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Thread: Commuting

  1. #1
    Junior Member Commuting New Commuter700's Avatar
    Bike: NC700X
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    Commuting

    I just completed my first week of commuting to work on my *new* 2015 NC700X. My commute is about 100 miles round trip and about an hour each way. Tomorrow I change the oil for the first time.

    First, I would like to talk about why I bought this bike. I have an 18 year old pick up with 190k on it and it is getting to the point that I would need to start putting a lot of money into keeping it running if I continue to run it 4 to 500 miles a week. I decided that I needed a new car so I ran the numbers for a motorcycle, a Subaru Imprezza and a Prius. The Subaru would mean the same commute that I was doing in that I would have to deal with sitting in the parking lot (US60 and I10) in Tempe every day during daylight saving time*. I was taking over an hour and a half to get to work and back home every day so a motorcycle or a Prius had a plus in that I could use the "diamond" or high occupancy vehicle lane. After running the numbers I found that any new car was going to cost me more per mile than my pickup has cost by around double. A Prius was worse unless gas got to $10 per gallon because of the initial cost. The numbers on a motorcycle wasn't much better because either one could get a bike that gets about 35 mpg or red lines around 60 mph. Then I found this forum through fuelly; 65 mpg? That changes the calculations especially as gas hits $3 per gallon. The estimates that I am coming up with is that this bike should run me about the same as my truck has even though gas is more expensive than the last 5 years. I was also pleasantly surprised after talking with my State Farm agent that I could make the motorcycle my primary transportation and change the pickup to low mileage, net increase in insurance cost is only $150 per year. Add to that the smile factor and the choice was clear.

    Anyway, the first weeks impressions:

    What shocked me most is that people give me a wider berth when I am riding my bike than when I am driving my semi. I get cut off around 100 times a day while driving a truck at work but I don't think I got cut off 5 times all week on the bike. (5 days of commuting is about 500 miles in heavy city driving and one day of work is 400 miles of rural highway and city.) I had two incidents of lane sharing but both cases were Prius's that chose to move across two lanes behind me after a head check and a signal, iow - they both were being stupid. I only had a few tailgaters also, which really surprised me since I was not running over 65 because the bike is actually new and I wanted to make sure that I kept the rpms down for the first 500 miles.

    I have now filled it twice and I am surprised that I got over 80 mpg for both tanks. I am sure that now that I will run it a little faster the mileage will go down. I will also be adding the larger windscreen and saddlebags which I am sure will reduce mpg as well.

    This bike may not end up being a better value than fixing my pickup but adding the time I save by passing the traffic sure may help.




    *Arizona does not do DST but since I meet another driver from Albuquerque every work day I do DST. This means that I go to work an hour later when the rest of the world stops altering time.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rapturee's Avatar
    Bike: 2012 NC700x
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    Now that sounds like a wise choice and a great bike, Good for you! :{)
    Fiat Justicia et Peret Mundus = Do the Right thing, Come what May!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Commuting SilverRocket's Avatar
    Bike: 2016 NC700XDLG
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    Is this a new bike that you are breaking in? Try to vary your rpms and not keep a steady speed/ rpms.

    Also, don't be shy with hitting your hi-beams during the day, especially if coming up on traffic that might be making unexpected lane changes. And ALWAYS if you see that Uber decal on a car!

    Another thing to consider in the car vs. bike deal is the cost of gear. You could easily drop $2000 on name brand, good quality helmet, boots, jacket, pants and gloves. Not to mention a communicator and luggage.
    The good news is that there are lower cost alternatives, like Cycle Gear, that won't be as comfortable or last as long but should do for the first year or 2.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Bike: crf450x, nc700x, 2016 African twin
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    Several things that make this motorcycle work better than most when you ride it for commuting . The reasons I feel the NC is one of if not the best commuter on the market today. Built in lockabke storage, valve ajustments that take about 1 hour to complete and it's easy to do as well.(this is a big one for me). One set of brake pads in the front means cheaper to replace when they wear Long air filter and spark plug replacement intervals and 8,000 mile oil change intervals, very easy bike to keep clean. It's narrow and compact and runs as cool as ice when sitting in rush hour traffic it has 6 gears and fuel injection and will do 85 all day long if you want it to and a motor with great torque for city or highway commuting... what more do your really need or want? I run cheap *** shinko 705s which have been a solid tire they are good on the dirt roads and handle great on pavement for the price A front will set you back about 60 bucks shipped and a rear less than 90 bucks shipped. I have been getting close to 10,000 miles so far from a rear and more out of the front chains are cheap too and I got 17,000 miles out of my last one the current one I have cost me 40 bucks and it's lasted about 11,000 miles so far with lots of life left. thing is when you commute you put a ton of miles on very quickly so all these things matter. Imo I don't see a better option not even my Africa twin dethrones the little NC for commuting at least for me ..... top it off with 75-80 mpg and no motorcycle comes close period. This is just the things I consider to be important to me after several years of commuting year round on different motorcycles none of my past bikes have done it better and I don't see anything that beats it today.

    Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
    Last edited by mtbmike; 3rd June 2018 at 02:04.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Commuting MalcolmReynolds's Avatar
    Bike: 2012 NC700X
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    Congrats on your bike and choice. Continue to ride it like it is on break-in miles and you will continue to be rewarded with great fuel economy. There aren't a lot of bikes that match the fuel economy of this bike. Keep your tire pressures up to reduce tire wear and that will also help with economy. Regular routine chain cleaning, oiling, and tension checks and you can extend the life of the chain.

