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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Automotive Chat > The John Norwich Riders Corner

The John Norwich Riders Corner In honour of our fellow moderator: John Norwich R.I.P. September 17th, 2014
Buy, sell, trade bikes and gear, set up bike rallies, meet discussions. #revscenebikes

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Old 11-30-2011, 06:13 PM   #1
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Vancouver bike commute

is it even viable especially in winter months with the cold and rain? I'm considering getting rid of my celica and switch to save some on gas and possibly insurance. Thoughts?

I do around 20km a day on average.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:17 PM   #2
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As much as I love riding, I wouldn't suggest it but others may have a different opinion.

Even fully geared, I wouldn't be able to tolerate a 20km ride in the winter months.

You might save some money on gas but I would rather stay dry and comfortable in a car.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:30 PM   #3
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Not very far, from downtown to ubc and back, 40 min round trip possibly.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:33 PM   #4
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If you have your heart set I say go for it. The prices for motorcycle are relatively lower because of the season.

Don't forget to budget yourself for some heated gear!

I ride a CBR600RR and it stays winterized October till April. The amount of debris from the rain alone is unbearable, it's hard to imagine snow.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:52 PM   #5
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I ride a 600rr all year round. About 40 km a day from East Vancouver to North Vancouver. Staying warm is the easy part, just put on proper gear. The worst part is the frost on the road in the early morning and the rain on your shield when it is raining lightly. Heavy rain is ok because it will just wash right off. It can be quite miserable when you have to carry around your wet gear/rain suit all day though.
However, I think you have a misconception about saving money. Riding a bike will cost you just as much or even more then a car. My 04 600rr gets about 180 km per 20 bucks. I don't know what your car does, but im guessing it is pretty similar. Also, the insurance is going to be just as much as your car. Comprehensive insuranc e through ICBC is not cheap. What you save on the value of the vehicle you more than make up with with the increase cost in theft insurance and liabilities. Tires and chain will have to be changed at least once a year (around 600 bucks) and valves will probably have to be adjusted every 2. Also, if you don't properly maintain your bike, you will risk catastrophic failure and that will probably set you back the entire value of the bike. Gear is not cheap, and if you ride all year round you willl need more then 1 type of gear. A backpack or hardcase for your bike is also a pricy initial investment. If you are going to ride in the rain you will need a very good qualitye backpack that will not leak in rain. Trust me, that will not be cheap.

Definately viable though. In the summer I frequently carry around my full size golf bag with a full set of clubs on my bike and all year round I will carry a backpack plus my violin case as well. The only days where I choose not to ride is on snow days. And thats only because I am afraid of other people sliding into me and not actually the snow.
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Old 11-30-2011, 07:20 PM   #6
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if you want a bike to be cheap, get a 400 or smaller. i was paying 65$ a month for my '78 GS400 with full coverage. plus a 400 will be a miser on gas compared to a 600 or higher.

i rode my 400 and my friend's cbr900rr in all weather. what made me stop was being ridiculously cold in the mornings haha.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:54 PM   #7
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Unless you go down to a scooter.
My 50cc SR50 can (not legally) hit 90km/h+
Depending on what else I end up doing during the week, gas is usually between $6-8 for the week.

It is DEFINITELY cheaper than commuting by car, and even cheaper than a subsidized transit pass.

However, it's hella dangerous on the road. Tons of people don't shoulder check, rain on your visor is bad, fog on it is even worse. There are times when I'm just absolutely miserable riding.

Yes, it's totally doable though. I rode it almost all through last winter from North Burnaby into Downtown. I skipped riding when it snowed or when the morning was below 2 degrees. Aside from that, rode into work every day.


P.S. You'll need winter gloves.
I just rode home from commercial drive and I was a popsicle.
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Old 11-30-2011, 08:55 PM   #8
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i wouldn't simply because it's more dangerous. cagers already have a hard time seeing us on the road. add that with shitty weather and colder tire temperatures and it could spell disaster. i rode my s1000rr til last week and finally decided it was time to bring it in. i don't mind the cold but my tires hate it. doesn't help that i have dunlops either lol.
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Old 12-01-2011, 07:43 PM   #9
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I probably won't be riding commuting .

I don't mind the cold just the danger from other drivers bother me.
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Old 12-01-2011, 08:02 PM   #10
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That's why you should always ride like your invisible. No matter how cautious you may be doesn't translate to the other road users.

