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Discussion Starter #1
So, I'm thinking out loud here... Fuel prices are set to go way up again, since I read about the IEA saying that crude oil production in many existing wells is declining faster than expected. So, I was wondering about a motorcycle for more utilitarian usage. You know, something I can get groceries with, using some kind of luggage, and gets good gas mileage. I'd want to be able to ride it for almost the entire year here in the Mid-Atlantic states, and I'm tall. I've never ridden a Monster, but I think the seat is too low for me on that bike. I see I can get a trailer with the Can Am Spyder, but those are expensive. Any ideas?
 

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If all you are doing is running around picking up supplies consider a scooter. My wife had a Suzuki Burgman 400 that was a hoot to ride around town. Great under seat storage. I rode it as much as she did. Great MPG, 60 or so. I know it's not what you had in mind but, get past the "scooter" stigma we have in this country and use it for what it was designed for. People travel 'cross country with those things.:eek:

BTW-We sold that scooter a few months ago when fuel prices were way up. The wife's knees are shot and she doesn't ride anymore. Pick one up when the economy is down and fuel prices are low. Sell if you don't like it when fuel prices go back up. You cant lose.
 

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The big scooter idea is not a bad one. The 400/650cc ones are NOT slow and will carry a ton of stuff under the seat.

If you're looking for another duc, the ST series bikes are a good bet. They're relatively cheap, have decent ergos for a tall rider.

If money is no option :D I see honda is FINALLY bringing the NT700V deauville to the states. Old, proven V-twin with shaft drive and bags. Doesn't get much more practical.
 

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I think lower gas consumption is just one factor you must look at when considering the economics of substituting a motorcycle or scooter for an automobile for daily use.

If you do not work on your bike yourself, routine maintenance of many motorcycles (especially Ducatis) is much more expensive than a car. Another example is tires. Auto tires last much longer than the 4,000-6,000 miles most of us get out of a rear tire on our sport bikes and sport tourers.
 

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I think lower gas consumption is just one factor you must look at when considering the economics of substituting a motorcycle or scooter for an automobile for daily use.

If you do not work on your bike yourself, routine maintenance of many motorcycles (especially Ducatis) is much more expensive than a car. Another example is tires. Auto tires last much longer than the 4,000-6,000 miles most of us get out of a rear tire on our sport bikes and sport tourers.
BINGO!

A number of the guys here at work talk big about getting bikes solely due to the cost of gas...I ask them if they've thought about these other things and they end up giving me this blank stare...

Gotta look at the cost of ownership, not just the cost of gas.

A Toyota Yaris would be a cheaper option to own & maintain than most bikes out there. ;)
 

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Well BP just announced a huge oil find in the gulf of mexico which may hold up to 3 billion barrels of crude. They say they may be able to extract nearly 1 billion barrels, so it may not dry up quite that fast.

As far as a grocery getter, you are probably better off with a car for that task. Of ourse as oters have mentioned that there is more to the cost of ownership than simply fuel prices including maintenance insurance and registration fees. Personally when my wife started feeling guilty about our gas guzzler we went out and bought a bit more economical car as our second vehicle. I piked up a VW Jetta TDI which gets 30mpg city and 40mpg hwy and I don't have to deal with any of the hybrid crap.
 

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I remember the bicycles with the wire racks on them with brown grocery bags stuffed inside. A standard motorcycle would be good, a Vespa with bags would be good. There are some real cool brand new standard bikes and there are some great used Honda CB's out there. The old CB 350-750 are awesome.
 

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A couple of months ago, my husband changed jobs and is now working in the CBD. Although he was given a carpark as part of the package he did not see the sense in driving our great big X5 into the city every day - its less than 4km! So rather than take one of the Ducati's we went and out bought a scooter!

