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There are a couple of good threads on commutes (see links below) but I thought I'd create a general thread to make it easy to collect and share all our experiences and tips about commuting on the SuperSport.



I'll be starting a new job this December and my commute will be 173 kilometers / 108 miles from door to door.

That's one way.

For me that's not quite far enough away to warrant leasing a studio apartment close to work during the week but it is far enough away to make it a whopper commute.

Can I really knock down 1,730 kilometers / 1,080 miles each week? That's nothing on a vacation spin around the mountains or along a coastline while on holiday but, hmmmm....everyday for work? I'm predicting my dedication as a commuter will be tested.

So, what do I need to do or think to get ready? Below are some thoughts and opinions. I can't assert them as absolutes or incontrovertible truths. I'm sure there are more proficient commuters out there than me. I'm just sharing them as a reflection of my immediate thoughts as I ponder generating a stack of flat sport tires that could probably reach the moon.

IS THIS THE RIGHT BIKE? Sure, I think so. There are probably better bikes but I'm not sure I'd ever be inclined to spring for a big, flabby touring bike. I'm rather fond of my Ducati. It's comfortable, has good wind and rain protection, it's fast and fuel efficient (although two more liters on board would be nice for range). On top of all that, it looks and is, in fact, the business. I might not be as fast on foot I used to be in my 20s and 30s but my bike sure is!

AM I UP TO THE DAILY DISTANCE? Riding a sportbike requires good core fitness to keep one's hands light on the bars, to avoid slumping and to handle helmet buffeting. Also, fitness helps with alert decision-making despite fatigue. I recognize on a bike I can occupy someone's blind spot faster than they can detect me moving into it so staying sharp to anticipate and evade an accident is important. I think this is even more important on a sportbike where I'm going to want to make efficent progress and briskly knock down those miles. Not worried about fitness...for various reasons it has always been a key part of my life so I think I have this under control.

AM I READY FOR THE PREDOMINANT WEATHER AND ITS EXTREMES? It's hot and humid where I live (Florida) so hydration on the bike will be key. I have several Kriega backpacks and enough hydration bladders to outfit a triathlon club so I think I'm good there. Regarding protective gear, I used a mesh jacket and pants set for my last commute (64 miles RT) which is great when the skies are sunny but no so much when a frog-choking Gulf Coast rain descends upon Central Florida. So, for the occasional Biblical-grade cloudburst I may need to upgrade to a breathable waterproof fabric that vents to skin. I just won't have the inclination (a nice word for self-discipline) to stop and don a rain jacket shell over my mesh jacket and pants and then later stop again to doff the rain jacket. I want to be able to open and close zippers while moving as with my adventure bike jacket and pants.

CAN I SEE? Early mornings + late nights + periodic weather = decreased visibility. I guess I really must install the auxiliary lights now. The OEM headlamp won't cut it, IMO.

CAN I BE SEEN? I have a Skene running tail light and flashing brake light installed so that improves my visibility from the rear. I already addressed front visibility above. However, I will probably upgrade my helmet for something quieter and perhaps plaster it with some color-matched reflective stickers such as these - Standard Helmet Decal Kit | Applied Graphics Whatever jacket and pants I end up with will have 360 reflective panels.

AM I WILLING TO RACK UP THE MILES ON THE DUCATI? Yes, I don't want @PhilB and @Keith Gill to feel so lonely as our two high-mileage zealots. I'm not really shooting for the top step on the rostrum but it would be nice to just get on the podium. The Ducati's maintenance intervals have improved from the days of old so I'm reasonably confident I won't get stranded. And I'm hopeful with a good season I'll get picked up as a spokesperson for Pirelli or maybe Michelin for having the flattest sport tires known to mankind. An ignoble achievement but an achievement nonetheless when there are few curves in flat Florida.

So, there you have it. That's my shot across the bow. Please tell us about your commute on your SuperSport and what you do to make it a success.
 

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Good points! I've used the Kriega bags on my trip around Lake Michigan and found the process of securing the bags took time and concentration. Granted, it was the first time using them and I'm sure I would be more adept at securing them with more usage. I had the US20L and US10L stuffed to the gills and they had a tendency to slide annoyingly into my backside if I braked forcefully if I didn't cinch them just right. To avoid that from happening, I had to spend additional minutes to really cinch them to the seat straps. Add up the minutes in a week and you might be at 12-15 minutes just securing your stuff--rather than spending that time at home.

When I commuted by bike, I had a Givi hard case tail bag on my '06 VFR and although it looked ungainly, it matched my bike's paint perfectly, was convenient, didn't take a brain cell to use and was secure. The only downside to the case was the look. I appreciated the time saved and the ability to store a rainsuit separate from my briefcase.
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I don't envy you the 1000 plus miles a week commute; but based on the above you are giving it a lot of thought.

