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It's hard to think of either of these as a commuter attack weapon... but maybe you don't have lane splitting?



You need something quick, manueverable, comfortable with an upright seating position...



the Buell CityX if you wanna go naked, maybe a VStrom or Multistrada if you want a fairing
 

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I have a 110 mile (round trip) commute in Oregon. I have a 94 BMW r1100rs that is just great. No muss, no fuss, 47 mpg. Rain (often) or shine and it cruises at 80+ like a dream. (And should I remind you about "Arrest me red" color of the Duc?) A buddy of mine let me ride his FJR, great bike, but it roasted my legs (check fjr1300.info) - yeah even here in Oreogn!



I looked at a Multistrada, but the shaft drive of my R1100RS seemed a better choice. I also do my own maintenance, which keeps costs down.



I suggest you think of an older BMW as an alternative. They are comfortable, fun to ride.

But as has been mentioned, it is all individual.

Just my 2 cents worth. (Insurance is cheaper on an older bike too.)
 

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One thing about that rush hour traffic, you are going to have a lot of weight on your wrists with a more aggressive riding position. Probably would want risers on the Duc.



Another thing to consider is how often you will be riding 2-up. I have noticed that extended 2-up riding tends to get the significant other leaning on you. This puts a significantly more weight on the wrists. Not sure how the ST3 compares with a VFR's riding position, but this is on factor that has me thinking about a replacement (if she rides enough to justify it).



-Andy
 

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I have a Ducati ST4S and love it for its handling, power and looks. As far as a daily commuter you would rapidly tire of the clutch and shifting action required for stop and go traffic. Lane splitting is not an issue, if you have removed the panniers. I would not choose the Ducati or Yamaha for a daily ride. But both would be an excellent choice for a tourer and the the Ducati is superb for purely "sport" days(I do an occasional track day with it and embarass quite a few "sport" bikes). Same goes for the multistrada. It is a very nice bike but its high center of gravity and a few other issues would not make it my choice for commuting. I would look at a Honda Interceptor, Yamaha FZ1 or even a Suzuki SV-650 or V-Strom. Good Luck, its a difficult choice. I would have 4 or 5 bikes if I had more disposable income, dumped my wife, etc.
 

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Ask the man who owns one. For two years, a Ducati ST4s (15000 miles) and a Triumph Sprint ST (11000) have been my only means of transportation.



The Duc has never let me down. It is a better summer than winter bike. I have added some bits and pieces to make it more comfortable and user friendly. Ducati addressed many complaints with the ST3. Ducati's Sport Touers are really sport bikes with more comfortable ergos. If you perform your own maintainance, Duc are not expensive to ride daily. Though, using a Duc as a daily ride is like using a Ferrari as a grocery getter.



The Yammie is a tourer with sporty potential that is super plush for every day use and with the side mounted oil filter and shaft drive; a much simpler bike to maintain. As a former D.C. Metro resident, you are going to get really frustrated riding the big Yammie in traffic. The Yam FZ -6 is a better choice.



The Duc without the side bags is a good urban weapon; but I would fit a ventilated clutch cover, because with stop and go riding, Ducati's dry clutches overheat and become grabby.



I used to want the FJR1300 as a daily ride, but Yamaha's elitist attitude towards marketing annoyed me so I bought the Triumph instead. And I am very happy with both bikes, but for me, my ST4s is a keeper.



I hope this helps.



CDM
 

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Man o Man! Great dilemma! But lets get real. Do you REALLY want to spend $13.5K + insurance, taxes & maint on what you plan to use as an urban commuter tool????



Couple of fellow 'rons are suggesting V-Strom. You really might want to rethink this one and look at the Stroms and like bikes.



On the other hand, you only live once - at least as far as I know. No guts, no glory.



Tough calls....more years experience than I'm willing to admit to today sez you best listen to those cautioning you to be a bit more practical.



Buy used, cheap...think Joe Glydon! Oh, you don't know who he is (was)? Try CityBike and read his old columns. Then save your $$ like a crazy man and buy that sport tourer of your dreams and ride it like it was meant to be ridden...and not in some stinking megacity traffic circle F. Save that for your cheap, used "FighterBike".
 

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I've got an ST4 with 22,000 miles on it and it is totally reliable. A friend has an FJR and the tranny just grenaded at 20,000.



The FJR is the more comfy of the two. The Duc more sporty. The ST3 has higher bars than my ST4 ( I fit mine with Helibars).



My friend routinely scrapes his exhaust on the FJR. The Duc's cans can be adjusted upward if you remove the bags for sportier riding.



The Duc clutch is heavier but don't let the limp-wristed scare you away for that. The Yamaha will be way hotter in stop and go traffic.



I really like the FJR but the Ducati will put a bigger smile on your face every time you ride it. It sounds way better and chicks dig Ducatis.

 

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If you take an uncooked hamburger and wrap it in foil and bungy it near one of the vents in the body panels, you'll find out where the name "FJR" came from. No need to guess, I'll tell it to you from personal experience..."food just right"! Don't get me wrong, it "is" a wonderful bike. I thoroughly enjoy riding mine and have made a few 800 miles in a day trips with it. I'm not real sure I'd want it as a short range, commuter though. Between the heat, the high frequency vibrations and somewhat lower bar setting, I think I'd opt for a bike which would be better suited for your type of riding. Another person commented on it and stated that a V-Strom, Multistrada, etc. could be your ticket. I also own one of these type of bikes and would wholeheartedly agree with his assesment, particularly when considering what your needs appear to be. I can't say much about the Ducati other then my experience with a Monster. It hasn't been the most reliable bike I've ever owned and I certainly wouldn't want to count on it as a daily bike. If I were considering such a bike, I think I'd go for a VFR or the new Triumph ST. Good luck on your quest and remember, as long as it's on two wheels, you can't go too wrong!





