Here’s a little bit about my current bike and commute along with the gear I wear at the moment. I currently commute 400 miles a week, on top of that I ride 100-200 miles around the City whilst studying ‘The Knowledge’ of London. All of this I currently do on my 2011 Honda SH300 which, after 13000 (hard) miles has not thrown up any problems as yet and I don’t expect it to as I completed 49000 miles on my old Honda Silverwing and all that went on that was a steering bearing! It did weigh 250kgs, without me on it though.
My SH is pretty much standard with just the addition of a set of Oxford heated grips (highly recommended) and my knowledge board attached to the front. The knowledge board doesn’t work as well as a proper screen, but then it’s not supposed to, however I can definitely feel the difference in wind/noise/temp when I take it off sometimes so it’s doing something helpful. The SH is a fantastic scooter for me, light, very nimble, quick, happy cruising at 20 or 70+, great on fuel, fantastic brakes. Not so great on luggage space, but then it is only a scooter. Also there seems to be only one seating position unless you’re under 5ft, but I think that’s just because I was spoilt with the Silverwing. The same goes with the weather protection, but again, I know it’s only a scooter so no worries here. Oh and it’s not the ‘cutest’ either.
The daily commute is a mixture of motorway, dual carriageway, and heavy city riding. Taking into consideration the real mixture of riding styles I have still managed to get 12000 miles from my belt/rollers, rear tyre (front tyre still going strong), and brake pads which were changed as a matter of course along with the fluid but they probably good for another 1500miles. I commute this much on two wheels as the rail fares from home to work would be around £5000 a year! I only paid £6200 for my last two bikes combined which have lasted me a total of four years so far, even with running costs counted it still doesn’t come close, scooting is tops… As for fuel I spend £50-£75 a week but bear in mind I do ride quite hard, riding a bit steadier could easily bring this down to £35-£60.
Yes but the weather? Well it’s not always cold & wet and riding really does pay off in the spring/summer. As long as I wear the right clothing there isn’t much problem either way. I wear a Shoei Neotec helmet in white, its like riding with your head in a Bentley, ‘nuff said. Seriously though it is expensive but when you take into consideration you could have the helmet for 10years and the sheer quality of the build then it doesn’t work out much at all over time (See Nicky’s review here: http://www.2commute.co.uk/2014/02/12/uncategorized/shoei-neotec-tested/). Weise DynaStar II trousers are a great fit and weight; these are by far my favourite, so much so that I have had three pairs now. My jacket over the last four years has been the Weise Nomad, I bought this with the intention of wearing it all year round, and I have. With the removable vents all over the jacket and the waterproof/windproof membrane that fits inside it really has been a jacket I can wear any time. I must confess that I don’t wear motorcycle/scooter specific boots; I just prefer a pair of black Karrimor work boots at £25. My gloves at the moment are a pair of Alpinestars WR-V’s, all I can say is that I’m ‘in-between’ gloves at the moment, not a bad glove, just not want I want, my next gloves will be Knox Zero 2’s. I finish all this off by wearing appropriate ‘under-wear’ i.e. Coolmax trousers, cotton-rich long sleeved t-shirts, Coolmax socks and I have a drawer full of Buff neckwear as well, all personal preference but I find riding without all my gear on can be very uncomfortable at times due to heat/cold/sweating. I do ride for pleasure and socially as well, but that’s another story…