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Old 03-16-2012, 07:01 AM   #1
Bigchuckie
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Liter bike for commuting

I'm new here and want to introduce myself befor I ask a STUPID question.... I'm chuck and I am am planning on purchasing a bike for commuting between League City and Deer Park.... Yes I know the gulf freeway is a deathwish from the start. I rode dirt bikes as a kid but have little street experience. Soooo I know the difference in a clutch and brake but not much about the street except for 25 years in a cage. Having said that, I'm not going to buy a bike and start commuting the next day. As previously stated, the main purpose is commuting. I work about 300 days a year so it is a gas saver at 50mi. Per day. That's not to say that I won't put my wife on back and cruise to Galveston or the hill country. If I were buying a "pleasure" bike, I would get a Road King but have decided on a sport bike for a few reasons. (right or worng). The reasons are good braking, acceleration, light weight, and very maneuverable. I started out looking at a YZF600r (not R6) with 6000 mi. For $3500. As I looked around, I found several bike is this range... R6, CBR600RR, F4i, and several different ninja's. Then the "BAD" thing happened.... I ran across a 954RR, 1000RR, &R1 in same range. EVERYTHING I have read, says a 1000 is a death wish and that the RR & R6 is pushing my luck. Now.... What makes me "think I'm different"..... I'm 40 years old, have NO intention of going 150mph....EVER, don't even care about flying though corners. Now... "some" of the "bad stuff" about the 1000's is appealing to me, like great acceleration on the low end... In ANY gear. I'm sure the braking is phenomenal as well. However, what I don't want is a bike so responsive that if I flinch to miss a piece of rubber in the road I go across three lanes of traffic instead of one. Or if I hit the gas to vet out of someone's way the end comes out from under me. I di want something that I can cruise 75-80mph on 25mi. Each way every day. Lastly, right or wrong, I'm NOT interested in EX500's, bandits etc.
I apologize for the long thread and on a subject that has been beat to death.... But I do think my situation may be a little "different". Thank you in advance for any help you may provide!
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:04 AM   #2
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The bike will do what you ask it to do. Ask it to kill you and it will. Play right and you will be fine. There is little room for error on any sport bike
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:05 AM   #3
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If it's for commuting then I'd stay away from SS bikes. Not comfortable at all.

Go with an SV for great mileage, cost, comfort, and reliability.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:07 AM   #4
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The brakes on a litre aren't going to be significantly better than on a 600. In fact, a lot of times they're completely identical.

A 1000 WILL come out from under you if you whack the throttle too hard.

Even a 600 will do 150mph.


If the primary purpose is commuting there is very little advantage a 1000 has over a 600. Yes its nice to be able to whack the throttle in whatever gear you're currently in and scoot out of trouble, but you can regear a 600 to give you roughly the same effective with less risk of looping the bike.


When you say you don't want an EX500 or a Bandit...does that mean you don't want a naked bike at all? Cuz I'm going to be honest with you, legit full-faired supersport bikes are uncomfortable. I, personally, wouldn't choose to be folded in half for 50 miles 5 days a week sitting on a wooden plank. For a commuter I'd probably get something like an aprilia tuono.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:10 AM   #5
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You could look into a Full Fairing SV650... Looks good and has more than enough power for what you are asking and has a torque and power curve shape closer to a cruiser. The power rolls on smooth and even even if you make a mistake it is very forgiving and is very maneuverable. It makes a great commuting bike. I realize you aren't interested in Ninja 250s, 500s or bandits... but maybe you should look into a Ninja 650. Very similar to the SV and priced reasonably. Also something to consider is the Ninja and the SV have a much more upright riding position so it will be much more comfortable than most of the SS for commuting.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:10 AM   #6
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Both the CBR600RR and 1000RR have electronic steering dampers which makes the steering stiffer the faster you go so they're very ride-able. I've commuted on both and one is just as good as the other. The 600 has plenty of power.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:19 AM   #7
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IMO a 1000 is a better commuter. Torque is good.

It's all in the right hand and what's between your ears though. Mainly the latter.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:19 AM   #8
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apologies if i come across as overly rude...been up all night working.

Sounds like a mid-life crisis/ thing... 'sport' bike, not ideal for commuting. 600 can 'cruise' @ 75-80mph as easily as any litre bike, and get better mpg.

Quote:
However, what I don't want is a bike so responsive that if I flinch to miss a piece of rubber in the road I go across three lanes of traffic instead of one. Or if I hit the gas to vet out of someone's way the end comes out from under me.
Realisticly is going to be a possible issue with either a 600 or 1k bike having limited exp.

