Bike for commuting?
August 21, 2008 at 5:34 am #1939WolfeheartParticipant
Hi, my name is Mario.
*I reffer to motorcycles as bikes, don’t know why… If you don’t like it… tuff*
I’ve ridden on a bike before as a passenger and I liked it while I was on vacation in Poland a few years ago. I have an interests in bikes from time to time and want to ask a question which I have not searched the forums for, and expect an answer anyway
I’m only 18 and I’m going to a college 27 miles away from my house everyday for five days a week. The route I’ll be taking is on an interstate road and a long bridge which travel from 65-80MPH and I was wondering if it would be “safe”, “economical” and “time saving”.
I’ll be going to school Monday – Friday,
8:35AM-11:35AM classes on M W and F/ 12:30AM – 4:45PM classes on T and TH
It takes a good 45 minutes (google maps says so…/ 45minutesx2waysx5days= 450minutes driving= 7.5 hours without traffic driving to my college per week) to get there if there is no traffic in my 1990 BMW, but my brother tells me because of my schedule I’ll be having traffic problems in the afternoons >.< (lucky me)
Would riding a bike to school reduce the time it takes for me to commute in traffic situations?
My BMW is like 4,000 LBS and I’m not afraid to get in a fender bender with that, but on a bike there is no fender bender on an 80MPH highway, it’s more like….. instant death (at least I think so)
The amount of motorcycle deaths keep rising and rising due to our falling economy and people like me who think it’s a good idea to get a bike to save money.
7.5 Hours of risking my life on a bike , all that adrenaline… is that even safe for a guy?
I’ve read somewhere that buying a bike, insuring it, buying gear, taking the MSF course, and paying for maintenance all add up and that its just not so practical to buy a bike to “save money on gas” hehe, it’s more like an excuse for bike lovers to get their wives to allow them to buy themselves a bike. I wish I had a geo metro lol…
All in all, Motorcycles are hot stuff and I’d like to have one, what else is hot is the Florida weather I’d have to deal with on a motorcycle… My parents are strongly agianst me getting a motorcycle, I understand them. The last thing I would like to do is to hurt my loved ones with the story of a kid who didn’t even get to live his life fully because he died in a motorcycle accident.
Thanks.August 21, 2008 at 6:46 am #10873megaspazParticipant
1. You’ll only save your commute time if you live in a state/country/wherever that allows lane sharing. If you don’t, your commute time will be the same as if you were in your car, provided you follow the law and don’t filter through traffic.
2. Being safe is all up to you. How you evaluate your current position, the environment, traffic and road conditions, and other vehicles around you. Even if you think you did everything right according to the law, what’s it gonna matter? You’ll still lose everytime against a cage. Fender benders, even on the highway, does not equal instant death either. Gearing up for a potential crash, for instance, can save your life. I’ve known people that have been in accidents with another vehicle on the highway, walk away from the wreck and come into work the same day, mainly because of the gear the wore… fully armored leather, helmet, gloves, boots, etc… Not to say you can’t die on the highway because you can, but you can stack the odds in your favor.
3. Bikes being more economical depends on a variety of factors. Can you save the cost of gas? Definately, if you ride the same routes that you’d drive. Bikes can be cheaper to buy compared to cars, but the maintainence on bikes are more frequent than with cars. Tires for instance have an average life of only about 5K miles. Me, personally, I haven’t saved on gas… I ride around too much and don’t take the direct route to work on my bike like I did when I was caging…
Look, there are risks to motorcycling. If you really are that scared of hurting your family, don’t do anything stupid and increase the odds in your favor if you do happen to get into a situation.
If there’s anything more important than my ego
around, I want it caught and shot now…August 21, 2008 at 12:41 pm #10879BuddParticipant
I would say riding a motorcycle takes longer. I have to change after I get to work and before I leave. I mean if I only wora a helmet and gloves, sure it wouldn’t take much time, but I wear a jacket, pants, boots, and ear protection (this can get shifted when putting on a helmet making it a pain in the butt).
You may save some money. It won’t be very noticable. If you can do your own work it adds up faster. It has costs that you don’t think about though. When I changed my oil, I had to buy a torque wrench to tighten the drain plug to spec. No rider stays happy with a stock bike for long. They always want to make little modifications. These add up quick.
“I am the best there is at what I do, and what I do ain’t nice.”-WolverineAugust 22, 2008 at 2:29 am #10936fotobitsParticipant
Unless you have a really long commute, the time it takes to put on your riding gear and take it off more than negates th time you’ll save being able to cut through traffic faster, even if you can split lanes. And, as megaspaz said, bikes need more maintenance than cars, especially tires. I also find that what I save in gas (not much with a five-mile commute) I more than lose when I go riding on weekends or take the long way home from work.
