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Old 06-09-2008, 04:56 PM   #1
tazswing
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Default bike vs. scooter vs. Bike

So I have been thinking about getting something to commute with in around town. I drive about 130miles per week Mon-Fri. minimum. I have no riding experience other than on a bicycle and was wondering what people's feedback would be about getting a scooter or lower CCed motorcycle and learning to ride for the sake of commuting. I am not sure if I will have enough gas in my body to bicycle that much and still climb and run several times a week oh and work a 9hr dayx5.

Bicycle: Low maintenances, no license required but slower and rides on the side of the road rather than in it (i would need a road bike, too).

Scooter: maybe get without license, faster but how stable are they and if you go here, might you just go with a larger bike?

bigger CCed Bike: you can sit over the saddle which seems more stable, faster, but requires licensing and maybe more maintenance?

Thoughts?
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:03 PM   #2
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i wanted to get a motorcycle. but seeing as how the way people drive and that people would rather pay more attention to how they look while driving or whos next to them or what have you im having second thoughts.
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:44 PM   #3
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i personally like the honda ruckus if you are to look at scooters.
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Old 06-09-2008, 05:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cooter05WRX View Post
i personally like the honda ruckus if you are to look at scooters.
+1, my bro in law just got one as his commuter, 80-100 MPG... BUT they are sold out everywhere and honda stopped making them so you gotta hunt around

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Old 06-09-2008, 06:03 PM   #5
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If you wana get your license go through Team Oregon
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Old 06-09-2008, 06:18 PM   #6
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If you wana get your license go through Team Oregon
Thank you! That is great info.
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:20 PM   #7
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There's a Ruckus at brother's powersports at bremerton. Cost you 2000 new, I believe. Some things to consider, how fast are the roads you're going to be on? If they're >35 mph you'll need a bigger than 49cc scooter (for legal reasons, I believe. Some 49cc scoots can exceed that). Small scoots are stable at that speed. Bigger than 49cc you need a liscence. Maintenance plays with everything. Oil, CVT belt or drivetrain maintenance are the frequent ones, and not very expensive if you DIY. A small motorcycle (think honda rebel, ninja 250) can do freeway with little trouble, but does require a motorcycle endorsement.
As for buying it as a commuter. It makes economical sense if you're going to ride it all the time, rain, shine, and already have gear. With just a $1500 purchase price, you could drive your car over 6500 miles for the cost of gas. (assuming $4.50/gal @ 20mpg.) Add the cost of gear, which is all that's between you and the road. $100 (at least!) for a decent helmet, $100 for a jacket, money for gloves, etc. Add registration and insurance (required in Or.) and it adds up quick. You'd need to put around 6900 miles on the scooter to break even, assuming 70 mpg and 4.20 for gas.
The whole money arguement goes out the window if you want a bike for the sake of having a bike. Gas mileage is a bonus, but it's not the reason to do it. It's kinda like buying a prius. If that's what you want, go for it! If you're doing it for money's sake... keep what you got, or buy beater subcompact. More comfortable in the rain/cold/hot, and you can actually carry stuff/people.

Last edited by Dracos; 06-09-2008 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 06-09-2008, 08:28 PM   #8
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The 2-stroke 49cc scooters are super polluters. Even if you don't care that all that crap is going into the air/environment, you might get the nice light-headed feeling I used to get on my Kymco People. Basically all the exhaust would come around the bike and back near your face when you stopped. Yummy! They stopped making the 2-strokes a few years ago and replaced them with 4-strokes that are a little cleaner but not as fast.

Don't know if I'd want to ride across PDX's steel platform bridges on a wee scooter either but plenty of people do it all the time...

