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      05-30-2019, 10:51 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by mfindigital View Post
The bikes I'm looking at are the KTM Duke 390 (seems to be the favorite of this group by a mile), BMW G 310 R, and the Honda CB500F. All are about 4-5k in newish (or very new in the ktm and bmw) condition.

Does anyone have experience with any of these bikes? Can they be comfortable enough for a 40 minute ride? I'm leaning towards the bmw, because, well, bmw. But I don't want to regret the decision immediately.

This isn't about fun, it's about saving 5 hours a week of my life. Any info greatly appreciated!
I would find it hard to find fault with any of those choices. All solid bikes and great for a novice. As others have said the KTM is a bit compact. I'm 5'11 and found it a little awkward and cramped but totally do-able. But then again I often ride the wife's Honda Monkey so I guess I'm dialed in for small bikes.

I see folks saying you need a bigger bike with more power. That's BS. Any of those bikes has more than enough power to get you into serious trouble if that's your inclination. Ride all 3 back to back and see which one resonates with you. All 3 are quality choices.

Oh, and for the lane splitting debate, man, do what you want but you wouldn't catch me doing it in any traffic that isn't at a dead stop.
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      05-31-2019, 02:33 AM   #24
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in last 3 years stopping myself to get one of these.. though most of the people are not recommending as the first bike.. but after talking a lot of riders i completely understood that equipment is waaay too important and the mindset of riding a bike.. 2 wheels less only but in the end going from A to B is totally different with bikes.. good luck..

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      05-31-2019, 02:53 AM   #25
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To add to the list of bikes, I like the KLR650: it is cheap, tall, upright position, nimble, and it can also do fire roads and gravel for week-end fun and exploration, definitely a plus in cali. Also it is designed so that it does not break expensive crap when you drop it.
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      05-31-2019, 05:34 AM   #26
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Like someone already mentioned, I would go for the big scooter no doubt about it. Comfortable, with loads of space for stuff under the seat and powerful enough.

BMW C 400 X:

https://www.bmwmotorcycles.com/en/mo...of-the-c-400-x

Yamaha XMAX:

https://www.yamahamotorsports.com/scooter/models/xmax
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      05-31-2019, 08:04 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiza View Post
I can only comment on the Honda CB500F as it is the only one on your list that I have owned. It is a fantastic starter bike and as comfortable as that style of bike can be. Unfortunately that's all it really is, a starter bike. I owned it for only 6 months before trading it in for something with a bit more power. If you are trying to stay around that price range I think it will serve you well. If you want a bike that is the same style and is going to keep you satisfied long-term I would recommend one from the list below.


Harley Sportster Roadster
Ducati Monster
Ducati Streetfighter(this was the last bike I owned and absolutely loved it)
Indian Scout Bobber
BMW R9T
BMW S1000R(not the RR)
Triumph speed
Suzuki SV650
You really want to recommend bikes like the Duc Monster, Streetfighter, 100+ hp super bikes to a guy who says hes just a novice, wants a bike solely to deal with traffic, not looking to be a fast rider? Bikes like that are for very experienced riders looking to ride aggressively and double duty on the track.
Even your other choices are highly questionable and potentially very dangerous for a novice looking for basic 2 wheel transportation.
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      05-31-2019, 08:55 AM   #28
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I would look into public transportation or leaving California before I would take up motorcycling, but I have been riding a motorcycle for over 50 years. While it is true that motorcycles are dangerous, risk can be managed. However, commuting on a motorcycle is not fun due to weather, and expense. Owning and caring for a motorcycle is not cheap even with 75 MG little bikes.

If you only want to ride it to and from work, get a little Vespa or something to keep costs down.
I didn't agree with the part in "The Wind Breezes" post about needing "track time" to learn how to handle a motorcycle. I think one can learn to handle a motorcycle over time on the street, it's just more complicated with traffic.

