Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 03-22-2003, 12:00 AM   #1
4 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 307
Motorcycle as a daily driver?

This year has been interesting thus far. I did 2 things I have never done before - and thought would never do. First, I got a truck. Not just a regular truck but a full 1-ton industrual grade monster with extended cab and full size bed. This in itself is remarkable because I have not even driven a truck, except a U-haul, once.

Then, I got an RV, and not just a generic SOB but an Airstream. I towed it myself without an incident, although admittedly I couldn't have set it up without a lot external help.

These circumstances created a dilemma for me. I currently have too many vehicles to the point of inconvenience. I thought about getting a smaller truck and using it as all-purpose, for towing and daily driving but had realized it would be one of those proverbial "penny wise, pound-foolish" decisions I am succeptible to. <sigh> It would cease to be a good towing vehicle and it still wouldn't be a good daily driver. It would be one of those one-size-fits-none.

I thought about getting a small 4-cylinder car as a daily driver but it wouldn't work for me either. I know it works well for others but in my personal circumstances, I have no one in my family to move it. And if I move 2,000 miles, there is no way I can take it with me.

I also considered a diesel truck as a daily driver. It doesn't work for me. I don't feel comfortable with it as a daily driver. It handles like a truck and noisy. I wouldn't mind it for towing, but on a daily basis, I want something that's more palatable, with better MPG, handling, acceleration than any truck.

Then, in my infinite brilliance, I realized I could go the very end of the transportation spectrum. A motorcycle. It would in fact fulfill my requirements well. Better MPG, and most importantly, I could easily move it.

Therefore, I am currently considering this setup: Using the truck about 2-3 days per week - when the weather is bad, when I need to haul stuff (rarely) and when I have passengers (which is never). The rest of the time, which is: Commuting to work and misc. and the grocery store, I want to use the "bike", I suppose about 4-5 days per week.

This idea is frankly even more scary to me that the first 2. I mean, I have already become a trucker, an RVer (Or is that Airstreamer) and now this? Has anybody done exactly that? Any comments on this idea? I live in a semi-rural region and plan to use it on county roads. Any good "cruisers" for that purpose? I am looking for Honda cruisers and maybe BMW but Japanese bikes seem to dominate. Any good "bike" forums?
__________________

__________________
ipso_facto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2003, 07:19 AM   #2
Retired Moderator
 
john hd's Avatar
 
1992 29' Excella
madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,644
Images: 40
Question are you experianced?

ipso,

have you driven a bike before?

if you have, what size/type?

john
__________________

__________________
john hd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2003, 08:27 AM   #3
2 Rivet Member
 
striker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 60
Images: 14
good bike

like john has asked if you are a veteran motorcyclist the i would
tell you get a harly not a rice burner. the harlys nold thier value just like the airstreams do.
__________________
striker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2003, 08:33 AM   #4
Just a member
 
thenewkid64's Avatar
 
1978 28' Argosy 28
Tampa Bay , Florida
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,539
Images: 21
Send a message via AIM to thenewkid64 Send a message via Yahoo to thenewkid64 Send a message via Skype™ to thenewkid64
If the "motorcycle" image is something you are trying to avoid you could consider a "scooter".

Not the dinky 50CC models, but 250CC or so with a windshield. Think mini goldwing. They will do up to 70 and get 80 MPG. Electric start and usally no gearbox.

We had a honda elite that was our "2nd Car" when we fulltimed. It rode under the topper in the back of our 1 ton PU tow vehicle. In most states anything over 50cc's requires a motorcycle endorsement on your liscense. Used you are looking in the 2500-3K ballpark. We enjoyed ours and sold it after settling back down from our fulltiming adventures.
__________________
Brett G
WBCCI #5501 AIR # 49
-------------------------
1978 Argosy 28 foot Motorhome

Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something. -- Plato


thenewkid64 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2003, 08:41 AM   #5
Rivet Master
 
BobbyW's Avatar
 
1965 20' Globetrotter
Currently Looking...
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,002
Images: 9
Honda Reflex 250 $4999 MSRP


Honda SilverWing 650 $7499 MSRP


-BobbyW
__________________
BobbyW
AIR# 123

-"You want to make it two inches - or, if you're working in centimeters, make sure it's enough centimeters for two inches."-Red Green
BobbyW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2003, 09:07 AM   #6
Retired Moderator
 
john hd's Avatar
 
1992 29' Excella
madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,644
Images: 40
or this!

ipso,

or you could go this route if you are out of your mind like me!

