Win the Daily Rat Race
Affordable Motorcycles That’ll Make You Love Commuting
Commuting can be hell. Whether you’re stuck in traffic or packed on to a train like a sardine, it can’t end soon enough. Lifehack pro-tip: ride a motorcycle into work. They’re easy to park, cost almost nothing to maintain and traffic is never an issue if there’s enough space between the lanes.
Not all motorcycles are built for the rigors of the daily rat race, though. Here, top end power isn’t a necessity — since you’ll be carving through traffic, dodging road work and taking off from lights, what you want is a light, agile machine with low- and mid-range grunt. Now, we can’t promise your commute will be pure bliss from here on out, but at least with one of these bikes, you’ll certainly look forward to it more often.
2010 Ducati Streetfighter 1098
Location: Melbourne, Florida
What we like: The Ducati L-twin engine’s torque is one of its calling cards. If you want to get beat cabbies and disgruntled car-commuters to the next light the Streetfighter’s 1098 will be your best friend. The owner of this particular Streetfighter claims they just had it in for the scheduled serviced, including clutch and chain adjustment. At 14,000 miles it’s not exactly new, but at least its well taken care of enough for you not to have any initial maintainence fears.
From the seller: “Bike has 14000 miles on it, just serviced at Brevard Superbike and has brand new clutch and chain adjustment.”
What to look out for: There was a recall on this bike fule hose clamp, but as the seller notes, it was just in for a service, so it should’ve been sorted. Other than that there have been documented electrical issues affecting fueling so make sure the previous owner has attended to that as well.
2016 Triumph Street Scrambler
Location: Columbus, Ohio
What we like: The Triumph Street Scrambler is no doubt a more stylish option on this list, but it’s tough as nails. The Triumph shown here has a few add-ons, chief of which is the windscreen — crucial if your daily commute has any highway miles in it. The beautiful deep blue semi-matte paint is a serious bonus. It also only has 70 miles on the clock, so it’s basically brand-new, too.
From the seller: “Offered is a 2016 Triumph Scrambler with only 70 miles on the odometer. This Scrambler has been fitted with factory engine case guard, short windscreen and bar end mirrors. The factory mirrors are wrapped and can be reinstalled if desired. Likewise, the factory bar ends. Included is the Cortech tank bag pictured.”
What to look out for: If this bike truly has only 70 miles on the clock, then it’s practically brand-new. But because there are so few miles, there might be a larger, hidden issue that’s worth a closer look.
1990 Honda GB 500
Location: North Kingstown, Rhode Island
What we like: Cafe racers were designed to take on city streets at racing speed, so it shoudn’t be a surpise one popped up on this list. Even at 28 years-old this Honda GB 500 only has 8,095 miles — in other words, it’s barely broken in.
From the seller: “Honda’s homage to classic British bikes, the GB500, is as much fun to ride as it is beautiful to look at. This example is in very good condition. Supertrapp exhaust and aftermarket rectangular mirrors replace stock items.”
What to look out for: The rear seat cowl tends to crack over time and other than using bondo and repainting it, the only practical way to remedy it is to order a new one. If you can inspect a 1990 Honda GB 500 in person, pay close attention to this area.
2004 Honda VFR 800 Interceptor
Location: Rock Hil, South Carolina
What we like: The Honda VFR 800 Interceptor could easily void all the other bikes on this list as far as commuter motorcycles go: it has a torquey engine, comfortable riding position, aerodynamic bodywork to deflect wind and handles with the best of them. Superbike styling isn’t for everyone, but otherwise, the Interceptor is the ideal commuter.
From the seller: “I purchased the bike new in 2005 with one mile. It has always been garaged, well-maintained and ridden responsibly. I have upgraded several items to enhance the ride. I changed out the stock windscreen for a Puig with an adjustable deflector. And I’ve installed a GIVI hard tail bag which works great for weekend trips or just running errands.”
What to look out for: The stand out flaw for this generation VFR — with VTEC technology — was the valve clearances. Make sure the owner had the valves adjusted at the regular service intervals. Otherwise, you’re asking for a much larger headache. To get the valves adjusted outside of the warranty can easily run upwards of $500.
Navigating any concrete jungle can be hell — especially if you call the asphalt wilds your commute. These five bikes make riding through the city much easier for any kind of rider.Read the Story