Commuting to work or school on your motorcycle comes with its own set of pros and cons.
However, if you plan things right and set your expectations, commuting on a motorcycle can reduce your commute time and add a little more enjoyment to your daily routine.
Tips for Riding a Motorcycle in Traffic
A major consideration when deciding to commute on a motorcycle is the traffic.
While a motorcycle can certainly make commute traffic more bearable, you’ll still need to know how to navigate it.
Heavy traffic is more dangerous than riding on the open road. More cars means more potential for risk and fewer escape routes. People drive distracted, and motorcycles are more difficult to see.
Here are some tips for riding in commuter traffic:
- Wear all the proper safety gear – that’s a given.
- Make yourself as visible as possible. (Use your headlights, wear bright and reflective gear).
- Get to know your bike and how it handles in tight spaces, slow speeds, and quick maneuvers. The more experience you gain, the better equipped you’ll be to navigate heavy traffic.
- If you live somewhere with lane splitting, learn how to do so safely and effectively.
- Be hyper aware of your surroundings and learn how to identify clues for what a driver might do next or whether or not they see you.
- Keep an eye on your escape routes and manage risks constantly.
- Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.
- Find opportunities to get ahead of the traffic pack when it is safe to do so.
Riding defensively in traffic is key to staying safe, spotting hazards, and getting to your destination comfortably.
Pros and Cons of Motorcycle Commuting
The pros and cons of commuting on a motorcycle will vary depending on your job, the length of your commute, the climate where you live, your riding experience, the type of bike you have, and the time of year.
Some of the biggest cons of commuting on a motorcycle can usually be taken care of with a little planning and preparation, this includes:
- Brining a change of clothes for working and riding.
- Having adequate storage on your bike.
- Being prepared for the elements and having a backup plan if the weather becomes too nasty to ride in.
- Riding defensively to avoid hazards and reduce risks.
Once you overcome some of the drawbacks of a motorcycle commute, you can reap the benefits, including:
- Shorter commute time and less time spent sitting in stop and go traffic.
- Add some fun and enjoyment to your daily routine.
- Avoid the monotony of sitting in traffic in a car.
- Save money on gas and parking.
Ready to level up your daily work commute? Check out some of the best motorcycles for commuting.
Luggage for Commuting on a Motorcycle
Whether you’re outfitting your motorcycle for your daily commute, planning a weekend getaway, or embarking on a cross-country adventure, the right motorcycle luggage can be a total game changer.
Good luggage will fit all the gear you need without feeling cumbersome or awkward to ride with. It’ll stand up to the abuse it’ll experience on the road, and last you a long time.
Depending on your bike and your specific needs, you’ve got some options when it comes to configuring the luggage on your motorcycle. Your main options include:
- Tank bags.
- Tail/seat bags.
- Saddle bags/panniers.
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A tank bag sits on the top of your motorcycle’s tank – secured by either strong magnets or straps.
Tank bags are the perfect solution for carrying the gear and equipment you’ll need frequently or will access during short stops – cell phone, water, snacks, etc.
Trunk & Tail Bags
Motorcycle tail bags are a great option for the commuter. These are available in a variety of sizes that are typically designed to store a change of clothes or your riding gear and helmet when you’re off the bike.
Saddlebags come in pairs and go across the rear seat or rear fairing of your motorcycle. These can provide you with ample storage space and quick access to your gear when stopped.
Waterproof Dry Bags
If you’ll experience rain or harsh conditions on your ride, a motorcycle dry bag is the way to go.
These are designed to keep your gear inside protected from the elements through roll-tops, sealed seams, and durable, water resistant materials.
Motorcycle backpacks are a good solution if you need to take your gear after you park your bike.
A good motorcycle backpack is going to fit what you need without feeling too bulky or weighing you down.
The best ones will feature:
- Aerodynamic hard molded exterior that’s designed to resist water and wind pressure.
- Foam back panels to increase air flow and keep you comfortable.
- Reflective styling throughout for increased visibility.
- Large interior pockets with organized storage areas.
- Shoe storage so you can swap your riding boots when you reach your destination.
- Adjustable hip and chest belts.
Cupholders & Phone Mounts
Creature comforts can go a long way when commuting on a motorcycle.
Things like cell phone mounts and cupholders are a great way to make riding your bike to work or school a little easier.
Who says you can’t have cup holders on your bike!? Not MotorcycleZombies.com.
If you commute to work on your motorcycle, a cup holder is a great way to get your coffee to work with you unspilled.
While it’s not advisable to drink a beverage while riding, a handlebar mounted cup holder makes transporting your morning coffee or trip’s water bottle much easy and more accessible than trying to stuff it in your saddlebag without it spilling.
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Cell Phone Mounts
If you use your phone to map your motorcycle rides or like to have it close by for music control, a handlebar cell phone mount is a convenient upgrade.
You’ll want something that secures tightly, won’t drop your phone, but still allows quick access.
The best phone mount is something that will fit onto your bike easily, stay there during your ride, and keep your phone secure.