10 Best Commuter Motorcycles

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By John Burns

Best commuter motorcycles? It all depends where you’re commuting really, and how far you have to travel every day. If you’re in a congested part of the world that allows lane-sharing, you want something on the narrow side. If you’re in Texas, you might as well go big. If you’re covering 100 miles or more round-trip, you want something reasonably comfortable and with enough power to not get rear-ended. And if it’s going to be chilly, you want some wind protection. Since filling your tank every day gets old, more fuel capacity is better, and so is more mpg. Or electric.

There are two main schools of thought: One is maximum efficiency, as in lowest cost per mile on a workhorse motorcycle toward which you’ll avoid emotional attachment. At the other end, there’s what we’ll call the Joe Gresh school: Life’s too short to ride a boring motorcycle, says Joe. Always strive to arrive at your destination exhilarated, spent, and happy to still be alive. Especially if you’re going to be spending the next eight hours in a cubicle farm.

Maybe we should shoot for the middle ground: reasonably efficient motorcycles that are still a hoot to ride. Here’s our picks. YMMV, and of course commuting on any motorcycle beats being stuck in a car.

BMW R1250 RS

The GS gets all the love, but unless you’re commuting over dirt roads, the RS is the one to park next to the BMW coupes and Teslas to project status. Narrower handlebars make it easier to squeeze through tight spots than the GS, the RS seat is lower, and the whole bike is a bit lighter and more suited to high-speed roadwork. Those protruding cylinder heads are highly efficient at defending your feet from errant automobiles. BMW offers various hard luggage options to carry your …read more

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