How do you figure your savings with a bike?
January 29, 2011 at 5:26 pm #4321Vineheart01Participant
Yea the title might be confusing, i’ll explain what i’m asking.
Obviously a bike gets far more mpg than my car (25mpg on the car), but i have been trying to figure out how many miles i would have to drive for the savings on gas to make it worth getting a bike.
Did some crunching, my car takes 12.6cents worth of gas per mile, the Ninja250 takes 5.2cents per mile (last i remember gas where i live is $3.12 a gal, so i based it off that).
But when i try to plug that into a 4000 cost bike, it comes up with ~50k miles before i have “broken even” with the savings vs the cost of the bike. That isnt including gear or maintenance. It would take me like 3 years to drive that much since i usually dont do much than to and from work (45 miles round trip).
Does that sound right? It seems a bit high to me, i was expecting 30k miles to break even without counting gear/maintenance. If it is right, how long do your bikes typically last with good care? if they tend to last several years, i’ll probably get one anyway.
Any help is appreciated, thanks!January 29, 2011 at 8:45 pm #29173
It never makes sense to have two vehicles instead of one…if you live somewhere that you can ride year round, a bike can be a very effective tool to save money…but if you live somewhere that you get snow and ice in the winter, a more efficient car makes more economic sense…
That being said, which one puts the biggest smile on your face? You have to look at your bike as a toy that can sometimes be used for practical reasons, because you forgot to figure in the cost of insuring the bike as well as the mentioned maintenance…tires alone will increase the cost of the bike over a car…average life of car tires – 80,000kms (50,000miles), average lfe of bike tires – 16,000kms (10,000miles)…five times as often to replace them, not to mention the price difference between…
If you are trying to convince yourself that a bike is a good financial choice, you are trying to fool yourself. Unless like I stated earlier, you can completely replace the car with the bike…then it will atleast be comparible….
You just have to remember the fun you have and the freedom you feel when riding…
I was contemplating getting a muscle car to work on and play with before I got my bike…that justifies getting a pretty fun toy…to have the same kind of fun you can have on a mediocre bike you need a pretty serious car…and that is really why I went this way…now I have a fun toy that has pretty decent performance and it gets awesome fuel consumption…there is no comparison economically, but I do miss the raw sound of the V8 rumble…so I do think a V-twin may be in my future…
Just remember to have fun, ’cause that’s what it is about…
Later.January 30, 2011 at 5:06 am #29174eternal05Participant
Madjak’s hit the nail on the head. It’s a common perception that you’ll save money by switching to a bike, and while it’s true that you MIGHT save money by SWITCHING to a bike, most people are really ADDING a bike.
The fact is that, especially if you’re a younger guy/gal, the cost of insurance alone can make it more expensive to ride than drive. My first year of motorcycle insurance cost me $1700+. Add in gear and you’re up at least another $1000 (if you buy new). Add in the bike, the maintenance, the gas, etc. and you’re rocking a good sum. If you already have a car and it’s not an F-350 super-duty, there’s almost no chance that you’ll save money when adding a bike.
As far as bike lifespan goes, a well-maintained, well-treated bike can last around 50-60K miles, with exceptional machines lasting even longer. They definitely don’t have the lifespan of cars, but you’ll still get a good number of years out of one, especially given the lower amount of money involved.January 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm #29177Vineheart01Participant
Bah forget it then i am too much of a penny pincher to buy a bike it its going to add that much to my costs a year. I could easily afford it but i dont like living check to check if i can help it, and the bike would put me closer to that.
Thanks though.January 30, 2011 at 4:44 pm #29181Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
If you ride only a motorcycle for 6 months and drop your car insurance, then drive your car for 6 months every year, you can save money. I did this from 1980 to 1984 while in college, but it was not fun with the motorcycle on cold or wet days, and my storage and passenger space was limited.
To keep both a car and a motorcycle and save money, you would need to have a long drive to work and a small, used motorcycle for it to save money. You also need to factor in the tire costs- my motorcycle needs new tires about every 8,000 miles, and they cost about $350 to buy and have installed by a mechanic. The bigger and faster the bike, the more tires cost and the faster they wear out. Some people with Hayabusas need a new back tire every 2 months for street use, less for track use.
Moneywise, an old 3-cylinder Geo Metro car that you can buy cheap will be the most economical for areas with a cold winter, but a guy at work that had one said they do not have much traction in the snow, because they are so light- it would be best to put snow tires on the front and carry 100 pounds of sand bags in the back for snowy weather. He drove his over 200,000 miles before the engine started to burn some oil.January 30, 2011 at 5:25 pm #29182TrialsRiderParticipant
save money fast, soup up the family tractor and save large on plates, road safety and insurance:)
January 30, 2011 at 7:01 pm #29185gitchy42Participant
I have been thinking about replacing my truck with a custom 3-wheeler, like the Vortex or the RQ Riley Xr3. After the initial ‘start up’ cost, I could save a TON of money on fuel, probably on insurance and licensing too. It would technically be registered as a motorcycle I think, but maybe a ‘prototype’, not sure.
