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Motorcyclists, some advice please

Motorcyclists, some advice please

Old Apr 6th 2011, 2:04 pm
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Default Motorcyclists, some advice please

I’m thinking about swapping the car for a motorbike / scooter to do my daily commute. It’s about 80km round trip from west to east Brisbane (Moggill to Manley) through the city with the whole mixture of road speeds / conditions (walking pace along Coro Drive up to 70 km/h along Wynnum Road etc). My question is, what type of bike would be best suited to this? I’m thinking along the lines of a 125 – 200 cc big wheel scooter. What about a similarly sized motorbike? . . . and if so, what style, cruiser, tourer? I’d need to do a Q-Ride (?) course. Would the type of Q-Ride course I did limit me to a certain type of bike? (do it on an automatic scooter, limited to riding the same). I’ve ridden a scooter when living in London, but that was for relatively short distances and for more dodging between the traffic, never really getting above 30 mph.

Advice would be most appreciated.

Thanks
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 2:32 pm
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Default Re: Motorcyclists, some advice please

Originally Posted by spartacus
I’m thinking about swapping the car for a motorbike / scooter to do my daily commute. It’s about 80km round trip from west to east Brisbane (Moggill to Manley) through the city with the whole mixture of road speeds / conditions (walking pace along Coro Drive up to 70 km/h along Wynnum Road etc). My question is, what type of bike would be best suited to this? I’m thinking along the lines of a 125 – 200 cc big wheel scooter. What about a similarly sized motorbike? . . . and if so, what style, cruiser, tourer? I’d need to do a Q-Ride (?) course. Would the type of Q-Ride course I did limit me to a certain type of bike? (do it on an automatic scooter, limited to riding the same). I’ve ridden a scooter when living in London, but that was for relatively short distances and for more dodging between the traffic, never really getting above 30 mph.

Advice would be most appreciated.

Thanks
Good luck! I certainly wouldn't want to be on a bike in traffic, the amount of accidents I hear on the radio and see are frightening.

My hubby rides a bike to work (Harley Davidson) and he loves it, saves him so much time but I do worry he will eventually be killed by some jackass who has zero driving ability!
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 2:36 pm
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Default Re: Motorcyclists, some advice please

Originally Posted by spartacus
I’m thinking about swapping the car for a motorbike / scooter to do my daily commute. It’s about 80km round trip from west to east Brisbane (Moggill to Manley) through the city with the whole mixture of road speeds / conditions (walking pace along Coro Drive up to 70 km/h along Wynnum Road etc). My question is, what type of bike would be best suited to this? I’m thinking along the lines of a 125 – 200 cc big wheel scooter. What about a similarly sized motorbike? . . . and if so, what style, cruiser, tourer? I’d need to do a Q-Ride (?) course. Would the type of Q-Ride course I did limit me to a certain type of bike? (do it on an automatic scooter, limited to riding the same). I’ve ridden a scooter when living in London, but that was for relatively short distances and for more dodging between the traffic, never really getting above 30 mph.

Advice would be most appreciated.

Thanks
Not sure about the legal aspects but personally I'd get a basic road bike nothing smaller than 400cc. For the kinds of distances you have in mind a smaller bike would pretty quickly become shagged out.
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 2:39 pm
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Default Re: Motorcyclists, some advice please

Originally Posted by LouiseR
Good luck! I certainly wouldn't want to be on a bike in traffic, the amount of accidents I hear on the radio and see are frightening.

My hubby rides a bike to work (Harley Davidson) and he loves it, saves him so much time but I do worry he will eventually be killed by some jackass who has zero driving ability!
It's aways a worry. I go for maximum visibility (headlights always on, yellow vest, etc) and ride a bike that's a bit noisier than average.
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 2:41 pm
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Default Re: Motorcyclists, some advice please

Originally Posted by LouiseR
Good luck! I certainly wouldn't want to be on a bike in traffic, the amount of accidents I hear on the radio and see are frightening.

My hubby rides a bike to work (Harley Davidson) and he loves it, saves him so much time but I do worry he will eventually be killed by some jackass who has zero driving ability!
Thanks Lou.

