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Taking to two wheels to save commute....?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Jibbah24, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. Afternoon all...

    I'm a first time poster and at the moment a bit of a fraud as I don't even have a bike :-s .....however, I am just hoping to get a little feedback from you guys about a plan that is formulating in my head about taking to two wheels to try and reduce my potential commute time!!

    I've always hankered after a motorbike but having spent the past 20 years living in the UK the weather always put me off.

    We're now back in Oz and are looking at relocating to somewhere between Mt Eliza and Mt Martha on the Mornington Peninsula as it's perfect for the rest of the family. Unfortunately I work in the CBD for around three days a week and the commute sounds like it would be a killer!

    I'm thinking about a bike as it should shave quite some time off my commute whilst also being quite enjoyable. Anyone out there do this or a similar commute.....?

    This sound like a plan or not....!!!!

    Thanks in advance.....

  2. jet ski across the bay to st kilda sounds like a plan!!

    we have riders living down that way, so hopefully you'll get some feedback, personally I'd do it anyway, you have an excuse to buy the bike you want, ride at least half the week, and weekend rides if family permits!! summer's coming, fark it, just do it!! Dont die waiting!!
  3. Welcome to NR and welcome back to Oz.
    I suggest you head to the Welcome Lounge and say hi.

    I do a significantly shorter commute but know those roads. I could not cope with doing it in a car day-in-day-out. Freeways are boring either way, but on a bike, it'd be much more enjoyable, and you'd be in a very good position to take a more interesting route home (or to work) when you felt inclined. There are some nice rides to be had on the Peninsula.

    If you're new to riding, I'd suggest starting with something shorter (ride to Frankston then train perhaps?) and building up skill, confidence and concentration.
  4. I commute in to work through some of the busiest streets of Brisbane a few times a week. Its tough on the bike but its made a much better rider of me although I would very much rather those open country roads. :)
  5. It'll likely be stolen or vandalised sitting at Frankston train station, might as well ride the whole way in to Melbourne.
  6. My personal experience community about 20 km to work was that I saved significant time on the commute.

    However, it is pretty frustrating riding a supersport in peak hour traffic. I found that low speeds and aggressive handling position in a straight line is not for me.

    If you end up with a sport tourer or another type of bike that isn't a supersport/superbike then you should be fine.

    Also consider your options to change clothes at work once you get there. You might find shirts crumpled totally as a result of wearing motorcycle gear. One of the reasons I stopped commuting was that I needed to wear a suit and a tie at work nearly everyday.

    Just my 2 cents on the topic..
  7. i commute to work everyday from sydney to wollongong on the bike.. i do approx 122ks a day .. you do get a bit over it after awhile and loose interest in ridding on the weekends.. but you can save some $$$
  8. I do a 92km round trip every day. With careful choice of bike it's cheaper than any other practical alternative (yes that includes all costs, not just fuel) and certainly more fun.

    Even with the downsides (rain, cold, limited carrying space, clothing restrictions, crazy bastards trying to pick fights) I wouldn't do it any other way.
  9. A bicycle ride to the train and commute in isn't a terrible option.

    A scooter or LAMS commuter is definitely an option, but until you're confident on your bike and confident about being in heavyish traffic on your bike and most importantly, confident to filter when required, you're not going to get the time savings you hope for.

    What's your view about filtering and filterers?

    PatB is dead right, you will need to choose your ride carefully for there to be a cost benefit towards the bike versus a car.
  10. +1 to Rob and Pat, with the cost of servicing, tyres, plus rego/insurance etc, using a bike for transport loses its romantic edge pretty quickly, as kingy says, it could put you off riding for fun

    Anyway, continue to canvass opinion, and Welcome to Oz and to Netrider :)>
  11. Welcome Jibbah24 !
    Interesting comments re wishing to live in Mt Martha/Mt Eliza areas - I have family in both areas - such a beautiful part of Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula. In fact, I am considering (shortlisting, at present) possibly living down there myself...

    On the subject of commuting to the city....
    Totally agree with everything the guys above have said. Choosing the right bike for the 'job' is important. The appeal of a sportsbike sometimes fades away (only to promptly return at the mere hint of some twisties ;) ) and a wiser choice of bike may be what's needed if you'll be messing it with traffic on your 3 times weekly commutes to the City.