Madjak is right that the best way to save money (and depending on what your drive, only way) is to replace your vehicle with the bike. How ever, the way that I justify it is that it saves me on my month-to-month expenses (mostly fuel), which allows me to pay everything off faster
Jeff also has a good point, that for about the same amount of money you can get a sub-compact that gets about the same MPG. Not near as fun to drive, however.January 30, 2011 at 9:59 pm #29187eternal05Participant
I wasn’t supposed to talk somebody OUT of buying a bike I just wanted you to know what you were getting yourself into.
Well…ya gotta do whatcha gotta do.January 30, 2011 at 11:51 pm #29189
Either he isn’t in a place in his life where he can afford a toy, or he was looking to a bike for the wrong reasons…
I wasn’t trying to talk him out of it either, just make sure he knew about the costs before buying in…
It’s kinda like buying a Prius to save $5-10 per week…doesn’t justify the extra cost, but if you are buying the Prius because you will feel better about doing less damage to the environment (or even to get the approval of “Greenies”), then you can justify the 50% extra cost over the Corolla…but in dollars and cents, it will actually cost you more than you will recoup.
Later.January 31, 2011 at 3:29 am #29190RabParticipant
A modern, well maintained (and not thrashed) motorcycle can easily reach 100,000 miles (depending on how much or little it’s ridden).
The reason you don’t see many higher mileage bikes for sale is that they:
(a) Are largely adult toys in the U.S. and most don’t see more than a few thousand miles a year. Then the novelty wears off and they get relegated to the back of the garage where they get old and rust, their seals dry and leak and rubber perishes etc.), so they get clapped-out through neglect and age rather than high mileage.
(b) They get crashed and it doesn’t make financial sense to repair them. Even a fairly minor crash on a bike with fairings can cost upwards of $2-3K to fully repair. E.g. A replacement muffler for my Suzuki costs ~$850 just for the part).
(c) No-one wants to buy a higher mileage bike because “common knowledge” has it that motorcycles are clapped-out by 50K (they may or may not be depending on a number of factors). This being the case, the owners just hang on to them and run them into the ground (or crash them) instead of selling them for peanuts.
My current bike (bought new by me) has >30K on it and it runs and looks like new (it’s 2.5 years old).
It’s also been “crashed” and repaired twice in that time. One more crash and the insurance company will write it off (see (b) above).January 31, 2011 at 9:27 pm #29191TrialsRiderParticipant
Motorcycle Savings Calculator
Do you burn gasoline – yes, motorcycles use fuel efficiently for me – no, I have no life and enjoy the smell of public transit.
Do you pay for parking – yes, motorcycles saved me a ton on parking – no, I have no life don’t go no where
Do you enjoy a healthy active life style – yes, motorcycles improve your sex drive – no, I don’t get it
Yes, my employer pays 46 cents per km plus parking so when I ride for work my bike makes me money:) – no, I don’t want to work longer hours even if it does involve riding.
damn … doing it all wrong again, I’ve been living life from ride to ride.February 1, 2011 at 12:25 am #29192gitchy42Participant
I would love to be able to ride my bike for business. Unfortunately the CEO’s cousin died in a motorcycle wreck, was hit INTENTIONALLY by someone in a big SUV. I think that it should make him have SUV’s, not motorcycles, but there you have it. No bike for business tripsFebruary 1, 2011 at 3:14 am #29193
The road to work…
Truck is better…bike is for fun, not work… ;- P
Later.February 1, 2011 at 11:43 am #29195Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
The trip from work would not be bad if it is at least 40 degrees F, but the trip to work at 7 am seems too dangerous to me- from car drivers who are not awake yet, and in the dark. I just ride my motorcycle for pleasure trips.February 1, 2011 at 3:56 pm #29198jcwhiteParticipant
Awww, come on Madjak, look at this guy: The quality of the filming is pretty poor, but it’s worth a look. He shows you the outfit on his bike at around 2:00.
He may be an absolute nutbar, but it’s pretty cool. I’ve read a bunch of his postings on the cbr125 site, and he drops the bike pretty regularly when he’s in that much snow, but it doesn’t really matter (because it lands on snow). Not sure how well that would work with a full size sporty. I also really enjoy the way he avoids roads and takes pedestrian paths as much as possible.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.