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      05-31-2019, 12:56 PM   #45
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OP - as someone who commuted 15 miles to and from work in Los Angeles (405 only) for over a year straight on a motorcycle (CBR600RR), please take a few things into consideration, regardless of the bike you choose. Although I would suggest something along the lines of a Yamaha FZ 07.

One - taking a motorcycle safety course is important. Not just for the technical learning, but will also really tell you if you're even comfortable riding.

Two - relative speed. On the highway, I do not like lane splitting slowly. As others have pointed out, drivers will do any and everything, including jumping out of the HOV on double yellows, and without warning. Hence getting by them more quickly. Once you're past, ride at the speed you're comfortable. But I'd suggest spending as little time in their blind spots as possible.

Three - you must ride with the intent of going down. The saying of "those who have, and those who will" exists for a reason. Being mentally prepared for the worst will make sure you're as ready as you can be when/if that un-fun moment comes.

Four (and last) - Use earplugs or headphones to keep your mind engaged on your singular task. Personally, I must listen to music while riding to keep the chatter in my mind quiet.

I enjoyed having gone motorcycle only for the time that I did it, but it does have its trade-offs. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a message.

Last edited by gcb821; 05-31-2019 at 01:15 PM..
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      05-31-2019, 12:58 PM   #46
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I didn't read all the comments word for word basically skimmed the entire thread so forgive me if someone has already stated this.

OP, you stated that you have no interest driving erratically and the only intention is to save time, you are married with a toddler and want to be safe. Then you don't need a motorcycle. I've always wanted a bike but personally do not ride for one simple reason, I know my own personality all too well and enjoy breathing. By no means am I against motorcycles, damn near everyone in my family and most of my friends ride. What I will say is to prioritize your life. What is more important, coming home to your wife and son everyday or saving time. You have to realize that no matter how safe you are, that only covers 50%, the other drivers make up the other 50%.

I'm not trying to be a negative Nancy here but seriously weigh all your options and decide what is most important to you. If you wife and son are important, sacrifice your time to make it home safely. This, as will all things in life, is a catch 22. Choose wisely. My father rode from the time he was 16. He was hit head on by a drunk driver trying to shorten out a curve. The guy was so drunk he didn't even realize that he my father as was trying to start his car to drive away when the ambulance and police showed up.
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      05-31-2019, 02:40 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelr View Post
Lol my first street bike was the then new 96 gsxr 750....you'll shoot your eye out kid!
lol my first time riding was on my brothers cbr600 f4i. He was out of the country and I had zero experience on motorcycles. Got a 5 minutes lesson in my cul-de-sac from my friend. Did 120 on the highway the next day.

hung it up after that lol. I would kill myself if I owned one.
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      05-31-2019, 08:31 PM   #48
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If you like the nekked bikes, like the other poster stated up above, the MT07 is a fantastic bike. I just picked up the MT09 about 2 months ago. It is such a fun bike to commute on. The low down torque is perfect for moving in and out of traffic. Most will tell you an MT07 or a MT09 are not a good beginners bike, but Im in a different state of mind with bikes. Your maturity and right hand control the bike. Beginner or not, you can kill yourself just as easily on a pedal bike as you can a motorcycle.
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      05-31-2019, 09:15 PM   #49
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This might sound odd but if the average speed is under 20 mph and there good shoulders via surface streets I might look at an electric bicycle.
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      05-31-2019, 11:53 PM   #50
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I gave up riding my Ducati since people are waaaaaaayyyyyyy too distracted these days. There isnít a day nowadays that an oncoming car doesnít cross the center line as the driver is texting. I loved riding but couldnít wait to get rid of it. My wife and son appreciate it.....
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      06-01-2019, 06:10 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humdizzle View Post
lol my first time riding was on my brothers cbr600 f4i. He was out of the country and I had zero experience on motorcycles. Got a 5 minutes lesson in my cul-de-sac from my friend. Did 120 on the highway the next day.

hung it up after that lol. I would kill myself if I owned one.
Smart move. You're what we call a "squid".
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      06-01-2019, 06:26 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by zx10guy View Post
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.
I think the Zero S has an app that can program the performance, but I'm not sure that means throttle tip-in or not; it does allow custom limiting of torque. It's top speed is just 98 MPH, its pretty light-weight at 330 pounds, and there is no transmission, which makes it a lot easier to learn to ride, so the OP could better concentrate on learning traffic.

