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The preferred mount for the middle ages was something like these:

I use a Royal Enfield 500 for my commuting. Around 70 mpg, with decent power for occasional highway use and excellent maneuverability for city traffic. I understand that the insurance may substantially higher for this capacity machine in the UK. I thought the big vs small cutoff in the UK was 250cc?

I'd consider 125cc too small for my use, but this would depend somewhat on the roads you expect to ride on, the traffic and your physical size. Where I commute, I can cut my commute time by 1/2, but the biggest factor in this is the ability to slip past long lines of stopped traffic at stop lights, then accelerate rapidly away from them. Without the conclusive acceleration when at the head of the line, I think my practice of "slipping by" would create an unacceptable and possibly dangerous amount of hostility.

I find parking in odd spaces, between other vehicles, or on bits of private apron not part of the public roadway whenever possible. One of the joys of city motorcycling is the ability to always find parking in front of one's destination. Chicago has gone away from designated "spaces" on the city streets, in favor of a system of electronic payment for the right to park for a certain time period, so this lets us riders tuck in wherever there is room, quite legally. It's all electronic, based on number plate, so there's no need for meters or slips of paper.
 
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