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Are Motorcycles and Mopeds more cost effective?


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    I've been riding bikes for a few years now. I've bought many fixer uppers over the years, and have been meaning to get back into finally getting my main bike back on the road. I thought especially since I, like many other Americans are at home most of the time that it may be cheaper on gas to use my bike as my A to B. I wondered what others thought about this. I'm sure it depends on your situation, financially and such. I own a large pickup (F -150 Supercrew). I call it "the land yacht" for a reason. It's great on long road trips, and can pretty much pull anything (hoping for a camper one day) you can throw at it. It's just that making short trips around the city really eats my gas tank up.

    What I've learned owning a motorcycle:

    Pros:

    The initial start up cost can be very affordable, depending on where you buy your bike or moped from. If you buy your bike from someone online instead of going to the dealership, you can save yourself from monthly payments, and a higher price tag overall. Also, bikes are a lot like boats. The demand for them goes up in the spring, and then goes down in late fall. That's the time to buy one. The insurance is nothing compared to a four wheeled vehicle. For instance, the insurance for my truck is about $100 a month, compared to my bike which is like $90 a year.

    Mobility is the biggest pro in my opinion. I find myself able to zip around town and through traffic in ways I can't in a car. You get your bike in and through places a classic vehicle can't. Oh, and don't forget sidewalk parking. :)

    Gas is stupid cheap because bikes and mopeds have such a high mpg. Just one 5 gallon tank can get you 150 miles.

    Maintenance is quite low, especially if you learned to do it yourself. You can save a bundle of money this way as well.

    It makes you a better defensive driver, even when you're driving a car. My situational awareness has increased ten fold since I started riding in the city.

    Cons:

    I think the biggest drawback for those considering it is safety. I've always said, it's not if you'll ever lay your bike down, it's when. Bikes aren't the safest thing in the world. People driving cars in the city seem to all have this eye condition where bikes are invisible to them. Must be something in the water.

    Bikes are more delicate machines than cars or trucks. What could be a small fender bender for a truck or car is a wreck for a bike.

    Also, unless you have some serious saddle bags on your bike or moped, your carrying capacity is very limited. Backpacks are your best friend here.

    Rain and whether. Pretty self explanatory.

    Ok, so there's my list. Does anyone else have a similar experience where they're considering an alternative vehicle? Do these cons outweigh the pros?

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    I don't trust cars seeing me on a bike in the city or even the suburbs, but that's just me. I think it only takes the one time and I'm not willing to take that risk. But I have considered a moped.. that thought has turned into an electric bike though over the last year.

    I think especially if you live in the city and routinely go to places that are only a few miles or less away, like you live downtown and close enough to bike to work, then I would go with an electric bike. Ideally an electric bike that once it dies it can be ridden like a regular bicycle. To me that's more appealing and even easier to maneuver from A to B than a motorcycle or a moped. Just not as fast.

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    Motorcycles are almost comically more economical than cars. I've had dozens of cars. Along with that, dozens of insurance rates, gas mileages, etc, etc. Nothing has ever come close to how cheap it is to daily a motorcycle. The insurance for me was about $75 a year I think. And the gas was no more than $10 a week.

    It'd be easy for me to say that the choice is clear, but everyone has their own worries and needs and a motorcycle isn't practical at all for some people.