Commuting on a motorcycle is much different than touring. I was thinking about people that ride their motorcycles less than a thousand miles a year, those that just tour occasionally and those that use a motorcycle as their main mode of transportation. I’m not knocking on anyone that loves riding their cycle. If you ride yours 10 miles a year and that works for you, awesome! I personally ride my bikes to work almost everyday I can unless I get lazy or it snows or rains (I hate riding in the wet).
I use my 2015 Honda Grom to commute and to tour and I will say riding a Grom is an exercise in managing momentum. I love it, but it ain’t for everyone. The gas mileage I see ranges based on how I drive, the load I carry and the temperature outside, which means I see from 109 to 132. And make no mistake I’ve seen 130’s in a row for long streches in the summer and I weigh way over 200lbs. My mileage did make a jump up by like 8 mpg when I added the Brock’s Short Meg exhuast.
There is a big difference between touring and commuting. I love commuting on the Grom because of the mileage, parking advantages and maneuverability. It also gives me about 40 or 45 mins of therapy before and after work, which I love. But, touring is so much more fun. It can be painful if you have a Grom stock seat, but there is something about the planning, packing and total focus on the ride. When my brothers and I tour it is about the road, the destination is secondary. It is about becoming one with the bike and the area you are riding. You see things differently on a motorcycle, even smells are more poignant.
I think back on different little tours like important moments in my life. I watch the videos and remember time with my brothers, and the smell of the eucalyptus even fills my nostrils when I think of riding down the coast in California. If you do a lot of commuting and using that motorcycle as a tool take some time to use it as a toy as well. Do some multi-day touring and get your butt sore. There is something about seeing things from the back of a bike and nothing compares.
Here’s some of our vintage Honda CT110 touring, so much fun on a little bike.