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Riding a motorcycle to work – what you need to know

road safety commuter - austroads

road safety commuter - austroads Riding a motorcycle to work – what you need to know

Unless you work from home, you need to deal with the daily commute into the office. Unfortunately, commuting is expensive unless you are able to take advantage of a ride-sharing arrangement with colleagues. Running a car or hopping on a train every day will sap your bank account and leave you feeling irritable when you are faced with lengthy delays and cancelled train services. So is riding a motorcycle to work any better?

The Benefits of Commuting on a Motorcycle

Commuting to work on a motorcycle is beneficial in a number of ways. Unlike car drivers, motorcyclists are not affected by traffic jams and hold-ups on the road. They can weave in and out of stationery traffic, overtaking and bypassing any holdups. So instead of arriving at work late, you should arrive bang on time.

Motorcycling to work is a great way to start your day. You are out in the fresh air, albeit more protected than a cyclist, so you can breathe in the scents of the early morning breeze and enjoy the sun on your face. Nothing beats the buzz of a ride to work when you are feeling tired and unmotivated. It wakes you up and leaves you better able to face a tough day at the office.

Riding a motorcycle to work is also cheaper than taking the car or train. Motorcycles are cheaper to run and use less fuel than cars. They are also not as expensive to insure and maintain, and if parking is an issue at your workplace, you should have no problem finding a space for a motorcycle.

The Disadvantages of Commuting to Work on a Motorcycle

Of course motorcycling to work is not all plain sailing. There are disadvantages, just as there are with any other mode of transport and you need to be prepared to weather the good and the bad.

Speaking of the weather, cold, wind, rain and snow are four of the reasons why motorcycling is not always fun. Most leisure bikers ditch their motorcycles in winter, but if you rely on your bike as a means of transport, you won’t have this luxury. The key to success is to wear the right gear for the weather conditions, hot or cold. You need gear suitable for a myriad of different weathers, as arriving at work soaking wet and freezing cold is not much fun.Lane filtering lane splitting stop lines work

Wear the Right Gear

In winter, you will need some serious kit to protect you from the cold and wet. A good quality winter riding suit that fits over anything is a good buy, but at the very least fork out for a winter jacket and thick gloves. Other accessories for cold weather riding include a neck warmer, several warm base layers and a heated vest and grips to keep your core and hands warm.

Ride the Right Bike

Ride the right bike and your commute will be a lot more pleasant. Super sleek speed machines are designed for speed, not commuting. If your primary purpose is to get to work in one piece, look for a comfortable motorcycle with room for luggage, an ergonomic seat and plenty of protection. It is worth paying extra for safety features such as traction control and ABS.

Research motorcycles before you buy and look for models that offer good fuel economy and are not too expensive to service and maintain. If you can do the maintenance yourself, so much the better, but if not, ask your local motorcycle mechanic which models are reliable and easy to maintain.

Since you will have to take various bits and pieces into the office, including a laptop, motorcycle luggage is essential. Some people are able to carry everything they need in a rucksack, but for longer journeys this won’t be as comfortable. Bike luggage needs to be robust and weatherproof. After all, the last thing your MacBook Pro needs is to get wet on the ride into the office.

Tips for Successful Motorcycling

It is sensible to keep a set of clothes at the office. Hang a business suit with a couple of clean shirts and a tie in your office closet. It will save from you arriving for an important client meeting wearing a wrinkled suit. You will also need a pair of shoes.

Whilst commuting to work on a motorcycle is fun and practical, be sensible and if the roads are icy or the weather is truly grim, ditch the bike and take the car to the office instead.

  1. One more advantage – it’s way easier to find a parking spot when you get there.

    There is a public carpark across the road from where I work that is always full by the time I get there. Well, it’s full up if you’re in a car 🙂 but there are about 6 or so oddly shaped corners and nooks that a bike can fit in. It always puts a smug smile on my face when I park in my little corner space and I see a car leaving because there is no room for them.

  2. I sold by car back in FEB 2013, picked up a Ninja 250 and never looked back. Sure when it is hot outside it’s HOT, when it is cold outside, it’s COLD, same goes for Wet, Windy and sunny. However, as I have told my colleagues time and time again, I would take all of those hot, muggy, windy, wet days to keep riding on those fantastic warm sunny days here in Queensland.
    Also one of the biggest advantages i’ve found is the T2 lane allowing motorcyclist through. If I drove a car I would be at least doubling my transit time.

  3. What’s an office? Everywhere I have worked recently is open plan no cupboards for bike gear – so that lives under my desk.

  4. “Hang a business suit with a couple of clean shirts and a tie in your office closet. It will save from you arriving for an important client meeting wearing a wrinkled suit.”
    Assuming all motorcycle commuters are male?

  5. Pre work, and post work, attitude adjustments, works for me.
    Two attitude adjustments in one day. Is it no wonder I’m so likeable? LOL.

  6. I got some Alpine Star parlour boots that really work well. They’re waterproof and have enough protection for the commute, plus they look like work shoes. Not sure if anyone in australia has them but they’re easy enough to find online.

  7. It’s interesting how you suggested finding a motorcycle that is comfortable and safe to drive. My husband loves to take my sons out dirt biking and is starting to take a liking to the idea of getting together with an accountant to see if he could finance a motorcycle that he has had his eye on for a while. It would be a great idea because it doesn’t use quite as much gas as his truck would and that could save us quite a bit of money every year.

  8. It was really nice how you said that when it comes to buying a motorcycle, I should buy one that offers good fuel economy and was not very costly to maintain and service. To be honest, I don’t really mind if it’s a bit expensive to maintain just as long as it’s going to serve me for a long time. I was planning to buy a Harley Davidson bike for my birthday this January, and aside from the style and brand, I wanted one because going to work will be easier for me. Thanks for sharing. I will be sure to put your advice into consideration.

  9. Your tip about making sure to find a good motorcycle that has a good fuel economy not to mention easy to maintain really got my attention because that really was my priority. I saw a few people in the neighborhood use a motorcycle to get to work, and I’ve seen how convenient it was for them. I wanted to try that out as well but not without making sure first that the vehicle that I will use is safe for me and the environment. Hopefully, others will think the same way too. Thanks!

  10. I like the idea that riding a motorcycle to work would have me exposed to the air and help me feel awake and attentive by the time I get to work. Taking the bus to and from work makes my commute take much longer than I’d like, so I’ve been considering getting a motorcycle to reduce the time. Being able to arrive at work feeling more invigorated sounds like a good reason to look into the idea more.

  11. I have been riding to work for about 3 months solid now, I carry a small over the shoulder bag that I keep 2 yeti bottles in (one coffee one water) and a sandwich for lunch. One thing I recommend for daily commuting is a set of handcuffs. If you have to stop at a store or where ever you can cuff your bag or even run it thru your rim to your fork to keep the bike from being stolen if thats a worry. They take up very little space and work great to keep honest people honest. Just my 2 cents. Why break a leg when you can swing it?

  12. Some broads like to wear suits and ties in the office. Don’t have to be a carpet muncher to know that.

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