1955 harley, 74 cubic inches. $15,000 osrp (owner suggested retail price!)

purchased many years ago as a chopper for under $4000 sunk thousands into it to make it stock and reliable.

it is my daily driver, kick start only, 6 volt electrics, manual spark advance, mechanical drum brakes, no rear suspention. a real handful to drive!

the only concession i have made to driveability is a '99 carberator and foot shift vs. hand shift and the original linkert (leaker) carb.

harleys are alot like airstreams, they are not for every one! they cost a lot to restore and operate!

if you were to choose the scooter route, and i saw you on the road i'd wave anyway!

what the heck, your on two wheels!!!

john
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	55 pan.jpg
Views:	226
Size:	65.4 KB
ID:	1794  
__________________
john hd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2003, 09:12 AM   #7
2 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 29
If you've never ridden a bike, I wouldn't recommend using one to commute to work. I've been riding for over 30 years and have on occasion driven the Harley to work (now retired).. you've got to watch out for the 4 wheelers (cars) because they don't see motorcycles and will pull out in front of you or cut into your lane in a heartbeat. BTW, I'd practice pulling your A/S...tight left & right turns and backing up. I drive a 1ton Ford crew cab diesel dually which could be cumbersome while pulling a trailer in a camp ground. Happy trails.
__________________
Seon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2003, 09:38 AM   #8
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,333
I agree, if you have the skill set, the cycle should be fine. My friend used to ride bikes all the time when he was a bit younger. His claim was simply that if you haven't dumped it yet, everyone does once in their life. Anyone that drives a cycle can comment I'm sure.
Bottom line is that if you are comfortable and have the skills it takes, go for it.

Eric
__________________
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2003, 10:40 AM   #9
Rivet Master
 
RoadKingMoe's Avatar
 
2001 34' Limited
The State of , Ohio
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,605
Images: 23
BTDT during a 5 year period 18-23 years ago. 3 years in NW Florida and 2 years in Hampton VA when I commuted with only a bike (I did borrow the wife's car when it snowed or iced in VA, which wasn't often at all because of the proximity to the ocean). By the time I did that, I had about 15 years riding experience, and I wouldn't recommend commuting for a newbie rider, especially in an urban environment.

People in 4 wheel "cages" can actually look right at you, establish eye contact, and see you optically, but you don't register in their brain. There are things you can do to improve this and try to get their attention, such as wearing bright clothing and helmet, running with the high beam on during the day, using a headlight modulator, and weaving when approaching an intersection. These will reduce, but not eliminate the number of these incidents.

For a given number of miles ridden, there ARE going to be a certain number of vehicles pulling out, crossing your path, turning left in front of you, or changing lanes into you. The more miles ridden, the more incidents. The denser the traffic, the more incidents. The more skilled you are, the more you'll be prepared for these incidents, and the less likely you'll let it be that they happen when you can't avoid them. But even you are human...

Even as a skilled rider, you are not at your best when commuting. You're often thinking about work on the way in, or going home, where you may also be thinking about things you have to or want to do when you get there. And this is about like daydreaming while playing an action game like Doom. The difference is there's no "new game" option if you get wounded or killed.

Commuting on a bike can be pretty miserable. If you suit up in rain gear, it probably won't rain, but you'll be just as soaked when you arrive from sweating. If you don't suit up before departing, you can pretty well count on having to pull over and have to do it in the rain.

Even in NW Florida (or in the desert for that matter), it can get danged COLD at 45 mph, and I recommend a snowmobile suit that you can layer under (a flourescent orange suit helps). What's really the worst is hands and feet. Gloves are nowhere near as warm as mittens, but those don't give you the dexterity to operate controls. There are LARGE mittens called Hippo Hands that go over the entire handlebar ends and controls you can put your hands in that work well, and of course electric gloves (and socks, vest, etc) that plug into the bike help a lot. Snap-on covers over front engine guards also help keep the wind chill off your feet, where insulated boots and wool socks are pretty well mandatory. A balaclava (ninja hood-like thing) worn under the helmet helps keeps cold wind from your neck and chin.

While they may "look" less menacing, IMO from about 40 years of riding, "scooters" are not nearly as safe as real motorcycles. Their small diameter wheels can drop completely into a pothole that a larger diameter tire will span. The smaller tires don't have nearly the gyroscopic effect of larger tires, and that effect keeps you upright and often lets the bike save you if you don't fight it. That effect is also responsible for countersteering (turn left to go right... that's how a motorcycle steers... aka push right, go right), which is much more effective on a motorcycle.

If you aren't a lard ass like me, a 250cc motorcycle will take you up to more than 75 mph, and can get over 75 mpg while doing it. It's also a lot lighter for loading in the truck. Dual-purpose bikes of the past were great for commuting, but nowadays you need nearly a 36" inseam to get on one, LOL! They seem to no longer be marketed, but the 400-500cc "commuter bikes" could get 50-60 mpg, go well over 100 mph, and have more acceleration for merging, etc. Larger bikes may only get 40-50 mpg.

