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Thread: To bike or not to bike

  1. #1
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    Default To bike or not to bike

    Hi all
    As a four wheel driver (car) I want to become a two wheel person. I don't see why I should drive a car.
    However. While doing my research on pricing and cost saving, my calculations don't actually add up.

    In the second had market I can only find a few bikes that have been used for proper commuting. Most bikes seem to have been ridden by weekend riders or riders who don't live far from work.
    I deduce this from the millage and age of many second hand bikes available online. E.g Honda NC750 (2016) 1386klm. - 38.5klm per week???

    My question is - can a bike, any bike (displacement dependant 500cc-750cc) handle 120 000 klm over a 5 year period. Or should I be buying two bikes to manage longevity and maintenance. Are motorbikes actually built for South African daily work commute?
    And before you all tell me to look out my car window on a Monday morning and marvel at the two wheel hero zipping past me, I still feel like there is something I am missing that the sales guy at the bike shop is not telling me.

    I have had a few bikes as a weekend worrier and love ridding and I know that it wont be the same - fighting of weather and other inconveniences. But what am i missing here???

  2. #2
    Trip 7s colyvon's Avatar
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    Hi Ecorider, and welcome.
    I have been commuting since 1981, every day (rain, hail, snow, whatever), I use the bike to go to the mall with the wife, unless we forsee large size purchases, and weekend runs to nearby attractions. I usually travel to Capetown once a year, sometime as a two day down and two days back trip, but occasionally do the up trip in one day. I put 89000km on my first NC 750 between 2014 and 2017 and have put 51000km on my latest NC.
    I am on a Honda NC Facebook page and there are people with over. 150 000km on their bikes.

    Short answer, To bike, or not to bike, there is no question.
    Ride safely.

  3. #3
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    Wow thanks Colyvon thanks so much for the warm welcome.
    That definitely makes me feel a lot better and I can tell you I will be on a Honda NC very very soon. Just got to get all the necessary paperwork in order.
    I guess it's all about regular maintenance and care. I really don't see why we all need to drive a car it just doesn't add up why we all need a car. I'll definitely visit the Face Book page.
    Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Nuon Fangirl

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    My 2009 R1200GS: Traded it in on 108 000km problem free
    My wife's 2009 R1200GS: Traded it in on 107 000km problem free
    A friend's 2007 R1200GS: Did a Iron Butt ride on 180 000km. Bike stolen at 190 000km.
    Another friend's R1200GSA: Over 200 000km before written off in an accident.
    Wife's current 2014 R1200GS: JUst had 60 000km service done.
    My 2014 R1200GS: Traded in at 70 000km.

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    Just another question - does the displacement matter for commuting. Im really not into sports bikes, and I am quite short but would preffer to stay away from cruisers and stick to the commuter bikes.
    It kinda adds up that larger displacement means less stress on the engine and therefore equates to longevity. I am aiming at 500cc - 750cc what would you recommend.
    Thanks again for the advice, much appreciated.

  6. #6
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    Welcome Ecorider

    I commute daily on my R1200 GSA 2014. Currently around 150 km per day. I saw the same kind of thing when I was looking. Don't know if it is common but one thing I have discovered is that a bike saves you time and petrol compared to a cage but not money. The tyres don't last as long, 20k per set as apposed to 50k+. The services are about the same price but often more often, 7.5/10k vs 15k, than a cage.

    I bought the bike September 2017 with 30k on the clock. Just passed 90k. No issues to report and still loving it and appreciating not sitting in traffic.

    A bike is more dangerous and uncomfortable than a cage but both can be reduced through training, mindset and appropriate gear.

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    Thanks so much AMZ much appreciated.
    But I can see by your reply that displacement makes a difference. I have had smaller and older bikes (weekend ridding) Honda RD 350 gave me a few issues but I didn't take care of it. and a Yamaha 750 cruiser that I only had for a year and only got on it 10 times total and at 63 000 klm the shaft drive needed attention due to damage.
    I am a shorter rider and would still like 500cc-750cc or above, i may have to preload suspension but don't think this is an issue.
    So I am leaning towards a "fitted" Honda NC750

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    Thanks zaFroggy, much appreciated.
    Agreed. I did the homework on the pricing and running costs and will still save a full R3000 a month, even with shorter service intervals. Tyers will be changed once a year and that may change the monthly saving, but to be honest I still think its worth while. I notice lots of GS riders going further or longer... good to know.
    I believe a bike is like a fire arm.... good and constant training makes you safer.

  9. #9
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    My little old faithful Yammi SR 250 has 54500km odd and going perfectly fine. Got the bike with 18000km on. I am yet to change tyres as they are still good, had to change chain twice and sprockets once. Besides general servicing, ive had to do fork seals once. I commute approx. 70km per day which is mainly highway traffic. Im sure il get to 100 000km with little to no major issues if I maintain it properly. Mine gets 29-32 km/l whereas the car gets 12-14km/l. Bike life is the best but please be careful, we have a lot of idiots on the road these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terence1983 View Post
    My little old faithful Yammi SR 250 has 54500km odd and going perfectly fine. Got the bike with 18000km on. I am yet to change tyres as they are still good, had to change chain twice and sprockets once. Besides general servicing, ive had to do fork seals once. I commute approx. 70km per day which is mainly highway traffic. Im sure il get to 100 000km with little to no major issues if I maintain it properly. Mine gets 29-32 km/l whereas the car gets 12-14km/l. Bike life is the best but please be careful, we have a lot of idiots on the road these days.
    WOW thanks Terence1983. also gives me faith in the smaller displacement bikes. to be honest I am not sure I could go as low as 300cc. But that opens up a lot of bikes. I would think that lower revving machines would be safer for me. Thanks again

  11. #11
    Hooligan Biker

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecorider View Post
    I have had a few bikes as a weekend worrier and love ridding and I know that it wont be the same - fighting of weather and other inconveniences. But what am i missing here???
    The smile when you arrive at your destination - the smile. Riding a bike puts me in a good mood irrespective of how my day was.
    When you talk, you are only repeating what you know; but when you listen, you learn something new.