That was my thought.
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Last edited by Efthreeoh; 06-01-2019 at 07:15 AM..
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      06-01-2019, 09:36 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
Smart move. You're what we call a "squid".
Yeah, think you have that wrong. Iím a very accomplished rider. Squid means: Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, Ignorant and Dangerous, certainly not me.
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      06-01-2019, 09:55 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Sy1616 View Post
Yeah, think you have that wrong. Iím a very accomplished rider. Squid means: Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, Ignorant and Dangerous, certainly not me.
Umm....he didn't quote your post. It was the below he was addressing....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Humdizzle View Post
lol my first time riding was on my brothers cbr600 f4i. He was out of the country and I had zero experience on motorcycles. Got a 5 minutes lesson in my cul-de-sac from my friend. Did 120 on the highway the next day.

hung it up after that lol. I would kill myself if I owned one.
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      06-02-2019, 06:40 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sy1616 View Post
Yeah, think you have that wrong. I’m a very accomplished rider. Squid means: Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, Ignorant and Dangerous, certainly not me.
zx10guy beat me to it, but just for the record I'm not sure what you are talking about. I was addressing Humdizzle. He exemplifies a statistical majority of motorcycle deaths in the US: a young, unlicensed, inexperienced, exuberant male, who takes out a motorcycle and goes 120 MPH on the road and goes "splat". Good on him realizing his limitation before becoming a statistic.
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A manual transmission can be set to "comfort", "sport", and "track" modes simply by the technique and speed at which you shift it; it doesn't need "modes", modes are for manumatics that try to behave like a real 3-pedal manual transmission. If you can money-shift it, it's a manual transmission.

Last edited by Efthreeoh; 06-02-2019 at 09:56 AM..
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      06-02-2019, 07:11 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sy1616 View Post
I gave up riding my Ducati since people are waaaaaaayyyyyyy too distracted these days. There isn’t a day nowadays that an oncoming car doesn’t cross the center line as the driver is texting. I loved riding but couldn’t wait to get rid of it. My wife and son appreciate it.....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sy1616 View Post
Yeah, think you have that wrong. I’m a very accomplished rider. Squid means: Stupidly Quick, Underdressed, Ignorant and Dangerous, certainly not me.
But to your comment, I've been riding street for 36 years in the Washington DC and Mid-Atlantic region, and riding dirt bikes since I was 13. While drivers have the potential to be more distracted these days with cell phones, I really don't see why that changes how a motorcyclist approaches riding in traffic. The object of the game is to place your position based on a constant scan and profiling of the traffic around you. Profile each car by determining if the driver has the mirrors positioned properly, age, race, and gender of the driver, time of day, the condition of the car, and observing how the driver reacts to traffic surrounding him. The more you ride the better and quicker you get at profiling the traffic around you. You get to the point where it is a subconscious activity. Adding a cell phone in the mix just adds to the profile status IMO.

I don't get to ride as much as I did in my 20's through 40's because my lifestyle is different now. But early on in my street riding days I commuted to college almost everyday, year round, on my Yamaha 650 Seca on the DC beltway. I live in a rural area now, and what I mostly worry about are bears, cows, and deer. I'll take a human on a cell phone driving a cage any day of the week over deer. I split two young deer not three miles from my house back about 20 months ago now; just missed the ass of the first one, and the second one stopped just enough where her head glanced off my right fork (and bent the horn on the crashbar). And I was on a section of road in my 'hood where I've had countless run-ins with deer (and two contacts in cars - one in my E90 with the only damage was a broken angel eye ring), so I was fully watching and prepared for an encounter. Here's the evidence; note the little left jiggle of the skidmark at the end. No car has ever given me a pucker factor like this
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A manual transmission can be set to "comfort", "sport", and "track" modes simply by the technique and speed at which you shift it; it doesn't need "modes", modes are for manumatics that try to behave like a real 3-pedal manual transmission. If you can money-shift it, it's a manual transmission.

Last edited by Efthreeoh; 06-02-2019 at 09:53 AM..
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      06-02-2019, 08:55 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by mfindigital View Post
Thanks everyone.

My motivation is purely to save time. I have no interest in going fast, racing on a track, carving canyons, any of that. Not only do I not have interest, but no matter how fun those things may be, I will never ride this bike in a sporty or fast fashion. I'll keep my track time to my car where I'm nice and safe.

