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SMdarren's avatar

Are dual-sports bikes dangerous for everyday commuting?

Asked by SMdarren (1points) September 11th, 2009
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so, i don’t have a car, and i’ve had my license now for year or so, so i’m really looking forward to getting my own vehicle. I was looking for something cheap, yet awesome looking, but whenever i look for a car with those specifications i get 10–15 year old junkers that will probably die in a day. But when i look at dual-sports bikes i see some pretty recent ones (2005/6) for under 1k. I’ve heard from a friend that they’re costly to keep up, but i’m not really worried about that, i’m a pretty hard motor head (which is strange since i don’t own my own vehicle), and i’ve been through 4 years of power/auto tech in highschool, so i know the basics, kinda.

So the other day my dad asked me what my plans were for vehicle (he keeps pressuring me into getting my own, since atm i’m using his 1976 corvette, which i payed to fix myself, before it didn’t even run, but it’s his car so meh), and i told him my thoughts, and he told me that they were too dangerous and are only for fun in big open fields and on dirt tracks, but if i proved that i could handle it that he would lend me a few hundred to add to my 3k of spending cash i’ve saved up.

My only issue is that i’ve never riden on anything like a sports bike, so i was wondering if it would be hard to adjust, and that if they are as dangerous as people think

edit: also, the corvette isn’t his only car. it sat in our garage for most of my life, but when taking auto tech i brought it into class to work on. Before that, it didn’t even run or start. He has other cars to drive, just wanted to make sure i don’t look like a jackass taking his only car

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majorrich's avatar

I think it would be fine, so long as you don’t run into some moron running lat, talking on a cel phone and adjusting makeup. Could get pretty dicey there

Darwin's avatar

I have seen folks riding them around town, so I know people do it. However, any sort of motorcycle is more dangerous that a car. Even with full leathers and a full-face helmet the damage from hitting the road at speed is painful to contemplate. OTOH if you don’t dress appropriately for riding, you won’t care because you will most likely end up dead.

And while other drivers are a huge risk, so is stuff like gravel on the road (lost two acquaintances to that) and rain or other things that don’t faze car drivers. I also understand that these bikes tend to feel a bit bouncy at high speed due to the front suspension, and that the stock seat may not be really comfortable for long-term riding on pavement.

A big consideration will be insurance: the combination of motorcycle of any sort plus a rider under the age of 25 (especially if the rider is male) can result in a pricey monthly bill. My son wants a motorcycle so we got an estimate of what insurance might run on a 250cc street legal bike, and were told $200 per month. The cost goes up as the size of the engine displacement goes up.

Another will be friends. A lot of folks don’t feel comfortable riding on the back of a bike as a passenger, you might miss out on some relationships. And it is hard to carry “stuff” on a bike.

Something else to consider, though, is that since you were able to resurrect the 1976 Corvette, you might be able to resurrect something else that is really cool but starts off cheap, or take something nerdy and turn it into something cool. You might consider buying a small Japanese or Korean car and then fixing it up to be something like the Fast & Furious cars.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Riding any motorcycle has a higher level of danger involved than any car because when motorcycles are involved in accidents, the rider is thrown. In addition, motorcycles are so much smaller than most car drivers don’t see them in traffic, or don’t know to look for them.

woodcutter's avatar

It’s all about the tires. You can’t go full knobby on pavement. Street tires are best for commuting unless there is a chance you have to use a dirt road very often. Usually those bikes come with compromise tires that do ok in most situations but not excellent in either. You just have to be careful and understand the physics of it and work within those parameters.

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