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Old 02-22-2008, 02:55 AM   #21
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For your sanity, you will want a bigger bike for the freeway runs. A 600cc won't last long strung out at 6500rpm all day. Typical wear on bikes is: tires (5000-10,000 miles), chains (10-20,000 miles), oil (4,000 miles), and suspension (20k miles), steering head bearings (50k), batteries (2 yrs). It's not as cheap as it seems to ride a bike.
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Old 02-22-2008, 07:26 AM   #22
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A 600 will last a pretty long time. Metalurgy has gone a long way. Better get more than two years on a battery. We get longer on the race bikes, if they are kept that long before new models come out, and they get overcharged a lot.
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Old 02-23-2008, 06:50 AM   #23
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Honda 600

I have a friend with a 1999 Honda 600 with over 145k on it. Besides normal maintenence items, the engine has never been opened. He rides pretty conservatively and is anal about upkeep.
It can be done.

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Old 02-25-2008, 09:33 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sludgy View Post
It was always a shock to me how often the motor oil needs to be changed on a motorcycle.

Honda recommends changing the oil and filter in my XR650L every 600 miles. I use Mobil 1, and change it every 1000 miles, but still, that's a lot more often than any car. I have 13K miles on the bike and the engine is still tight.
I'm not a motorcycle owner but I have a theory about the frequent oil change recommendation. A very high percentage of motorcycles take a much longer time to reach 600 miles than any car would. That's just simply because in the past bikes were mostly a recreational/weekend vehicle.

With that said, oil needs to be changed after a certain time period regardless of how many miles are on it. I'm thinking that most bikes take about the same amount of time to reach 600 miles as most cars take to reach 3500 miles. One other thought is bikes tend to have a small oil capacity, so the oil that in it gets cycled throughout the engine a lot more times during that 600 miles. It's been said that oil has to be changed every 4 months whether or not you drive the car- I don't know how true that really is or if it's really necessary.

In my opinion I'd look at the oil each week and pay attention to the color and consistency as you progress up to 600 miles. If it's only a few weeks old and still looks clean, then keep using it until it starts turning darker, especially if it's synthetic.
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Old 02-25-2008, 01:53 PM   #25
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What about a Ninja 250? They get like 90 mpg when regeared for mpg. The engines are supposed to last 40-60K without problem....
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Old 02-25-2008, 06:52 PM   #26
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Wow, every 600 miles? My old Honda CX500 owners manual says to change the oil every 7,500 miles. It holds 3.5 quarts and has a filter.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by gto78 View Post
I'm not a motorcycle owner but I have a theory about the frequent oil change recommendation. A very high percentage of motorcycles take a much longer time to reach 600 miles than any car would. That's just simply because in the past bikes were mostly a recreational/weekend vehicle.

With that said, oil needs to be changed after a certain time period regardless of how many miles are on it. I'm thinking that most bikes take about the same amount of time to reach 600 miles as most cars take to reach 3500 miles. One other thought is bikes tend to have a small oil capacity, so the oil that in it gets cycled throughout the engine a lot more times during that 600 miles. It's been said that oil has to be changed every 4 months whether or not you drive the car- I don't know how true that really is or if it's really necessary.

In my opinion I'd look at the oil each week and pay attention to the color and consistency as you progress up to 600 miles. If it's only a few weeks old and still looks clean, then keep using it until it starts turning darker, especially if it's synthetic.
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:10 PM   #27
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Every 600 miles means he would be changing the oil ONCE A WEEK. Fillups every day or every other day plus weekly oil changes would get OLD.

The posters who say that leaning over the bike for 140 miles every day will get old really fast are RIGHT.

Get yourself a nice touring bike that will support your back, or get yourself a vehicle that will take the diamond lane. Certain parts of CA you can buy an EZ-Pass or similar that will let you in the diamond lane no matter what, but at a cost.

"Sharing the lane" means you will basically be passing other traffic in-lane when moving and they are slower than you. Remember - most drivers do NOT look out for motorcyclists and the results can be DEVASTATING.

As a California transplant to WV - I can tell you it's much easier to move closer if you can at all. Turning a 70 mile commute into a 20 mile commute will work better over the long haul.

Getting a vehicle like a Prius or similar (depends on your area) may qualify you for the HOV lane just like a motorcycle, and will get you there in better comfort and nearly the same time, but with MUCH greater safety.

Don't forget that when it rains - motorcycles can become deadly to drive.

Having lived in Sacramento, Bay Area, San Diego and Los Angeles areas, bad weather days are significantly worse for motorcyclists than they are for car drivers. If this is about shortening your commute, moving closer and still driving a vehicle can work much better. 70 miles is a LONG way any place in CA. And I know - I used to commute between Los Angeles and San Diego.

I moved.

And then I moved out of state and life is so much less stressful, but I digress.
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:20 AM   #28
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Change the oil every 3k. It's an inline 4 cyl it will last well over 50k miles if taken care of.

Take a look at the Ninja 650r for commuting it's a 2cyl gets better mpg then the FZ6 has more mid range torque and the valves only need adjusted every 26k miles. For my next motorcycle I am going with the FZ6 or 650r just sit on both and see what you like better.
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:30 PM   #29
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Luckily my parents bought a house in the 80's in California when it was expensive but not inflated like today. For most people, it's gotten untenable to pay an extra $200k for a house in CA just to live closer to work. I was born and raised in CA, trust me, it's not as easy as it sounds to just move closer to work.

Anyway, I'm looking into a Harley Sportster 883 as both a great platform for a kustom bike (which is what I like to do) as well as a fuel-efficient commuter. These can get upwards of 60mpg with decent midrange torque. I wouldn't characterize these bikes as overly comfortable - they're rather short and a bit tall with a riding position more like a standard than a cruiser - but are probably more comfortable for a 140 mile ride than an FZ. Plus, most of them run narrower tires than sportbikes, so the tires will tend to be more affordable. I don't know how long the engines last, but at 60mph they're only chugging away at ~2800rpm, so it should last a decent while. As a side bonus, if/when you rebuild, it's the simplest thing in the world to slap a 1200cc kit from Harley on there and be riding around on a 1200cc bike for the insurance cost of an 883cc
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Old 03-12-2008, 02:41 PM   #30
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OK, I had a 2001 FZ600R...same bike...and I could consistently get 44mpg in everyday driving/riding (no hypermiling techniques). I did change to a DID chain and a 13 front sprocket (I believe the stock was 14...I went down a tooth) to make the bike accelerate smoother and get a bit better mileage. I did a pipe and carb rejetting also. Anyway, the engines are great and you should get plenty of mileage out of one...I didn't go thur tires like butter either. The 600R has more torque than the R6...but a bit less HP...the extra torque was the FE help IMO.

Any bike is going to get you some good FE numbers if you ride accordingly. Replacing TWO tires is cheaper than FOUR. Oil changes were not every 600 miles...more like 3,000 miles. If you go synthetic, probably 5,000 miles. Some of the reasoning above is wack. Buy what makes you happy and increases your overall mileage.

Think about some of the other "scooter" out there...there are 500cc with full front fairing and comfortable seats and luggage space (that is what you will be looking for in a very short time).
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