection (especially when you feet can stay dry on wet roads)
    - Decent range on a tank of gas (if ridden reasonably)
    - Shaft drive (no oiling and adjusting chains)
    - Built in luggage and easy to add a trunk if more space is required
    - Known to go 100,000 PLUS miles without major issues (multiple reports of 200,000 plus mile examples)

    ** Edit: Unpaved roads are possible... so long as you take them at a reasonable pace...
    #31
  12. OCLandspeeder

    OCLandspeeder Been here awhile

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    This one 100%. Especially in Canada weather. If you lived in Southern California, USA (emphasis on "southern") where there is low precipitation, a motorcycle like the NC750X is a good bet. Even then, you will have to deal with really cold mornings with some moisture so you will need some kind of waterproof overpant and jacket, gloves and boots, and a set of shoes that you will need to change into. Also consider a bike that has tubeless tires. If you're going to ride that much, you WILL get a flat at the most inconvenient time. Tubeless tires mean it's much, much easier to fix at your office parking lot, during your lunch break or right before you leave from work. Get a flat with a tubed tire as the sun is setting, and it's drizzling outside, it is going to suck fixing that. VStrom's and NC750 has tubeless tires. As are a number of high end BMW's and KTM's.

    I've commuted on my bike to and from work for years now. In SoCal. It's doable. But when the weather is wet, it's miserable and you question your sanity (as do everyone else). A good economy car is the least expensive, lowest maintenance costs, and way more comfortable in ALL WEATHER, but it's not fun. I rode to work daily except when it rained. That's my cue to drive my pick up to work.
    #32
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  13. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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    Yes CajunRider these bikes are on my radar and I have never bought a new bike so used is most likely for me. There are a few reasons the sport tourer are not top of list for me. My legs tend to feel a little cramped on them. My back issues mean I like to stand for a while now and then and unweighted quickly for pot holes (upright like a kitchen chair). I like to take a gravel road now and then for change of pace and to see new things.
    #33
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  14. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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    I ride in anything 5C or warmer, any weather. I've got the gear. I'm not talking commuting here. If I get this job my office will be at home but I will be organizing conferences and meetings all over the province and traveling to and from said meetings when the occur.
    #34
  15. OCLandspeeder

    OCLandspeeder Been here awhile

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    Same applies if you're riding all over your province. If you've already got the gear for bad weather then you're well on your way. You just have to decide whether you want maximum reliability and ease of maintenance over the long run. Or you want more excitement and are willing to pay more for it. Like others have said already, the absolute best candidate for best reliability and lowest maintenance & cost of ownership bike is going to be the Honda NC750X. It was designed for doing exactly what you want to do. I would rate the VStrom 650/1050 as the next big step up in fun factor with equal reliability.

    But no motorcycle is going to be better than compact car.
    #35
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  16. Eatmore Mudd

    Eatmore Mudd Mischief on wheels.

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    When you drive through the woods in a car, you're in a car.

    When you ride through the woods on a bike, you're in the woods.
    #36
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  17. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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    I test road an NC700 (not x) when they first came out. There was a lot to like but I bought a CB500x for what I perceived as a little extra fun factor. The CB500x is great as a second bike. It's set up for back roads and dirt trails. My main long distance bike right now is a GL1500. It's getting a little old and would need an expensive seat and suspension upgrades and then it would still be to old for work duty. On a holiday trip it wouldn't bother me too much to break down but if I have to be at an appointment across the province I would not want to be worrying about such things.

    Before that, when I only had one motorcycle, it was a Vstrom 650. Pretty much a perfect bike for me if I could only have one (thought I would probably go for the 1000 now). I'm thinking Super Tenere because it kind of stands between the Vstrom and Goldwing with the shaft drive and all.

    I'd like to get a test drive on the NC750X if I can find a place that would let me drive it. The refinements since it first came out might be enough to win me over and the DCT would probably be nice. I'm sure it would be a good choice - as so many other motorcycles would be.
    #37
  18. OCLandspeeder

    OCLandspeeder Been here awhile

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    Ok so you definitely know your bikes.

    I got to try one of my friend's NC750X (manual and not the newest model 2021). I loved that bike for its absolute practicality. That compartment where our fuel tanks normally sit felt like a gamechanger. Just throw my stuff inside it and I'm free to walk around without anything to hold. Or maybe I want to pick up dinner on my way home and it was an impromptu decision. No problem. And the low revving motor felt like driving an ordinary car. It was always eager to pull ahead with little effort. I would imagine if it had a DCT it would increase that feeling of low effort even further, especially in urban traffic. Having the fuel tank under the seat could annoy if I had a tail bag strapped back there. So if I owned one for commuting I'd just get the narrow saddlebags. This would be my top choice. Shaft drive would be nice but not a deal breaker for me. Also, the NC is smaller than pictures and videos would have you believe. That compact size made it even more ideal in urban environments or lane sharing here in California. On the highway cruising at 85 mph it was effortless and quiet. It's a perfect motorcycle. Boring yes. Mainly due to low top end power and low rev ceiling, yet it can go fast enough. Would I buy one? LOL! Not at this time. But the newest model with the improved looks and performance is close to being on my want list as a second motorcycle.
    #38
  19. jmg343

    jmg343 Been here awhile

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    I bought a lightly used and well set up 2014 Super Tenere for the exact same reason/use as you described. Best move I ever made. I am loving every minute. I ride it no matter what the weather. Amazing machine that does all I ask of it and more. Definitely the right tool for the job.

    I bought it in May 2021 and have put about 5,000 miles on it so far.
    #39
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  20. mcpenner

    mcpenner mcpenner

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    It's not legal to lane split here and I almost never ride in the city. I don't think we even have anything someone form Cali would call a city? Our largest city is about 1 million tops.
    #40