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Old 03-21-2012, 05:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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DD'ing a streetbike

So in the next month I am returning to college. I will be having about a 55 mile commute each way, every day for school...

What say the PBB are the nessasities to DD a streetbike? Rain gear? storage bags etc.. Right now the bike I will be riding is a 2012 Kawasaki Ninja 1000. I have spent a lot of time on MX bikes, and a decent amount of time on other friends sportbikes, but never in a DD capacity.. What are the bare essentials to get back and forth to school in both good and bad weather.
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Old 03-21-2012, 05:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Earplugs,gloves bring a cold weather pair and a warm weather pair, I always used a back pack but a top trunk or what not would be sweet.
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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driving 110 miles a day you're going to want some good gear for crash protection and some good waterproof gear from head to toe.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You'll probably want to schedule a couple visits a week to the chiropractor...
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Get some soft luggage of some sort, it's way better than a backpack. I don't know what you need for school itself, but a tank bag may hold enough gear for you. Tankbags are the easiest, tailbags allow you to carry more. Most of the better ones come with waterproof covers. Saddlebags may not work for you, the tail section on newer sport bikes are pretty skimpy.

On my commute I carry a sweatshirt, good gloves, and rain gear. A sweatshirt under a good jacket will keep you fairly warm, and rain pants help block a bunch of wind on your legs. I wear my heavy gloves going in, lighter ones on the way home.

Look into different tires also. Sport touring tires grip a lot better than most people think, and last a lot longer. I have a set of Pilot Road II's on my ZX-14. The rear looks very good at 3000 or so miles on it, and the original tire was done at 2500. Handling seems the same to me, and I haven't had an issue with grip. I don't ride like an idiot though, crashing doesn't seem very fun.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My first suggestion would be a comfortable bike

Comfortable riding gear, rain gear and storage for layers. I DD my bike early march-late November so I have to take a lot of temp changes into account so I need a variety of layers and lots of storage. Since you are in FL you wont need as many warm layers but good safety equipment is a must with the shitty drivers down there. A couple of pairs of gloves, Good boots, a quiet COMFORTABLE helmet and good ear plugs, i prefer a dark smoke face shield to reduce sun burn, glare and eye fatigue, i carry a clear one to swap for night riding. Pick up a sheepskin for your seat, it helps air flow and reduces monkey butt or in the heat stops swamp ass.

I would highly recommend a good mesh jacket and overpants for the hot days. Something very visible, Hi-viz yellow is great if you can stand looknig at it, bright yellow does good too.

Get a tail bag to throw shoes in and wear riding boots, throw the boots in the bag while in class. A nice waterproof tank bag is essential. Like Jules said, soft saddle bags are a good option. I ran some cortech sport bags for a while and they were decent for the money. Ideally you want some good locking hard bags but options will be limited for a ninja. I run a 45L givi locking top case so I can lock my helmet and gear up when I am away from the bike.

Get really good at changing and balancing tires. A 1000 sport bike will eat up tires commuting that much every day. I only had a bike for a while a few years ago and I was riding so much, even with good sport touring tires, Pirelli diablo Strada, i was replacing rear tires every 7-8 weeks. I couldnt get more than 4500 miles out of a rear.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Tankbag and a backpack. Wear the boots to class dont worry about a change of shoes. Mesh jacket with rain liner and cool weather liner. Check the weather every morning and only carry what you'll need.

Even with the helmet in a waterproof bag locked on the bike, it's gonna be a PITA lugging around a jacket, pants, and boots on campus. Wear what you can and use versatile weather gear.

X2 on swapping to touring tires when whatever you have wears out. A good ST tire will stick better than 98% of peoples riding ability and lets face it... you're commuting in Florida... it's not like you're going to be out carving the canyons at full blast on a pretend track day.
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I agree the bike you have is not ideal for commuting, but hey you got it so roll with it. x2 on the tire change. The tail bags and tanks bags are nice but for bare essentials I say a good backpack is very handy. Pack a rain suit, flashlight and multitool. Wear riding boots if you have them and pack your other shoes. Just so you don't have to pack a extra shield wear sunglasses, get a pair made to be worn with a helmet. I commute my old EX500 about 60 miles a day and I saved a ton of gas money last year. I was a college student not long ago and I wish you best of luck. Most of all be safe and watch out for other people cuz they an't watching for you!
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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LSL handlebars are $$, but you will be more comfortable. Ride what you got, don't listen to people saying it will suck.

