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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello Everyone,

I will be moving to London in September to get a graduate degree, but I am not too keen on the idea of not having a bike when I move (let alone any mode of personal transportation). What is the typical cost of owning a bike in London? Would it be worth it to ship my bike (09 D675)?

Also, I'm not sure how many of you have ridden in the US and the UK, but are there any major differences aside from driving on the wrong side of the road (just kidding).
 

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If you are bringing a bike to any large town or city in the UK then bring good security with you. Even then, you still might get your bike stolen or torched. I'm a member of another, general purpose bike forum for the UK and 4 bikes were either stolen or vandalised this week alone :tears:

One was a new cbr600rr that was stolen from a secure car park at a college. The cameras weren't looking at the bike when it was lifted into a van and driven off (smells a bit like an inside job to me).

Other than that, winter has been sh*te and most of the roads have potholes that the councils take ages to "fix" and I use that term loosely, which also describes the way the tarmac is patched :indeed:

Here's a vid that will show you London traffic conditions. Hope you can filter :thumbup: One word of warning, the guy in the video is filtering through the zigzag lines leading up to pedestrian crossings. Thats illegal over here, you may get away with it more in the bigger cities, however the cops around my area really don't like it. The police offer a days training with them, mostly classroom but they do go out on the road for a couple of hours with you, its called bikesafe. I've been on one and the police in my area mentioned they will not tolerate filtering through the zigzags (0:53 and 1:18 are two examples in that video)

Buses are a PITA whereas everyone else is out to kill you, especially white van drivers and the worst of all, Taxi drivers. Taxi drivers are THE worst drivers on the british roads, especially the minicabs. Oh and treat pedestrians like Lemmings, they just like to walk out in front of you.

That's all the worst bits, if you read that and still want to bring the bike, you'll love it! :thumbup:

Out of the cities there are some great riding roads. The magazine "Bike" is doing a series on great roads, next issue highlights one going into/out of London if memory serves me right.
 

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Leave the bike behind. London is a wonderful city but I would not dream of driving a bike like the 675 there. Traffic is a nightmare (like any big city) and there is plenty of public transportation to get where you need to go.

Living outside the city is another story :thumbup:


.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the replies. Maybe London is not a good place for a D675, but what about riding a bike in general. Maybe a used street triple? I just don't like spending about 70 pounds a month on public transport none of which is recoverable. I would be interested though to hear a response to the insurance question though.

If I were to get a bike over there I would have to pay taxes, MOT, and insurance, correct? I thought I read somewhere that motorcycles do not pay the congestion charge.
 

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London will be expensive to insure, especially if you don't have a garage to lock the bike away in.

You'll have to pay: Insurance, VED (Vehicle Excise Duty, about £70 per year), MOT if the bike is 3+ years old and what will be the most costly, fuel. Its currently about £1.30 for the regular stuff per litre. So over £20 to fill a 675's tank! :rant:

Motorbikes are exempt from the congestion charge though :cool2:

If it was just to ride around the city on, and as abhorrent as it may seem, you're probably best with a scooter. I'll go hang my head in shame now for saying that, even though it is true...
 

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Just noticed I never actually put the link in that post earlier?!?

youtube.com/watch?v=BLSSDDXzaMs

It was 4 in the morning for me when I posted...
 

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Hello Everyone,

I will be moving to London in September to get a graduate degree, but I am not too keen on the idea of not having a bike when I move (let alone any mode of personal transportation). What is the typical cost of owning a bike in London? Would it be worth it to ship my bike (09 D675)?

Also, I'm not sure how many of you have ridden in the US and the UK, but are there any major differences aside from driving on the wrong side of the road (just kidding).
I cut my teeth driving into Central London for work, I didn't care how close a cabbie or bus got when I was in a company vehicle. Did it once on the bike, never again.
It was really expensive to insure my bike and I was residing a good hour from "town." Cannot imagine how much it would have cost if I lived closer.
If you are only riding around the city I would suggest a larger capacity scooter, off the line they are pretty zippy and will go as fast as you need on the surface streets IMO, I know it will be no 675, but it'll be cheaper and easier to ride in the traffic.

Just remember, there's no right on red. :thumbup:eek:r left for that matter!
 

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another option to a large scooter would be a single cylinder trail bike drz400 or dr650 etc etc giving a better view of the road ahead but rather you than me i went up to london in october last year and left the car at home i'm glad i did as the driving standards have got a lot worse in the 10 years since i last visited
 

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I don't live in a big city, but like some of the guys said, find a place with a garage or gated parking.

As far as bringing the bike over, it depends on whether you are going to be commuting every day or using the bike on the weekends to get out of the city. I'm not sure I'd risk riding my bike into London every day, especially a 675.

I lived in California for 10 years, and I don't know what NC is like, but the quality of the roads and the standard of driving over there is aweful. Especially on the freeways. With all the weaving in and out of lanes they do, not obeying any of the laws, it is a nightmare and very frustrating when you are used to British driving! Although people here complain about the driving in the UK, I think it is a million miles better than in the US. Probably due to the harder test here. They just give away licences in California!