You will be racking up high mileage, your service intervals are going to come around fast, very fast, and the big services will cost you big money. There is also the tyres to consider, you could potentailly be putting a new rear tyre on every 6 to 8 weeks. Increased brake pad wear, chain and sprocket wear, more frequent oil changes and topping up brake fluid. Little things on their own, but over a 12 month period, they will all add up. You will probably get through over a tank of fuel a day too. So all in all have you worked out how much it will cost you a year? How ever you commute, its going to cost you.

At some stage the mechanical gremlins will strike, so do you have a car or another set of wheels for when you are without the bike - not forgetting the times when the bike is in for a service, unless there is a Ducati dealer near where you work that you could drop it in to whilst you do a days work.

Factor in Breakdown and Recovery Cover too (y)
 

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I don't see any insurmountable problems here. Lots of miles, but they're pretty easy miles.

The bike is a fine choice. Watch your service intervals, and start out with the recommended ones, but I bet after just a few months, you'll find that many of them can be relaxed by a fair amount. Sure, fuel costs money, but no other reasonable choice would reduce that amount much over this one. Yes, a breakdown would require some other way to get to work, but that's equally true of a car or whatever else you might choose.

Your fitness will play in at the start -- if you're not used to riding a lot, you might feel the strain a bit, but you'll adapt. Like any other exercise, the muscles you use will become stronger. Your awareness and skills will also develop -- be extra careful at the start to watch for things you're not used to, but you'll bring those abilities up, and keep them up with daily use. Do be aware of your condition -- take a day off if you're exhausted or sick, etc.

I'd suggest sport-touring tires, like Pirelli Angel GT, or Metzeler Roadtec. On my Monsters, I'd get 8-10K from a rear, and 15-20K from a front on either of those.

I'd recommend keeping a spare set of clothes in a desk drawer at work, in case you get rained on heavily, or encounter some messy hazard. At least dry socks and underwear. I don't even care about getting rained on going home; I can shower and change when I get there. But squelching around all day in wet underwear sucks. You might consider a good riding suit that you can just zip on over your street clothes, like an Aerostich Roadcrafter.

Good luck and be safe.
 

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How much traffic is expected each direction?
 

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That tire bill is going to be a killer.
<shrug> I put 11K to 14K per year on my Monster. With sport-touring tires, that's a bit more than one rear tire, and a bit less than one front tire, per year. Which isn't outrageous.

Now, I had my first M900 for 24 years and 265K miles, so by the end I had spent more on tires than the bike cost new. YMMV.

PhilB
 

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I was doing 40 miles each way, it would take 50mins in the morning and 1hr 10mins coming home (lots of traffic). The time would pass very quickly, not sure I could do 108 miles each way though, especially if it’s a Monday-Friday job.
 

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<shrug> I put 11K to 14K per year on my Monster. With sport-touring tires, that's a bit more than one rear tire, and a bit less than one front tire, per year. Which isn't outrageous.

Now, I had my first M900 for 24 years and 265K miles, so by the end I had spent more on tires than the bike cost new. YMMV.

PhilB
Those aren't 939 SS OEM Diablo "Rossi" 3 tires. which are good for about 4-5k miles rear and 8k miles front.
 

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Those aren't 939 SS OEM Diablo "Rossi" 3 tires. which are good for about 4-5k miles rear and 8k miles front.
No, they're not. Which is WHY I recommended switching to a sport-touring tire like the Angel GT or Roadtec. Either of which will give him twice the life, with little loss in performance, especially if they will mainly be used to get to work.

PhilB
 

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Phill, keep us posted on the tires you like. I am switching to Dunlop Roadsmart. I've run them on my Sport Guzzi for years. Many Guzzi riders like the Angels.
 

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Phill, keep us posted on the tires you like. I am switching to Dunlop Roadsmart. I've run them on my Sport Guzzi for years. Many Guzzi riders like the Angels.
I pretty much switch back and forth between the Angel GTs and the Metzeler Roadtecs. I have for many years. Pirelli owns Metzeler, so they're really the same tire. They alternate introducing new versions, so whichever one is the most recent is the newest tech. For me, those are a good compromise with being high performance with decent tread life.

Once in a while, I've had to buy a tire while traveling or something, and gotten a Dunlop or Avon or whatever because that was what was available in that location in a sport-touring tire of the right size. They've all been fine. I ride briskly sometimes, but I'm not a wildman, and pretty much any good quality brand will do just fine. I'm still leery of offbrands like Shinko or whatever, but I've met experienced riders that use them.

