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Common Sense Motorbiking. Where Is It?

15311 Views 107 Replies 51 Participants Last post by  DC_Dave
"Will getting from 0-60 in 2.5 seconds improve my morning, or evening commute?"

It should! :D
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Plenty of those motorcycles exist.

It's called free enterprise. Those "sensible" motorcycles collect a lot of dust on the sales floor.

The Stain-resistant Dockers crowd doesn't spend enough dough to keep dealers in business.
As you said, there are some "common sense" bikes. They are about as much as riders which consider motorcycles as "common sense" transportation - close to zero !

There is no demand for them so manifacturers don't make them :) Majority of people (riders or not) think of motorbikes as a form of recreation.
Re: Two Words

Buell CityX
In 1932 a guy named Robert Fulton went around the world on a Douglas Twin that was like 350cc. And you want an 800cc bike with shaft drive, good mileage and cheap insurance rates because Hogs AND sport bikes hurt your back? Pansie!
Those who buy "common sense" bikes tend to hang on to 'em for awhile, and are skeptical of the latest, greatest thing. Those people are out there, and they DO buy bikes, but not a new one every 2 or 3 years - rather a new one every 7 to 10 years.........

A minority in the moto-community, to be sure.

Manufacturers build what sells, and pieces of A$$-Jewelry and Boy-Race'A bikes are what sell the most right now.
Basically "comon sense motorbiking" is an oxymoron. Common sense is associated with Volvos and Accords.
The European view is different. Honda make the Deauville to fit precisely this slot. And sell it by the truckload to commuters in mid and southern Europe (it's built in Spain). The new 680 cc version is a real jack-of-all trades. I live in Denmark and ride most of the year round in sun, rain and low temperatures. Totally maintenance-friendly with shaft drive, heated grips, built-in panniers, etc., the Deauville will even so do 180 kph when required and would take me to the North Cape if I wanted. So they DO exist and are bought!

Buell Ullysses



Ninja 650

Old Connie (surely some still on the sales floor)

Some of these have more than 800cc's but they won't do 200mph and probably get better than 40mpg





I know these are scooters, but the PC800 has got to be the most scooterlike non scooter that has ever been. Hell, I bet these things make about the same (or more) power!

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Yes, I was talking about US. It is different in Europe - shorter distances, higher gas prices, etc.
I hear ya for sure: folks undoubtedly are buying motorcycles for some stupid idea of cool factor not for usability and efficiency.

Moto-Guzzi Breva 750 or 1100 (or even the 850 if they bring it to North America) sounds like it might fit the bill - bit underfaired though. And pricey. And painful for parts (so I hear). And the 850 and 1100 are both on the heavy side.

I keep waiting for Suzuki to build an SV with shaft-drive:-D

You're still gonna get hassled for your choices not being other people's choices though. And called a "girl" or whatever, as though your 'equipment' somehow governs whether you can turn your right wrist.

And I reckon that's the problem - half the MOrons above are so concerned about what other people might say that they buy bikes that are too impractical to actually use on a regular basis.

But anyway, there are bikes out there do fit that middle ground - you might have to customize them a bit to make them really fit - you know, you probably won't get what you want off the showroom floor.

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...and you'll find bikes that fill the needs you've outlined:

All of the bikes below are reasonably affordable, lightweight, comfortable, get excellent gas mileage, and can be ridden on the interstate:

Honda Silver Wing

Honda Reflex

Honda Helix

Honda Shadow Aero

Honda Shadow Spirit 750

Honda Shadow VLX 600

Kawasaki Vulcan 750

Kawasaki Vulcan 500

Yamaha Star V-Star 650

Suzuki SV650

Suzuki Boulevard C50

Suzuki Boulevard S50

Triumph Bonneville

Moto Guzzi Breva 750
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Actually, the Deauville is exactly what I had in mind. Unfortunately, Honda doesn't sell them in the U.S. We're left with the impractical bikes.
The VStrom 650 is very similar. Just add some hard bags.
What can I say, I can handle the easy rider position for 15 minutes, and the crotch rocket position for about 20. I guess that makes me a wimp.

In 1932, men were men and women were glad of it. When you get to be an old fart like me, you might change your tune.

Also, I'm not stuck on 800cc. A mid-size bike is perfect. It's just that the majority of bikes that might fit my criteria are 1000cc and up.
I think Forest has it right. In the U.S. bikes are recreation vechicles to most people. In Europe they are part of the whole transportation system. When , not if, gas prices hit $4.00 a gal. Perhaps things will change. I would definitel look at a standard, with hard bags, plus windshield or fairing, ABS, etc. if I was going to start commuting. Like Buz said it's the free enterprise system but the problem is the true cost of gas is not reflected at the pump. i.e. the taxes spent .. A study was done if we allocated the DOD budget spent on protecting the shipping lanes, etc ($55 billion to $96 billion) Gas would be $8.00 a gal. Some say even higher

So familydad right now the automobile i.e Buz's SUV is subsidized by the U.S. government in the form of low gasoline prices. I suspect if gasoline prices went up to the true cost, common sense would prevail and the pratical bikes you are talking about would sell like hot cakes.
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You're right about the Breva. The nearest dealer is 100 miles away. Way to far to drop on in.

I like your idea of an SV with shaft drive. I'd buy one tommorrow.

They can say anything they like. I have 4 strong sons, and a killer attack dog. Between us, we can make a pretty good showing. :)

There are some, but the customization is either too expensive, or impractical (like adding shaft drive).

Maybe, I should move to Australia or Europe so I can pick up a Honda Deauville. :)
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Ksquid, you are right on the money! Recreational vehicle vs. transportation. Impractical vs. practical.

So should I pray for $8.00 gal?
If gas was $5/gal would you say the same? Or is it the safety thing you are talking about. Would could assume if gas was that high SUVs and other large vehicles would no longer exist and thus pose no danger. i.e. the world would be one of Honda Civics and Toyota Tacoma pickups and delivery van. However, biodiesel proponents say gas has to go to $4.00 gal to produce any kind of biodiesel boom.
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