Visordown's five most underrated commuters

Five great ways for getting to work on a budget

Posted: 1 July 2013
by Tim Skilton

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THINKING ABOUT commuting to work? Take a look at five machines we think are the most underrated commuters on the secondhand market today. They may not be the sharpest knives in the drawer but who cares when you're only interested in getting to work and back on something reliable? And because our chosen five are not mainstream stuff, they usually don't command high prices, which makes them all great value for money.

Commuting's cost effective, good fun and means extra time at home

We've chosen a wide variety of bikes to suit all tastes - so whether your commute's a 5-minute dash through town-centre traffic or a 100-mile round trip, there's something suitable for everyone.

Article originally published Sep 2008 - Updated July 2013

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This thread is for discussion of the article 5 Most Underrated commuters

Posted: 28/06/2007 at 21:12

Italjet Dragstar 25mpg!? 20hp isn't a lot for a 180cc 2-stroke, I was under the impression some of the hot 125s made 30hp and would manage a measly but acceptable 50mpg. Doesn't sound right to me. I thought the 25mpg territory was reserved for 60hp KR1Ss and the like.

Posted: 29/06/2007 at 11:23

I'll find out how good the V-Strom is soon because my commute is about to grow from 15 miles each way to 70!

Posted: 30/06/2007 at 13:30

I made the mistake of buying a ZR-7 a few months ago, to use for commuting as the article suggests. As the article correctly points out, they are cheap - for good reason, since they're not very good. Superheavy, ponderous handling but with a reasonable amount of low down grunt. Good looking bike too.

Having commuted on the likes of the Bandit 600, Hornet 600 and Transalp, I have to say the ZR fell far short of these three bikes, it really was no fun at all to commute on. My mistake any, should have had a testride first! Needless to say, I got rid of it - the only bike I've owned for less than a year.

My suggestion would be to pay the extra few hundred quid and get a Bandit or CB500. Or CG125 or V-strom - these would make excellent commuters!

As for the ZR-7 being "nimble"? You must be getting confused with another bike. Of the 10 or so bikes I've owned, the ZR-7 is the least nimble along with my KH250, which beat the ZR hands down when it came to fun.

Posted: 02/07/2007 at 15:48

I purchased an 07 Monster 695 and commute 120 miles roundtrip a day on this bike. It is a relatively cheap bike when compared to bikes from other manufacturers and equipped with the Ducati saddlebags a great little sport tourer. There are also the Monster 620 and the Multistrada 620 which for a little more outlay than some of the bikes listed can provide a very solid commuter.

Posted: 06/07/2007 at 23:58

Loger distances for less outlay, I've had some success with a Super Tenere which was as old as the hills but still cruised at 100mph on the motorway. 40mpg wasn't great, but 240+ miles to 2nd reserve is where it's useful. £900 for a good 'un

Current steed is a ZZR1100 which eats up the miles and is laughing it's head off at 120mph because it's only 2/3 of maximum speed. 250 miles to a tank from the D models because it's usually getting 45mpg+ In fact I'm seeing around 48mpg on average. Steering lock is awful so you won't be following scooters snaking across 3 lanes in stationary traffic, but once traffic is moving it's pleasantly narrow for filtering. As you'd expect, it's fairly lively to accelerate even from 100mph or more. Mine was £1500 with 14,000 miles on it a few months ago, which I reckon is a bargain.

Posted: 18/07/2007 at 09:59

A commuter thread, and nobody's mentioned Deauvilles yet?

Posted: 18/07/2007 at 10:45

Happy that the article opens up some interesting thoughts and discussions, but I'm sorry that the decision to include the Swing as the maxi-scoot contribution is plain wrong.

It's poorly put together, abysmal mpg, poor handling and not the most comfortable either.  Far better would have been any of these:

Piaggio X8/XEvo 400

Piaggo MP3 (a bit too new for sub £2.5k buy price, but three wheels )

Gilera Nexus

Yamaha TMax Mk2

Suzuki Burgman 400

Posted: 24/09/2008 at 13:55

i bought a CG125 in February for Commuting, it's now sat in the dealerships garage having it's Gearbox replaced because somethings gone wrong...