    My sister and her husband, who reside in Mt Martha commute to the city EVERY day, often departing from their home around 5:30am-ish to avoid traffic etc. There will be times of the year you'd be begging for heated grips, top box (change of clothes/shoes) more room/upright position to make your journey to/from work a more enjoyable experience. As others have said - leaning over on a sportsbike in idling traffic (where filtering opportunities aren't plentiful) can be a real pain in the proverbial.

    Food for thought.
    I've never had to commute to work on a motorcycle - it would probably take me many months to get there :)lol:) but it's something I would find very exciting given I was on the right bike for all-weather riding conditions.

    Good luck and welcome aboard. Many experienced commuters/riders within the forum to assist you with any queries.

  12. I might follow up my previous post with the suggestion that you get a nakeed bike; perfect for commuting and you can still bend it round the twisties on the weekend....
  13. Depending on the kms you're clocking up, something with skinny tyres (ie cheap, even for good quality kit) and cheap servicing makes sense. A cheap purchase price means minimal depreciation losses if, like me, you plan to run your commuting tool until it's financially worthless. Cheap insurance means your standing charges don't get out of hand. Big trailies are good in all respects. They also survive drops well which can be useful in a learner bike and can offer sufficient fun that you may not need to immediately upgrade once off your restrictions.

    Oh yeah. If you know what you're doing, they carve up traffic pretty well. Not that I'd ever do anything to sully the reputation of motorcycling :twisted:.
  14. I live in Mount Martha & HIGHLY recomend living down here. It is a great place to live with good local roads (& pubs) for getting out on. I don't commute every day but as others have suggested a sports tourer is a good option...I have a VFR 800. Either way, get down here as you will love it.
  15. I commute from Skye to Collingwood daily

    Usually do 1 day per week on the bike

    With fwy most of the way, dependent on time of day the time gains can be either heaps or bugger all.

    I can get from home to work in approx 45-60mins leaving at 8-8.30 in the car. On the bike filtering only saves about 15mins unless the traffic is real bad (ie accident on fwy or similar). You could probably add another 1/2her to that from MtMartha by car.

    Can be cold & wet at times but it is more fun than in car (I would be tempted to do it more often if not for company car)

    Positives and negatives to everything
  16. If two wheels halves your travel time from four, learning how to wheelie can halve your time again. I say learn how to wheelie if you're going to get a bike.
  17. learning to wheelie is on my to do list currently :p

    as others have said, you can get some cheap commuters, i dont commute on the bike as i need a van for work, but if i could, i would (did it for a while)

    long ride and some days you'll hate it... but bikes are bikes, right?
  18. Quoted for truth.

    I guess that explains the guy riding a unicycle around my area.
  19. I have been doing 130km each way for a week now.

    It feels like a much shorter trip, I guess because I'm concentrating so much.

    Heavy traffic is challenging and filtering does require confidence. I've been trying to get on the back of another bike filtering through to blaze the trail for me. Quite a few are just too fast and I'm not game to go so quickly through narrow gaps. Sometimes I bail and sit in a lane in the cage queue. So I'm not making up as much time as an experienced rider.

    Adding up all the costs, I'm not saving much compared to the car, but it is certainly not more expensive, and it is quicker (and should be increasingly so as confidence improves) and more fun/less stressful. And it's a great excuse to buy a motorcycle.

    I got a GS500F and there isn't anything about it that pisses me off. It seems to be the right sort of tool for the job.
  20. That's fair enough. I would never encourage anyone to filter beyond their confidence or abilities, although I would encourage everyone to endeavour to constantly increase their confidence and abilities, if only for the selfish reason that they're then less likely to hold me up :twisted:.

    Seriously though, although filtering is not a particularly difficult skill to learn, because it involves small gaps and frustrated cagers, it can go bad fairly quickly when you do get it wrong. On the bright side, filtering accidents are unlikely to be fatal, or even particularly painful (if you're geared up), being mostly expensive and embarrassing instead. This assumes that you're smart enough to avoid situations where you're likely to find yourself under a truck.

    I tend to agree that the ideal tool for the serious commuter should be something user friendly but not something to which you should form a great attachment. The 9-5 grind is hard on machinery and whacks on the kms fairly quickly, which is a problem for resale in a country where 20k km seems to be considered "high" by many. As a result, IMHO commuting tackle should be regarded as expendable. I've factored in 100% depreciation over 5 years to my running costs, which seems to be about right and still gives me a saving over catching the bus/train (which, though not impossible, is impractical for my needs anyway).