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Most economical commuter bike-with decent power to handle various traffic situations

Discussion in 'Moto Club' started by NDGlock, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. NDGlock

    NDGlock OIF2, KFOR12

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    Which would you recommend?

    This question was posed by my brother who is looking for a good daily driver.

    I recommended a good used Connie.....seems to be a ton around and they are cheap.

    What is your recommendation?
     
  2. freakshow10mm

    freakshow10mm 10mm Advocate

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    Suzuki LS650 Savage (S40 now). 650cc single, 400# wet, belt drive, 60mpg. My fiance's father has a '99. 20K mi and not a single hitch.
     

  3. sillymike

    sillymike

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    I think the best all-around motorcycle is the KLR650... it's not great at anything, but you'll have fun everywhere.

    - Driving around the city, OK
    - Commute on the hightway, OK
    - Exploring the local dirt road, OK
    - Planning a trip down to the middle of nowhere and back, OK

    I might be a little bias... but I love my KLR
    :snoopy:
    Mike.
     
  4. Texas T

    Texas T TX expatriate CLM

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    I own a Connie and it can more than handle itself in traffic, but I certainly wouldn't call it economical... 35-45 mpg depending upon your right hand.

    What's your brother weigh? If he's not too heavy a Ninja 250 will deliver great mileage and will keep up with traffic quite well.

    For the best overall compromise I'd be looking at something around 400-500cc, certainly not anything over 650 if mileage is a concern.
     
  5. Compy

    Compy CompensateWhat?

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    From what I have seen, smaller motor does not always equal better mileage. I get 38-42mpg city on my Honda 919. My friend gets consistantly over 45mpg on his ZX10R in the city. The bigger displacement bikes have to work less than the smaller ones when moving around town.

    I'd look at some of the litre-class naked bikes such as the 919, SV1000, FZ1, etc.

    My 919 doesn't do any one thing great, but does everything pretty well. I like the wideer bars and more upright seating position for maneuvering around parking lots and slow traffic.
     
  6. iceman32

    iceman32

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    i have a 95' vulcan 800 v-twin and i get anywhere from 40-55 mpg depending on how agressive i am with the throttle. plus i have some hp goodies that subtract from that but in general v-twins and single cylinder motors get great mileage. but pretty much any bike will get over 35mpg but your singe and twins seem most fuel efficient. p.s. try an older bmw boxer twin i had a 74 r75/6 and my dad put 20,000 miles on that thing in one summer and we have never had a problem with it and it gets about 50mpg plus the older ones are decently priced and my favorite thing is that of the 30+ dealerships i've been too bmw dealerships have the friendliest, most helpfull people.
     
  7. Motor-T

    Motor-T Windbag

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    Ninja 500
    Suzuki GS500 (the old naked one not that nasty faired thing)
     
  8. notoriouskeef

    notoriouskeef Keef

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    I second the gs500. i had one, it was an awesome bike. Perfect bike for a beginner. Great gas mileage. Enough power.

    Also, i'm partial to the zrx;) but to many people think it's too much bike. Well, it's not the bike, it's the rider.

    Matt
     
  9. Motor-T

    Motor-T Windbag

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    I've ridden the Z-Rex. They are a great bike, but, I've always found that it's more fun to ride a slow bike fast than it is to ride a fast bike slow.
     
  10. DaisyCutter

    DaisyCutter

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    The ZRX was great for commuting. It was comfortable, steady, predictable, and smooth... Mine got 40mpg and I flogged it like a dirtbike. It is heavy, so you need to be good sized. A good option is the ZR7, if you don't like a bigger bike.

    A really good used commuter bike (for those that like plastic) IMO would be the a Honda VFR750. I drooled over those bikes for nearly a decade.
     
  11. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

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    I'd go with a Suzuki DR650 or Kawi KLR650. They have a comfortable riding position, not hunched over. They also sit you up high which helps to give a good view and wide bars give a lot of leverage for manuevering in tight traffic.
     
  12. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01

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    FWIW, my Ninja 500 got filled up with gas today.

    43.75 mpg. And I just got it, so yeah I was getting on it probably 1/3 of the time I was riding it. I think I can hit 47-50 mpg with a gentle right hand.
     
  13. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    For brand new, off the show room bikes, I think that it's hard to beat the Kawi Ninja 500 (aka EX500) or the Suzuki GS500 (fairing or non-fairing, they're both the same). They both will crack the 1/4-mile at 12-something seconds. They have a lot more power and torque than the Ninja 250 so that a grown man can at least get up to speed fairly quick. They're both comfortable with the seating position unless you're much taller than 6ft.

    For used bikes, man, I don't even know where to begin.

    If the commuting doesn't require a lot of freeway travels then the dual sports would also make great commuters. Light, sitting up high to see above traffic, cheap, high gas mileage...not too friendly for short people though.:frown:
     
  14. hankhan

    hankhan Guest

    My neighbor and I both ride Honda Ruckus scooters. 49cc, 35 mph is no problem on a flat road (40 mph downhill), 85-95 miles per gallon. A local shop had these two last year, they were '03 models and they couldn't sell them, we picked up them cheap. In many states you don't need motorcycle endorsement to ride one of these, I have mine - my neighbor doesn't. They're great for running around town, when we have to go on a highway we use the bicycle lane - haven't been hassled in over a year of doing that.
     
  15. 357glocker

    357glocker

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    I can't give any recommendations on another bike as the only bike I've ridden has been the EX250. I bought it brand new last monday and filled up with gas. I've been breaking it in, alot of stops, starts, and varying the rpms alot. I have just under 200 miles on the tank and it is still just under half tank. I don't think 60mpg on this will be unreasonable.
     
  16. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    You should be able to see the high side of 60-MPG on that EX250. And the high side of 50-MPG on the EX500 or GS500.
     
  17. ChuteTheMall

    ChuteTheMall Wallbuilder and Weapon Bearer

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    I've gone 46 mph downhill on my bicycle, so get out of my way with those toys.

    Yes, it was a steep downhill. :supergrin:
     
  18. BikerRN

    BikerRN

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    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned the Ninja 250.

    It will crack 100 MPH, gets great gas milage and can make a decent commuter bike and if you are new to riding, will be forgiving of mistakes that a larger bike won't.
     
  19. klmmicro

    klmmicro

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    My Honda XR650 does a good job at commuting and gets and average of 40 mpg. As sillymike pointed out, a dual sport adds a dimension to the fun you can have riding too.

    For a straight up in city commuter, I would also look into the 400 and 450 dual sport bikes with a set of SM or Avon DS street tires on it. They are nimble and get good mileage. Anything 250 is too small a displacement unless you weigh in at only 120 pounds.
     
  20. CSNeoM4A1

    CSNeoM4A1

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    I am looking to get a bike soon. But I too ride a bicycle. 53mph was my max speed when drafting behind a truck going down a steep decent from Mount Lemmon by Tucson.