Ducati Monster 695?
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:14 PM   #9
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Spend around 2k, buy an 2004 or 2005 (any year would be fine, they are the same bike just different colors) Kawasaki Ninja 250 (27 hp, but can still go 0 to 60 in about 5.5), get 60+ mpg, ride it for a year or two, sell it for the same $2k you spent on buying it. Win + Win

Take the MSF Course prior to bike purchase though if you go that route. Also, don't skimp on gear just because it's 'only' a 50cc bike if you go for something smaller. Falling off a ruckus at 35mph is exactly the same as falling off a ninja 250 at 35 mph...or a BUSA at 35mph for that matter.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:37 PM   #10
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I wrote a program that tells me 130 miles per week/5 days = 26 miles per day. That means 13 miles each way for your commute. That's a perfect bicycle commute, as long as you have a safe route. PDX is supposedly one of the more bike-friendly cities too. My commute is only 7 miles and goes by in a flash. It takes me only 5 extra minutes to ride than it does to drive.

Just think how much money you'd save, how much weight you could lose, how much food and beer you could consume, and how strong your legs and lungs would become if you rode a bicycle.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh View Post
That's a perfect bicycle commute, as long as you have a safe route. PDX is supposedly one of the more bike-friendly cities too. My commute is only 7 miles and goes by in a flash. It takes me only 5 extra minutes to ride than it does to drive.

Just think how much money you'd save, how much weight you could lose, how much food and beer you could consume, and how strong your legs and lungs would become if you rode a bicycle.
Nice. I'm already like 6% body fat. Guess I will find out how safe it is. Garden Home is not the best road to bike on.


Quote:
Originally Posted by re-zero View Post
The 2-stroke 49cc scooters are super polluters.
Funny you should mention this, I was just thinking about that i would have to get a 4 stroke for this exact reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dracos View Post
The whole money arguement goes out the window if you want a bike for the sake of having a bike. Gas mileage is a bonus, but it's not the reason to do it. It's kinda like buying a prius. If that's what you want, go for it! If you're doing it for money's sake... keep what you got, or buy beater subcompact. More comfortable in the rain/cold/hot, and you can actually carry stuff/people.
Yup, it would be for the sake of saving money in the long run.


Great points above. I did not really think about the gear since moving at faster speeds I am going to want good gear. And I have most of my biking stuff already so that is a great point.

So basically at this point I am going to put some money into a road bike and park the wagon Mon-Fri. Now I have to be disciplined to not spend the money I save on springs, struts and an 18G.

Thanks for all your input, folks. it's nice put something out there and get a sound dose of NASIOC reality.

Cheers!
-Taz
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:37 PM   #12
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I'm looking at a bicycle to ride back and forth to work (2 miles round trip. woot!). It's cheap transportation, no gas required, and it's good exercise. It's a win-win-win!
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:51 PM   #13
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Dont get a scooter. Our BIG SCOOPS might eat you alive DOOD!
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:56 PM   #14
NatCh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tazswing View Post
So basically at this point I am going to put some money into a road bike and park the wagon Mon-Fri. Now I have to be disciplined to not spend the money I save on springs, struts and an 18G.
Also, one doesn't have to go full-tilt bike commuter all at once. Even riding one day per week to get used to it is a good start.

Some folks do the car-bike shuffle:
Monday - drive to work with bike on rack/ride home
Tuesday - ride bike to work/drive home with bike on rack
Wednesday - drive to work with bike on rack/ride home
Thursday - ride bike to work/drive home with bike on rack
Friday - drive both ways or ride both ways

Personally I'd feel uneasy leaving my car at work, but you get the idea.
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Old 06-10-2008, 12:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Rexosaurus View Post
I'm looking at a bicycle to ride back and forth to work (2 miles round trip. woot!). It's cheap transportation, no gas required, and it's good exercise. It's a win-win-win!
2 miles RT! Nice commute! You could even walk that if you had to!
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:21 PM   #16
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2 miles RT! Nice commute! You could even walk that if you had to!
I know, but with weather like it is I'm not going to walk it in the rain. It sucks never fully warming the car up, and running really rich for the 2-3 minute drive. I'm getting terrible gas mileage, but I'm only filling up once every 3 weeks or so...