....god bless Honda's 3 Year Warranty 

Posted: 25/09/2008 at 14:16

I use an '02 R 1150 GS for my commute of 15 miles (each way) and am seeing 45mpg on average.

Trouble is that drops quickly if you are a bit heavy handed with the throttle but at least it has the potential for some fun. I thought about getting a CG but I'd probably go mad with boredom!

Posted: 30/09/2008 at 15:52

this thread is over a year old, how do people manage it?.

Posted: 12/10/2008 at 23:23

The original article still exists doesn't it?  Any new comment is just as valid as a year old one.

How the CG125 can be considered an underrated commuter is beyond me though.  Isn't the CG one of the established commuter bikes for short commutes really.  I think you'll find many that have been used daily for years. 

Posted: 13/10/2008 at 09:19


Because the article is dated 23/09/08.  No idea why VD recycled an old article, they should just have done a new one

Posted: 13/10/2008 at 16:02

i had a runner 180 for about 3 years run it evey day to and from work brill bike loved it you could easy jump off it if anything happened

6 sec 0 to 60 thats quicker than type r civic that every one says are fast

much easy than trying to get a big bike in and out of the traffic and will put a smaile on you face once you got over the fact its a scooter

Posted: 14/10/2008 at 21:38

poldark wrote (see)

Happy that the article opens up some interesting thoughts and discussions, but I'm sorry that the decision to include the Swing as the maxi-scoot contribution is plain wrong.

It's poorly put together, abysmal mpg, poor handling and not the most comfortable either.  Far better would have been any of these:

Yamaha TMax Mk2

Suzuki Burgman 400

+1 to both of these. but realistically, they are not for everyone.

There is also no comment about exactly what sort of commute you are doing. 25 miles into central London is rather different from 40 miles into York. A Burger 400 would be great for the first. But you might well want a motorcycle rather than a scooter to enjoy the second. In Summer, anyway.

Posted: 18/10/2008 at 19:19

Not sure about thisarticle.

CG125 isn't exactly underrated for a start!

Silverwing...I suppose so, but again it isn't exactly underrated its just too pricey, and the burgman is just better and cheaper!

ZR7??? Its not underrated, its just crap. You need something a little bit nimble in traffic, which this definitely is not. Its worse than so many bikes, even for the money.

Italjet? Well, I suppose the way that an RS125 is a underrated, sorry. Not even close. If you want to ride a scooter you might as well get the benefits; cheap, easy to ride etc. Nobody will take you seriously on a scooter so theres no point in trying. This is like a Nissan Micra with a spoiler and 'turbo' tippexed on it. Oh OK, like a Nissan Micra with a 1.2l engine instead of a 1.0l.

Henecton: come on, a Ducati's not really the perfect commuter is it?! Beautiful bike, but not the best commuter...

Posted: 19/03/2009 at 14:57

The only thing wrong with the CG is the exuast pipe, if it was a bit like the CBF's it would be perfect

Posted: 01/08/2009 at 13:30

im seriously considering a burgman 400.

but would advise against a piaggo or aprillia.

just type "piaggo /aprillia problems" into google

in general though, scoots aint as easy/cheap to maintain as i had thought.

prob struggle to find a silverwing for £2k.

Posted: 01/08/2009 at 15:22

I bought a ZR7s for a 50 mile commute through heavy traffic and some motorway. Its brilliant at it. Never struggle with handling and leave lots of more expensive machinery sat queuing as I weave past.

As for a bandit, old 600 or newer 650 it leaves them both. Throw on bt021s and its great


Posted: 10/08/2009 at 12:26

Posted: 10/08/2009 at 12:26

I've got a Burg 400 (2000 model) which is brilliant for the nasty weather, and a VFR800 (no VTEC) for the better weather, and my commute is 45 miles each way, from Reading to Soho every day.

I'm actually getting better mpg from the VFR, but i feel a lot less vulnerable on the Burg. And i'm squaring off the VFR tyre which i hate, but i don't care about the Burg's back tyre squaring off.

 Only thing my Burg is lacking is ABS, which is why i'm now considering replacing it with a Silverwing or Burg 400/650.

I've had CBR4/6/9/929/11 over the years and they've all been fantastic bikes. Is the build quality on the Silverwing really that bad?

Posted: 27/10/2009 at 11:02

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