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Those who ride in London, In or out of the city. What's it like daily?


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Thinking of getting Yamaha R6 09 (lets call it age 30 crisis) 
But I've always wanted one, big fun of bikes since the young age. finally getting around to doing the full license & that's the bike I want, once things are done, including CBT.

I'd like to commute to London, from south west into Shoreditch. Most likely daily, unless it's really raining like crazy and I don't feel like getting too wet, I don't mind the public transport every now and then.

I know the roads pretty well, I've been driving for years and I'm very comfortable with traffic & I understand it's completely different on a bike but I feel I can handle it.

 

So the main question really, is that. Is it going to be the best decision I make or the worst ? I just don't wanna sit in traffic anymore and waste hours and hours... I always see bikers just going past me and I just get jealous :) 

Any general advice really... monthly petrol costs and such... thanks yaall! Hope to see you on the road one day.

 

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Make sure that you are totally comfortable with the mating frog type position as you will find that at slow speeds a lot of weight is going to be transferred on to your wrists.

Sports type bikes in London are quite often seen with flat bar type conversions good ones of which are not cheap.

It might be worth considering something a little bit more upright such as a Fazer for example similar engine and characteristics and you wont notice any performance difference if you are riding in London.

I used to commute a lot and have been a despatch rider for a few years back in the day and I guarantee you tht sports type bikes are not much fun in town.

Cheers

Ian

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As an ex dispatch rider I'd say an r6 probably isn't the kind of thing you want in town riding, defo look at getting something more comfortable, I was doing it on a cbf600 hornet its plenty fast enough on the open road and nice and comfortable for round town stuff and in the real world has enough speed and power to get yourself in to trouble.

 

But ultimately it is your decision to make and everyone is different 

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Agree with height, I commute by bike but only a handful of times in London.

 

Other things to consider are security as in bike getting pinched and carrying stuff...

 

I don't know how far your commute is but if non motorway I would consider a powerful Scooter. I had one for whilst could carry so much more gear easily.

 

I like my TDM 900 for traffic light, narrow and tall, similar bikes out there to taste.

 

I would also seriously consider 2 bikes the commuter and the toy 2 different uses...

 

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Just to play devil's advocate, I ride a Thruxton (with clip-ons) and don't have any wrist discomfort at all after riding for long periods in stop/start London traffic. I think you'd definitely need to test ride the bike, though, as much depends on individual ergonomics.

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Although I'm still on my 125 I do commute into central London. I don't see many sports bikes, but there's plenty of overly aggressive GS riders. They have the opinion that because they sit higher they command the road.

 

You appear to say that you've still to do your CBT, so once you've do that, got the theory test out the way and got yourself booked into a DAS, then would be the time to look at bikes for the commute.

 

Fish

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Thanks all for your replies, all the notes are duly taken, I have seen and listened to a lot of people discussing comfort and if its a good idea at all to get an r6 for the city. It's just, that has been my dream bike! I can finally get my hands on one soon. and see how it goes, I know it won't be as comfy as a car journey but I'm willing to sacrifice that for a little while. I'm mostly interested in costs, fuel, garage and such. any good garages you can recommend for London?

Thanks everyone!

 

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The main reason for a more upright bike is to see over as many cars as possible, I have ridden a sports for a day and it wouldn't be a choice for daily stuff.

 

At the end of the day, you'll be the owner and user so it's really your choice. 👍

 

Fish

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Definitely buy a bike that excites you, if it turns out to be a bad idea at least you have owned your ideal bike!

 

 

my two Penney’s would be “can you afford a London bike and the R6. The R6 for weekends and fun and one less likely to be nicked and more comfortable for the commute? Best of both worlds. I imagine a 125 is fine for London commuting? When I was only commuting in and around Brum my 125 was fine. Only when I started to rack up miles on National Speed roads did it make sense to increase to my now loved zzr600. Which I never fail to recommend. You should get one.

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Sportsbikes are great, I love riding one, in London every day though?, no thanks, honestly with that commute I'd probably get a big scooter or a naked/upright bike or a Supermoto, not to mention an R6 will be very desirable to thieves.

If it were me I'd get something old and cheap that you're not too bothered about and keep the R6 for fun weekend blasts.

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On 30/12/2020 at 12:13, learningtofly said:

Just to play devil's advocate, I ride a Thruxton (with clip-ons) and don't have any wrist discomfort at all after riding for long periods in stop/start London traffic. I think you'd definitely need to test ride the bike, though, as much depends on individual ergonomics.


I often see a black thruxton when travelling into East Acton via the A40....would be an odd coincidence if it were you.

