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What is the Best Commuter Bike ?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by orekin, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. Hi

    I ride from Western Sydney to the city every day in peak hour traffic and
    I'm looking for a commuter bike that is:

    (1) Thin as a rake - For lane splitting in stationary traffic
    (2) Maneuverable - with a small turning circle
    (3) Enough power to get me out of tight spots and beat most cars off the lights
    (4) Fuel efficient
    (5) Cheap to buy and run

    Any ideas?

    I'm currently on a Blade, which is an absolutely beautiful bike, but sucks as a peak hour commuter, especially in Summer where the fan kicks in and I get to work smelling like a locker room. I was thinking of keeping the Blade for weekends and track days, and buying a workhorse to get me to and from work.

    Before the blade I had a Yamaha XT600, which did a pretty good job actually, but I would prefer something thinner if possible, like a Yamaha Renaissi (SRV250) or the like.

  2. If you don't need much in the way of power, a cbr125 is a nice small bike. Seems to fit all that you have stated though i am not sure about 3
  3. By definition a twin (vertical or V) should be physically narrower. I'd look at the Suzuki GS-500 and variants.
  4. Are you looking for power?

    GPX does over 300k's on a tank, very thin and light weight 136kgs i think.
    upright seating position soft cushy forks too but not much power..

    but seriously what better bike for commuting is there then a GSXR750!
  5. I would say GS500. Pretty damn narrow, decent enough power to get away from lights. Very cheap to run, and pretty cumfy if you put some more padding in the seat like i did :)
  6. CBR125. $6/week on petrol, fits between anything :p
  7. GS500 is a fantastic commuter, great at all speeds including cruising at 100-110, you don't need to rev it's tits off to get up and go, very economical.
  8. Yamaha Scorpio. The king of the road in Thailand! :grin:
  9. Yamaha SRX250s usually sell cheap and would certainly fit the criteria - certainly a lot easier to find than an SRV Renaissa.

    I'd also suggest the Sachs Express given it's half the price of a CBR125 - but like the CBR (and anything else <250cc) it's underpowered and would struggle to beat a pushbike from the lights.
  10. I too am looking for a smaller bike to commute on, my 929 blade deserves to rest during the week.

    Almost anything 250cc meets your needs, gpx250, zzr250, vt/vtr250, gsxf250, cbf250, etc. I'm going to go test ride a few 250s soon and see if I can find one I'd be happy to ride every day.
  11. would not a dirt bike be more suitable for what you are looking for? they are designed to be manuverable, quick startoff and fuel efficient. they are pretty cheap aswell. you dont want anything like a sports bike do you, you already have one
  12. ZZR250 is a brilliant bike. Good power for what it is (you'll beat most cars off the lights if you're aware), decent fuel consumption, very comfortable. I've owned one and ridden two on a regular basis (and hey I have one for sale in the Bike Sales section.. *ahem*). Great commuter bike.

    The Scorpio is also a very cool bike. I only rode it for an afternoon and originally thought it crap but it does grow on you :). Much thinner than the ZZR, physically a lot smaller but underpowered. Very easy to work on too I would imagine (not that the ZZR is hard...).
  13. Suzuki M50 Boulevard

    No questions about it

    hahaha jks

    for a commuter, razor thin bike thats comfortable look at a motard, DRZ400SM or something... Theres a reason couriers use them, they're comfortable and dead easy to get around on, and lane split!
  14. TTR250 or something like that. A VTR250 would be the ducks nuts for the daily commute, probably more so. Better service intervals anyway.

    CBR125 is underpowered and just awful to ride.
  15. Hi Guys,

    I used to have a GS500F. It is a great bike, but keep it in mind it is a 500cc engine so rego will be the same as a 1200cc. If you want to save money make sure you get a bike that is under 400cc.

  16. A scooter is the best commuter bike. I think there was a cost comparison in the recent ARR.
  17. Suzuki DR650.

    If you want it any thinner, put a set of drag bars on it.
  18. Ouch! My GS500 is in the lower bracket here in Vic, so I pay roughly $100 less than 600 and up bikes.

    +1 for the GS500 being a good commuter.

  19. Life is one big compromise...
    Go for 3 out of your 5 points.
  20. Thanks !


    Thanks for your comments !

    I test rode a few today:
    * Scorpio
    * GPX 250
    * KLX 250

    A few things I noticed:
    (1) That most of the bikes are about the same width if you measure using the handlebars. Even the Scorpio had about the same handlebar width as my Blade.
    (2) Compared to the Blade they all seemed to seriously lack grunt. This is to be expected I suppose, but they did feel like I had no chance of beating a car that was actually trying.

    Nothing is screaming yes to me just yet, so I think I'll try a few more of your suggestions and look at compromising ... The DR with drag bars sounds promising !!