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I've never ridden a motorcycle but I'm interested in one for the purposes of commuting and getting around. I ride a bicycle (with pedals) and drive a car but driving has always been quite boring for me as a low time driver (got my license last year in fact). Riding a bicycle, however, is loads of fun but not very practical for commuting. So the possible solution is motorcycles which leads me to asking a few questions.

How is it like to ride a motorcycle on Long Island? During the school year, my commute would involve ~40 miles each way from my home in NYC to Stony Brook University. Last year, I took the public transit (LIRR most of the way) and the commute generally takes 2 hours and sometimes more. By car, I can get to Stony Brook in an hour but I can't be using the family car to commute daily and frankly, I wouldn't want to be driving a car that distance day after day unless the weather is poor.

And particular concerns regarding motorcycling on Long Island?

Correction: It's around 40 miles each way.
 

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airbrushart
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The Long Island expressway if you want to call it is not a place for a motorcycle rider with little to know expirence. I used to commute 66 miles every day to Brooklyn, there is a lot of danger doing it. May be a second car would be a better choice don't forget rain, snow and cold weather.
 

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It's more dangerous than most places, because of the poor road conditions and the aggressive and inattentive drivers. When the guy 'parked' a the curb suddenly initiates a high speed U-turn as you're coming alongside and you run right into him, well, it's hardware to walk away from that if you're on two wheels and not four. Or, when the 'rubber band' makes everyone panic stop, sometimes they don't avoid running into the vehicle in front. That's BIG ouch on two wheels. NYC to SBU? It's not very pleasant when stuck in traffic on a hot day, not getting caught in the rain, nor running into a cold snap if you're not dressed for it. Ya, you can take the HOV lane IF that's moving. I take my bike to work some days, but I have a much shorter ride, yet I still end up regretting it from time to time when traffic is standing still.
 

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close your eyes and run in any direction for 100 feet that's riding on long island
 

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Another thing worth mentioning is that I would be commuting in opposite directions to rush hour traffic to and from Queens, NYC (Why, a few miles and I'm already in Nassau). So morning and I'm going east away from the city and in the evening, I'm going west towards the city.
 

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I've rode for years locally, but only used the bike when the weather was appealing...would never rely on it as my main mode of transportation. Riding in bad weather just sucks. With the congestion of Long Island, distracted drivers and seeing the results of a few bike versus car interactions I've given up riding. If you do ride: wear safety gear/dress for the fall as sooner or later it will happen. Take a rider safety course (I use to do it yearly) and expect everyone out there doesn't see you and will take you out without a moments hesitation. On a bike it's you, your wits and skills against everyone else. If I ever get off this traffic infested sand bar I might reconsider riding again.
 

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Get a cheap beater car with good gas mileage. Every time I think about wanting to learn to ride, I think about the many of friends and friend of friends that got seriously injured or died while riding. It's one thing to ride on the weekends, but it's s death sentence during morning and afternoon commutes.
 

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Lynryd speaks from experience and exposure to the issue. P&M has many years of riding behind him. Others too.
Follow the advise, not so much because riding is soooo bad but as an inexperienced (young?) rider, you are at greater risk just by virtue of having not "been there" yet.
Road conditions, oblivious drivers, riding in a reverse commute puts the sun in your eyes both ways...it's called Sunrise Hwy for a reason and (no offense) lack of miles under your belt. Younger riders are statistically (lots of statistics on here, if we don't know 'em, we make them up
and that risk is compounded by knucklehead LI drivers.
ABATE, Victory Roders, PGR and other groups can point you where you should be looking.
Working at SBU is nice, don't end up as a guest on one of the medical floors. LIRR sux, 2 wheels vs 4 wheels = sux more.
 

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I have been riding on long island since 1975 . I told my 26 year old son if he got a bike I would smash it to pieces with a sledge hammer . ( he knows I would do it ) I told him after I'm dead do what you want.
 

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Be vewwy qwuiet, I'm hunting Giwaffes...
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I have ridden on LI for over 30 years. Ridden through many Winters on street bikes and dual-purpose bikes. It's okay when you do it for fun. When you do it as a commute, riding in inclement weather sucks.

Riding on LI is a deadly proposition for the uninitiated and dangerous for the experienced. Today, I see more driver stupidity and inattentiveness then ever before. Get a beater car to go to school. Someday, when you have more money, buy a bike and learn to ride at your leisure.
 

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Personally I think you are better served with a car until you have at least five years of DRIVING experience, because by then you've been through most of the trials of driving, the guy that runs the red light or bangs a left from the right lane and all that BS. That said, I commute by bike and basically ride everywhere in all types of weather, got 200 miles of rain coming back from North of Albany 2 weeks ago and some pretty snarly traffic last night coming back from a trip to Centre County PA and the Poconos on 80. My commute is basically N-S from the middle of the Island to the North Shore. Yeah, take the MSF course and get gear IF you decide to do it, I would notr do it JUST because of economics, and a lot of it depends on what kind of risks are acceptable to you. I know a lot of people get hurt on motorcycles, but by the same token I see a lot of idiots doing 100+ on sport bikers with their friend handing off the back in flip flops and a t-shirt, or guys who want to be "cool" so run out and get a 110CI cruiser because then they are bad-butts, but they should not be riding a 700lb bike. If you start with a 500 or 600cc bike, it's more maneuverable and easier to ride. Costs less too.

If you DO decide to do it, ride safe. If you decide to spend five years on 4 wheels first, I think that's wise.
 
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