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Or any motorcycle for that matter? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I'm about to have to pass my car on down to my youngest sister who will be of driving age, and I'm definitely not interested in financing another car (I'm a recent subscriber to the Dave Ramsey "buy it with cash, or don't buy it" philosophy). That said, I'm wondering if I can get by with the R3 not only as a daily driver, but also as my primary vehicle. My wife will still have a car, so I could potentially use that for grocery store trips, etc. No kid in the situation yet, so that really helps makes this a possibility.

My commute to work is laughably easy, so I'm not worried about that. What concerns me is riding through rain and difficult road conditions. I could invest in better tires, get water proof tail bags for storage, get better gear to keep myself protected, etc. I'm already in the process of installing a GPS for navigation, so that will help. It's a bit of a daunting thought even still.

Thoughts from hardcore motorcycle commuters ("uphill, downhill, both ways, in the snow, in a hurricane...etc.")? What are the main concerns I should be preparing for?
 

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I commuted on my bike almost daily. I had an almost 1 hr commute. Great bike. No problems in the rain but you should always be cautious.

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I've been a daily commuter for the past 12 years (currently 60km per day) and that's the primary (although not the only) reason why I chose the R3. My partner has a car, and we've always had just one car between us, so the bike has been my only option for as long as I can remember.

Obviously, cars have advantages in some areas, but a lot of that can be mitigated (top box, heated grips, good wet weather gear, multiple pairs of gloves and so on). Obviously, even with the top box I am limited with what I can carry, but between that and a backpack, it's usually not an issue. The only issue I ever have is that I have to ride over a harbour bridge, and it can get darn right dangerous a couple of times a year due to extreme wind gusts.


Other than that, I don't have any issues, and the bike is easy to park and there are special transit lanes in my city that only bikes, busses and cars with 3+ people can use, which really speeds up the morning commute. Also the ability to filter between lanes of traffic can be a major time saver.

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I commute daily in San Diego on 5 different bikes, the R3 being the last of them. It was obviously lacking the power of the others but still was more than capable on the fast freeways of Southern California. Japan traffic is much slower and I have an R25 now, also my daily commuter. Obviously as already mentioned a car will have advantages. Rain, sun or snow, I have ridden my bikes through. Keep in mind when the temp gets low that it won't be as fun as when it's in the 80's.
 

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Been commuting to campus for a year now (5 miles each way), cold as 36f Winter mornings and hot as 117f most of the Summer. Bike gets great mpg and gets up to freeway speed quickly if you let the RPMs climb over 9000. Only real issue I've had is when the winds kick up and the bikes light weight forces you to focus.

Can't speak much on the rainy day rides...Phoenix!
 

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Wow, kudos to you for looking out for your younger sister.

Where are you located? You have 4 seasons? I mean, if you have true snow conditions, you'll be SOL unless you can just walk to work. Occasional rain is fine but if you have to deal with a lot of rain... it gets really tiring and uncomfortable having to commute in the rain if its always raining.

Your biggest concern (aside from the normal motorcycle riding concerns) will always be weather. Anything else, you'll adapt to it quickly through experience (road conditions, hills, etc.)
 

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I check the forecast in the mornings before I head out and depending on the weather I make a decision but other than crazy rains I more or less have been commuting daily. Normally I don't ride if there is any chance of rain but today the forecast was for light showers so I decided to give it ok to change things up. Got hit with some drizzle, I don't have any waterproof gear so as anticipated pants got a little damp, boots were ok and so was my jacket.

Obviously took it a little easy as the roads and conditions can be slick as well the drivers here for some reason forget how to drive when it rains. I think if I were to pick up some waterproof gear then there would be no excuse not to commute daily.
 

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I live on the northern oregon coast and commute every day with my R3 to work, no matter the weather...unless it's icy then I get a ride but it's really temperate here so rarely freezes. I've rode in storms with torrential rain and 65 mph gusts of wond crossing a bridge over the young's river where the wind gets funneled. In that situation I get in a full tuck and the wind doesn't affect me nearly as much. I got good waterproof gear and also wear a rain coat over my jacket, always stay dry and warm though I do feel the chills more than when I was using a car.
The R3 is really comfortable to ride even for a few hours ( longest i've done so far was 2.5 hours but my rear wasn't sore. Gets good gas mileage and is fast enough to keep up with traffic ( though if you get a brand new one you'll have to go through the break-in period first) and far more maneuverable than any car on the road.
I'ts my only vehicle now so I can say it is definitely do-able, going to have to adjust to more exposure to the elements but other than that I think you can do it!
 

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This is my first bike and I've been commuting 75 miles roundtrip every day for about 4 months. Only been caught in the rain twice and it wasn't that bad. I cross a bridge, and if there's gusty winds, it can get interesting real fast. Tucking does wonders for those days.

I can't ride on weekends usually, so I take my bike out every chance I get. I can fit a full bag of groceries inside my swiss gear backpack, but am looking to get tail bag once I save up enough. Just make sure you budget in some money for maintenance/tools since that can get expensive pretty quick. I guess if you invested in some tools, it would pay off in the long run, or just look for bike coop that will let you use their stuff. The one by me even offers classes for basic stuff like tire changes.

The nice thing about the R3 is I average about 55-60 mpg, and that's cruising at 9-10k rpm.
 

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(I'm a recent subscriber to the Dave Ramsey "buy it with cash, or don't buy it" philosophy).
Old thread I know, but since it's been brought back by others, might as well chime in...

