Author Topic: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?  (Read 4790 times)

brian313313

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Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« on: May 02, 2019, 10:59:58 AM »
I passed FI about a year ago and have decided to RE (for now at least). I want to take some adventure/exploring trips this year and most will involve driving. I have a 2006 4Runner which sucks on gas. About 17-18mpg on average. I need to keep the 4Runner to carry my space-intensive gear (mountain bike, kayak), but for hiking/camping trips a motorcycle would work great. I can also use a motorcycle for recreational activities near home. I'd probably be looking at a dual-purpose, standard, or <= 750cc cruiser. $3,000 is completely reasonable for this purchase price. I have seen bikes online that look good closer to $2500. Less than $2k it seems like mostly restoration projects. That would be good in the winter, but this time of year it's not because I'm ready to go.

In the past, I have had a 750 Honda Shadow and loaded up with gear and 2 people I got about 30mpg. I will probably be solo on this most of the time though. My wife is tied locally now because her mother needs regular help to stay out of assisted living. When she joins me on these trips we will have her Prius to use. Her mother can't get into my 4Runner so we can't swap for this unfortunately.

My plan is tent camping with non-refrigerated foods. One trip this would not make sense, but I'm thinking about 4 times yearly but possibly even more this year.

Math:
One trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. 3000 miles round trip. Let's say 3500 miles with excursions.
4Runner - Roughly $600 in gas, $40 for a DIY oil change.
Cycle - $350 in gas, $20? for a DIY oil change.
Additional wear&tear will be greater on the 4Runner but it's hard to estimate that.
Savings $250 - 10% of purchase price.

What's mostly driving this option is me feeling bad about spending $600 in gas. Also, I may decide more excursions and not come straight home. Depreciation on either vehicle is not really an issue since they'd both be past the depreciation curve. I don't plan a day-by-day itinerary so weather won't bother me on a motorcycle. Motorcycle downside is a 300 mile/day limit. This is also an upside though because I've discovered some cool things in the past that I would have driven right by in a car. A motorcycle downside/upside is that when the weather gets really bad, you may be stuck in a tent. I once had a below freezing night in July in northern Michigan and wasn't prepared for it. The upside is that the story has gotten a lot of mileage:).

Is this a spendypants purchase or does it make sense?

Thanks.

sisto

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2019, 11:45:25 AM »
Would a motorcycle also give you happiness? I think you have to factor that in. For me it does and I own one even though currently I'm not able to enjoy it as much as I'd like. Remember it's not always about being frugal just to save money. Since you are already FI, perhaps happiness is a bigger factor now. Just my $.02 worth anyway.

brian313313

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2019, 12:27:56 PM »
Would a motorcycle also give you happiness? I think you have to factor that in. For me it does and I own one even though currently I'm not able to enjoy it as much as I'd like. Remember it's not always about being frugal just to save money. Since you are already FI, perhaps happiness is a bigger factor now. Just my $.02 worth anyway.

Yes, there is some happiness with that. For one, I like to tinker so a 20 year old motorcycle can scratch my car itch. A classic car would be nice too, but that's not in-budget for me. (I'm FI, but not screaming in $ FI). The $/Happiness ratio is just not there for a car. Also, as you probably know, going for a ride in the countryside is much better on a motorcycle. I have been making some major purchases and most are not in question: new mountain bike, second kayak, and high-quality camping gear...about $1000 each. Those also have virtually no maintenance costs. Also, the trips are going to cost even if I do low-budget. I don't want to change my monthly spend long-term. At least yet. I am probably going to do a second, unrelated career but I'm undecided on that and don't want to spend based on that decision. If not second career, then I will volunteer. I believe the contrast makes activities more enjoyable than continuous activities.

spartana

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2019, 12:29:55 PM »
DO IT!!! My first couple of years in FIRE was spent on long multi-month solo tent camping motorcycle trips on an old 550 cruiser. So much fun. Only problems I had was leaving my gear on my bike while I went off to hike or sightsee.  But I had cheapo gear - couple of old sleeping bags, small tent, saddle bags and tank bag, etc... That and the occasional guy harassing you as a solo woman rider. Bugs in the teeth and wind in the hair!. The cost was very minimal too. There's lots of free camping in the West but I generally choose to stay in paid Nat or State Parks for safety reasons. Also check out forum member @EndlessJourney blog about full time RTW moto life.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 05:41:53 PM by spartana »

brian313313

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2019, 01:48:59 PM »
DO IT!!! My first couple of years in FIRE was spent on long multi-month solo tent camping motorcycle trips on an old 550 cruiser. So much fun. Only problems I had was leaving my gear on my bike while I went off to hike or sightsee.  But I had cheapo gear - couple of old sleeping bags, small tent, saddle bags and tank bag, etc... That and the occasional guy harassing you as a solo woman rider. Bugs in the teeth and wind in the hair!. The cost was very minimal too. There's lots of free camping in the West but I generally choose to stay in paid Nat or State Parks for safety reasons. Photo of a photo of a pre-digital photo. Will delete soon or find a clearer one. Also check out forum member @EndlessJourney blog about full time RTW moto life.

