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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After enjoying a few threads like this, I'd like some input for my situation. I am looking for a bike to ride for 1.5 miles, from my home to the train station, every workday of the year. I love my little ninja 250, but the carburetor drives me nuts in the winter, leaving me stranded several days per year when it is bone-chillingly cold, or running roughly/stalling and with low power in the rain. On the plus side, the bike is lightweight, so on a snowy day when the tires slide out from under me, I can hold myself and the bike up with my legs. I have slid twenty feet or so with the bike leaned hard over and my left leg holding us up. (I always take my car if it is snowy in the morning, or if snow is predicted. Sometimes, it just snows unexpectedly while I'm at work, and then I have to make it home...)

I would love to find an inexpensive, street-legal, lightweight, dualsport with knobby tires and fuel injection. I just have no idea if they exist. There are plenty of 650cc bikes out there that might fit the bill, but they seem to be both heavy and TALL. So tall that if the tires slid out on me I'd have little chance to save it. There are scooter-like things out there, but if they have fuel injection then they also tend to be expensive. The bike is going to sit unattended in a lot every workday of the year, so I want less than $2000 at risk if possible. I also don't think knobby tires are available for scooters, but they might be.

So, my requirements are:

1) [Non-negotiable] street-legal and fuel injected
2) Cheap ( <$2000, if possible)
3) Small, both lightweight and low seat
4) Tires available for light snow
5) More than 60 cc (speeds of 40mph desired)

If you have suggestions I can research, I'd love to see them! I realize that there is likely to be a trade-off (maybe complete sacrifice) for the various requirements. And I'm certainly in the used market.

Thanks,

- John
 

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Mexican Hard Shell Taco
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You're describing a bike made of unobtanium on clearance sale.

There are fuel injected dual sports that meet all the criteria, but none at that price. Yamaha WR250R, Honda CRF250L or a used BMW F650GS.

For your needs, the CRF250L is the best choice, but being a new model used ones will be hard to come by and MSRP is $4,500.
 

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They made a Honda 50 back in the sixties that would be perfect for a 1.5 mile commute, but really IMO riding a motorcycle in freezing/snowy weather is suicide. For 1.5 miles why not a mountain bike with big tires and you get a nice workout. I'm retired and ride my mountain bike daily to stay in shape and as a bonus have a closer connection to nature.
 

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CRF230L or KLX250S. Either can be lowered if they arent low enough stock. Cheap used. The CRF can also be had in supermoto trim but I take it you were wanting knobbies for snow.

*edit* oops, you said fuel injection. That means WR250R or CR250L. Both are going to cost more than 2k. You might get an 08 WRR for 3000-3500. On the up side they are capable of the same kinds of speeds as your ninja 250.
WRR is tall stock but can be lowered easily.
 

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Pedal bike.

If I lived 1.5 miles from work I would walk or use my car. ... taking the bike for such short distances isn't worth the hassle.
 
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According to me Piaggio Vespa LX is the best option for you. It is a stylish as well as powerful scooter which has numerous of exciting features. Piaggio Vespa LX comes equipped with alloy wheels, 3 spoke, logo branded, which offers a stylish and sporty look to the lifestyle scooter.
 

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I'd get a scooter. You need a 125.Yamaha, Honda and Vespa are top-of-the-line. Kymco, Genuine and Sym are second tier, but still reliable and great value. Chinese scooters, not so much. I don't know anything about Aprillias.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the suggestions so far. Not sure if it matters, but there are a few reasons I don't walk or take a bike. First, I have to walk a mile and a half on the other end of the train trip already. All the walking has given me plantar fasciitis...I need to reduce the distance I walk if I hope to use my feet when I'm older. Also, my one-way commute with the moto is 1.4 hours. If I walk, the extra time pushes my total commute to over 3 hours per day; I prefer to stay under that threshold!

I tried using a mountain bike, but then I arrive at the train all sweaty, and I have a professional job. I prefer not to have to change clothes. Also, the bikes at the rack get all beat up. People have no respect for the property of others. Finally, I'm asthmatic. The last thing I need is aerobic exercise in very cold weather, as it will tr***** an attack.

Too much personal info? Well, I did withhold it in the original post. I'm looking for an inexpensive, lightweight, fuel-injected bike on which I can mount knobby tires, or something like all-season tires. It it were easy to find, I wouldn't have asked for help!

I have been looking at electric bikes and scooters, but they either cost too much or seem to be unreliable wastes of money.

Tony216, what is that kit you posted?

- John
 

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A guy on a scruffy bike
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I don't know about where you are, but the commuter trains in the places I have lived have bicycle racks on the train, so you can take it with you. Maybe an electically-assisted bicycle (or buy one of Nidyanazo's bike motors :lol ), and you could use it at both ends and not have to walk at the work end of the trip either?

PhilB
 

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Couldn't you take a taxi every day for less than the price of parking, gas, maintenance, insurance, and initial purchase price?

Anyhow, like the other guys said, you could fix most of your issues with jetting. Wonder if something like a Shinko 244 would fit on a ninja 250. *edit* here is a thread for you discussing dual sport tires on a ninja 250 with some suggestions towards the bottom. 16" dualsport tires - ADVrider
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't know about where you are, but the commuter trains in the places I have lived have bicycle racks on the train, so you can take it with you.
Trains must be more busy here in Chicago. You can do that anytime except for peak hours, which is when most people, including me, commute. During peak hours, every seat is taken and bikes are banned. To take on the train, I have looked at skateboards with power (like 20 lbs or more!) and those Razor scooter things, and they don't look like they work for me. Too heavy, or I arrive sweaty, which can't happen.

Couldn't you take a taxi every day for less than the price of parking, gas, maintenance, insurance, and initial purchase price?
Taxi is $6 per day per direction, with tip. How long will they drive me if I don't tip? About a week, I figure. Comes to more than $240/month. On the other hand, parking a bike is $1.25 per day. The breakeven is like a year and a half, and after that it makes sense to buy the new bike if I can keep it under $2000.

Anyhow, like the other guys said, you could fix most of your issues with jetting. Wonder if something like a Shinko 244 would fit on a ninja 250. *edit* here is a thread for you discussing dual sport tires on a ninja 250 with some suggestions towards the bottom. 16" dualsport tires - ADVrider
Really? A carbed bike runs without problems on a rainy, misty day? And after sitting 9 hours in sub-freezing weather, it starts right up? I've owned a brand new scooter and this Ninja. People tell me, that how it is. You're saying that isn't true? Does everyone else agree? Do I just need a tune-up?

- John
 

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I never had a problem in the cold with carb'd bikes or cars, including a Fiat with manual choke. Okay, I had lots of problems with that Fiat. But cold starting wasn't an issue. I mean, starting and running were issues, but not because of the carb, but more because of the fact that it was a Fiat. :)

For the record, if you pull the fast idle circuit out of a throttle body for cold weather, it doesn't run real good either.
 
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