But I like your post because it is spot on. My 1520cc scooter gets just about 35 MPG, count tire wear and maintenance, and it costs more per mile than my E90.
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      05-31-2019, 08:57 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by N54Yankee View Post
You really want to recommend bikes like the Duc Monster, Streetfighter, 100+ hp super bikes to a guy who says hes just a novice, wants a bike solely to deal with traffic, not looking to be a fast rider? Bikes like that are for very experienced riders looking to ride aggressively and double duty on the track.
Even your other choices are highly questionable and potentially very dangerous for a novice looking for basic 2 wheel transportation.
Well, he could get the Sportster and shake paint cans to and from work for extra money
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      05-31-2019, 09:00 AM   #30
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OP, if your commute is just 17 miles, go buy a Zero electric motorcycle, they have a few different models. That's the best choice. Fast recharge time, no engine maintenance. No vibration. Probably a tax incentive too in California.
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      05-31-2019, 09:04 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N54Yankee View Post
You really want to recommend bikes like the Duc Monster, Streetfighter, 100+ hp super bikes to a guy who says he’s just a novice, wants a bike solely to deal with traffic, not looking to be a fast rider? Bikes like that are for very experienced riders looking to ride aggressively and double duty on the track.
Even your other choices are highly questionable and potentially very dangerous for a novice looking for basic 2 wheel transportation.
If I wanted to recommend a super bike I tell him to get a Panigale. A monster 696 or a 848 streetfighter are hardly superbikes.
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      05-31-2019, 09:26 AM   #32
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Quote:
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If I wanted to recommend a super bike I tell him to get a Panigale. A monster 696 or a 848 streetfighter are hardly superbikes.
Yeah, Italian made, expensive, hot sport bikes made for exp street riders/ racing with 80hp and 130hp respectively are wonderful choices for a novice just looking to commute not ripping up the streets. Great choices, Well done.

OP, the words Monster and Streetfighter are red flags for what you’re looking for and I’m sure you know that already, ALMOST everyone can see that
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      05-31-2019, 10:10 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by DETRoadster View Post
You get to ride in the HOV lane.

Not sure about Cali but here in WA it's the whole reason I commute on a bike. 45 minutes home in the car vs. 10 on the bike. All because of the carpool lane. Added bonus, I get to ride through the swing-up arms at the parking garage downtown and park for free. So, about 45 minutes shaved off the commute to and from work and $16 saves in parking. Love it!
if HOV would save the OP the time he's suggesting, then this is maybe a good idea...although like others have suggested, he needs a lot of seat time before undertaking his first commute.

if he needs to engage lane-splitting mode to save that time...then NFW!

youve got a kid at home. i rode dirt from the time i was about 8 up through my early 20s. the first time i took a buddy's bike on the road, i was scared $h!tless by the inattentive drivers...that killed any remote thought i had of getting a road bike.
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      05-31-2019, 10:16 AM   #34
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I didn't see any Yamaha motorcycles thrown out for consideration, but the MT-07 (formerly the FZ-07) gets really good reviews.

https://www.cycleworld.com/yamaha-mt...one-says-it-is
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      05-31-2019, 10:33 AM   #35
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The only thing I would be concerned about with an electric motorcycle is the behavior of the throttle. Someone just learning and potential instant 100% of the torque from an electric motor can result in disaster.
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      05-31-2019, 11:34 AM   #36
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Wow, so much great info in here. I would definitely take several courses, I'm not the impulsive type, pretty clinical in my approach to life (thanks ocd). So many great suggestions here that I may actually be more confused than before, but some of these bikes look like great option.

I'm an athletically built 6'1 (175lbs) so sounds like these smaller bikes might not be the best option. I love the look of these naked bikes, the FZ-07 is sharp.

I'm going to take a licensing class this summer and see how I feel after that. I'd take a more advanced course before purchasing a bike.

Funny story, I went to Berts Mega Mall to get some info on pricing and styles, the salesperson (who's last name is ironically "Cage") still tried selling me a bike after I told him I'm unlicensed. I reminded him of that fact, his response "You need a license to ride, but not a license to buy!". Pretty great salesperson, maybe not the best regular person.

At this point it's really down to leaving a job that I absolutely love or getting a 2 wheeler. As stated, there are plenty of streets I can ride home and still save about 30 min I'd guess, I wouldn't be on the freeway lane splitting for a long time. Part of me wants to start on a 125cc scooter and take the streets for a few months to get used to handling something on two wheels.
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      05-31-2019, 11:49 AM   #37
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You might want to get a small used bike to get some practice on first, then after 6 months or so, upgrade to a newer more powerful bike. That way, if you drop it there is less consequence. With the smaller used beginner bikes, you can often sell them for about what you paid for them if you do your research before buying and are patient and wait for a good deal.