Thanks. Sounds cool.

spartana

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2019, 02:33:26 PM »
One thing to remember is you'll likely need to put new tires on the motorcycle more often then.the 4 runner. Otherwise I had very little costs with any of my bikes and one was more than 20 years old. When I was working I used my moto to commute (had several bike thru out my life but the bike in the photo is an old Yamaha 550) thru the mean freeways of SoCal so heavily used. Once FIRE I didn't use it much except for trips but the cost savings over taking my V-6 truck (Ranger with a shell) was pretty huge. Of course sleeping in.the back of the truck was nicer (and safer) then a small tent but the fun and experiences of riding is sooooooo worth a bit of discomfort.

The other things I'd get, besides a good helmet and rainproof riding suit (I just wore jeans and tee shirt and tennis shoes - and sometimes shorts YIKES! Stupid) is highway pegs if you have a cruiser and hardsided panniers/saddlebags. Rain is your worst enemy when you're camping and all your gear gets soaked. You might also want to bring an extra gas can if you are going to be doing any adventure riding. All that stuff can add a lot of cost to the total purchase price so you'll have to weight the benefit/ use overall compared to the costs. Worth it imho as you can sell most things once you are done.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 05:10:53 PM by spartana »

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2019, 03:26:57 PM »
The feasibility of saving money with a motorcycle comes up periodically.  I'm going to quote myself :-)

As others have said, it can save you money or be a very expensive hobby (Harley riders, ahem).  I've definitely saved money by having a motorcycle.  Two critical components are:

1)  Get a cheap bike that gets great gas mileage.  You can get a reliable bike for under $2k that will get 80+ mpg.  Take out the bike instead the car as much as possible and this can pay for itself quickly.

2)  You absolutely must work on the bike yourself, imo, or at least as much as possible.  Motorcycle shops are expensive, even more so than a car mechanic (think at least 2x the cost compared to having the same thing done on your car).  If you can do all the basic stuff yourself (oil changes, tires, brakes, etc), and fix the minor stuff that pops up here and there, you'll be 90% there.

Other things:

- Don't get a bike so nice/new that you feel the need to have full coverage on it.  Liability insurance is almost free on a bike, but full coverage will require a second mortgage.  My current bike (Honda 599 sport bike) is $160/year.  My last one (Honda 250 Nighthawk standard) was I think $95/year.

- Factor in the price of gear into the purchase price of your first bike, which will depend on your safety comfort level.  For some it's a $90 helmet and a spare pair of sandals.  I'd go for more like $500-700 for a decent helmet, jacket, boots, and gloves.

I'll add more as I think of it, but in general I always highly recommend people get a bike when they make comments about mine.  Yes there's a danger factor, but you can do A LOT to mitigate it, starting with looking at statistics of crash causes, and ignoring all the anecdotal evidence people like to throw at you when they find out you ride.

Since you're wanting to do long-distance stuff you may not be comfortable with 250-300cc.  Most people aren't, though I'm not sure why.  I did a 3200-mile camping trip from Ohio to NOLA along the Appalachian range on a 250 and had a great time.  Just note that as you go bigger, gas mileage goes down fast, and maintenance costs go up, so the cost/benefit changes quickly.  Big difference between 80mpg and 30, or even 50.  Tires and chains/sprockets get bigger and more expensive.  Oil changes take more oil and bigger filters.  Etc etc.  Basically, if you're coming at this from a cost savings angle, then think small.

FIREstache

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2019, 04:50:18 PM »

Cool, spartana.  I think that's something I would have liked to do when I was younger.  Motorcycle riding was one of my favorite things to do when I was younger, like 20 years ago.  I'm in my mid 50's now and have lost my interest - also more concerned about safety these days than my younger self.

spartana

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2019, 05:06:18 PM »

Cool, spartana.  I think that's something I would have liked to do when I was younger.  Motorcycle riding was one of my favorite things to do when I was younger, like 20 years ago.  I'm in my mid 50's now and have lost my interest - also more concerned about safety these days than my younger self.
I sold my last bike a couple of years or more ago ( fancy Ducati) and now ride my bicycle on trips - well I drive a van with my bike and camping stuff and use my bicycle for getting around. Started that because I wanted to bring my dog with me. I do get a deep longing for motorcycle touring sometimes but overall don't miss it (too) much. Especially with so many crazy texting drivers in SUVs.

middo

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2019, 07:50:37 PM »
I've got a bike and go touring on it.  My next planned tour is going to beI think a lot of the things I would look at have already been mentioned, but my 2c worth:

1.  Touring on a motorcycle is different to a car.  If you have done it before and loved it, then you know how good it can be.