Luckily, my wife loves motorcycles and encouraged me to buy one last month.August 22, 2008 at 4:16 pm #10966BenParticipant
I agree with megaspaz.
1. You only save time if you can lanesplit, and I believe california and texas are the only states where it is legal.
2. Motorcycles are dangerous. 95% of riders that ride for 20 years have crashed at least once (that was a study, but I can’t remember where from).
3. I’m of the opinion that motorcycle cost the same, or are even more expensive than cars. The only caveat to that is if you were to get a pre 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250, or maybe a Ninja 500/gs500. Those bikes can all my purchased used for less than $3,000 and they get such good gas mileage that you continue to save even though they go through tires/consumables a lot quicker than a car.
Modern 600cc sportbikes are NOT more economical unless you don’t buy any gear and you don’t take any safety courses. Even then it is borderline. That is just my opinon though, and I own a ZX6R and I started on a GS500.
~Best Beginner Motorcycles AdminAugust 23, 2008 at 5:30 am #11008megaspazParticipant
Yeh… the saving gas part’s a funny thing… The 7 mile route to work’s just so boring… The 50 mile route’s just so much more interesting…
m/ >.< m/ —
If there’s anything more important than my ego
around, I want it caught and shot now…August 23, 2008 at 11:07 pm #11037
personally i think you’ve got a wonderful idea there. almost perfect in fact.
get yourself a geo metroAugust 24, 2008 at 1:01 am #11044MunchParticipant
Well the gas savings are in my favor… my commute is 36 miles one way my cage is a 99 Monte Carlo gets about 28 mpg…. 24 if theres a good song on the radio. Using $4 a gallon as an example it costs me $48 to fill up, and I get around 225-250 miles to the tank. Now my Vulcan… 4gallon tank but I only use the 3 cause well…. I am a chicken to trust the reserve., get about 150-165 miles to the tank on the Vulcan… again with music varies. So thats $12 against $48 …but we will add another $12 to push 2 fill ups to the one in the Monte…. $24 for 300 miles vs. $48 for 250 ( with a tail wind and bad music)…. DING DING …WE HAVE A WINNER!!
I am more fortunate though in the maintenance area, I work for a tire company and get serious discounts when I need tires and the maintenance, well after I use up the program through the dealer, Being a auto mechanic I can just get the manuals and knock it out myself .
And accessories…. well lets just say lesson learned from my Jeeping days. (Just Empty Every Pocket , is more a warning then joke)August 30, 2008 at 2:34 am #11414WolfeheartParticipant
I drove for my first full week of college; It’s a lot better than I’d expect. I’ve been able to get there in less than 45 minutes on some days, but that is because I use the left lane which everyone is going about 10MPH faster than the posted speed limit. I thought I would hate commuting, but I actually like it. Driving is nice, but not when I had to stop at a gas station after only 4 days of driving back and fourth to refill the car for 60 dollars (16 Gallons). At this rate It will cost me around 1,000 dollars a semester to commute for gas, which is better than 10,000 living+food expenses at college. I spend my morning drives listening to audio lessons on Korean language and when driving home I listen to music to pass the time.
I just can’t wait for that financial aid money truck to be backing up onto my front door. [beep][beep][beep] –stole the quote from a movie–
Thanks for all your answers. Especially the geo metro one even though it was not informational.August 30, 2008 at 4:01 am #11424BuddParticipant
“I am the best there is at what I do, and what I do ain’t nice.”-WolverineAugust 31, 2008 at 5:53 pm #11476
heh yeah well…it seems you really thought most of it through anyway
seriously though, if it’s a gas issue, and the beemer’s paid off then i’d suggest trading it in and getting a good used civic or metro or focus or the like. you hit it on the head that the “gas” excuse is just an excuse used by people who want to ride to convince their SO to let them ride. it’s more dangerous than driving a car, it takes a lot more training and practice to keep from wrecking it, and it’s arguably MUCH more fun I’m not going to say that you shouldn’t or couldn’t get a bike for commuting, but for what you seem to be looking for it doesn’t seem like the ideal choice. for point A to point B basic transportation you’d likely be better off in a small subcompact, and save the bike for weekends I view riding like I view all my hobbies/passions and really take the work mentality in reverse. Live to Ride, not Ride to Live (though I’d like to have the option of riding to work rather than driving, still I’d not replace the cage for day to day hassle.August 31, 2008 at 5:59 pm #11477
sadly my job requires a cargo van so I’ll never really be able to switch to a bike. but still, my jeep gets around 17ish highway so it’d take a LOT of maintenance on the 250 I plan on getting (estimated 70+mpg) before it’s “as expensive” course I can’t connect a trailer that’ll haul a ton to the back of a V-Star 250 and even with saddlebags I doubt it’ll be too useful for a big grocery run…fortunately the GF understands that the saving on gas is an excuse rather than reality
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