They are very practical.
You likely have heard the opposite, but consider:
* They are dirt cheap to buy relative to cars –
You can’t buy much car for less than $10k – and forget a new car. But most bikes cost less than $10k brand-new and $3,000 or so is enough to get a used bike you won’t be embarrassed to be seen on. And – much more important – one that will reliably get you where you want to go.
Unlike low cost used cars – which usually have very high miles – used bikes commonly have low miles on them relative to their vintage. It’s not at all uncommon to find 20 year-old bikes with less than 20,000 miles on them.
People buy them – and then don’t ride them.
Then, they decide to sell them.
By the time they do, enough time has gone by that depreciation has done its work and the bike that cost $10k when it was new and had 0 miles on the odometer is now worth $5,000 (and only has 7,500 miles on the odometer).
It’s the next best thing to free money.
* They are cheap to operate –
Very few cars average 40-plus MPG.
Some may deliver 40 MPG on the highway, but not overall. Almost any bike – even a high-performance sport bike – will give you that. Middleweight bikes in the 650 cc range average 50-plus, as good or better than a Prius hybrid – but a lot more fun.
Commuter/dual sport bikes in the 250 cc range can tickle triple digits. Scooters – many of which are motorcycles in all but name – easily top 100 MPG.
Right now, with gas around $2 per gallon, you ride almost for free. About $6 fills the tank. But if gas prices go up again, you’ll be able to ride without going broke.
Unlike people with cars that average 20 MPG.
* Most routine maintenance work is simpler – and cheaper –
Oil changes, for example, don’t require jacking the bike up or getting on your back. You don’t have to pull the wheels first in order to replace a bike’s brake pads. It’s usually just a couple of Allen-head bolts to slide the caliper off the rotor, clip the new pads in – and slide the caliper back on. You’re done in five minutes and barely got your hands dirty.
Spark plugs are usually very accessible (unlike in many modern cars, especially front-wheel-drive cars with V6 engines and one side of the engine tightly snugged up against the car’s firewall).
If you buy a bike with an air-cooled engine, you will never have to deal with coolant changes, sticking thermostats or leaking hoses or clogged radiators.
And if you buy a shaft drive bike, you’ll never have to deal with a chain, either.
Tires don’t last as long – but there are only two of them – and they usually cost less than car tires. This includes even high-performance sport bike tires.
Insurance costs can be double rather than triple digit.
It is very hard to get coverage for a car for less than a couple hundred bucks per year. It is easy to find basic (mandatory minimum/liability only) coverage for a bike for a lot less than that, especially if it’s older and so are you – and as long as it is not a high performance sport bike. I pay as little as $60 annually to cover some of my bikes.
Good luck finding a deal like that for anything with four wheels.
* They don’t take up much space –
Either on the street or in your garage. A motorcycle fits places cars don’t. Your living room, for example.
If you live in the city, this makes life much easier. All of a sudden, you can park. Anywhere, just about.
No more circling endlessly, waiting for a spot.
On the road, you can thread through traffic – and get around lane-hogging/never-yielding Clovers – with just a twist of the wrist. The incredible power-to-weight advantage that even an average bike has vs. a typical car will make you feel like Superman.
Or at least, Batman.
You can (in states where it’s legal) lane split. Ride right up the middle of a road clogged with stopped cars. You get where you need to be much faster – and much more enjoyably.
And, you’ll have more money in your pocket for other forms of fun.
You’ll spend less on your car – which have lower miles the more you ride your bike instead. You’ll spend less on gas and wear and tear on the car.
If these are not reasons enough to convince the wife, maybe it’s time to get a new wife!
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