The case for motorcycles. Why not use one? - Page 6 - Fuelly Forums

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Old 12-18-2007, 06:26 PM   #51
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Heres a good read:
http://www.craigvetter.com/pages/Mot...reamliner.html

this little comfy looking bike is on my todo list (long term todo list):
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:32 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by beatr911 View Post
As of this writing 6 of the top ten on this site are motorcycles or scooters. It's no surprise that these are very efficient forms of basic transportation, witness thier widespread use in developing countries where fuel is a large expense.

For most commuting requirements they fit the bill very nicely. They are reliable, cheap to buy, cheap to own, easy to fix and augment owning a vehicle with carrying capacity well.

So a question to the forum participants: Who ISN'T using one that would like to, and what's keeping you from buying one?
Create a national speed limit of 30 mph, and it would be cool!!
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:12 PM   #53
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The case for motorcycles? If you're looking for fuel economy and esp. for low operation costs, FORGET IT.

If you want cheap, get an Escort Wagon 5spd.

Here's why bikes aren't a great value, IMHO: their mileage isn't all that great, they're more expensive to operate than a cheap car, and they' dangerous. One at a time:

MPG: few get much more than 40-45mpg, unless you're looking at sub-600 bikes. Even really efficient bikes - KLR650, 500 twins, big singles - don't get much past mid-fifties. My Escort gets regular mid-30s, over 40 if I try - and has A/C, roof, stereo, HEATER, and room for me to carry my treestand, rifle, boots, AND 120lb 8-pointer (with seats folded down).

TIRES: Bike tires are steep; tires for performance bikes are very steep - 150-200 bucks, every 5K miles if you've a torquey litre bike. Less if you ride it hard. More with harder touring tires. I go around 20K miles on my Escort before spending that much on tires.

Maint items: tunups expensive. Chain expensive at 20K miles (prob good bit less). Cycle oil is expensive, and should be changed often.

The Escort timing belt failed (actually water pump) but no valves dinged (non interference) and it wasn't that hard. replacing the heater core was a *****, though - but IT HAD A HEATER! Now, it is true that a Kawasaki Concours has a heater for you knees and lower legs, but usually you notice it when you don't want it.

I spend 950$ on a 109K Escort wagon which has been a GREAT vehicle, a far better value than a bike. What can you get for that price in bikes? Maybe an old UGM air-cooled four, but all the above will apply if it's a big one. My streetbike list, from 1978 through around 2000:

1976 KZ400
1977 RD400
1979 GS750E
1981 GS850G
1983 GS1100E (most fun, by far)
1983 GS1100G

Lastly, but hugely important - much as I loved to ride, it is dangerous. As I got older, got a little more conscious of that. After 25 years on streetbikes, and many years since crash... I was getting antsy. Had a couple close calls - one with preg wife on back - and just re-thought is. I'm bikeless, now.

I still troll Ebay of a pristine GS650G - but for efficiency and low cost, a cheap, well-chosen car is better. For fun - whoohooo - get a Bandit 1200 or something like that.

Now, if you compare bikes cost to cars with corresponding speed/performance levels... well, cycle start lookin' a whole lot better!
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:37 PM   #54
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In the real world, bikes faired for optimum FE will get you killed, period.

If you have never ridden and are considering purchasing some sort of motorcycle and modifying it do us all (and your mama) a favor and ride it as-manufactured for about 20,000 miles minimum, rain or shine, summer and winter.

Feel your butt pucker a few times as your stock, unfaired wheels blow out from under you in a good winter crosswind before you consider covering half or more of their relatively aerodynamically-transparent wheels with something solid.

If you're still alive and up for a giggle after that, strap a 4'x8' sheet of plywood to both sides of your bike and repeat the experiment.

I'm not saying there isn't room for improvement but there are a lot of well-documented dead guys who've already tried some of the ideas presented here. Do your homework.
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Old 02-11-2008, 11:51 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by beatr911 View Post
So a question to the forum participants: Who ISN'T using one that would like to, and what's keeping you from buying one?
Me, and money.
The fuel economy can be better or worse. My present four wheel cages are better than all but a few handful of the gyro balanced vehicles I've owned. The 450 cc and under bikes were barely better on mpg, but weren't comfortable for long trips. The liter plus ones worked well on long (10 hr+) trips but the small fuel tanks mean a lot of stops even at 40+ mpg.
Cold wasn't a problem, but sand and re-freezing run-off were. I'd leave my bikes registered all year and would ride whenever the roads were clear, regardless of air temperature. It was just a matter of dressing accordingly.
The car for which I sold my last 1500 Gold Wing is presently up for sale. I'll use the money for another bike, but whether a small 250 or under street single for commuting, a similarly sized scooter, or another liter (or more) sized tourer, I haven't decided.
but no more RD400's for me. I can handle the GL1500's power and torque, but that Yama-screamer was too much.
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Old 02-14-2008, 06:03 PM   #56
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my crx is alot more safe than a motorcycle,i'll never drive one. Maybe a dirt bike.
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Old 02-15-2008, 01:41 AM   #57
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Only thing stopping me is money. I'm going to buy a bike soon.

I just took the safety program in renton/kent, which I highly recommend, and I want a bike now no matter what. There so fun, I don't care about the danger. plus there's LOTS you can do as a ride to be more safe.
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:07 PM   #58
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There so fun, I don't care about the danger. plus there's LOTS you can do as a ride to be more safe.
All true.
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Old 02-17-2008, 04:50 PM   #59
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I own a 96 Nissan that only has 82,000 miles on it because I also own an 88 Harley and 2 bicycles. If it weren't for the fact that my HD has been down for over a year, and I took a 4000 mile road trip when I transferred this spring, the truck would have a lot fewer miles on it. The bike has never gone below 41 mpg or above 52 mpg but I hope to improve on that with a new cam, top end rebuild and new rear pulley. I should be able to buy parts to keep that thing running forever based on what you can still buy out of a catalog for Harleys, which will drive the cost per mile way down.

As far as safety goes, no matter what you ride or drive the highways are dangerous. Invest in a MSF course to start with and then after a few years take the Advanced Rider course. It has made me a much safer rider and driver. If I had to buy a bike today, and another Harley was ruled out, I'd go for something like a KLR 650 or DR 650. Simple, reliable single cylinders that get great mileage and can be rebuilt over and over. I've got a friend that commutes on a Honda Rebel (close to 70 mpg) and another on a Suzuki Dr650(mid 60s), both in CA, and they keep laughing at what I am paying for gas and what kind of mileage my truck gets. I use a lot of 4WD here in Michigan because of the snow!
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