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Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts, in terms of parking Yes, I have a place, that was one of the biggest issues for me but I have found a safe and secure place. and at work I have a secure place to park also. so that's sorted.

I know R6 seems a bit out of this world for a daily commute, but I guess my hunger will fade once I ride it for a while and most likely change into something that is far more comfortable. I will take notes from what you guys are saying, it's just you know, once you have your eyes set on something for a while, you don't want anything else. Most of the concerns I hear are comfort & I'm okay to sacrifice that for a little while. I'm used to riding sporty and uncomfortable cars :) I know it's not the same but still.. it's just a thrill.

I'm just worried about rainy days, but I've been told not to worry too much about it and just get on with it haha

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On 29/12/2020 at 22:34, YamahaR6 said:

So the main question really, is that. Is it going to be the best decision I make or the worst ? I just don't wanna sit in traffic anymore and waste hours and hours... I always see bikers just going past me and I just get jealous :) 

Any general advice really... monthly petrol costs and such... thanks yaall! Hope to see you on the road one day.

 

 

To answer your 'main question', it will be the best decision to make! Yes, there will be days when things don't go completely right but they will be more than compensated for by the days when your ride flows, the weather is great and the lights are all green! Don't be dragged into the 'must get to the front of the queue at all costs' mentality, hone your observation and anticpation skills and enjoy. The only comment I would make about your choice of bike is, is the lock any good, i.e. the turning circle? You need a good lock to manouver in tight traffic and if the R6 is a bit racerey then you might be frustrated.

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4 hours ago, YamahaR6 said:

Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts, in terms of parking Yes, I have a place, that was one of the biggest issues for me but I have found a safe and secure place. and at work I have a secure place to park also. so that's sorted.

I know R6 seems a bit out of this world for a daily commute, but I guess my hunger will fade once I ride it for a while and most likely change into something that is far more comfortable. I will take notes from what you guys are saying, it's just you know, once you have your eyes set on something for a while, you don't want anything else. Most of the concerns I hear are comfort & I'm okay to sacrifice that for a little while. I'm used to riding sporty and uncomfortable cars :) I know it's not the same but still.. it's just a thrill.

I'm just worried about rainy days, but I've been told not to worry too much about it and just get on with it haha

 

If you do have secure parking then that's one less obstacle for getting the R6 as it will be safe, the last thing anyone wants to come back to is their bike not being where they left it.

 

As far as comfort and commuting go, I did a couple of weeks commuting on a Panigale V4, it was do able but completely unenjoyable, an R6 won't be nearly as bad, except for the comfort.

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13 minutes ago, The Hitcher said:

 

If you do have secure parking then that's one less obstacle for getting the R6 as it will be safe, the last thing anyone wants to come back to is their bike not being where they left it.

 

As far as comfort and commuting go, I did a couple of weeks commuting on a Panigale V4, it was do able but completely unenjoyable, an R6 won't be nearly as bad, except for the comfort.

i had a mate who used to despatch in london and one of his bikes was an xj 600

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On 31/12/2020 at 16:35, OldEssexMan said:

 

To answer your 'main question', it will be the best decision to make! Yes, there will be days when things don't go completely right but they will be more than compensated for by the days when your ride flows, the weather is great and the lights are all green! Don't be dragged into the 'must get to the front of the queue at all costs' mentality, hone your observation and anticpation skills and enjoy. The only comment I would make about your choice of bike is, is the lock any good, i.e. the turning circle? You need a good lock to manouver in tight traffic and if the R6 is a bit racerey then you might be frustrated.

Hey thanks for this! some very helpful words...  I am willing to take my time and develop my skills so I will be very patience. As to this R6 dream, it'll just have to be! :)

also Panigale V4 🔥🔥

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On 31/12/2020 at 21:17, skyrider said:

i had a mate who used to despatch in london and one of his bikes was an xj 600

I’d sooner be commuting on one of them every day than a sports bike to be honest, the old Honda CB500s would be a good shout too.

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Very rarely ride a bike in London.  I collected my current bike from Vauxhall and rode it home. No problem in London. A sports bike though? I'd rather poke pins in my eyes!

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7 hours ago, The Hitcher said:

I’d sooner be commuting on one of them every day than a sports bike to be honest, the old Honda CB500s would be a good shout too.

yes i have had both the 99 cb 500 naked and a 91 xj 600

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On 04/01/2021 at 19:30, skyrider said:

yes i have had both the 99 cb 500 naked and a 91 xj 600


I pretty much got given a CB500 that needed a bit of work back when I had an S1000RR, rode it a few times after I’d sorted it and although they’re very different bikes from different eras I honestly quite liked it, I know what I’d rather commute on!.

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