My average speed home is about 13mph in my 135i. Traffic is very, very, very slow on the 10 East in the afternoon. My only interest is something light, easy to maneuver, comfortable enough to do 30-ish miles a day, and reliable enough to handle that drive. It will never be ridden over 50-ish mph since there is no area along my commute that I would ever feel comfortable doing that in.

Hi, I think everyone already has mentioned all they need to, I haven't read every single post yet. The bikes you listed are great for beginners and BMW definitely makes some solid touring bikes (i.e. BMW GS1200 known for one of the top).



Gear: Invest on some that money can buy (or you can afford) because you are vulnerable--can't get around that.


MSF: Motorcycle Safety Foundation has great courses to teach you from how a motorcycle works, to riding one and getting your license. I recommend this for also more advanced courses.


Track Time: You may think that riding from A to B and vice versa is all you're going to do, but I always ALWAYS recommend newcomers to riding to practice their skills. Contrary to the belief that more seat time equals more experience and better riding skills; well I have to say that couldn't be further from the truth.


You need to practice your turns, object avoidance maneuvers, emergency stops, etc. often if you want to be better at riding. Don't expect seat time to be your buddy on this. Accidents that happen often are people who are not looking ahead and people who can't control their bikes to maneuver out of a bad situation. I really recommend you hit the track sometime in your riding years to really dig this home.



I frequently hit up the canyons and twisties to improve on my motorcycle riding skills for this reason alone: safety. Understand your bike. (not really, its fun too hehe)


Last but not LEAST: You need to youtube or look up Keith Code's Twist of the Wrist Vol. 2. It breaks down all the myths that fellow riders are gonna try to tell you and help you understand how riding works. Vol. 1 is a book, and just as good.



Anyways, good luck and if you decide to get a bike, ride safe.
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      06-02-2019, 09:44 AM   #58
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If your commute doesn't include highway I would just get scooter, though American driver absolutely not used to motorcycle zipping around (say vs Asia), so still dangerous but at least it would be in relative low speed
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      06-02-2019, 10:02 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joooiiiiii View Post
Hi, I think everyone already has mentioned all they need to, I haven't read every single post yet. The bikes you listed are great for beginners and BMW definitely makes some solid touring bikes (i.e. BMW GS1200 known for one of the top).



Gear: Invest on some that money can buy (or you can afford) because you are vulnerable--can't get around that.


MSF: Motorcycle Safety Foundation has great courses to teach you from how a motorcycle works, to riding one and getting your license. I recommend this for also more advanced courses.


Track Time: You may think that riding from A to B and vice versa is all you're going to do, but I always ALWAYS recommend newcomers to riding to practice their skills. Contrary to the belief that more seat time equals more experience and better riding skills; well I have to say that couldn't be further from the truth.


You need to practice your turns, object avoidance maneuvers, emergency stops, etc. often if you want to be better at riding. Don't expect seat time to be your buddy on this. Accidents that happen often are people who are not looking ahead and people who can't control their bikes to maneuver out of a bad situation. I really recommend you hit the track sometime in your riding years to really dig this home.



I frequently hit up the canyons and twisties to improve on my motorcycle riding skills for this reason alone: safety. Understand your bike. (not really, its fun too hehe)


Last but not LEAST: You need to youtube or look up Keith Code's Twist of the Wrist Vol. 2. It breaks down all the myths that fellow riders are gonna try to tell you and help you understand how riding works. Vol. 1 is a book, and just as good.



Anyways, good luck and if you decide to get a bike, ride safe.
I agree with all this, but think a good substitute for track time is riding a dirt bike on the trails. Lots of obstacles to learn to avoid, no traffic, and constantly changing grip levels at much lower speeds, with softer landings (if necessary). All leads to greatly increasing one's level of bike control.
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      06-02-2019, 12:12 PM   #60
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OP - as a husband and father I would strongly advise against buying a motorcycle. It's is simply not a risk worth taking. I'm sure you will see plenty of "I have been riding my whole life with no issues" comments or "as long as you are a safe rider you will be fine" but those anecdotes don't lessen the risk of serious injury or death at all.

I commute in rush hour every day as well and the number of terrible/distracted drivers out there is crazy. You are much more likely to go home to your wife and kids after experiencing an automobile accident than you would be if you were riding a motorcycle.
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      06-02-2019, 02:24 PM   #61
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The reality for motorcycles is that, for significant time savings in traffic, you need to be taking on large amounts of risk that are actually much higher than things that people traditionally think are risky (like going fast on backroad twisties), and which are really only mitigated by being a very attentive and experienced rider.

