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#96531 - 06/04/07 04:33 PM My New Daily Commuter Rocks!!!
stealthedc Offline

Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 72
Loc: Durham NC
I recently purchased a 2007 Yamaha TW 200 for use as my daily commuter (sorry, no pics of my own yet, but it is exactly what you see in the link).

This weekend I calculated my gas mileage and I drove 101 city miles on 1.3 gallons of gas. This means I am getting 75+ MPG CITY! Not that theoretical estimated stuff they put on new car stickers but actual real world driving!!!

And it is super fun and would be a great in many scenarios. Possibities are many:

1. Gas supplies disrupted for 2 weeks, no problem, this thing only sips gas.

2. Traffic backed up - no problem, this thing doesn't need roads.

3. Multiple trees down because of hurricane - just drive around.

It is lightweight and fits in my shed! This is not a fast bike by any means but that is not the point. It is fast enough and can basically go anywhere. A scooter would get better gas mileage, but has no top end.

If you are thinking about how to face the rising cost of gas, I would recommend thinking outside the box (or at least think about reducing the number of wheels that carry you).

And if you live in one of those big cities with nasty commutes and HOV lanes, they might qualify for those fast lanes. My cousing in DC says that motorcycles can ride in them and it would cut 30 minutes off a commute. Quicker commute, cheaper commuter, and a lot more fun. Oh yeah, you also develop a profound knowledge about just how stupid and distracted the overwhelming majority of motorists are.

EDC, Mini PSK, PSK, Fishing PSK, Diaper Bag Kit, Portable Office, Vehicle Kit (X2), 72 Hour Kit, 7 Day Kit, SIP Kit and a Kit-Kat. Oh yeah, and a FAK (X10). Now where did I put the Tums?

#96553 - 06/04/07 06:15 PM Re: My New Daily Commuter Rocks!!! [Re: NightHiker]
unimogbert Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/10/06
Posts: 863
Loc: Colorado
As a motorcycle rider of 28 years and no on-street accidents (knock on wood) let me offer my thoughts.

I have a 100 mi daily round-trip commute with opportunities to stay off the interstate and ride an average 50 mph.

I'll ride to work about once a year now just to say I have.

I used to have a 2.5 mile ride to a different employer and rode > 4 days/wk from April to October. (350cc bike 75+ mpg)

While the fuel economy of a motorcycle is wonderful and the fun factor is pretty high when things are going well, I choose not to risk the long ride on a commuting basis.

The risk from other drivers is very, very high. They don't see you, and if they do, they don't care. The drunk ones might even try to play with you. It's combat out there. And you have to be at the top of your game.

The frequency and duration of your exposure raises your risks.
Commuting means that you don't really control your hours of travel and thus your exposure. Commuting means that sometimes the weather can get really, really, really bad after you get to work. Now you have to get home. For instance, last week hereabouts (Colorado) we had afternoon hailstorms. I've ridden in hail. Not fun even in good rain gear. Jousting with commuters in hail would be perilous.

During commute time I listen to the police scanner and I hear lots of chaotic stupidity in play out there- ladders, wheels, carpeting falling out. Road ragers, breakdowns on the wrong side of the road, etc.

ETS is about informed choices toward survival. So-

Please take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation courses, dress in all the protective gear (including high-visibility clothing - my close-calls of the "didn't see you" variety dropped to near zero once I started wearing the See-Me vest by Conspicuity Inc.), and keep the mindset of a fighter pilot. Your survival in combat depends on you and you alone. Everyone else is the enemy unless proven otherwise.

If the price of fuel starts forcing other drivers off the road and traffic diminishes I'll reconsider my view on whether I'd motorcycle commute. Until then, my bike is a fair-weather recreational activity. (just like my lightplane flying)

You might also want to learn some dirt-riding skills. Widens selecton of alternate routes or gives you an escape route that others can't use. :-)

#96560 - 06/04/07 07:23 PM Re: My New Daily Commuter Rocks!!! [Re: unimogbert]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
It is unfortunate, but many of the motorcyclists I've encountered on the highway don't do much to help their cause. Kudos to you for being the difference. I find it interesting how some people think they are suddenly from Krypton when they get on a big street bike. In any contest between a motorcycle and a car, the motorcycle will lose. It may not be absolute, but I know who I will always put my money on.

I guess some people just have to learn the hard way.
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)

#96581 - 06/04/07 09:41 PM Re: My New Daily Commuter Rocks!!! [Re: stealthedc]
stealthedc Offline

Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 72
Loc: Durham NC
my commute is 12.5 miles one way. I have a chevy s-10 which I plan on driving once per week and if we are forcasted for rain/incliment weather. 1/3 my commute is in a 45mph zone and 2/3 of my commute is 35mph or less. All in all, I feel the commute is of reasonable risk. And when you divulge into motorcycle accident statistics, you see that the fatalities are occurring when the motorcyclist has alcohol in his/her system (not necesarily drunk) or is not wearing a helmet. I feel that if I drove a subcompact car, I would be just as fearful for a crash. Geo Metro vs. Lincoln Navigator is not a fair fight either. I have all the protective gear and have determined that the risk is acceptable.

The more the price of gas rises, the better the outlook becomes.
EDC, Mini PSK, PSK, Fishing PSK, Diaper Bag Kit, Portable Office, Vehicle Kit (X2), 72 Hour Kit, 7 Day Kit, SIP Kit and a Kit-Kat. Oh yeah, and a FAK (X10). Now where did I put the Tums?