I think that touchs on one of the issues of riding a bike here . . . the smaller the bike the less right the local neanderthals think you have to be on the road, which is why I'm thinking about upping from a scooter to a motorbike (maybe a cruiser type) and riding it in the same way that I'd drive a car (not cutting through traffic but occupying the centre of the lane).
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 2:43 pm
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Default Re: Motorcyclists, some advice please

Originally Posted by paulry
Not sure about the legal aspects but personally I'd get a basic road bike nothing smaller than 400cc. For the kinds of distances you have in mind a smaller bike would pretty quickly become shagged out.
Originally Posted by paulry
It's aways a worry. I go for maximum visibility (headlights always on, yellow vest, etc) and ride a bike that's a bit noisier than average.
Thanks Paulry, that's what I was thinking (re engine size). Also hi-vis vest etc would be a must.
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 2:51 pm
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Default Re: Motorcyclists, some advice please

I'm a daily motocycle commuter and have been in Brisbane for more than 3 years now.

I wouldnt have it any other way. Its quite simply the best way to travel.

Of course there are safety concerns, but with proper training and an appropriate attitude you'll soon learn how to avoid trouble.

Peak hour riding is a completely different skill to weekend twisty riding and in many ways its safer.

You wont be going high speeds - cars will be going even slower so the whole 'losing control and wiping out' kind of accident isnt likely. What you do need to do is learn to read traffic - and with a bit of practice you'll get VERY good at it. I commute down Waterworks rd every day and travel the entire length down the T2 transit lane passing stationery traffic in the main lane. My concentration is divided between 2 main hazards: 1) People getting sick of being stationery and deciding to use the T2 lane so pulling out with out looking and 2) People pulling out of drivways and sidestreets. At intersections of course theres always aneed to be vigillant and look out for red-light heros. Having right of way on a bike is not enough - you need to take responsibility for you own actions and look out for all the idiots out there (and there are plenty).

As long as you always give yourself thinking room and a pre-planned escape route for every little 'what if' scenario that you're constantly considering, then decent safety can be achieved.

Another thing to ensure is that you are appropriately dressed. Dont assume that because you wont get above 60kmh you dont need good gear you need:
1) Helmet (legal requirement and nobody would forget this one anyway)
2) Decent jacket (kevlar mesh style or perforated leather)
3) Gloves
4) Some kind of trousers (mine are kevlar lined jeans)
5) Boots (no laces, no steel toe caps, good ankle protection)

If you dont think these things are required next time you're in the car as a passenger just open the door a little at 60kmh and imagine bailing out and having a 200kg weight pinning you to that fast moving tarmac.....

..and yes some people will say you're mad dressing up in super-hot gear when its 39C outside and it IS uncomfortable when you stop at the lights and start to boil - but its better than the alternative! As they say "If its too hot to wear the gear - its too hot to ride".

Another great quote: "You start off riding with a full bag of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you run out of luck."



Anyway - thats all a very sombre tone. Do it!!!! Get training... good training, get good gear, get a bike and free yourself from commuter hell!

I used to hate my journey to work on the buses and arrive miserable, tired and totally depressed ready to kill people. Now I arrive with a smile on my face and dont feel the need to kill anyone. My family, despite having safety concerns, LOVE the new happy me and the extra time they get with me now I have a shorter commute.
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 2:56 pm
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Default Re: Motorcyclists, some advice please

If you're currently not licenced you'd need to do the following:

1) Get a leaners permit ($20? and a 5 easy question test)
2) A few days of Q-Ride training to get a provisional licence. This entitles you to ride any LAMS motocycle (most 250cc bikes and some restricted 400/600cc bikes)
3) 1 year later - Get a full licence and trade up to a 'proper' bike.

I'd advise against the scooter. Theres little enough respect for bike riders as it is. On a scooter you really make yourself a target and even a high powered scooter (500cc) will still be 'challenged' by heros in utes where a low powered 'sport bike' (250cc) will be begrudgingly left alone - its all in the appearance.



[For the record I ride a Kawasaki ZX636 sport bike after spending my 'apprenticeship' on a fantasticly 'cheaper than the bus' Kawasaki ZZR250]
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 2:58 pm
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Default Re: Motorcyclists, some advice please

Originally Posted by DadAgain
I'm a daily motocycle commuter and have been in Brisbane for more than 3 years now.

I wouldnt have it any other way. Its quite simply the best way to travel.

Of course there are safety concerns, but with proper training and an appropriate attitude you'll soon learn how to avoid trouble.

Peak hour riding is a completely different skill to weekend twisty riding and in many ways its safer.