I like using the same tires each time, because they will have the same profile, and the same warning signs and breakaway characteristics and braking capacity that I am used to. So for me, I'm happier finding something that works well for me, and then sticking with it. But that's kind of my M.O. I'm not always out looking for the newest edge or the best new tech -- I prefer to get something of good quality and learn to use it well, and keep it forever. That's why I rarely let go of a decent bike before at least 80K, and sometimes longer. Cars to 150K to 200K or more -- right now I'm driving a Mini Cooper S that's 18 years old and 220K miles, and it's a great little car. I'll drive it until it dies. I carry a Glock. Not the most cutting-edge gun; there are better ones out there these days. But I've had it for over 20 years, and I'm comfortable with it, and know how to shoot it well, and exactly how it behaves.

PhilB
 

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<shrug> I put 11K to 14K per year on my Monster. With sport-touring tires, that's a bit more than one rear tire, and a bit less than one front tire, per year. Which isn't outrageous.

Now, I had my first M900 for 24 years and 265K miles, so by the end I had spent more on tires than the bike cost new. YMMV.

PhilB
He'll be racking up a thousand miles per week. That means new rear tires every 2 months or so. I always find previous gen Roadsmart tires on sale, but he'll have to learn how to change them himself or it will cost way too much.

Personally, I'd get a light, touring bike with long range; my CB500X gets me 250ish miles to a tank. At this rate, you'll be filling up twice a day on the SS. Maybe have a lot of spare fuel cans at home so you can fill up at home instead of the pump.

108 miles one way? I couldn't do it. Too much time on the road and not enough at home. I'd probably move the family.
 

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He'll be racking up a thousand miles per week. That means new rear tires every 2 months or so. I always find previous gen Roadsmart tires on sale, but he'll have to learn how to change them himself or it will cost way too much.

Personally, I'd get a light, touring bike with long range; my CB500X gets me 250ish miles to a tank. At this rate, you'll be filling up twice a day on the SS. Maybe have a lot of spare fuel cans at home so you can fill up at home instead of the pump.

108 miles one way? I couldn't do it. Too much time on the road and not enough at home. I'd probably move the family.
Two to three months for a sport-touring rear, four to six months for a front. Yes, he'll save money if he changes them himself, but it's really not that much money. Maybe $3K per year -- not much more expensive than a smoking habit, and not nearly as bad for you.

If I'm thinking about riding that much, the last thing I'm going to want is to do it on a small twitchy commuter bike. The 939SS sounds like the perfect answer to me -- fun and sporty, yet comfortable enough and a decent carrying capacity. He's going to be spending 3 or 4 hours a day on it; I can't think of a better use of money than to make that time as enjoyable as possible.

I haven't done that long a commute, but I've done several stretches of months at at time of 50 to 60 miles each way on an M900 Monster. I would not want to downgrade my bike to less than that for that much time on it, unless I just couldn't afford it. In which case what I would need is not necessarily a shorter commute, but a better job.

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Two to three months for a sport-touring rear, four to six months for a front. Yes, he'll save money if he changes them himself, but it's really not that much money. Maybe $3K per year -- not much more expensive than a smoking habit, and not nearly as bad for you.

If I'm thinking about riding that much, the last thing I'm going to want is to do it on a small twitchy commuter bike. The 939SS sounds like the perfect answer to me -- fun and sporty, yet comfortable enough and a decent carrying capacity. He's going to be spending 3 or 4 hours a day on it; I can't think of a better use of money than to make that time as enjoyable as possible.

I haven't done that long a commute, but I've done several stretches of months at at time of 50 to 60 miles each way on an M900 Monster. I would not want to downgrade my bike to less than that for that much time on it, unless I just couldn't afford it. In which case what I would need is not necessarily a shorter commute, but a better job.

PhilB
I'm not saying it's a bad idea to not do it on the SS. I've just found that the 500x suits me better for commuting because of fuel range and fuel savings; it may be something he'll want to consider. Filling up twice a day will get cumbersome after a few months of it. Then there's the comfort factor; I rode my X all the way up to the Beaufort Sea from south Louisiana and back, it did splendidly, especially since it allowed me to stand up and stretch while riding. Like you said, he'll be on that thing for 3-4 hours a day.

Road trips are one thing, because they have an end date, but a long daily commute for an indefinite amount of time, that's another. This will be a learning experience for NC. So, I hope he updates us on the pros and cons of commuting so far and so frequently via motorcycle, in particular the SS.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I don't envy you the 1000 plus miles a week commute; but based on the above you are giving it a lot of thought.

