Are you looking for a more economical way to commute or run errands around town? Maybe your motorcycle is too powerful and heavy to be comfortable in traffic. Maybe it’s too expensive to park on the street on a regular basis. How about a bike that’s inexpensive enough to be your second bike, used mainly for commuting? Not all riders like the idea of a second commuter bike, but for those who would consider one, we've compiled some helpful information below. This is also great information for riders in general who are curious about the motorcycle market and what options you have when deciding what you value about your bike.
Harley-Davidson has the new Street 750 (or 500). It’s lighter and more nimble than other Harley’s. It costs about twice what you’d pay for a Honda Grom, but it’s clearly and definitely a Harley. It outguns the smaller bikes with a 750cc engine, but it’s build to accommodate the urban rider.
Speaking of the Grom, Honda came out with this model back in 2014. It was low and light, inexpensive to buy and economical to run. It was a lot like a souped-up scooter and at the same time, it had a lot of big-bike features, like four-speed transmission and front and rear hydraulic brakes. This year, Honda’s added neat features, such as an LED headlight and new colors—including neon colors.
This year, Kawasaki is challenging Honda for the 125-cc cylinder market with the Z125 Pro. It’s ultra-light at just 225 pounds and has a low, narrow profile like the Grom. It’s a little cheaper than the Honda, and it’s expected to get about a hundred miles per gallon. That’s affordable commuting!
Step up a notch to the Yamaha YZF-R3. With more than five times the horsepower as the Grom or Z125Pro, it’s ready for city or country roads. The cockpit is wide and, maybe more important, the suspension is designed to minimize the impact of bumps and potholes.
If you want to try a super-moto, check out the Suzuki DR-Z400SM. It’s got 398 ccs and only weighs 322 pounds (curb weight). It has a long suspension that handles potholes and street-trash. It’s build narrow and rides nimbly around corners and through traffic.
Or, go electric with the Zero S. It’s got a range of 121 miles and regenerative braking can add to that—especially in city traffic. It’s light in weight and extra nimble with instant 58 horsepower. Its Z Force motor can give you over 90 miles an hour and steer you easily through stop-and-start traffic. Just remember that it’s quiet—nobody will hear you coming.
Don’t stop with our recommendations. Jaunt over to your favorite dealer and take a look (and maybe a test ride) at what’s available. You could save a bundle on commuting costs and have a fun new ride at the same time.
One more thing to remember: don’t forget your protective gear. Asphalt is asphalt and cement is cement, whether it’s on a city street or a mountain road or a cross-country freeway. You don’t want to ruin your work clothes—and you surely don’t want to get road rash or a broken bone. You’ll need protective gear to keep your work clothes clean on rainy days, too. When you’re on a scenic weekend tour, jeans might be just fine. But when you’re commuting to work, maybe you should cover your trousers with chaps. Stop in at Eagle Leather, and our expert sales staff will point you to the best gear for commuting—including heated gear for colder weather.