2.  Fuel usage gets higher as your speed gets higher - significantly.

3.  As said earlier, a smaller motor is cheaper.  I ride a 650cc, which I find is the sweet spot between cheap and fun.

4.  Tyres.  You will go through 6 sets compared to every 1 in a car.  And they generally cost more per tyre.  Factor this in as part of your expenses.

Lastly, do it.  You know you want to.

Mr. Green

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2019, 08:38:46 PM »
This may be a total tangent if you're really bonding for a bike but we're currently touring the country in a 2002 Ford Focus station wagon. We get 32 mpg when were in the hills doing 55-65 mph and 28 mpg on highways going 70-80 mph. The car has enough room that we started with a huge 6 man tent, camp chairs, portable gas stove, container of kitchen supplies, container of toiletries, sleeping bags, pillows, osprey packs for trips away from the car, two big grocery bags of food, multiple pairs of shoes per person, and myriad other things.

It all fits and we've actually been sleeping in the car most of the time. We removed the back seat cushion (2 bolts) and the seat backs lay flat enough for a 6' 2" person to sleep in the back. My wife and I both fit comfortably (46" side at the back wheel wells).

I wanted to tent camp but we've had a couple weather experiences in the last week that have made me glad we have the car. There's other cars besides our old Ford Focus that will do this. You just have to do a little research to know what can work well.

It's definitely not as cool as a bike though. ;)

NorthernMonkey

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2019, 01:54:04 AM »
Motorcycle touring is amazing. It's totally different from being inside a hermetically sealed metal box, but probably not a whole deal cheaper than driving a car when you take all costs into account.

Don't tour on a bike to save money, tour on a bike because it's awesome, and you'll remember it forever.

sisto

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2019, 10:28:13 AM »

Cool, spartana.  I think that's something I would have liked to do when I was younger.  Motorcycle riding was one of my favorite things to do when I was younger, like 20 years ago.  I'm in my mid 50's now and have lost my interest - also more concerned about safety these days than my younger self.
@FIREstache Take a look at the CanAm Spyder. They have a new model out that's much more affordable called the Ryker. It's got 2 wheels in the front, which is much safer. I have been riding 2 wheels since I was 6 or 7. I have tried for years to get my wife interested in it. We did dirt bikes for a while, but she never felt safe on the road and didn't care to be a passenger either for safety reasons. She saw a Spyder and said she would feel safe on it because it's big and easier to be seen, so now I ride that. I feel like I'm lazy and cheating now because it's so easy, but it's also amazing to get out in the wind and now she goes with me. We are going for a trip to Yosemite on it at the end of the month, I'm so excited about it.

brian313313

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2019, 08:06:40 AM »
Thanks everyone. I was looking at some bikes yesterday mostly to get sizing. I'm 5'8" and a lot of bikes are too tall or big for me. There were several bikes in the 500-650cc that where a good fit. I saw one I liked that was only 300cc. I'm not sure if that will be enough power though since I live in the mountains. I'm not a power geek though. I am fine cruising along at 55 and pulling over occasionally to let people pass. I much prefer good gas mileage to power and I always wondered when I had the Shadow 750 whether the Rebel 250 would have been enough because the 750 was more power than I needed. I will probably not carry my wife with me but that 300cc was a one-seater.

I want something at least 15 years old so I can fix it/hack it without concern. A big part of my interest is fixing things up and customizing them to my own tastes. I do mostly cosmetic stuff but I'm not opposed to an engine rebuild so I can get some more hp/fuel economy. I only pay someone if I can't physically do it. Eyesight, strength, and flexibility are weaknesses of mine that prevent me from doing some things I used to be able to do. Strength & flexibility are not an issue with a small motorcycle.

I also remembered that I got 50mpg rather than 30 on my Shadow which changes the math in my original post.

NWOutlier

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2019, 11:14:58 AM »
buy an electric bike.. (or electric motorcycle)

facepalm

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2019, 01:00:45 PM »
buy an electric bike.. (or electric motorcycle)
For touring, that won't really work.


Here is my take.

First of all, DO  IT. Moto touring is a blast. I take a trip up to Idaho every year to visit family and I never have a bad time. I have made multi-day trips and camped, and also just ridden and hotelled. Both have advantages.