You will be racking up high mileage, your service intervals are going to come around fast, very fast, and the big services will cost you big money. There is also the tyres to consider, you could potentailly be putting a new rear tyre on every 6 to 8 weeks. Increased brake pad wear, chain and sprocket wear, more frequent oil changes and topping up brake fluid. Little things on their own, but over a 12 month period, they will all add up. You will probably get through over a tank of fuel a day too. So all in all have you worked out how much it will cost you a year? How ever you commute, its going to cost you.

At some stage the mechanical gremlins will strike, so do you have a car or another set of wheels for when you are without the bike - not forgetting the times when the bike is in for a service, unless there is a Ducati dealer near where you work that you could drop it in to whilst you do a days work.

Factor in Breakdown and Recovery Cover too (y)
All good points, First Earl of Boom.

I’m not too worried about the cost of tires and chains or frequent fueling but, yeah, incurring perhaps two valve check services in a year...hmm...that’s giving me pause.

Yes to other vehicles on hand...another capable bike (more comfortable and much more fuel actually) and a car. Might be purchasing a cargo van which would give me great flexibility. Drive to work, ride home, ride to work, drive home, etc.

Yes to a paid recovery service plan in the event of a mechanical.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
When I commuted by bike, I had a Givi hard case tail bag on my '06 VFR and although it looked ungainly, it matched my bike's paint perfectly, was convenient, didn't take a brain cell to use and was secure. The only downside to the case was the look. I appreciated the time saved and the ability to store a rainsuit separate from my briefcase. View attachment 41479
Gorgeous bike.

I had my heart set on that very bike but finding a low-mileage model near me in 2017 was difficult. That’s what inspired me to spring for the SS, an up-to-date, more nimble and sexy Italian version of the VFR.

Tail cases are very useful.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
I don't see any insurmountable problems here. Lots of miles, but they're pretty easy miles.

The bike is a fine choice. Watch your service intervals, and start out with the recommended ones, but I bet after just a few months, you'll find that many of them can be relaxed by a fair amount. Sure, fuel costs money, but no other reasonable choice would reduce that amount much over this one. Yes, a breakdown would require some other way to get to work, but that's equally true of a car or whatever else you might choose.

Your fitness will play in at the start -- if you're not used to riding a lot, you might feel the strain a bit, but you'll adapt. Like any other exercise, the muscles you use will become stronger. Your awareness and skills will also develop -- be extra careful at the start to watch for things you're not used to, but you'll bring those abilities up, and keep them up with daily use. Do be aware of your condition -- take a day off if you're exhausted or sick, etc.

I'd suggest sport-touring tires, like Pirelli Angel GT, or Metzeler Roadtec. On my Monsters, I'd get 8-10K from a rear, and 15-20K from a front on either of those.

I'd recommend keeping a spare set of clothes in a desk drawer at work, in case you get rained on heavily, or encounter some messy hazard. At least dry socks and underwear. I don't even care about getting rained on going home; I can shower and change when I get there. But squelching around all day in wet underwear sucks. You might consider a good riding suit that you can just zip on over your street clothes, like an Aerostich Roadcrafter.

Good luck and be safe.
Yeah, a vehicle breakdown is a vehicle breakdown and a risk no matter what you’re on/in.

Tracking the fitness piece. I think I’m good on core strength but I’m a little curious how my right wrist will hold up. A ThrottleRocker is definitely an essential bit of kit for me. Yes, the clairvoyance of sight and thought to anticipate a cager trying to kill me is my biggest concern. Florida drivers are not the most aware or polite.

Angel GT fan. Like them a lot.

I don’t now what my attire will be. I might have it easy or might have it hard. If it’s business casual, I’ll probably spring for a wall locker at work and stuff it full of clothes. That’ll address the wet underwear problem...definitely makes for an unhappy employee.

I‘ve wanted an Aerostich for at least 15 years but became a big Rev’it! fan. Now that I live in Florida, I’m not sure I could wear a ‘Stich. Might actually be dangerous from the perspective of inducing dehydration and becoming a casualty from the heat.
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
How much traffic is expected each direction?
Good question. I looked up the route on Waze and it seems pretty predictable. However, it’s Florida so I should probably look at some formal DOT and FDOT studies. When there’s even the slightest fender bender everyone must slow down from 75mph to 25mph to see if they can spot some gore or snap an Instagram photo.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I was doing 40 miles each way, it would take 50mins in the morning and 1hr 10mins coming home (lots of traffic). The time would pass very quickly, not sure I could do 108 miles each way though, especially if it’s a Monday-Friday job.
Yeah, I’m thinking I might be able to do a week of back to back days but I’m not sure I can string together week after week. They’re scraping the barrel for help since they made me the boss so I might be able to set my own hours and take Fridays off.

The word “might” should be italicized, bold, underlined and Font 144.
 
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