As a beginner this will take years to achieve, and even then, as others have mentioned, you will need to be white-knuckle attentive at all times during your commute just to avoid hazards that would kill a beginner, and even then there are unavoidable hazards. I think you'll find the stress isn't worth the 20 extra minutes you save.

"I want to spend less time in traffic" is, overall, a flawed motivation for starting to ride.
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      06-02-2019, 02:36 PM   #62
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Op, all these husbands, fathers and 'significant time saver large risk taking people' opinion givers aren't riders. MSF will teach you that most accidents occur while turning and in intersections. Look where you want to turn and dont gun it at every light without first looking in both directions. Dont let the non-riders sway you. They'll forget about you when they swipe up to the next facebook post while in traffic. You do you.
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      06-02-2019, 02:39 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by das_m2 View Post
Op, all these husbands, fathers and 'significant time saver large risk taking people' opinion givers aren't riders. MSF will teach you that most accidents occur while turning and in intersections. Look where you want to turn and dont gun it at every light without first looking in both directions. Dont let the non-riders sway you. They'll forget about you when they swipe up to the next facebook post while in traffic. You do you.
+1 on this. The community of riders is also huge; if you're broken down on the side of the highway with your bike, you'll be sure to have a fellow motorcyclist come ask if you need assistance while you watch all the cagers drive by.
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      06-02-2019, 03:19 PM   #64
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I think you are going to get a lot of buy a motorcycle and commute to work and the opposite too. Danger, carful, etc from anyone you ask.
At the end it is it your choice...
If you choice to give it a try, regarding what to get. I would highly recommend to get a 2-3k small cc USED bike. Sounds like your experience level is low to none.
Of course you are going to be afraid at first, scary to try speeding, might even end up dropping your bike. Why get the bike you would like for training...
I have right now a 2018 S1000RR and I love to commute in this bike. Legal lane splitting in California rulez!!! but I am so thankful I did not start in this bike.
After all maybe you give it a try and after couple months you quiet, maybe you find out it is not for you. But like I said it is your decision....
Good luck and have fun.
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      06-02-2019, 05:36 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joooiiiiii View Post
+1 on this. The community of riders is also huge; if you're broken down on the side of the highway with your bike, you'll be sure to have a fellow motorcyclist come ask if you need assistance while you watch all the cagers drive by.
Except when I had a flat rear tire. A couple of riders on cruisers (as I was out with my sport bike) just blew by me without even a look. It was obvious I had broken down. Add to this it was 90+ degrees out and I had no shade and had full leathers...which I did take off. The only people that stopped were people in cages. One actually drove to the gas station and came back with a cold bottled water.

And yes, I've stopped before when I saw a fellow rider stopped off the side of the road.
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      06-02-2019, 07:09 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
But to your comment, I've been riding street for 36 years in the Washington DC and Mid-Atlantic region, and riding dirt bikes since I was 13. While drivers have the potential to be more distracted these days with cell phones, I really don't see why that changes how a motorcyclist approaches riding in traffic. The object of the game is to place your position based on a constant scan and profiling of the traffic around you. Profile each car by determining if the driver has the mirrors positioned properly, age, race, and gender of the driver, time of day, the condition of the car, and observing how the driver reacts to traffic surrounding him. The more you ride the better and quicker you get at profiling the traffic around you. You get to the point where it is a subconscious activity. Adding a cell phone in the mix just adds to the profile status IMO.

I don't get to ride as much as I did in my 20's through 40's because my lifestyle is different now. But early on in my street riding days I commuted to college almost everyday, year round, on my Yamaha 650 Seca on the DC beltway. I live in a rural area now, and what I mostly worry about are bears, cows, and deer. I'll take a human on a cell phone driving a cage any day of the week over deer. I split two young deer not three miles from my house back about 20 months ago now; just missed the ass of the first one, and the second one stopped just enough where her head glanced off my right fork (and bent the horn on the crashbar). And I was on a section of road in my 'hood where I've had countless run-ins with deer (and two contacts in cars - one in my E90 with the only damage was a broken angel eye ring), so I was fully watching and prepared for an encounter. Here's the evidence; note the little left jiggle of the skidmark at the end. No car has ever given me a pucker factor like this
Their race huh? Interesting.....
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