4.70 for premium.... WTF
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Old 06-10-2008, 01:32 PM   #17
tazswing
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Japan is about 7/gal (translated from Yen and liters) but they get 100oct.

The bike route would be 16 miles per day if I biked the whole thing (to work, to the gym, to home). However, the self-shuttle idea NatCh is a great one and likely that is what I will for the gym since my gf studies Aikidou downtown and can pick me up from the gym those days.

But I will for sure be more hardened after the first year of this biking thing.

It still scares me seeing how some drivers don't respect bicycles and most of the rest are just generally clueless.
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rexosaurus View Post
I know, but with weather like it is I'm not going to walk it in the rain. It sucks never fully warming the car up, and running really rich for the 2-3 minute drive. I'm getting terrible gas mileage, but I'm only filling up once every 3 weeks or so...

4.70 for premium.... WTF
Ouch, walking (or riding) in the rain sucks. They make great fenders for bikes nowadays at least.
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Old 06-10-2008, 02:28 PM   #19
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It still scares me seeing how some drivers don't respect bicycles and most of the rest are just generally clueless.
It still scares me too, and I've been an avid cyclist for years. Fortunately PDX has enough cyclists that cars are at least used to seeing bikes on the road. The best tip for riding with traffic is to behave like a car. That is, obey traffic rules (no running reds, ride with the flow of traffic, use your signals, etc.) and observe right-of-way rules.

If you behave like a car then at least drivers will know what to expect from you and can react appropriately. It's when some knucklehead on a bike dives in and out of traffic, rides opposite flow, runs reds, and darts across intersections out-of-turn that car drivers get confused and might react dangerously.

Commuting is fun as hell!

Nat
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Old 06-10-2008, 06:56 PM   #20
Red & Rover
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I used to ride to work every day. I actually enjoyed it a lot. It was faster than the bus too.

Just make sure you eat enough. I dropped 5 lbs. in my first week of biking and I don't really need to lose 5 lbs.

Also, watch out for driveways. I got hit by a pick-up truck coming out of a parking lot. It was scary.
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Old 06-10-2008, 07:05 PM   #21
tazswing
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I hear you about dropping more weight. I don't really need to either. I'm rather diligent about eating and I am sure I will need to make adjustments. better than feeding my suby more, though.

well, when the commuting starts on the bike I will try and unearth this thread.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Red & Rover View Post
I used to ride to work every day. I actually enjoyed it a lot. It was faster than the bus too.

Just make sure you eat enough. I dropped 5 lbs. in my first week of biking and I don't really need to lose 5 lbs.

Also, watch out for driveways. I got hit by a pick-up truck coming out of a parking lot. It was scary.
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Old 06-10-2008, 08:49 PM   #22
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Ninja 250R can be had for around $3k brand new.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:08 PM   #23
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I've been thinking about getting a ninja 250 actually. A bicycle is pretty much out of the question...i work at 5am and a bike commute would take me about an hour to get to and from work. 330am wake up times are too damn hard, plus being exhaused from riding through downtown redmond, and to downtown bellevue up the 520 hill? No thx.

Ninja sounds good to me, but i don't have the funds (just moved). Good luck on your biking expedition!
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:20 PM   #24
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I just got a Buell blast and I love it! 492cc.

got it for $2k
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:11 AM   #25
tazswing
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I've been thinking about getting a ninja 250 actually. A bicycle is pretty much out of the question...i work at 5am and a bike commute would take me about an hour to get to and from work. 330am wake up times are too damn hard, plus being exhaused from riding through downtown redmond, and to downtown bellevue up the 520 hill? No thx.

Ninja sounds good to me, but i don't have the funds (just moved). Good luck on your biking expedition!
Thanks! I am moving soon and picked my place so that I don't have what you got for a commute. But many many people do not have a choice in this country and they are the ones who are going to feel this gas thing the most. we all are due to the rising costs of everything, but I have a very doable choice.
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