Should I commute on the bike - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-20-2013, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Argentine,Mi
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Should I commute on the bike

I drive 128 miles a day to and from work. I bought my 09 klr with the intent of commuting on it. How ever since then, I have had many close calls in the cage. 00 grand marq. a safe 4500 lb land yacht. Am I just getting old or wiser. I love riding and want to use the bike more . I feel like Im turning into an old gummer! Oh I forgot to mention I work in downtown Detroit MI. I am a professional driver. 18 wheels with a least 8 cars on. Any thoughts!
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post #2 of 14 Old 05-20-2013, 09:58 PM
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The KLR is a great commuterbike, but that is not your question. Your question is: Is it safe to commute to work on a Motorcycle?" Only You can answer that question for yourself. No one else can answer it for you.
Many people get hurt or killed in traffic accidents every year in every type of vehicle. I believe the driver quality in North America is going downhill big time. There are too many distractions and vehicles are too easy to drive resulting in inattention to what is going on around the driver.

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post #3 of 14 Old 05-20-2013, 10:04 PM
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I commute on mine, but my trip is a lot shorter. I'm only doing about 60 miles round trip. I'm on country highways too so they're not to busy. What I am terrified of is wildlife though! I've hit 3 deer over the years commuting to work and two of them I didn't see early enough to even hit the brakes. Two just before dawn and one at dusk. So, when it gets dark enough that I can't see what's in the ditches, I take the truck. Did lots of damage to my vehicles, I don't even want to imagine hitting one on my bike!

Drivers seem more aggressive these days as well. It seems nobody stays even remotely close to the speed limit, and will pass whenever they want, on solid lines, going up hills, tailgating, etc. Hmmm... I'm going to stop now, I don't think I'm making a very good point promoting commuting.
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post #4 of 14 Old 05-20-2013, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Argentine,Mi
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Thanks guys, I was afraid that was going to be the response. I totaled a pick up last October due to a horny 6 pt chasing a doe. 12 years ago I would not have even proprosed the question! But I quess that is progress right!
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-20-2013, 10:36 PM
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I commute to work on the KLR as much as I can, all in heavy rush hr traffic I have had close calls but I am not going to give up ride due to it.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-21-2013, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NW MO
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I commute a 60-mile round trip when the weather's decent. My situation is about like 650Stew's and I slow down considerably on the way home around midnight. It usually takes me 45 minutes+ to make that 32-mile ride home due to my lowered speeds.

Have you ridden to work at all before? I'd just give it a try one day and see how it goes.

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post #7 of 14 Old 05-21-2013, 02:14 PM
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First, that is a LONG commute, brother. I rode 85 miles to Zin's place yesterday and then 85 back and I was BEAT.

The KLR is REALLY tall. That makes your visibility better and it makes you more visible.
Good gas mileage.
Easy parking?

People drive like simpletons, especially during rush hour. And sometimes like downright sociopaths where I live.
The KLR is not a 'comfortable bike'. It is a good commuter, but I wouldn't want to ride that much every day. I'm a wimp, though.

I agree. It sounds like your Q is more related to comfort level. I used to commute over the GG bridge every day. Crazy city traffic. It was a relatively short ride, but dangerous. I did it every day. Since I have lost some people close to me lately - and especially since Darin was, I wouldn't do it. Not if there was fast moving freeway traffic involved.

Just my 2 pennies.

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post #8 of 14 Old 05-22-2013, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Lockjaw View Post
First, that is a LONG commute, brother. I rode 85 miles to Zin's place yesterday and then 85 back and I was BEAT.
Yeah, gotta kinda agree with that. 32 miles one way ain't bad, but I don't think I'd do 64 miles. If you're out just riding around that's one thing, but when you have to ride that far, then work (especially driving as you said you do) then ride home at the end of the day, that's a lot of miles.

There are a lot of people who can log hundreds of miles on a motorcycle at a time without getting off, but I ain't one of them, especially on the KLR.

If you reach the point where you're thinking, "Man, I wish I would have just driven" you've reached the point where fatigue and strain could start impacting your judgement and reflexes. At that stage, even with no other vehicles around, you've become a danger to yourself.

It's a call only you can make, though. Some of us have "Iron Butts" and some of us don't.

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post #9 of 14 Old 05-22-2013, 08:31 AM
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Use common sense and your own inner voice to make this call, but it sounds like you already have and that is a good one if it makes you happy.
If you do choose to ride then make that bike as comfortable as humanly possible for the trip. If you are concerned about your comfort while riding and thinking about it more than the traffic dangers around you then that is when shit happens. Up where I live it's almost country backroads etc whith the main arteries into the towns etc. They get stupidly dangerous at rush hour also. Us folks who love the peace and quiet to live in but go insane trying to get to their jobs every day at break neck speeds. If they would get up 20 minutes earlier they wouldn't need to drive like a madman and get better mileage and the roads would be a safer place for all.

But back to you and your issue.....just to what you feel is the safest thing for yourself. You could try it one day and see.......then draw the final conclusion.....just make sure you get back home to make that conclusion!

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post #10 of 14 Old 05-23-2013, 05:55 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Eastern Alberta
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The great part of KLR Kommuting is you can ride the backest of the back roads if they are available and leave the race track to the texter-cell talker-you are in my way people...

one of these can help with lane splitting where you are supposed to "wait your turn in the rear ender get squashed zone" N/A in California....
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