I've been through a couple close calls with people turning left in front or changing lanes without shoulder checks and it makes track riding that much better.

To be honest, there's nothing better than finding a secluded road with less to no traffic and just twisting the throttle.

Buy a winter beater and a sportbike for the other seasons!
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Old 12-01-2011, 09:54 PM   #11
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I ride mine year round, yet I couldn't imagine it being my only vehicle.

My buddy has a CBR and drives it year round to/from Kits/downtown. Unfortunately he put it down last year, cause as was already mentioned, frost in the morning makes the roads very slick.

This is exactly why I ride only on dry sunny days > 0C and am glad I have a car for the other days.
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Old 12-02-2011, 10:31 AM   #12
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I'm still riding, although I take the car if it's raining hard. Sure you can get gear. What I do is put on my snowboard gear on top of my leathers for waterproofing, but you can also buy motorcycle specific rain gear, I'm just improvising because I'm poor.

It's a hassle, though, because think of getting to work, and having to take off the waterproof layer, hold your helmet and gloves, take off your leathers, and change into work shoes. How much time is that? Too much on a busy day, IMO.

As for riding around when it's not raining too bad, it's all good until the temps get negative. Black ice is dangerous on a car but from what I hear it can be lethal on a bike unless you're cautious and very aware of it. In a car, you can stop mid corner or slow down if you feel like you're losing traction because of black ice, on a bike sure you can TRY to stop, but in reality if you have any kind of substantial lean angle in the corner, chances are you will slide.

Lol, after writing all this I realized taylor192 said the same thing.

All I know is, this week has been AWESOME to say the least. No police enforcement on the nice roads, and sunny weather all week long. It's time for me to go on a ride!
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Old 12-03-2011, 10:30 AM   #13
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^rain suits aren't all that expensive. i got one from rubber side down in richmond for like 90$ for a 1 piece.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:55 AM   #14
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I refuse to ride during the winter months simply because of things like black ice, rain and negligent drivers, especially in Richmond. I've considered it, especially with the rising gas prices, but my safety or even my life isn't worth saving a couple bucks.
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Old 12-07-2011, 09:14 AM   #15
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^rain suits aren't all that expensive. i got one from rubber side down in richmond for like 90$ for a 1 piece.
My jacket is waterproof, just not my pants. So I bought rain pants from MEC and keep them folded up under my seat.
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:16 PM   #16
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very hard for the cagers to see you. Bad enough when it is riding season, now it is darker and colder.
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Old 12-12-2011, 01:31 PM   #17
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if you get a rain suit, get one in a bright/flashy colour, and preferably with reflective strips (add them if you have to)

the rain on the visor wasn't that big of an issue, i used rainx. the fog was a bitch tho...
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Old 12-12-2011, 04:20 PM   #18
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1. Get a CBR 125 ($1600, $6 gas last you 250km)
2. Rainsuit ($50)
3. Insurance ($300 a year)
4. Ride safely and don't lean when there is black ice (or better yet just take the bus that day)
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:05 AM   #19
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If you really want to save money and not suffer too much, consider widening your riding season. Instead of biking all year, just start earlier and end later. I start around mid-march and end early november, just after halloween. You will still need waterproof gear and hopefully you have some heated gear too. This way you get the comfort and safety of your car during the coldest months.
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Old 12-13-2011, 04:00 AM   #20
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^

i go from march to mid december every year in a perforated leather jacket LOL
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:23 AM   #21
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I normally insure for March to about October/November'ish but the 2011 riding season (LOL!) sucked.

I didn't ride on a regular basis well until May or June. April was too cold.
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:29 AM   #22
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Its been < 0C most mornings, and the forecast is for this to continue as we have a below average temps winter. The risk of black ice has kept my bike parked.
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Old 12-13-2011, 11:00 AM   #23
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Its been < 0C most mornings, and the forecast is for this to continue as we have a below average temps winter. The risk of black ice has kept my bike parked.
Already encountered a lot of the black stuff last Friday while driving my car. Glad I didn't take my bike
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:32 PM   #24
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You're crazy to commute in nice weather, let alone when it's raining, visibility is terrible and it's friggen cold. Not because of the weather, but because of the terrible drivers in Vancouver.

I no longer commute on a bike. When I ride, it's on a weekend out to Princeton or something. Too many close calls in the city that I've given it up.
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