Generally people are really quite respectful to bikers over here and will give way. On the motorways people respect that the fast lane is the fast lane and don't usually sit there doing 65/70 like they do in Cali (even when the other lanes are open!).

One thing in favour of Cali is the weather. I lived down South and up North and you are able to ride a lot more often without having to worry about the forecast! Although winters in Nor Cal are quite wet and cold!

Well, that's my input. If you have any more specific questions about the differences in riding there versus here, let me know.

Cheers!
 

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Third time looking, I wasn't going crazy, you have NC and SC down as locations. Anyway sorry for taking up the posting space. Do let me know if you have more queries about the riding differences in the two countries though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the feedback. I will be right in the center of London since I will be going to Imperial. What also pains me about not bringing the bike is the huge loss I will take financially since I bought it new. From what everyone is saying though, it seems that using it as a main source of transportation is out of the question. Anyone have any ballpark figures for storing it some sort of secure facility? I also need to figure out the licensing process for myself as well as the D675.

The roads in NC are not bad, but the people driving are always blocking the lanes or cutting people off while they are preoccupied on the phone. I try to just get away from people if I can help it.
 

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I have no idea about storage costs, sorry. I guess it all depends how long you plan to be in the UK. If it is just a year's Master's I would say don't bother shipping it over. If you are here for a PhD, with the potential of a post-doc and work afterwards, then it would definitely be worth it. I still wouldn't use it for a communter in London though, but, for a weekend blast in the country with the boys, it'd be worth it.

There are plenty of beautiful roads to ride in Britain and it doesn't take to long to get out into the country from London. I did my undergrad degree in the States and then came here for an MSc and PhD, with four years of no riding. Getting the Triumph last September was the best thing I ever did. I can't believe how much I missed riding.

Anyway, lots of things to consider. In the end it's up to you to decide. If you want anymore detail about riding in the UK or even grad school, let me know.

Cheers!
 

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Hello Everyone,

I will be moving to London in September to get a graduate degree, but I am not too keen on the idea of not having a bike when I move (let alone any mode of personal transportation). What is the typical cost of owning a bike in London? Would it be worth it to ship my bike (09 D675)?

Also, I'm not sure how many of you have ridden in the US and the UK, but are there any major differences aside from driving on the wrong side of the road (just kidding).
Hi Motorrad,

I live south west of London and ride 20 miles in to the centre for work every day. Bikes/scooters are definitely the best way to get around if you can. I use my Bonneville, though, and keep the D675 for weekend blasts out of town.

Do you know what part of London you'll be living/studying in? Different areas have very different insurance costs. One big saving is not parking on the street, so try to find a place to live where you can keep the bike off the street, even a few feet off the street on a sidewalk/garden/alley can save £100s. Crazy but true.

Hope it works out for you.
 

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I used to ride from basically NW London to S/SW London and regularly managed it in 45 minutes at 7:30am. I'm only 22 and my insurance isn't horrendous for my age, location and bike but still not cheap.
Riding into town doesn't fuss me really, once you know your route it helps a lot. I use my horn a lot though, the highway code says it's to warn people that your there so that i do!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you for all the advice everyone. I will try to look for a place to live where I can store the bike, otherwise I might have to bring it to the UK after I finish my studies. Unfortunately Kensington is a very expensive part of London to live in. Good to know though that different areas have different insurance rates.
 

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Imperial's a fantastic place to study, and London's a fantastic city. Hideously expensive though. I was in London a few weeks ago with wifey, on business. Hot day, we finished work, and went into a pub where wifey had a glass of pinot grigio and I had half a Peroni, oh yes and a packet of crisps (potato chips to you).

I nearly fell over when the barman asked me for £10.50 (that's $17). And as he was Russian I couldn't understand a word he was saying:whistle:

Do get out of London. The rest of England really is worth seeing, even if you only get to places such as Oxford. You'll wish you had your bike y'know...
 

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Dont know why all the negative posts about riding the 675 in London.
I have one, I commute on it every day from North West London to South East through central London and commuting.
My insurance is £500 for the year and I only got my license less than a year ago.
I have had one stolen but I now am much more conscious of where I park it and of locking it (that one didn't have any lock, just steering lock).

The only thing I find is that it can be hard on the wrists with all the stopping and starting etc.

I still love it though and have no problems with it in central.
 

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Another vote for getting a scooter to travel around London, suspect there'll be no financial sense behind shipping the D675. Depends if a scooter can satisfy your 2-wheel desire I guess, but as said they are the perfect tool for round town riding.

I've had Burgman 400 & Piaggio X8 400, both allow for some reasonable long distance work, but clearly aren't going to satisfy adreneline requirements. However if you want to explore and are more motivated by the journey and what you see, they can offer reasonably cheap travel option for both town work and rideout fun.
 
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