I rock GIVI luggage on my VFR. It's fugly, but practical and keep shit secure and dry.
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Old 03-27-2012, 07:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You'll be fine with your bike, if that's what you're used to. When I only had a GSX-R600 I used to do 1200 mile weekends pretty regularly. Now that I own more comfortable bikes I couldn't do it on the 600, because I'm not used to it any more. There's a guy on advrider that has somewhere over 200,000 miles on a CBR600F4I.

Here's a pretty good video. I use 4 rim protectors instead of two, the get wedged in the tire sometimes and it's easier when you have more. I just use my tire irons to break the bead, it's quicker once you get the technique down.

Buy top of the line tire changing tools, they will pay for themselves on the first change. Cheap irons bend, and cheap rim protectors break apart. Trust me.

My bead breaking method is as follows. I made it up one day out of necessity, I've never seen it done like this before but it works great for me.

1. Put a tire iron between the rim and tire, but put it backwards. Spoon part facing the rim instead of the tire basically.

2. Pry the tire down a bit. What you are trying to do is make yourself room to get an iron in the other way.

3. Get an iron in the correct way, as if you are prying the tire off.

4. Work your way around the tire, it will eventually break the bead. It takes some practice but it's easy once you get the method down.

Tubeless Motorcycle Tire Change: Tire Changing - YouTube

Last edited by Jules083; 03-27-2012 at 07:24 AM.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies..Right now it is starting to look more and more like I may just end up buying a Jetta TDI. That way I will have a secure place to keep books, etc, and not have to worry about rain (which is pretty much every day June-August).
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:57 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Not a chance I'd be buying a TDI Plenty of good ol tried n true cars that get mid 30's and are stone cold reliable unlike most VW's
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:59 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Not a chance I'd be buying a TDI Plenty of good ol tried n true cars that get mid 30's and are stone cold reliable unlike most VW's
Depends on the year. My 2002 with a 5 speed has been good to me so far. Newer ones I've heard different though.
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Old 03-27-2012, 02:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Depends on a lot of things with VW's is my findings
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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so far my research has been water pump, timing belt, and frequent oil changes make or break the car's longevity
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Old 03-28-2012, 10:43 AM   #16 (permalink)
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so far my research has been water pump, timing belt, and frequent oil changes make or break the car's longevity
Timing belt for sure. Look around here, more than you'll ever want to know.

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Old 03-29-2012, 10:20 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Depends on a lot of things with VW's is my findings
I wanted one until I found out what people were wanting for a high mileaged jetta diesel
Forget about low mileage one, you might as well buy new.

At least that was my experience.
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Old 03-30-2012, 01:29 AM   #18 (permalink)
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What does the bike get for fuel mileage?
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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What does the bike get for fuel mileage?
Around 40 from what I have gathered.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:11 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I was just curious as I work with a couple guys that ride during the summer and brag on how little fuel they use.... but come to find out the bikes only get 30-35ish MPG.
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Old 04-07-2012, 07:29 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I get 35-40 out of my bike depending on how I ride it. My truck on the same route to work gets approx. 7-8 if I'm lucky. I had a small econo car that would get over 30 on the highway and it only got me about 14 on the trip to work. I will stick with my bike everyday.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:07 PM   #22 (permalink)
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WORST tank I have ever got in my TDI Jetta was 39mpg, it normally averages 42-45mpg. And I can drive it year round. Most years we are lucky to have just a few weeks a year that it isn't winter or raining.
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Old 04-08-2012, 06:13 AM   #23 (permalink)
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But, with the TDI you are paying higher fuel prices for the diesel.
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Old 04-08-2012, 07:02 AM   #24 (permalink)
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my tw200 got 75 mpg running 50 mph for 100 miles
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Old 04-08-2012, 12:57 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I buy bulk fuel so it's a bit cheaper than what gas is selling at the pumps, but that isn't the case for most folks.

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But, with the TDI you are paying higher fuel prices for the diesel.
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