    Now the downside of motorcycles as an affordable transportation is the cost of tires, chains, regular service intervals that if you have the shop do it will cost you a lot. At the rate you will be putting on the miles you may want to invest in the tools to do the service and to change your own tires. That will dramatically reduce the cost of ownership if you have the time and skills to do it yourself. If you have the time and ability to do the work yourself you may find your calculations show that you are saving yourself both money and time and cost of fuel continues to climb.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Commuting New Commuter700's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverRocket View Post
    Is this a new bike that you are breaking in? Try to vary your rpms and not keep a steady speed/ rpms.

    Also, don't be shy with hitting your hi-beams during the day, especially if coming up on traffic that might be making unexpected lane changes. And ALWAYS if you see that Uber decal on a car!

    Another thing to consider in the car vs. bike deal is the cost of gear. You could easily drop $2000 on name brand, good quality helmet, boots, jacket, pants and gloves. Not to mention a communicator and luggage.
    The good news is that there are lower cost alternatives, like Cycle Gear, that won't be as comfortable or last as long but should do for the first year or 2.

    Yes, it is a brand new out-of-the-box 3 to 4 year old 2015

    Hitting the high beams during the day doesn't do any good in Phoenix since very few drivers use mirrors. But I give Uber and Lyft cars a wide margin already because I drive a truck.

  7. #7
    Junior Member Commuting New Commuter700's Avatar
    Bike: NC700X
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    Quote Originally Posted by MalcolmReynolds View Post
    Congrats on your bike and choice. Continue to ride it like it is on break-in miles and you will continue to be rewarded with great fuel economy. There aren't a lot of bikes that match the fuel economy of this bike. Keep your tire pressures up to reduce tire wear and that will also help with economy. Regular routine chain cleaning, oiling, and tension checks and you can extend the life of the chain.

    Now the downside of motorcycles as an affordable transportation is the cost of tires, chains, regular service intervals that if you have the shop do it will cost you a lot. At the rate you will be putting on the miles you may want to invest in the tools to do the service and to change your own tires. That will dramatically reduce the cost of ownership if you have the time and skills to do it yourself. If you have the time and ability to do the work yourself you may find your calculations show that you are saving yourself both money and time and cost of fuel continues to climb.
    Yea, I'll do most of the work myself but I was probably taking it to the shop for tires. I wasn't thinking the labor would be that much. If it is, well, I just might consider doing the second set myself.

    As far as the chain goes, I had never thought about how much the chain affects mileage, durability, and performance. I suspect the chain on this bike is light years ahead of the one I had on a 1980 CB750 which was junk when I got the bike. But this one will see weekly maintenance. Unlike that 750.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rippin209's Avatar
    Bike: 2012 NC700X
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    mtbMike has a good point about balancing cost of new parts verses how long they last. After talking about the cost of replacing chain, tires, brake pads, fork oil, my 96 Honda accord is close to neck and neck with my NC as for cost per mile because the parts last so much longer on the accord and the millage isn't that far behind.

    For reference I do all the maintenance work on my vehicles so I'm talking about the cost of parts alone (I do pay to have my tires mounted) after removing the motorcycle rims.

    I commute 120 miles per work day and that's over a small mountain pass, I bought my NC700X with 5,000 miles and just went over 75,000 miles in 3 and 1/2 years.

    I've ruined a D.I.D. VX2 chain (arguably one of the best and a bit over $100) because if rushing and not doing things properly your millage and how quickly parts wear out will depend heavily on your riding, I ride like a rookie aggressive and putting myself in situations where I had to brake hard and my brakes and tires ware out twice as fast as they do now. I still ride faster then most traffic but a smooth line is my riding goal.

    I would recommend a center stand, I don't know if anyone that regretted getting one.

    I would also recommend keeping your side cases narrower then your handlebars

    My heated grips get used almost daily (I didn't think they would) my rear rack doesn't get used that often but when I do use it there's usually no way I could carry whatever it is without it

    Oh yeah get a set of covers for your forks and a fenda-extenda and a sit-n-fly seat cover




    My 2013 NC700X

    Lots of great people and advice on here
    Congratulations on the motorcycle and welcome to the forum
    Last edited by rippin209; 3rd June 2018 at 12:18.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I don't do my own tires, because I do a lot of quick speed touring, so I want the wheels to be high speed balanced. You can save your self some money by removing the wheels and bringing them to a shop to be mounted and balanced. How much a shop charges will probably depend on whether you bring them the wheels and new tires, or if they get the tires for you. An independent repair shop will probably charge less than a dealership. I go through an independent shop to get the tires, bring them the wheels and they mount and balance the tires. The tires are properly mounted, no marks on the wheels and no vibration from out of balance wheels.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Commuting ld_rider's Avatar
    Bike: 2014 Black ABS/DCT
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    Quote Originally Posted by New Commuter700 View Post
    I just completed my first week of commuting to work on my *new* 2015 NC700X.
    Congrats on the new ride. I roll with a 2014 DCT and when living in AZ years ago (ASU Alumni) it was on a Goldwing. I vividly remember commuting to Sky Harbor from Paradise Valley when it was 122 deg F. In the shade ;-)

    Note that motorcycles while generally fuel sippers, will have a cost/mile probably equal to or more than many cars. My ancient Saab costs pennies to run/mile... the NC? Not so much but I don't really care. I rather be on the bike and enjoying myself.

    Have fun with the new bike and ride safe!
    Rob in New England
    IBA# 540

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