Take on the concrete jungle with these commuter bikes
Such statements are always controversial, but this might be the best commuter bike money can buy. Yes, it’s an entry-level “adventure” bike, but in the same way that an urban SUV is a popular form of transport for car-minded folk, a well-sprung and exceptionally comfortable bike with superb protection from buffeting by the wind really makes this Honda a spectacularly good commuter. It even comes with a dual-clutch automatic gearbox if you like.
Even non-riders will have a visceral response to the styling of a classically styled Triumph twin, even if you’re way too young to remember the original 1959 bike. Despite its retro appeal modern Triumphs are truly modern bikes. They ride well and are smooth, sophisticated machines to operate, unlike some heritage products that can be a little old-school. With this bike you get a good mix of power and compact size, as well as every-day traffic usability. A good bike for all occasions.
Yes it’s a Vespa, so that makes it a ‘bike’ that oozes a kind of euro-cool, but it’s also got enough shunt to slice through urban traffic and transport two for weekend adventures. It’s no superbike but it’s quick enough, and sits in a effortlessly breezy space between the bigger maxi-scooters and the 125s. Small wheels and reasonable torque can be a tricky combination, so this bike comes with traction control and ABS for those slick wet roads. Cool, quick, safe - A great commuter.
Let’s be frank here. Sometimes the decision to ride, not drive, is simply an economic one. Bikes are cheaper to buy and run than even some forms of public transport, let alone a car. And so here we present one of the cheapest scooters you can buy new in South Africa, the BigBoy Swift 125, a light and simple twist-n-go urban runaround that does nothing wrong, and does it at a reasonable price. Super-light, small and easy to drive, this is a pretty good starter-commuter.
Possibly the maxiest of maxi-scooters, this luxurious BMW isn’t cheap but it sure is comfortable, quick and safe. This is really an amazing machine, big enough and powerful enough for long-distance cruising, comfortable for two and blessed with a ton of storage space. It’s also got blind-spot assistance, ABS and traction control. Sure, it’s a big bike compared with traditional scooters, but it’s capable of fulfilling most roles if you don’t care about off-roading, sports-bike speeds and, dare we say it, looking cool…
No, we haven’t lost our minds. Yes, this is the legendary adventure bike made famous by Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman. Yes, they’re big. But their owners reckon they’re also the best all-round bike money can buy, and that’s why you see so many in urban traffic. They’re like the Range Rovers of the bike world, which means they’re comfortable everywhere.
Again, not an obvious brand for the urban runaround, but Harley-Davidson knows that as the world urbanizes, so must the company offer urban solutions. The Street Rod 750 is their latest stab at a segment they’ve not historically been comfortable with. The 750 is compact and light yet does the trick of being obviously a Harley, one for the daily grind and not for the weekend rides – what can possibly be wrong with that?
So here’s a bike with a bark way worse than its bite. It may look pretty mean to the uneducated eye – like a proper sports bike – but this is a super easy-to-ride commuter bike that will set you back probably a quarter of the cost of one of its bigger siblings. It looks great, is light and compact, and while looking the business, is in fact a really good bike for a first-time commuter.
Looking for a great commuter bike to get you through the traffic? Head over to AutoTrader to find your dream bike. AutoTrader South Africa has been the leading media market space for the past 25 years for buying and selling vehicles. Whether you are looking to buy a brand new bike or are in the market for a pre-loved model, AutoTrader has over 1802 bikes to choose from to suit your tastes and needs.