New motorcycle riders are 35 more times likely to die in a traffic collision. So think carefully before deciding to sell your old car to buy the motorcycle of your dreams and use it as your primary source of transportation. Here are a few things to consider:
1. You save money on gas when riding a bike because they have great gas mileage. They average 56 mpg depending on the size of the engine. It could even go to 100 mpg if you travel on a lower cc scooter. But expenses could add up faster if you factor in buying parts seasonally, like spark plugs, air filters, chains ( if your bike isn’t shaft driven) brake pads, oil changes, sprockets, fork seals and tires which last only after 5,000 miles or so. A new pair could cost $300-$350.
2. Insurance rates are higher depending on which state you are from. If you are male, rides a super sports bike and in your mid twenties, it could go a little higher whether you get liability, comprehensive or full coverage. Plus you absolutely must get medical insurance in the event of a tumble.
3. It is a lot safer to drive a car than a motorcycle in your daily commute to and from work where anybody or even a 16 year old kid talking on the cell phone while driving could possibly T-bone you any minute especially in rush hour traffic.
4. You can buy an inexpensive Japanese econobox car and still get good fuel mileage and save a money on gas.
5. Weather is not a detrimental factor when using a car as your main mode of transportation. Rain, hail, sleet or snow, you can safely drive a car. Unlike riding a bike, you have to sport all that protective and heavy gear to keep you safe from the elements.
6. You can hit Cotsco and stock up on groceries for weeks and load it into your car because obviously you have enough space. Compare that to riding a bike, you can only carry enough grocery items on your backpack or saddlebag. That means multiple trips to the supermarket within a week and that is not frugal.
7. You can’t stuff laundry or move furniture in case you relocate to another place on your bike. Better call a friend with a pick-up truck.
8. You can definitely go to work driving your car wearing your suit or business attire and not arrive with a mess up hair. Imagine wearing high heels and skirt to work riding a bike.
9. You can attract college girls with your neon colored super sports bike alright, and it feels great when your twenty year old biker, but the novelty wears off within half hour especially if you pick her up in a cold rain. Fast forward 20 years later, you are now this responsible 40 year old man driving a decent car and thirty-something flight attendants would feel safe and comfortable going out on a date with you.
10. If you are a pet owner you will have trouble bringing old faithful Fido to the vet or carry a 50 pound cat litter bag or 50 pound dog food on a motorbike. Sure, you can order online and have the stuff ship to you but it could cost more.
11. You don’t have to spend extra money on leather jackets, layers of thermal clothing, heated gears etc. to drive a car as opposed to wearing all that heavy stuff on your body as protective gear just to buy six pack of beer on a 5 minute ride to the nearby convenience store.
Riding a high-priced high-performance new Ducati Panigale will cost you more than driving a 2006 Honda Civic. Conversely, driving a Hummer H3 will cost you more than riding a Puch. So let’s not compare apples to oranges so to speak, if being frugal is your main concern.
For safety reasons buying and driving a car would be logical thing to do. Motorcycles are for fun and hobbies. You can’t put excitement and adventure in any spec sheet. I think the ideal scenario would be to keep your old car and make it your chief means of transportation. Save up for a motorcycle for the occasional cross-country rides.