Whenever someone asks me what bike they should get to commute on, I can't help but wince a little bit. "Just to commute on?" I ask. Sure, motorcycles are great cheap transportation—that's why they were invented in the first place—but they're so much more than that too.

A commuter bike doesn’t have to be some twerpy little beater that’s best quality is its frugality at the gas pump.

Yamaha Tracer 900 GT
Who wouldn’t look forward to the morning commute if this was the route to the office?Yamaha

For the enthusiast, a commuter bike is also going to be a weekend bike, a touring bike, a trackday bike, and a sit-in-the-garage-and-stare-at-it bike. The motorcycles listed below are great for commuting because of their relatively upright ergos, their varying degrees of practicality, etc., but they’re also just great. So no matter how you commute, where you park your bike, or the roads you ride to get there, these bikes will turn the daily grind into something worth getting out of bed for.

For Redeeming The Commute: Ducati Hypermotard 950
Ducati Hypermotard 950
“I hate my boss, I hate my boss, I hate my… ooh, excellent brakes.”Ducati

There’s nothing for redeeming the drudgery of the daily commute like riding a bike that brings out the hooligan in you. For every adult work-life problem, there’s a childish motorcycle solution. The weight of the world can’t contend with the cathartic power of dragging a peg or hoisting the front wheel in the air like a middle finger to the Man. The Hypermotard is a beautiful red Xanax for the overworked and underpaid. And because it’s not an actual supermoto, but a one-of-a-kind real-bike/dirt bike mash-up with a 937cc desmo twin engine, you can happily ride it on the freeway for thousands of miles before it needs a tune-up. Just think of how many wheelies that amounts to.

For The Commute To Class: Husqvarna 401 Svartpilen
Husqvarna 401 Svartpilen
Chirpy campus commuter. Just add book bag and parking permit.R. Schedl

If you want a bike to blast around campus, the Husky 401 Svartpilen is the dream. First, it looks super cool. It’s lightweight so you can toss it around parked cars and unpredictable buses. It also has spoked wheels and knobby tires so you can go over the occasional curb, achieving two important objectives: to make you look like a daring ne'er-do-well, and to beeline to the most coveted parking spots. Since you’re young, too much practicality doesn’t suit you. But you still need someplace to strap a six-pack. The Husky has a perfect sized rack on the tank seemingly for that very purpose.

For The Urban Commute: Honda CB300R
Honda CB300R
Slice through traffic on the Honda CB300R.Honda

If you’re riding downtown, you want something light and maneuverable, like the Honda CB300R. Its 286cc single-cylinder engine is plenty for roaring (purring, more like) ahead of taxis and Ubers, and its upright ergos should help you see over them. The little CB also has an of-the-moment appeal that won’t look out of place in a slick city world of boutiques and bars.

For Taking The Long Way Home: Yamaha Tracer GT
Yamaha Tracer GT
Adjustable windscreen, panniers, heated grips, etc. make the Tracer GT great as an everyday bike.Yamaha

The longer the commute, the more important practicality and creature comforts become. The Tracer GT is just the thing. Picking up some carryout curry for dinner? Just throw it in the panniers. Can’t give up riding even though it’s below freezing? Plug in your heated jacket and turn up the standard heated grips. Need to blow off some steam because your boss is a pillock? The Tracer GT’s lusty three-cylinder motor should help considerably. Go ahead. Take the long way home.

For Being Left In A Rainy Parking Lot: BMW R1200R
BMW R1200R
There’s something logical yet quirky about the R1200R. Very German.BMW

With images of disc brakes rusting, fasteners getting fuzzy, and resale value plummeting as your bike sits in the rain, it’s no wonder 15-year-old SV650s with dented tanks, permanent bungee nets, and squared-off rubber are the gold standard of commuting. Still, there’s something noble about a life of nose-to-the-grindstone, day-in-day-out duty. Umm, for a motorcycle I mean. Like the BMW R1200R. It can take a car door hit to the cylinder head without getting miffed. It’s up for the thankless tasks. Its mettle shows itself when a rainstorm is the only wash it gets and it still looks pretty good. Because it’s a BMW.

2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950
Bring your daughter to work day?Ducati

Have a favorite bike to commute on? Tell us what/why in the comments section below.