Commuting to work - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 83 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
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Commuting to work

Anyone here commute to work on their Vulcan? That was one of the reasons I wanted to get a bike and start riding. My 99 Chevy Silverado pickup gets terrible gas mileage.
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post #2 of 83 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 07:22 AM
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Last year my truck and my Jeep were having some maintenance issues at the same time.

I was having some trouble deciding what course of action I wanted to take.

Then, one morning on my way to work; a guy with grayer hair than mine passed me on the hwy; he was on a Ducati and had a huge grin on his face.

I made up my mind and started researching what bike to get.

I knew I wanted to commute on my bike; but I didn't know that my wife was going to enjoy riding as much as me.

Anyway, to sum it up:
I bought my 900 to commute. In the year that I had it; there were maybe six or seven days that I didn't ride to work.

I wouldn't expect low bills at the pump to translate to lower transportation costs though. Chrome costs $$$$!

Scott

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post #3 of 83 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 07:37 AM
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You will save money at the pump but you really do not save a lot or even any at all. Also how far do you drive. I ride my bike to work 75% of the time. (Just a guess between nasty rainy days and winter.) It actually cost me more to do that then it dose to not have a bike and just ride my 00 GMC 1500 Pickup. But I do not have a long trip to work. You will need to look at cost of insurance and upkeep of another vehicle, payment (if you finance) take that out of our potential gas savings and you will see what It will be. Also motorcycles use more tires and that brings up the "Darkside" conversation. (to Car tire, or not).

In short, I ride my bike to work because I WANT to not to SAVE money.

1985 Honda Nighthawk 650 (First Bike)
2004 Vulcan 1500 Classic (First Big Bike)
2007 Vulcan 1600 Meanstreak (Love Affair)
1999 Yamaha 1100 V-Star Custom (Right Price at the Time)
2008 V2K Classic (Favorite Vulcan)
2014 HD Ultra Limited (Bells and Whistles)
Who would have thought I would grow up to become "Spatially Educated" and play Connect-the-Dots for a living.
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post #4 of 83 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 07:42 AM
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I ride to work daily. The Vulcan 900 is a pretty good commuter. I get 50 MPG -vs- the 35-38 MPG I got from my 2009 ER6N. Tires last about twice as long as well. The downside is that it isn't as maneuverable through traffic, doesn't accelerate as fast, and doesn't stop as fast. My batwing fairing keeps me relatively warm and dry. And my Mutazu hard bags give me plenty of space to haul my lunch and extra gear I need to deal with mid 40's in the morning and 80's in the afternoon. I always had trouble finding space for that stuff on the ER6N.

I agree that you probably won't save any money if you buy a Vulcan for commuting, given the added expense of another vehicle, but if you are gonna get a bike anyway the extra MPG is a good justification to commute.

Last edited by Cyclesarge; 10-01-2012 at 07:47 AM.
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post #5 of 83 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 09:16 AM
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I still have my Honda Silver Wing that I was using for going to work. I actually ran a spreadsheet analysis to show how the bike would actually be "free" based upon savings from not driving my Ford F250. Now that my commute is much longer, I picked up the Vaquero. I haven't ran the spreadsheet again, but 40mpg is still much better than 18mpg, and diesel prices aren't coming down! I've had the Vaquero for close to two months now, only used the old lady's car twice to go to work - because she told me to. I ride until it gets to mid 30-degrees or there is ice/snow on the road. Tip of the hat to our northern riders, as I just can't deal with it then!
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post #6 of 83 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Bear View Post
I still have my Honda Silver Wing that I was using for going to work. I actually ran a spreadsheet analysis to show how the bike would actually be "free" based upon savings from not driving my Ford F250. Now that my commute is much longer, I picked up the Vaquero. I haven't ran the spreadsheet again, but 40mpg is still much better than 18mpg, and diesel prices aren't coming down! I've had the Vaquero for close to two months now, only used the old lady's car twice to go to work - because she told me to. I ride until it gets to mid 30-degrees or there is ice/snow on the road. Tip of the hat to our northern riders, as I just can't deal with it then!
I can see the distance you drive to work making a big difference. I can make it back and forth to work in my pickup for $60 a month and about $20 on the bike. (as I said I have a SHORT trip to work). Before my office moved (it actually moved to the same town I live in) I was driving around 110 miles round trip and I had an 04 1500 Chevy with the 5.3 V8 with 34" tires. I had my 1600 Mean Streak at the time and it saved a little (and I mean a just a little) then but I was also paying for the bike, Full Coverage Insurance (22 at the time so it was HIGH). Now that I had to sale out all of my toys, I have a truck that is paid for and that in its self saves more than getting a motorcycle to ride to work.