And I hope you are planning on wearing protective gear. Asphalt hurts, or so I've been told, and youtube videos confirm - knock on wood because I have been riding for over 15 years (I have a 2002 Yamaha FZ-1 with ~65,000 miles).
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      05-31-2019, 11:53 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by arkie6 View Post
You might want to get a small used bike to get some practice on first, then after 6 months or so, upgrade to a newer more powerful bike. That way, if you drop it there is less consequence. With the smaller used beginner bikes, you can often sell them for about what you paid for them if you do your research before buying and are patient and wait for a good deal.

And I hope you are planning on wearing protective gear. Asphalt hurts, or so I've been told, and youtube videos confirm - knock on wood because I have been riding for over 15 years (I have a 2002 Yamaha FZ-1 with ~65,000 miles).
What smaller used beginner bikes would you recommend? No looking for sport bikes with full fairings, I like them naked hehe.
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      05-31-2019, 11:59 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfindigital View Post
I'm going to take a licensing class this summer and see how I feel after that. I'd take a more advanced course before purchasing a bike.

Part of me wants to start on a 125cc scooter and take the streets for a few months to get used to handling something on two wheels.
Both of these are excellent ideas.

Pick up a used Kawasaki Z125 or Honda Grom to thrash around on for a while and learn the fundamentals of how not to die at the inattentiveness of others.

Had a guy about 100 feet ahead of me swing off to the right side of the road like he was pulling over to park or take a phone call, only to whip a U-Turn right in front of me without looking last night. Then, on the way back from that ride I had a lady on the freeway who was literally right next to me (like, I'm even with her driver's side window, not in her blind spot) change lanes into my lane with no pause, no glance out her window, nothing. Luckily I was riding in the far left side of my lane. All of a sudden there we are, side by side sharing my lane. WTF. I laid on the horn and made eye contact. She threw her hands up like "F you, you are at fault." Insane how bad some drivers are.
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      05-31-2019, 12:00 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfindigital View Post
Wow, so much great info in here. I would definitely take several courses, I'm not the impulsive type, pretty clinical in my approach to life (thanks ocd). So many great suggestions here that I may actually be more confused than before, but some of these bikes look like great option.

I'm an athletically built 6'1 (175lbs) so sounds like these smaller bikes might not be the best option. I love the look of these naked bikes, the FZ-07 is sharp.

I'm going to take a licensing class this summer and see how I feel after that. I'd take a more advanced course before purchasing a bike.

Funny story, I went to Berts Mega Mall to get some info on pricing and styles, the salesperson (who's last name is ironically "Cage") still tried selling me a bike after I told him I'm unlicensed. I reminded him of that fact, his response "You need a license to ride, but not a license to buy!". Pretty great salesperson, maybe not the best regular person.

At this point it's really down to leaving a job that I absolutely love or getting a 2 wheeler. As stated, there are plenty of streets I can ride home and still save about 30 min I'd guess, I wouldn't be on the freeway lane splitting for a long time. Part of me wants to start on a 125cc scooter and take the streets for a few months to get used to handling something on two wheels.
i think it's tough to project how you're going to feel riding in heavy traffic until you actually do it. if nothing else, get the license and take some advanced courses. buy yourself an inexpensive starter bike with NO intentions of taking it on the freeway until you've logged 20-30 hours in the seat riding through local traffic.

at a minimum you'll check the box and learn a new skill. if your confidence grows to the point that you're actually enjoying it, then make the investment in a freeway capable commuter.
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      05-31-2019, 12:02 PM   #41
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      05-31-2019, 12:27 PM   #42
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Personally think it's nuts, the time saved will be minimal and you will be white knuckle all the way so you don't get killed.
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      05-31-2019, 12:41 PM   #43
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      05-31-2019, 12:48 PM   #44
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Personally think it's nuts, the time saved will be minimal and you will be white knuckle all the way so you don't get killed.
The time saved is HUGE.

When I was riding every day, I could literally stay in bed an extra hour, if not more.

In my case, parking was also an issue for cars, if I got to school after 7:00am there was simply no parking. I would have to be on the road by 6:15am, on the bike I could leave at 7:15 or 7:30, street parking for motorcycles was plentiful.
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