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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to a motorcycle as a cheaper alternative to a car. I'm a very careful and defensive driver and I'm confident that as long as I purchase the right first motorcycle and ride within my abilities, I'll be as a safe as any new rider can be.

I'm going to get a motorcycle at some point,The question I'm trying to decide is whether a motorcycle is a viable alternative for my lifestyle and needs right now. 99% of my driving and would-be riding are trips 45 minutes or less through suburbs and backroads, seldom reaching speed past 45 mph. I don't have anyone or anything I have to haul around other than my schoolbooks and guns for trips to the range.

I'm more worried about it's use in all-weather situations. I have do have new england winters to worry about, however the plows are pretty fast around here. comfort isn't the issue so much as my safety in wet or slushy roads.
 

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I would say a bike could be a viable year-round vehicle in a place like Southern California or maybe Arizona, but in Massachusetts? Not this guy. Snow & ice on the street would force you onto public transportation (if it exists there) or you'd be walking. Maybe there are people who ride in frozen conditions, but I'd never suggest it to anyone.

In Texas, my car sits in the garage for weeks at a time untouched, but when it rains, the bike stays home.

Keep a cheap beater car on hand that can get you from points A to B instead of risking life and limb riding a bike on ice.
 

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I doubt seriously that it would be a viable alternative in the winter - if you live in NE. There are both safety and comfort issues that could be fairly extreme. Better to be practical - ride when the weather warms up.

dT
 

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If you must ride in the winter, a Ural would be the way to go.


A Can-Am with winter wheels would probably be good as well.


The only way I'd consider riding something two-wheeled on ice would be if studded tires were used. But, I doubt that would be road legal in most places.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
A Ural is a bit out of my price range, but would a sidecar be a huge factor? I planned on getting a sidecar anyway. I also checked and studded tires are permitted.

And to be clear, the gas and maintenance savings aren't the only part. My car insurance is ridiculous because I'm a male under 25. I've checked some quotes and 1 year of motorcycle insurance seems to be cheaper than a month of car insurance for me
 

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I live in NC, and ride year round. I do have a vehicle when the weather is particularly bad, but this year I think I only had to use it one day. The biggest issue for me has been on those days when I need to carry something larger that I can manage on the bike. I've been thinking about a small trailer for just such a time.
 

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In ND a motorcycle could not be your only vehicle. Even though I was able to get out and ride at least once a month, every month last year, there were also a lot of days of cold and ice that would have made biking impossible.
 

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I'm looking to a motorcycle as a cheaper alternative to a car. I'm a very careful and defensive driver and I'm confident that as long as I purchase the right first motorcycle and ride within my abilities, I'll be as a safe as any new rider can be.

I'm going to get a motorcycle at some point,The question I'm trying to decide is whether a motorcycle is a viable alternative for my lifestyle and needs right now. 99% of my driving and would-be riding are trips 45 minutes or less through suburbs and backroads, seldom reaching speed past 45 mph. I don't have anyone or anything I have to haul around other than my schoolbooks and guns for trips to the range.

I'm more worried about it's use in all-weather situations. I have do have new england winters to worry about, however the plows are pretty fast around here. comfort isn't the issue so much as my safety in wet or slushy roads.
Here's my two cents.

I live in Massachusetts and ride year 'round. It's not my only form of transportation, though. I try to avoid snow and ice, but I've ridden on both. I don't recommend it, even for experienced riders.

I ride with someone that only owns a motorcycle. He lives in Boston, though, so has access to public transportation when the weather is horrible.

Bottom line: Can it be done? Absolutely, provided you aren't required to rush out in a blizzard to pick up your diabetes medication. It's easier if you're flexible.

It should be said that the type of bike you buy will make a huge difference, as well. I'm picking up a dual sport for the winter this year. Winters are hard on bikes.

+1 on the Ural. That's on my want list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've been trying to find Honda CB125s in my area but they seem to be non-existant. I'm just looking for a small CC beginner bike, and while I know its a bit shallow I REALLY hate the styling of the Ninja. From what I've read the honda CB125s seem to be the Mosin Nagant of the motorcycle world if you'll forgive my gun reference.
 

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I've been trying to find Honda CB125s in my area but they seem to be non-existant. I'm just looking for a small CC beginner bike, and while I know its a bit shallow I REALLY hate the styling of the Ninja. From what I've read the honda CB125s seem to be the Mosin Nagant of the motorcycle world if you'll forgive my gun reference.
Why a 125? There are 250-650's all the time on Craigslist for little money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
well Martlet from what I've researched, going big on your first bike seems to be a somewhat common rookie mistake. I figure a 125 is all I need and from what I've seen of the CB125 I really like it. That and they seem to be extremely cheap. I'm pretty broke and I plan on selling my truck which is worth about 4000, but with the startup costs and some other bills I've got to pay the less I spend the better. Not to say I want to buy a piece of ****.
 

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They are solid motorcycles if well cared for. The CB125 is a great commuter, easy to ride, easy to maintain, and literally sips gasoline.

You can't expect them to handle interstate speeds, but if it's just going to be ridden around town, why not? Not everyone needs to go 90 MPH.
 

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well Martlet from what I've researched, going big on your first bike seems to be a somewhat common rookie mistake. I figure a 125 is all I need and from what I've seen of the CB125 I really like it. That and they seem to be extremely cheap. I'm pretty broke and I plan on selling my truck which is worth about 4000, but with the startup costs and some other bills I've got to pay the less I spend the better. Not to say I want to buy a piece of ****.
Even the 400 range isn't a big bike, and will give you a little versatility. That's just one man's opinion, though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I didn't just mean physically big, power too. although I am kinda small and wimpy so I am leaning towards a lighter bike. I hopped on an old 38 knucklehead at a car show a few years back and it was like climbing on a horse.
 
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