Anyway, that's some advice from my experience. Hope it helps.
__________________
Maurice
RoadKingMoe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2003, 11:19 AM   #10
Rivet Master
 
BobbyW's Avatar
 
1965 20' Globetrotter
Currently Looking...
Houston , Texas
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 1,002
Images: 9
I really am irritated with the current crop of choices today. When the weather improves, I always get the itch for a new bike. I sold my last bike, a '92 Yamaha Virago 750, a couple of years ago to buy parts for my '94 Miata. It was in showroom condition, always garaged and I got a good price for it. (the Yamaha)

I recently went to all the big 4's sites (Honda, H-D, Suzuki, Kawasaki) looking for something in the 450-750 range and was very disappointed. All most all of the mid-range bikes were of the sport bike type. I REALLY like these but I was looking for something like my Virago, a cruiser. If I bought a SportBike I would drive it like a maniac and end up dead or dismembered. There are a couple of cruiser choices but not many. I want another Shaft drive. The Virago's shaft drive was so trouble free, clean and quiet. All I ever did to this bike was oil it and gas it. I just want a Sunday morning cruiser. NEW, not used.

-BobbyW
__________________
BobbyW
AIR# 123

-"You want to make it two inches - or, if you're working in centimeters, make sure it's enough centimeters for two inches."-Red Green
BobbyW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2003, 11:26 AM   #11
Aluminut
 
Silvertwinkie's Avatar
 
2004 25' Safari
. , Illinois
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,333
Well put Maurice.

Bobby, get used to it. I hate to say it, but it's a fact of life that if you want it, it's gonna cost a bunch if you want different than the cookie cutter mold.

Regards,

Eric
__________________
Silvertwinkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2003, 11:46 AM   #12
Rivet Master
 
87MH's Avatar
 
1978 31' Sovereign
Texas Airstream Harbor , Zavalla, in the Deep East Texas Piney Woods on Lake Sam Rayburn
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,435
Images: 292
eye contact

I agree with everything that Maurice said - and more.

If you really have the bug, vacation for a couple of days where you can rent a bike. You'd be amazed how unappealing a bike is at the end of an 8 hour day.

On the other hand -- IMHO not much beats a throatty Harley on a nice day.

But, as a daily driver, not a chance.
__________________
Dennis

"Suck it up, spend the bucks, do it right the first time."

WBCCI # 1113
AirForums #1737

Trailer '78 31' Sovereign

Living Large at an Airstream Park on the Largest Lake Totally Contained in Texas
Texas Airstream Harbor, Inc.
87MH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2003, 11:55 AM   #13
4 Rivet Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 307
RoadKingMoe et al

According to the MSF 70% of all motorcycles accidents are caused by other drivers, which is eye-opening information. Other drivers expect to see cars, a bike is invisible to them.

I am still contemplating what to do. It seems you have to love bikes to begin with. I am considering getting a bike and riding it once a week until I gradually build up my skills level where I can use it more often, about half the time. I will probably stay in a rural or semi-rural region, not in a major metro center.

john hd

With all due respect, I don't understand (not yet anyway) the HD cult. I am looking for something far more modest, like Honda Shadow or Goldwing. HD, that's an end in itself.
__________________
ipso_facto is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-22-2003, 01:25 PM   #14
Retired Moderator
 
john hd's Avatar
 
1992 29' Excella
madison , Wisconsin
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 4,644
Images: 40
me either!

"With all due respect, I don't understand (not yet anyway) the HD cult. I am looking for something far more modest, like Honda Shadow or Goldwing. HD, that's an end in itself."

ipso,

i don't get it either!

i have had harleys way before they were "cool", when i bought my first one dealers were begging people to buy them.

suggestion,

go check if your local community or tech school and see if they have any beginner motorcycle courses.

our local tech school (matc) has a beginners course that is less than 50 bucks. they provide you with everything, helmet bike vests etc. all you need is sturdy shoes and gloves.

if you don't like it and decide to bail, your out a little cash and not stuck with a bike.

plus you get to tip someone eles's bike over! other rather than yours!

some of these courses allow you to get your mc license without a road test at the dmv. you still have to pay for it.

john
__________________

__________________
john hd is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
interesting daily travel report qqq Our Community 43 07-18-2011 05:00 PM
How to Scare a FlyingJ Tanker Driver to Death swebster Mechanics Corner - Engines, Transmission & More... 24 07-25-2006 10:46 AM
Towing a Small Motorcycle Trailer Behind 25' Safari?? heyskipper Our Community 4 05-07-2003 12:23 PM
Trying to take my motorcycle with me... heyskipper Our Community 19 03-22-2003 10:41 AM
Want to make/buy a Motorcycle for my Land Yacht Jeb Airstream Motorhome Forums 9 08-25-2002 01:21 PM


Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:50 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Airstream is a registered trademark of Airstream Inc. All rights reserved. Airstream trademark used under license to Social Knowledge LLC.