You wont be going high speeds - cars will be going even slower so the whole 'losing control and wiping out' kind of accident isnt likely. What you do need to do is learn to read traffic - and with a bit of practice you'll get VERY good at it. I commute down Waterworks rd every day and travel the entire length down the T2 transit lane passing stationery traffic in the main lane. My concentration is divided between 2 main hazards: 1) People getting sick of being stationery and deciding to use the T2 lane so pulling out with out looking and 2) People pulling out of drivways and sidestreets. At intersections of course theres always aneed to be vigillant and look out for red-light heros. Having right of way on a bike is not enough - you need to take responsibility for you own actions and look out for all the idiots out there (and there are plenty).

As long as you always give yourself thinking room and a pre-planned escape route for every little 'what if' scenario that you're constantly considering, then decent safety can be achieved.

Another thing to ensure is that you are appropriately dressed. Dont assume that because you wont get above 60kmh you dont need good gear you need:
1) Helmet (legal requirement and nobody would forget this one anyway)
2) Decent jacket (kevlar mesh style or perforated leather)
3) Gloves
4) Some kind of trousers (mine are kevlar lined jeans)
5) Boots (no laces, no steel toe caps, good ankle protection)

If you dont think these things are required next time you're in the car as a passenger just open the door a little at 60kmh and imagine bailing out and having a 200kg weight pinning you to that fast moving tarmac.....

..and yes some people will say you're mad dressing up in super-hot gear when its 39C outside and it IS uncomfortable when you stop at the lights and start to boil - but its better than the alternative! As they say "If its too hot to wear the gear - its too hot to ride".

Another great quote: "You start off riding with a full bag of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you run out of luck."



Anyway - thats all a very sombre tone. Do it!!!! Get training... good training, get good gear, get a bike and free yourself from commuter hell!

I used to hate my journey to work on the buses and arrive miserable, tired and totally depressed ready to kill people. Now I arrive with a smile on my face and dont feel the need to kill anyone. My family, despite having safety concerns, LOVE the new happy me and the extra time they get with me now I have a shorter commute.
Well said. Excellent advice
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: Motorcyclists, some advice please

Originally Posted by spartacus
Thanks Lou.

I think that touchs on one of the issues of riding a bike here . . . the smaller the bike the less right the local neanderthals think you have to be on the road, which is why I'm thinking about upping from a scooter to a motorbike (maybe a cruiser type) and riding it in the same way that I'd drive a car (not cutting through traffic but occupying the centre of the lane).
In that case go for a Harley!! Mark's one is lovely, he sits in the centre of the lane and it's super noisy. Loud pipes save lives apparently.
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 3:06 pm
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Default Re: Motorcyclists, some advice please

Originally Posted by LouiseR
In that case go for a Harley!! Mark's one is lovely, he sits in the centre of the lane and it's super noisy. Loud pipes save lives apparently.
Looks great!
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 3:06 pm
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Default Re: Motorcyclists, some advice please

Originally Posted by DadAgain
If you're currently not licenced you'd need to do the following:

1) Get a leaners permit ($20? and a 5 easy question test)
2) A few days of Q-Ride training to get a provisional licence. This entitles you to ride any LAMS motocycle (most 250cc bikes and some restricted 400/600cc bikes)
3) 1 year later - Get a full licence and trade up to a 'proper' bike.

I'd advise against the scooter. Theres little enough respect for bike riders as it is. On a scooter you really make yourself a target and even a high powered scooter (500cc) will still be 'challenged' by heros in utes where a low powered 'sport bike' (250cc) will be begrudgingly left alone - its all in the appearance.



[For the record I ride a Kawasaki ZX636 sport bike after spending my 'apprenticeship' on a fantasticly 'cheaper than the bus' Kawasaki ZZR250]
Thanks for the advice. That's pretty much exactly what I was thinking.
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 3:10 pm
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Default Re: Motorcyclists, some advice please

Originally Posted by LouiseR
In that case go for a Harley!! Mark's one is lovely, he sits in the centre of the lane and it's super noisy. Loud pipes save lives apparently.
I've been thinking about going for a Harley 'lookalike' with 'Made in Taiwan' stamped on the bottom.
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 3:10 pm
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Default Re: Motorcyclists, some advice please

Originally Posted by spartacus
I've been thinking about going for a Harley 'lookalike' with 'Made in Taiwan' stamped on the bottom.
Who's bottom? Your bottom?
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Old Apr 6th 2011, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Motorcyclists, some advice please

Originally Posted by LouiseR
Who's bottom? Your bottom?


When I eventually get a bike, I'll wear my low cut jeans and you'll be able to see for yourself.
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