I signed up for an 8 or 9-week seminar of Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University, but I ended up quitting about halfway through. It was totally worthless IMO. Pretty much everything he talks about is common sense, nothing revolutionary. It all boils down to discipline and choices. Of course you'll be better off buying everything with cash and having no debt, but then you also have to suffer for years while you save up. I'd much rather have a nice vehicle and pay it off slowly in 5-6 years, then drive a ****-box or no car at all for like 4 years until I save up to buy something decent. And then once you buy it, you'll soon have to start over again because you know you're not going to drive it forever, so you'll be putting money aside each month for the next car that you get several years down the road. So either way you're putting aside a sum of money each month toward a car. Might as well be driving it now.

Same thing with other things, like house, or with college education costs. Think if everyone that wanted to go to college would do that. Save up for like 10 years and go to college only when you're close to 30....yeah, no thanks Dave! Forget getting a motorcycle or any other reasonably expensive hobbies! The only positive thing I got from his lessons was the budgeting part. I did start doing that and it has helped me monitor my spending better, although I don't prioritize like he does. He seems to think "giving" should be at the top of the priorities. Yeah...no. Bills go first, and things that are necessary. Then whatever's left goes into savings or miscellaneous stuff. Lots of BS in his lessons IMO.

What's also funny is the guy who was facilitating the seminar kept saying how Dave's methods worked very well for him and his wife, and he kept going on and on about how he they were able to pay off their debts pretty quick, and save up to buy stuff with cash only, got rid of credit cards and all that stuff. I wanted to get up and say "Dude! You make $150,000 a year and your wife is a lawyer so I'm guessing between the two of you, you're pulling in 250k-300k a year! No **** it's easy for you to do that! If I was making even half of that I wouldn't need Dave Ramsey to get me out of my debt and figure out how to manage my money!"

Anyway, rant over :)....on a side note, why do you HAVE to give your car to your younger sister though??
 

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It's all very personal.

I had only a motorcycle for many, many years in the Pacific Northwest (so I had an honest 4 seasons, including snow). It's fine and doable if you're willing to put in the minor hassle to gear up every day - and to not get so complacent that you take silly risks and get taken out...

I highly recommend a little dirt riding here and there for survival skills (especially riding it out safely when you lose traction in the rain/snow).
 

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On the topic of daily commutes...I want to drive mine to work in the spring\summer, I work in new House developments where there’s always lots of dust and dirt stirring around. How bad is that for actual mechanical parts of the bike? Would covering it up with a regular bike cover be good enough? It’s a shame this is the issue I’m having to figure out in order to be able to use this awesome bike to commute everyday instead of a bigger unnecessary vehicle.
 

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if it's that bad you could just rinse it off every few days, clean your chain every week or so if it's really gritty. I get lots of sand from the road here, my chain started squeaking if I don't clean it frequently, keep an eye on yours if it's as dusty as you say. Don't let that stop you, you won't regret getting this bike, I'm sure of it
 

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On those rainy days, how bad is it if you don't rinse off all the crud that gets kicked up by the rear tire? Got home yesterday after riding through a drizzle and like I anticipated there was gunk water stains and crap all over my rear seat, under the tail and exhaust area as well as under the fender and tail lights. Guess I'll grab the rag again and wipe it all down when I get a chance.
 

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it gets pretty **** dirty I admit, I don't rinse it off every day, if I had a hose closer to where I park the bike I probably would rinse every day but the backyard is so **** muddy now that I can't ride up to where the hose is. I wouldn't touch my R3 with a rag when I have been riding it here in the rain, not until I rinsed off all the sand, that paint scratches really easily.
 

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it gets pretty **** dirty I admit, I don't rinse it off every day, if I had a hose closer to where I park the bike I probably would rinse every day but the backyard is so **** muddy now that I can't ride up to where the hose is. I wouldn't touch my R3 with a rag when I have been riding it here in the rain, not until I rinsed off all the sand, that paint scratches really easily.
I do have the luxury of a hose close by, though I know with my bicycle (I know, little different) it’s not always a good idea to just hose it all down as it washes away the important greases and lubes that keep the parts moving nicely, similar concerns with the bike? I’ve bought the 2017 model in matte black, so I’m also wondering how that finish gets treated differently...I think I read that you’re not supposed to use wax.
 

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I lube the chain pretty frequently and keep anything that can rust lubed. hasn't given me any problems yet, I try my best to keep it dry
 

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Don't have the luxury of a hose, might just have to do it the hard way and get a spray bottle and a bucket of water to clean up the rear.
 

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The R3 is my primary vehicle. I ride all year except for a few bad days of snow, ice and storms. It takes dedication to endure the elements but eventually you get good at what to have daily. I think one of the oddest but most exceptional piece of gear I have is a finger visor wiper. It is a slip on squidgy. I have found it to be most appreciated when it is foggy or a light mist that doesn't run off the visor.
 

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I freely admit to not being a 4 season rider. The cold, ice, and sometimes snow(Northeast WI) just aren't doing it for me. Mostly I just can't be bothered to ride especially when it's -10 or worse and windy, but partly because I trust our roads and drivers even less when it's slippery. Lately we've not been getting a ton of snow, but it melts a bit then freezes so there's been honest ice out there. Rain I can do though, it's about the tires there so make sure you have good ones.

However, a hearty salute to those who brave the elements and ride full time!
 
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