Is this smart? - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-07-2011, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Is this smart?

Buying a bike to commute to work. I live about 50 miles from work and I bought a 93 vulcan en500 to get back and forth from work. This would save me about 200$ a month on gas and since I live in FL, I can ride pretty much all year long. I paid 1000$ for the bike and another 200$ for the helmets and riding kits. I have also registered for basic riders training course.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 01:03 AM
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every day on a bike is a good day

Get all the safety gear you can afford and DO THE RIDER COURSES .. Take you time and stay safe

Ian
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 07:14 AM
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You ask if this is smart. My thoughts are that it depends greatly upon you, as to whether or not it is smart.

Generally, the daily commute is the most dangerous time. You have to be on top of your game, every day, riding in that kind of traffic. You also have to be prepared for rain, especially if your work clothing, footwear, is important with respect to your appearance on the job. But, even if appearance isn't important, it's not fun to work in wet shoes and clothing all day.

I commuted off and on, for several years. Most of the time, I enjoyed it, but there were times I regretted it. I was fortunate in that I never had a crash, but I did have a number of close calls over those years. It's hard to be on the top of your game, every day, day in and day out. All of my close calls were due to my slacking off in defensive riding, IOW, not being on the top of my game.

I had to carry my work clothing and shoes and change in a bathroom at work. That got to be annoying at times.

2010 Vulcan 900 Classic LT
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 07:27 AM
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psnmb, commuting to work on a bike may seem to be cost saver. saving a few dollars on gas, you would think adds up. in the end it does not. there are small commuter cars that cost equal sometimes less than a bike that get equivalent mileage.
(example: 010 hundai w/10yr-100k mile warranty loaded for <10k otd. 37mpg.)

Cost of maintenance, tires, brakes, insurance, gear, wear n tear on a bike is far more costly than a small car. Total cost savings are just not there.

then of course there is all the safety issues of driving among cars w/drivers engaged in other activities. Your additional attention to them and anxiety because of them does have a wear n tear cost on your physical well being. If you manage to stay alive.

Riding everday has its perks. I did when it seemed practical. Too many close calls (see above) I reconsidered this activity and quit it. I only ride now for pleasure.. still most everyday. wait till after the commuters go home. 7-9pm.

I know many will take exception to this posting and even turn up the flames as they are daily commuters and are hardened(sharpened?) against all the odds. That thier ride jones outweighs the risk and cost.

Its not you thats gonna get you killed, its all those others out there not paying attention. once upon a time, you had to be most aware of anybody-thing in front of you. Now you are most vunerable from the rear as many drivers are engaged in cell phones, texting, eating, dressing and a host of other activities.

ok, but its a lot like playing russian roulette w/5 rounds in 6 shooter.. think about it, there are people who need you (fambly). dont let them down. and out, ponch




not another boring list of mods;
14 guzzi v14, 14 Injun chieftain v18, 13 guzzi v7, 12 hardley 48
07 kaw v2k, 07 guzzi v11, 07 yam v17, 07 96ci 'lectraglide
06 88ci superglide, 05 hardley 883, 05 yam v17
04 zooki sv1k, 03 guzzi v11, 02 kaw v15
01 Honda 750, 00 hardley 883, 84 Honda v7 supermagna, 99 hardley 883
92 zooki v8 sport, 88 zooki 650 thumper, 84 Honda 500 thumper
80 Honda 360t, 78 Honda cb500f, 75 Honda cb750f
73 Honda cb500f, 73 Yam TX750 blow up bike, 72 Honda cb350t

Last edited by Poncho Villa; 02-08-2011 at 07:33 AM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info. I am seriously considering not to do bike commute to work. After listening from you guys and also talking with some people around. I guess its not worth it. I might sell the bike I have or just keep it. I paid 1200 for it and another 200 for helmet and Jackets.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 10:35 AM
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If you intend for the bike to be your only source of transportation, i'd say no, it's not smart.

If it's an addition to a car or truck, sure.

I wouldn't head right out with it and do the commute though. Spend some time riding it for a while building road skills and learning the bike and how it handles. You MUST be much more aware in your driving skills than in a car, but the experience of being on the road on two wheels outweighs the hazards (IMO) or i wouldn't do it myself.

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"Not all those who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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The won't be my only mode of transportation. I have a car and I can wear jeans and T shirt to work. I leave at 5:30AM and sometimes at 3:30 AM to work. I also have a truck at work which I can ride back home if it rains. But I don't know if saving 200$ gas is worth risking your life.
I might just try to ride this around my area and see how it feels.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 10:56 AM
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Dude. With all due respect, you're risking your life getting out of bed every day. Life is all about balancing risks with rewards. You have to make your own mind up.

Since you already have the bike and you're already scheduled for the class, wait until you've taken the class and spent a little time on your bike before making your commuting decision.

Keep the Shiny Side Up!
'09 900 Custom SE on the Darkside
"Not all those who wander are lost." J.R.R. Tolkien
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 11:18 AM
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I'm not flaming, but I don't get the 'maintenance is more expensive than a little car' line. Insurance, Brakes, Tires, general maintenance for a bike will more often than not be LESS than that for a small econo-box car. Yes, tires are expensive, but still less than a set of four. If you use synthetic oil, it is still a bit more for a car. Brakes are cheap for a bike compared to a car. Insurance, there is no comparison as I'd hate to see what a car policy would be that would cost me $100/yr.
In then end it is about the level of risk you are willing to accept. I commute about 30 miles to work on my bike when I can. If rain is in the forecast I take my car. But it is nice on my bike because I have more scenic routes I can take home when I've had a stressful day as a great way to unwind.
The most important thing is to make sure you have appropriate gear. $200 doesn't seem like the appropriate amount to cover helmet, jacket, gloves, boots, and pants. There's a saying when riding, ATGATT (All the gear, all the time). It is even more true when you're driving in traffic. A helmet is great, but if you're wearing your 'work' clothes and nothing else when you crash your bike or have some non-attentive driver cut you off your head will be fine but you're body will be in pain from the road rash.

So, it's up to you, but don't let maintenance costs scare you. If you've already got a car, it is a great alternative on nice days with the benefits of saving a bit of jing on the gas. (My bike gets 50MPG, my car gets 17MPG, so ya can save some money).

Jason
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-08-2011, 12:57 PM
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yup, this is why I won't commute on a bike.. and its all of 1 mile.
seeing too much of this these days. bet that lady was pre occupied with some distraction. yes, keep one eye in the front and one in the rearview mirror and the other two to the sides.


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not another boring list of mods;
14 guzzi v14, 14 Injun chieftain v18, 13 guzzi v7, 12 hardley 48
07 kaw v2k, 07 guzzi v11, 07 yam v17, 07 96ci 'lectraglide
06 88ci superglide, 05 hardley 883, 05 yam v17
04 zooki sv1k, 03 guzzi v11, 02 kaw v15
01 Honda 750, 00 hardley 883, 84 Honda v7 supermagna, 99 hardley 883
92 zooki v8 sport, 88 zooki 650 thumper, 84 Honda 500 thumper
80 Honda 360t, 78 Honda cb500f, 75 Honda cb750f
73 Honda cb500f, 73 Yam TX750 blow up bike, 72 Honda cb350t
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