1985 Honda Nighthawk 650 (First Bike)
2004 Vulcan 1500 Classic (First Big Bike)
2007 Vulcan 1600 Meanstreak (Love Affair)
1999 Yamaha 1100 V-Star Custom (Right Price at the Time)
2008 V2K Classic (Favorite Vulcan)
2014 HD Ultra Limited (Bells and Whistles)
Who would have thought I would grow up to become "Spatially Educated" and play Connect-the-Dots for a living.
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post #7 of 83 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Bear View Post
I still have my Honda Silver Wing that I was using for going to work. I actually ran a spreadsheet analysis to show how the bike would actually be "free" based upon savings from not driving my Ford F250. Now that my commute is much longer, I picked up the Vaquero. I haven't ran the spreadsheet again, but 40mpg is still much better than 18mpg, and diesel prices aren't coming down! I've had the Vaquero for close to two months now, only used the old lady's car twice to go to work - because she told me to. I ride until it gets to mid 30-degrees or there is ice/snow on the road. Tip of the hat to our northern riders, as I just can't deal with it then!
I love spreadsheets! (man, I hate the way that sounds when I say it)

I Tallied one on my 900 before purchasing. It was going to take nearly 8 years to pay it off with fuel savings from my commute.

Of course, the variables change for the alternate transportation, distance to work, price of gas etc.

A couple of benefits that don't readily compute are reduced mileage on your alt vehicle and enjoyment/entertainment value.

Either way, if the overwhelming reason someone is considering a motorcycle purchase is for monetary savings; I would advise them to buy used car that gets good mileage.

Scott

2012 Voyager 1700 ---SOLD
Pearl Alpine White/Pearl Luster Beige
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post #8 of 83 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_in_TX View Post

Either way, if the overwhelming reason someone is considering a motorcycle purchase is for monetary savings; I would advise them to buy used car that gets good mileage.

Scott
That is a fact. But Evans, GA is I believe East of Atlanta on the SC border so this person is in an areas they should be able to ride for a larger portion of the year like you Ft. Worth Folks. To save on my vehicle expense I sold my Truck I still owed on and bought an 02 mustang for $2900. The girl that owned it said it would take 3K to fix and have it back on the road and could not afford to fix it so I check it out and all it needed was plugs, wires, coil pack, wheel bearing, and exhaust manifolds. ( all together I spend $800 on parts and done the work myself) and then I traded it even to the 00 GMC 1500 I still have. That saved me a $500 month truck payment + associated insurance cost compared to an older truck.

But you can't put a price on happiness. If you can get a bike and the savings will make the purchase of the bike and extra costs "Free" then I would jump on it. Not to save money but for the enjoyment.

1985 Honda Nighthawk 650 (First Bike)
2004 Vulcan 1500 Classic (First Big Bike)
2007 Vulcan 1600 Meanstreak (Love Affair)
1999 Yamaha 1100 V-Star Custom (Right Price at the Time)
2008 V2K Classic (Favorite Vulcan)
2014 HD Ultra Limited (Bells and Whistles)
Who would have thought I would grow up to become "Spatially Educated" and play Connect-the-Dots for a living.
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post #9 of 83 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 10:22 AM
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commuting

I commute on my bike, but it isn't very far. Plus, my TDI gets just as good mileage. So I don't save any money by commuting on the bike, just the opposite. On the other hand, my boat doesn't save me any money either.
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post #10 of 83 (permalink) Old 10-01-2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SWVA_08V2k View Post
That is a fact. But Evans, GA is I believe East of Atlanta on the SC border so this person is in an areas they should be able to ride for a larger portion of the year like you Ft. Worth Folks. To save on my vehicle expense I sold my Truck I still owed on and bought an 02 mustang for $2900. The girl that owned it said it would take 3K to fix and have it back on the road and could not afford to fix it so I check it out and all it needed was plugs, wires, coil pack, wheel bearing, and exhaust manifolds. ( all together I spend $800 on parts and done the work myself) and then I traded it even to the 00 GMC 1500 I still have. That saved me a $500 month truck payment + associated insurance cost compared to an older truck.

But you can't put a price on happiness. If you can get a bike and the savings will make the purchase of the bike and extra costs "Free" then I would jump on it. Not to save money but for the enjoyment.
I think it is possible to have a decent bike and a 'beater' car (or truck in TX), for about the same costs associated with keeping a newer vehicle.

But, when you start adding the extra expense of tires, gear, insurance and all the mods to make a bike your own; the costs really start to rise.

Your commute has to be pretty long for your fuel savings to cover it all and provide a return.

Scott

2012 Voyager 1700 ---SOLD
Pearl Alpine White/Pearl Luster Beige
Nice

2011 Rocket III Touring
Phantom Black
Naughty

2016 Indian Roadmaster
Thunder Black

There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do
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