#96588 - 06/04/07 10:58 PM Re: My New Daily Commuter Rocks!!! [Re: stealthedc]
Blast Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3593
Loc: TX

I've just spent the last four weeks talking myself out of one of those for my 13-mile commute along back roads! Yes, I used to ride. Yes, I took the MSF riders course. Yes, I wore saftey gear (Joe Rocket jacket, leather chaps, boots, gloves, helmet, etc...) even in 100F weather. But being the single family breadwinner I felt the risk was still too great.


But I still want one. Gads, I miss riding...

-Blast, who knew reading this thread was a mistake.
Foraging Texas
Medicine Man Plant Co.
DrMerriwether on YouTube
Radio Call Sign: KI5BOG
*As an Amazon Influencer, I may earn a sales commission on Amazon links in my posts.

#96611 - 06/05/07 01:32 AM Re: My New Daily Commuter Rocks!!! [Re: stealthedc]
ironraven Offline
Cranky Geek
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 4642
Loc: Vermont
There is one thing good about being in town in a small apartment: I'm less than three miles from work. Figure at $30 for a tank of gas that gets me around 250 miles, two tanks of gas equals a pair of decent sneakers, which are good for about 1000 miles, minimum. laugh

If I had more of a commute, I'd be thinking about something like this. Thinking hard. Even if it means paring the uh-oh gear WAAAAAY down.

When a man dare not speak without malice for fear of giving insult, that is when truth starts to die. Truth is the truest freedom.

#96622 - 06/05/07 02:51 AM Re: My New Daily Commuter Rocks!!! [Re: ironraven]
pipedreams Offline

Registered: 07/11/04
Posts: 32
Loc: OK
Congrats! That looks like a fun little bike!

There is lots of wisdom in unimogbert's words.

I have been riding motorcycles for about 20 years. I was involved in one street accident 17 years ago. I walked away, thanks to top notch helmet and jacket.

I ride my motorcycle to work everyday that it's not precipitating when I'm ready to leave for work. Year around. But, I live 2 miles from my job. Gotta love rural America!

Keep your eye on the cagers and drive defensively and you'll be fine.


Every moment is an adventure. Are you equipped?

#96654 - 06/05/07 12:06 PM Re: My New Daily Commuter Rocks!!! [Re: pipedreams]
jimtanker Offline

Registered: 12/25/06
Posts: 61
Loc: Fort Bragg, NC
I've been thinking about one of these:

It's a front wheel that replaces the front wheel on your mountain bike that has a 23cc two stroke engine in it. Says that it gets 200+ MPG(have to be seen to believe). You could still pedal if you run out of gas too.

Link to Engadget site

What do you think? Worth $400???

#96751 - 06/06/07 03:51 PM Re: My New Daily Commuter Rocks!!! [Re: stealthedc]
stealthedc Offline

Registered: 02/11/07
Posts: 72
Loc: Durham NC
thanks for the encouragement all.

i too am a single breadwinner with minimal life insurance at best, but you gotta do what you gotta do. i pray nothing bad will happen, and hope it does not...

EDC, Mini PSK, PSK, Fishing PSK, Diaper Bag Kit, Portable Office, Vehicle Kit (X2), 72 Hour Kit, 7 Day Kit, SIP Kit and a Kit-Kat. Oh yeah, and a FAK (X10). Now where did I put the Tums?

#96785 - 06/06/07 09:26 PM Re: My New Daily Commuter Rocks!!! [Re: stealthedc]
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"And when you divulge into motorcycle accident statistics, you see that the fatalities are occurring when the motorcyclist has alcohol in his/her system (not necesarily drunk) or is not wearing a helmet."


Looking at the motorcycle accident statistics below, you may notice that #27 says "Almost half of the fatal accidents show alcohol involvement." It doesn't say the motorcyclist had been drinking, so I am assuming that much of the alcohol involvement was on the part of the car/truck drivers who killed them.

And not wearing a helmet is not the cause of accidents --- the death was caused by not wearing a helmet, the accident was from some other cause.

The basics:

1. 75% of the accidents involved larger vehicles, with 66% of those caused by the other driver violating the cyclists right-of-way, left turns in front of a rider being #1.

2. 25% of the accidents were motorcycle-only (one-vehicle accidents), with 66% of those caused by rider error.

3. Vehicle failure, roadway defects, animal involvement, weather, deliberate driver hostility each account for 2% or less of the causes of accidents.
[from http://www.bike-law.com/CM/Resources/Motorcycle-Accident-Statistics.asp]

I would venture to guess that driver stupidity and inattention are the cause of most accidents. I was nearly nailed earlier today by a bimbo pulling left in front of me while she was concentrating on talking on her cellphone. A few days ago, I saw a guy have a near-death experience when he ran a red light on his bicycle while talking on his cell phone.

Always keep in mind that when someone causes an accident or kills someone 'accidentally' with their car, it isn't really considered a crime. They will be back on the road doing exactly the same thing in a very, very short length of time. Meanwhile, make sure your wife knows how to make a good living on her own.

I am not against motorcycles. I used to have one. But don't delude yourself of the dangers. It isn't paranoia: they ARE out to get you.


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