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Old 10-22-2012, 05:11 PM   #1
mykdee OP
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Moving to Washington, XT225 for commuting ?

Moving to Washington from Phoenix, actually moving outside Tacoma and will be working in Bremerton. I will be getting a work truck but want to ride my bike once in awhile. Would like some response from people that live in Washington and actually ride or commute! How is it riding in the rain, and the roads out there!
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by mykdee View Post
Moving to Washington from Phoenix, actually moving outside Tacoma and will be working in Bremerton. I will be getting a work truck but want to ride my bike once in awhile. Would like some response from people that live in Washington and actually ride or commute! How is it riding in the rain, and the roads out there!
Probably get better responses in the Regionals forum - moved
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:07 PM   #3
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Not quite 20 years ago, I moved from North Phoenix to Western WA. I've lived all over the Puget Sound region and currently live between Seattle and Tacoma. It will take you a few years to acclimate yourself to what people that have lived here for awhile think is hot and cold. The first summer... people will whine about 85 and you'll think they're crazy. In a few years, 85 will be warm to you too.

The weather here is not what you might think it is. For example, this summer we set a record for the longest number of days with little to no rain... and the last few winters have been colder and snowier than in most winters past.

Normally... in the summer, you don't go for more than a few weeks without a bit of rain, and when it does, it fairly light. It's can be a little dangerous because it's just enough to bring the oil on the roads to the surface.
Tacoma to Bremerton is a boring ride after you've done it awhile, but at least the roads are in decent condition. Traffic won't be too bad, as you're going the "right way". You will be going over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge everyday... it can get windy sometimes and on a light weight DS bike, you might get blown around a bit.

You can ride, again normally, from March'ish to late November'ish... if you're prepared with good, waterproof and warm gear. November thru February can be very cold with lots of ice and snow... you can ride, but if you have the option of 4 wheels, I wouldn't recommend it unless you're just a real masochist.

Get an electric vest minimum... it keeps your core warm, and if your core is warm, so is the rest of you. There are lots of folks that go all out and get heated seats, gloves, grips, socks, shoes... it kinda depends what works for you, and what your bikes charging system can tolorate. I've found that a vest, large handguards, a DS type helmet with a face shield (Arai XD for example) and the above mentioned good gear are all I need to survive winter.

I can ride in the rain all day... I can ride in extreme cold for a few hours at a time. What I don't do anymore is ride in a combination of the two. Pick your battles.

Bla bla bla... you'll figure it out soon enough.

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Old 10-22-2012, 06:16 PM   #4
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^^ whut he sed... with an added comment on the commuters aren't awake yet, and even if they were, they don't care.

Welcome to the 'hood!

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Old 10-22-2012, 06:44 PM   #5
n16ht5
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All you need to know:

fleece under rain gear
heated grips

you'll be fine
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:01 PM   #6
Gootch
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For the commute from Tacoma to Bremerton, you are looking at 30 plus miles at 60 mph for much of it. The XT225 might have to work awful hard.

Rain gear to me is more important than heated gear. Also, if you commute early in the morning, watch out for frozen fog - it's really not good for motorcyclists.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:05 PM   #7
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I still live in Phoenix. But it is hard to beat an XT225 for commuting. With street oriented tires, it will handle as well as any other bike in the rain, and better than most. I love it for commuting, as well as pleasure riding. It is small and lightweight, you can toss it around almost like a mountain bike, you sit high enough to see things around you, and unlike a cruiser or sport bike, it has the suspension to handle potholes, speedbumps, etc. without pounding your back to bits. And WA and OR have a lot of nice places to ride off road.
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Old 10-22-2012, 09:27 PM   #8
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Cold and wet...

GO for it. I am commuting on a wr250. Ya is cold. Ya its wet. I agree with all your reasons to ride these bikes. I do not have heated gear right now so this morning I stopped a few times and warned my hands on the built in warmer on my bike(exhaust). Looking into heated gloves or heated grips, my finger tips were coooold this morning.

Summer is amazing....nuf said.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Gootch View Post
For the commute from Tacoma to Bremerton, you are looking at 30 plus miles at 60 mph for much of it. The XT225 might have to work awful hard.

Rain gear to me is more important than heated gear. Also, if you commute early in the morning, watch out for frozen fog - it's really not good for motorcyclists.
I take the lil bike on I5 towards JBLM - speeds up to 70MPH and the little 200 can take it. I'm sure the XT will use those extra 25 CC's to advantage.

Most def on the frozen fog though...
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:12 PM   #10
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I commute 40 miles each way year-round on the Buell, probably less than ten days per season where I'll opt for the truck - - icy conditions, snow etc. Most good comments already been listed with regards to gear, marine fog (or Hoar frost) driver inattentiveness, etc., and can't advise on the displacement.

About the only thing I can add is be aware of the road conditions between your home and the primary road network (for you I-5, Hwy 16, Route 3) - - usually these major thorough fares are pretty "clean", but the secondary roads that lead to them can be a bit dicey,

YMMV
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:25 AM   #11
woodsrider-boyd
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Why wouldn't you get a 650, or at least a DRZ400 type ds if you're anticipating some highway in the mix?

They're a ton of them out there and they're cheap.

Can't imagine buzzing down the highway on a 250 (or less), but I guess it can be done.
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Old 10-24-2012, 11:02 AM   #12
GSguy
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Originally Posted by woodsrider-boyd View Post
Why wouldn't you get a 650, or at least a DRZ400 type ds if you're anticipating some highway in the mix?

They're a ton of them out there and they're cheap.

Can't imagine buzzing down the highway on a 250 (or less), but I guess it can be done.
It can be done, heck I take my wifes DR200 to work a few times a year. It's about a 90 mile round trip all major Hwy just stay in the slow lane so you don't get run over and you will be fine.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:55 PM   #13
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Too small, IMHO. Yeah, it'll do it, but it will be straining most of the time and you'll have no power to run away or outmaneuver asshats. I commuted, briefly, on a 250. Didn't like it.


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Old 10-24-2012, 06:38 PM   #14
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You dudes on your little bikes are hard core.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:57 PM   #15
JerryH
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The XT225 can handle highway speeds. I have ridden mine from Phoenix to San Diego and back 3 times on I-8, at an indicated 60 mph, in the right lane. No problems at all. 99.9% of the time when a faster vehicle came up behind me, they moved over into the left lane before getting too close. No, there is no reserve, but that just means you have to learn a different way of riding. I ride 55 mph top speed scooters on 65 mph roads all the time with no problems. I have also driven an old VW bus on the freeway, which had a top speed of about 65 mph. Stay in the right lane, wear high visibility clothes, and watch your mirrors. Make sure you have a place to go if something comes up too close behind you. I have had to move onto the shoulder a few times, and when I did, the vehicle behind me usually slowed down, moved into the left lane, and went around.

You can get a 650 fairly cheap, but it is not much faster than a 225 as far as instant acceleration goes. I have never seen a DRZ400 cheap. They cost more than any of the Japanese 650s new, and hold their value. They seem to be highly sought after. Also, the 650s have the disadvantage of a LOT more weight, and don't handle nearly as well as the 225.
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