So a graphite black Piaggio MP3 400 now does the commuting duty, the shopping when its not raining and other little tasks about the area. I know I shouldn't admit to it, but it is a heap of fun, goes around corners really really well, centrestand scrapes a bit though. It is really stable, our tram tracks don't upset it at all and it handles bumps and stuff just fine. Fitted with a top box it has sufficient room to handle our weekly shop and the fuel economy is just fine.

http://www.piaggiousa.com/scooters.php#/home/Piaggio MP3 400
 

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One of the guys I work with has a Bergman 400, great bike with tons of storage. I rode it back to back with a Honda Silverwing and liked the Zuke better. I commute up to 50 miles a day, not as much as some but still a good ride. I have a tiny smart fortwo for my commuter. Heat/AC and can drive it year round here in Virginia. It also gets better mileage than my Duc. It's not a primary family car, too small, but for a run around/commuter for one or two it's great.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well BP just announced a huge oil find in the gulf of mexico which may hold up to 3 billion barrels of crude. They say they may be able to extract nearly 1 billion barrels, so it may not dry up quite that fast.

As far as a grocery getter, you are probably better off with a car for that task. Of ourse as oters have mentioned that there is more to the cost of ownership than simply fuel prices including maintenance insurance and registration fees. Personally when my wife started feeling guilty about our gas guzzler we went out and bought a bit more economical car as our second vehicle. I piked up a VW Jetta TDI which gets 30mpg city and 40mpg hwy and I don't have to deal with any of the hybrid crap.
Yeah, I saw that BP find as well... BUT... and there are many of them... the well is 35,000 feet deep, the deepest I think ever, and it's 2 miles under water. They estimated that it would produce about 300,000 barrels a day, which is a small fraction of what the US consumes. Further, it takes years for a new discovery to come on line, and this particular find requires new technology, so I wouldn't hold my breath on this one. Still, it is good news.

Thanks for the advice on the car. Diesels are a good choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If all you are doing is running around picking up supplies consider a scooter. My wife had a Suzuki Burgman 400 that was a hoot to ride around town. Great under seat storage. I rode it as much as she did. Great MPG, 60 or so. I know it's not what you had in mind but, get past the "scooter" stigma we have in this country and use it for what it was designed for. People travel 'cross country with those things.:eek:

BTW-We sold that scooter a few months ago when fuel prices were way up. The wife's knees are shot and she doesn't ride anymore. Pick one up when the economy is down and fuel prices are low. Sell if you don't like it when fuel prices go back up. You cant lose.
I had a scooter a long time ago. That's another good idea, thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
BINGO!

A number of the guys here at work talk big about getting bikes solely due to the cost of gas...I ask them if they've thought about these other things and they end up giving me this blank stare...

Gotta look at the cost of ownership, not just the cost of gas.

A Toyota Yaris would be a cheaper option to own & maintain than most bikes out there. ;)
Yeah, that's right, the cost of ownership is important. I know the insurance would be far less on a bike than a car, since I only carry liability, but cars are very reliable and don't need much care compared to a bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I think lower gas consumption is just one factor you must look at when considering the economics of substituting a motorcycle or scooter for an automobile for daily use.

If you do not work on your bike yourself, routine maintenance of many motorcycles (especially Ducatis) is much more expensive than a car. Another example is tires. Auto tires last much longer than the 4,000-6,000 miles most of us get out of a rear tire on our sport bikes and sport tourers.
Thanks Bill. I do work on them myself, so I guess something simple would be a good choice. Tire cost is a downside to owning bikes, I agree.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A couple of months ago, my husband changed jobs and is now working in the CBD. Although he was given a carpark as part of the package he did not see the sense in driving our great big X5 into the city every day - its less than 4km! So rather than take one of the Ducati's we went and out bought a scooter!

So a graphite black Piaggio MP3 400 now does the commuting duty, the shopping when its not raining and other little tasks about the area. I know I shouldn't admit to it, but it is a heap of fun, goes around corners really really well, centrestand scrapes a bit though. It is really stable, our tram tracks don't upset it at all and it handles bumps and stuff just fine. Fitted with a top box it has sufficient room to handle our weekly shop and the fuel economy is just fine.

http://www.piaggiousa.com/scooters.php#/home/Piaggio MP3 400
That's a cool suggestion, thanks! It's like narrow trike.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The big scooter idea is not a bad one. The 400/650cc ones are NOT slow and will carry a ton of stuff under the seat.

If you're looking for another duc, the ST series bikes are a good bet. They're relatively cheap, have decent ergos for a tall rider.

If money is no option :D I see honda is FINALLY bringing the NT700V deauville to the states. Old, proven V-twin with shaft drive and bags. Doesn't get much more practical.
Thanks! I appreciate your comments.
 
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