  12. #12
    Hooligan Biker

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecorider View Post
    I would think that lower revving machines would be safer for me. Thanks again
    Welcome to the forum! The Honda NC makes for a great commuter, but if you want to commute with a respectable degree of exhilaration and good fuel consumption, then I can recommend the Yamaha MT-07. This bike is sufficiently affordable to buy it brand new in my opinion and most dealers will throw in the first two services free of charge.

  13. #13
    Nuon Fangirl

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecorider View Post
    Just another question - does the displacement matter for commuting. Im really not into sports bikes, and I am quite short but would preffer to stay away from cruisers and stick to the commuter bikes.
    It kinda adds up that larger displacement means less stress on the engine and therefore equates to longevity. I am aiming at 500cc - 750cc what would you recommend.
    Thanks again for the advice, much appreciated.
    I don't think displacement is that important. Riding a bike that you enjoy is more important.

    The NC750 is a good choice and that engine is not stressed at all. Just keep in mind, that with age, the engine is not the only thing that may need repairs.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by colyvon View Post
    I put 89000km on my first NC 750 between 2014 and 2017 and have put 51000km on my latest NC.
    I also have NC750XD for daily commute and over 1 year I put 12000Km. Good to hear that bike can go the distance.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AMZ View Post
    I don't think displacement is that important. Riding a bike that you enjoy is more important.
    This is so true. My advice is that you first go test ride a variety of different bikes that appeal to you before you finally decide. This is what I like about dealers like Linex Yamaha and Fire it Up. They allow you to test ride and the freeways are in close proximity to those dealers for you to test the handling and performance of a bike at higher speeds. Fire it Up has a large variety of bikes on their showroom floor and you can test ride virtually all of them, so, spend one morning there and make an outing of it and I'm sure you will find the bike you like.

  16. #16
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    I pretty much commute daily on my Honda CBF600SA. Nice bike being an inline 4, and riding position perfect for city riding. In 3 years I've put just over 32000km, 4 Jozi-Cape trips, Jozi-Lesotho and countless Jozi-Harrismith.

    Formal training and chatting with the OK Toppies has kept me safer I believe, but also one needs to learn to ride defensively and anticipate the pedestrian who will cross in front of the bus whilst lane splitting at no more than 20kph faster than cages.

    An 1100 or 1200cc would be "nice". The 600 is all the fun I need to be frank as going beyond 140kph happens about once a week only.

    Oh...my bike was pre-owned, so on the clock now I have just under 75000km, and I change my oil at 10000km, and lube chain regularly (riding/whether dependent).

    Sent from my using Tapatalk
    Two wheels not for the faint hearted in Jozi! ​

  17. #17
    I am dreaming of a mielie field ...
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    Hi, and welcome

    Quote Originally Posted by zaFroggy View Post
    Welcome Ecorider

    I commute daily on my R1200 GSA 2014. Currently around 150 km per day. I saw the same kind of thing when I was looking. Don't know if it is common but one thing I have discovered is that a bike saves you time and petrol compared to a cage but not money. The tyres don't last as long, 20k per set as apposed to 50k+. The services are about the same price but often more often, 7.5/10k vs 15k, than a cage.

    I bought the bike September 2017 with 30k on the clock. Just passed 90k. No issues to report and still loving it and appreciating not sitting in traffic.

    A bike is more dangerous and uncomfortable than a cage but both can be reduced through training, mindset and appropriate gear.
    +1 for training. +1 for mindset. +10000 for GEAR

    Quote Originally Posted by Ecorider View Post
    Thanks so much AMZ much appreciated.
    But I can see by your reply that displacement makes a difference. I have had smaller and older bikes (weekend ridding) Honda RD 350 gave me a few issues but I didn't take care of it. and a Yamaha 750 cruiser that I only had for a year and only got on it 10 times total and at 63 000 klm the shaft drive needed attention due to damage.
    I am a shorter rider and would still like 500cc-750cc or above, i may have to preload suspension but don't think this is an issue.
    So I am leaning towards a "fitted" Honda NC750
    I don't think you'll go wrong with an NC. It's a little tall for me (being 1.75m), but fitted would definitely be a good option.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ntjamme View Post
    I pretty much commute daily on my Honda CBF600SA. Nice bike being an inline 4, and riding position perfect for city riding. In 3 years I've put just over 32000km, 4 Jozi-Cape trips, Jozi-Lesotho and countless Jozi-Harrismith.

    Formal training and chatting with the OK Toppies has kept me safer I believe, but also one needs to learn to ride defensively and anticipate the pedestrian who will cross in front of the bus whilst lane splitting at no more than 20kph faster than cages.

    An 1100 or 1200cc would be "nice". The 600 is all the fun I need to be frank as going beyond 140kph happens about once a week only.

    Oh...my bike was pre-owned, so on the clock now I have just under 75000km, and I change my oil at 10000km, and lube chain regularly (riding/whether dependent).

    Sent from my using Tapatalk
    +1 for training.
    Ride so you can ride again tomorrow.
    From your friendly cager

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