Look @ the SV (non sport verson), the Fz6 or comparable models. More upright seating, designed with better low/mid-range than the SS's, better mpg (and insurance rates to boot).
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:27 AM   #9
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What about the sport touring bikes? Ninja 1000, Suzuki GSX1250FA, BMW K1300S, Yamaha FZ1, Honda VFR1200F

I got to ride a Ninja 1000 at the demo day and I loved it.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:28 AM   #10
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sport bike and commuting not a good combo IMO....but you maybe different than I am when it comes to comfort... and I do not commute on a bike anymore...don't like city riding...when I want to be comfortable and maybe take the wife, I take out the road king... when I want to play it is the sport bike... unless it is dirt then I take one of the dirt bikes... so to me each bike has its purpose and i just do not see the purpose of a sport bike as being commuting... good luck and have fun no matter what you choose...
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:32 AM   #11
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LC to Deer Park isn't far. Its gonna be a sprint rather than a commute.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:41 AM   #12
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if gas mileage is your main goal, an SV-650 will get you 55-65 mpg all day long and it big enough to stay up with any traffic but not so big and powerful and twitchy it will get you into trouble like a 600 or 1000 cc true sport bike. And that V-twin engine is cool.

I had a SV-650S for two years and it was great fun to ride.

BTW - I'm a little older than you and have been riding uh, longer than you have been alive, if that helps any.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:43 AM   #13
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Sounds like a mid-life crisis/ thing........ MAYBE...
More like, tired of spending $400/mo. on gas.... That's likely to turn into $500!!!
Many of the bikes mentioned sound like a good idea... Haven't seen many of them for sale on CL.... But I haven't "looked" for them either....sooooo I will.... Thanks for all the help and keep it up!
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:44 AM   #14
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I commute 50 miles a day on my 954. I love the lower RPM on the highway, I am comfy, no issues. I used to commute my GS500, barely enough power, sloppy brakes, and handling. It was decent commuter. My wife's FZ6R is an awesome commuter. Perfect amount of power, good brakes, good handling. Awesome mpg. My only gripe is the short gearing. 7000-8000RPM in normal flow of traffic. I ride my 954 3 days a week and the FZ 2 days a week. I took my 954 today. I love riding that thing. You can commute a literbike. No sweat.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigchuckie View Post
Sounds like a mid-life crisis/ thing........ MAYBE...
More like, tired of spending $400/mo. on gas.... That's likely to turn into $500!!!
Many of the bikes mentioned sound like a good idea... Haven't seen many of them for sale on CL.... But I haven't "looked" for them either....sooooo I will.... Thanks for all the help and keep it up!
I have an SV for sale... good condition... may wanna get a different map on the Power Commander. If you aren't interested no hard feelings just a suggestion. Good luck with your new bike!
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:49 AM   #16
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:50 AM   #17
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I prefer the torque of the litre bikes for commuting, I like not having to downshift into 5th to pass quickly. I figure a 1000 can always go the same speed a 600 and at the end of the day the bike only goes as fast as you tell it to.

I should also mention I commute on a KLR650 instead of my Aprilia 1200 because it's way more practical than any sport bike. I get close to 50mpg and have a pelican case on the rack that I can fit 3 grocery bags in. It's not pretty, its practical.
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:50 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigchuckie View Post
Sounds like a mid-life crisis/ thing........ MAYBE...
More like, tired of spending $400/mo. on gas.... That's likely to turn into $500!!!
Many of the bikes mentioned sound like a good idea... Haven't seen many of them for sale on CL.... But I haven't "looked" for them either....sooooo I will.... Thanks for all the help and keep it up!
I have been keeping an eye on CL as well but it's slim pickings right now because the weather has been perfect haha
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:51 AM   #19
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Stating the obvious, you do not NEED a liter bike for what you are trying to do (commuting), the 600s will give you more than enough acceleration and good braking that you want.

Now, the "maneuverable" part.... Doing a u-turn for example will prove not to be as easy on a sportbike at first until you get used to how to lean the bike, instead of trying to turn it.

Just test ride as many bikes as you are allowed to, both sport and others, and see for yourself what seems the most appealing to you, according to your needs and preference.


As for the wife, do not get too surprised if she starts complaining the sportbike is not comfortable for her, cause for most passengers it is not. Some like it, some don't. Just because you can add an aftermarket rear seat does not mean that these bikes were made for 2-up joyrides, unlike other bikes on the market.

Good luck with your purchase
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:52 AM   #20
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Liter bikes are good for torque and scooting through traffic easier, but sport bikes are not going to be comfy for commuting or for taking your wife to the Hill Country, especially for her. The gas mileage also isn't that great. Like has been said, it sounds like maybe a sport touring bike would be a better option, such as the Bandit you already ruled out or a FZ1/Ninja 1000.
And do you really think you won't be tempted to wrap that throttle a few times and see what she'll do? And will you have the experience to get out of an "oh " situation should it suddenly arise? Be safe out there.
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