"Work to live, don't live to work!"
 

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I am trying to make the same decision that you are right now.



The Yammie is a great sport tourer, but I would not want it as a daily commuter. I have heard it puts off too much heat in traffic. It also has a dry weight (according to Yamaha) of 537 pounds, making it a full 90 lbs heavier than the Ducati. I would definitely not want to negotiate traffic on a 500+ pound bike. I am trying to do that now on a BMW and I am not made happy by it.



To me the choice is between the VFR and the ST3. I love the Duc, and it is lighter than the VFR, but the VFR can be bought out the door from a local dealer for under $10,000, with ABS, which Ducati doesn't fit on the ST3. I agree with MO, ride 'em before you decide. Go to the Honda Hoot and you should be able to ride both, or all three, at the test ride tents.



Francis
 

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Mr. Miles, I do understand your question,



However I would like to make a suggestion. Go ride a used BMW R bike. It has some of the "romance" of the duck, and is plenty fast enough. I truly like all bikes. It is just that I tend to be practical. Now if you have tons of cash burning a hole in your pocket, I guess you could afford to experiment and buy ( and sell) a few till you get what you are looking for.

Here are some of the really strong points for a R BMW.

* The jugs will save your bacon…b.t.d.t.g.t.t.

* If you are mechanically inclined, you can do much of the work yourself and save lots of bucks.

* They hold their value better than a UJM…not sure about the Duc

* IT is easy ( as things can be that) to get service on a BMW. Be sure you look into that no matter what you buy.

* There is an old saying. "there are those that own a BMW and those that will". I do not say this in a derogatory way about other bikes. You just have to go ride one for a while. They really do fit the bill for many folks.

* SAFETY … did you realize that they have Anti Lock Brakes? Regardless of what some will say ( negatively) they are flat out awesome and will with out question give you an edge on some rainy commute when what you were doing was thinking about the day instead of the cage in front of you! We all do this, some just won’t admit it.

Like I said, ALL one –wheel drive machines are awesome. But few will give you sheer riding pleasure day after day in the manner that a BMW will.

* The jump to a FRJ1300 size bike is huge ! It has a lot of power and will bite you unless you are a capable rider. Not that the BMW won’t, but it is more forgiving. BMW ‘s do haul butt as well. I have a 99 GS, for commuting and can embarrass many squids. BTGTTT as well.

* Heck if you want to spend the money, a 2005 BMW R1200GS is hard to beat…WITH ANYTHING!!

*I do understand about the looks of a twin. They are an acquired taste as it were. BUT after you cover a 700 mile day on it the first time you will come to love the profile!!!!!!!!!

*These concepts are hard to put into words. GO ride a few bimmers. They may or may not fit the bill. You have every thing to gain by looking and thinking it through.

* And last but not least, if ya gotta have power, and the "stream-Lined " look, the K12S is plenty fast, and looks good ( compared to jugs….for some people).



 

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I own a Harley Road King. Often ride with a Ducatista. They always laugh about how Harleys are unreliable junk. But guess what! This guy owns a couple of the Eyetalian bikes. And believe me they all spend more time in the shop with wierd electrical and brake and leak problems then my RK (or last three HD's) have.



BUT, if I were to commute, I'd go with the BMW F650. Now there's a great all around bike.



 

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Well, I just bought an '05 R1200GS and am pleased with it. It ain't exactly pretty, but it is a truly fine all 'rounder. You can ride the thing damn near forever it's so comfortable. In a little over two months I've got almost 6K on it and have several 600+ mile days under my belt. I also commute about 45 miles a day on it routinely. You really appreciate the hand guards and heated grips on those 35-40 degree mornings and the tall upright riding position is great in traffic.



The GS is not as fast as either bike you're considering though it's still plenty fast in real world riding. It's great handler, and likely the best of the three when the roads get narrow or rough. It has it's quirks like the power/linked brakes which initially take some getting used to and the poorly conceived turn signal switches. Admittedly way expensive, but worth it in my opinion. One vote for the R12.
 

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Believe it or not but the F650GS (not CS) is a great commuter bike. Breeze through construction zones, gravel, sand, dodge traffic with ease, sit high and upright and see everything, and cruise the slab with ease. Not very glamorous, but there's a reason it's one of the most popuar commuter bikes in Europe. Just an alternative to the little Strom that I like.
 

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Living near Dc Im not sure you want a fully faired and bagged bike for daily city commuting.Not sure where your commute is but there's a good chance that you will have your expensive plastic damaged . the sport tourers would be great for weekend and day trips down into Virginia Mountains or up into amish Country but Im not sure its the best tool for negotiating the snake pit that is DC metro area during rush hour. If you definitely want the sport tourer,get the one that is lighter and most maneuverable and with removable bags. I think the DUC probably meets this criteria best,but Im guessing replacing plastic is expensive,,,GOOD LUCK!!!
 
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