With the recent excitement over the Harley, one thing because crystal clear. Commuting back and forth to work on a full-sized touring motorcycle is less-than-optimal. Big bikes are, as I found out, harder to maneuver, harder to back into parking spots, etc. Plus my current ride uses premium gas and only gets ~ 35 MPG in a mix of city and highway riding. Add into that the toll that the ethanol blend gas takes on the older engine, and I've been thinking about adding another bike.
Why not a small bike?
Kawasaki Ninja 300.
Yeah, I know. It'll be wound up on the highway, I understand that. But the interstate I take rarely hits full cruising speed during the week days, so it's really not that big of a concern that I can't cruise at 75 on a 300. The mileage is radically different, too - the Ninja 300 gets something like 68 MPG highway. And it weighs literally half what the Harley weighs. MSRP is $4,999; I suspect it's a bit less on the floor - plus you can find barely used specimens even cheaper...
Only slightly smaller is the CBR250R, which retails for $4,199 and gets 77 MPG. One of the advantages of getting a 250 or 300 vs a 600 or 750 is that I won't be tempted to really wind it up on the highway or get stupid on the twisties. It's a small, economical bike that happens to partially resemble a sportbike. But not really.
And yes, I understand. I will spend more by purchasing a second, newer bike than I'll save in gas. This is more to spare wear & tear on the Harley, which I would like to reserve for actual touring rather than the daily grind of commuting. Given the tantalizing HOV lane, I would much rather take the motorcycle than the truck when possible - and so far this year, I've ridden to work four times. I've had the Harley down here for a month. I rode to work maybe once or twice a year in MA....
Finding a used bike, especially something in the 500 - 650cc class, worries me. It's just big enough that someone might have really gotten it sideways before deciding to sell - or just have thrashed the living daylights out of it before going with a larger bike. The price on the new, small bikes are quite enticing, and getting something with fuel injection is very appealing (no more choke! YAY!).
It's just a thought; I may get through the season with the Harley and see what deals can be had in October...
That is all.