For touring, you want something in the 600 cc range at a minimum. I have seen people tour on scooters, but long term a bigger bike will be more comfortable. Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Suzuki all make standard bikes that will fit the bill, and there are plenty on the used market in the 3K range. Bikes like the Versys 650, Vulcan 650, V-Strom 650 (probably the best small touring bike made). These bikes favor riders with shorter inseams. Insurance is cheap. Tires will be good for 5K to 8K miles. Bulletproof with easy maintenance.

I have a 2015 KTM 1190 Adventure. When just farting around town, it returns 33 mpg, on the open road, closer to 40. If you are looking in the 600 cc range, you will achieve even better.

You don't need a ton of gear. Lightweight tent, sleeping bag, and pad, and some other gear. Get soft luggage that straddles the seat, like a Wolfman or Giant Loop bag. When I travel I can fit everything in a 40 liter duffel bag .That includes tools, cookwear, food. I only carry dehydrated food. I do carry at least 2 gallons of water in a bladder. I also carry tools, first aid, etc.  but really skimp on extra clothing.

What I haven't mentioned: Riding gear, windshields, Helmets. Wind noise. Riding in the rain.

If you have specific questions about specific bikes or gear, feel free to hit me up.

alienbogey

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2019, 02:11:01 PM »
If you haven't found it yet Advrider.com is the go-to site for motorcycles.  IMO.

wbarnett

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2019, 09:47:27 AM »
If you're OK with topping out at 55 and want something that can easily be modified, get a TW200. They are easy to work on, the design is essentially unchanged over the past 25 years, and they are cheap. They'll also go anywhere, just not fast.

spartana

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2019, 07:25:32 AM »
^I think this would be way to small and limiting for the OPs needs. Especially when carrying gear. I'm a 125 lb woman and even my 550 cruiser struggled under a load if riding in steep mountainous terrain with all my gear - which wasn't particularly heavy. Plus there's the comfort issue on long rides and multi-day rides. So I think the OP would best be suited to a larger bike. Lots of cheap old cruisers out there with lowered seats that would fit the OPs height and make a loaded bike more stable when riding. Just my 2 cents
...worth less ;-).
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 07:27:44 AM by spartana »

Just Joe

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #19 on: May 07, 2019, 11:32:36 AM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS9-gWzB7n8

Contrary to these videos, there aren't wardrobe and facial hair requirements... ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw75fgEtgFk

Seriously, I doubt too many people go more than 100 miles from home on something this small. I did see going coast to coast here in the USA. Would be great on the slower backroads.

I've ridden them and they are a blast but long distance I want a 650cc+ touring bike.

I think my next bike will be some sort of dual sport bike or another sport tourer (Honda ST-series). A Ural would be fun albeit slow.


RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #20 on: May 07, 2019, 12:31:03 PM »
I disagree with the need for a large, or even medium, displacement bike for touring.  I didn't do East-West coast on my 250, but I did do North-South coast (included mostly mountain riding and a couple days of highway).   I wouldn't hesitate to do West coast to East on one, and in fact I plan on doing that trip and downsizing to 300cc for it.  Modern 250-300cc bikes will do 90+mph, and get 70+mpg as well, which is ideal for touring, especially if you're avoiding the highway (like you should be) and on back roads without knowing when the next gas station will be.  Not sure why you need to go over 90mph, which is all a larger displacement bike is good for.

I love small displacement bikes, and never understood the 'you need at least X cc'.  You really don't.  You might like power under your seat, and to have a strong response when you twist the throttle, but it's not at all necessary, and for many things is counter-productive.  Ride what you enjoy, of course, but the 'you have to have THIS' always bothers me.  There was a blog about a guy that went from Ontario to Alaska on a moped.  People do cross country on bicycles with camping gear all the time.  There's nothing you HAVE to have.  If you're having fun and being safe, that's all you need.

spartana

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #21 on: May 07, 2019, 12:51:21 PM »
I disagree with the need for a large, or even medium, displacement bike for touring.  I didn't do East-West coast on my 250, but I did do North-South coast (included mostly mountain riding and a couple days of highway).   I wouldn't hesitate to do West coast to East on one, and in fact I plan on doing that trip and downsizing to 300cc for it.  Modern 250-300cc bikes will do 90+mph, and get 70+mpg as well, which is ideal for touring, especially if you're avoiding the highway (like you should be) and on back roads without knowing when the next gas station will be.  Not sure why you need to go over 90mph, which is all a larger displacement bike is good for.

I love small displacement bikes, and never understood the 'you need at least X cc'.  You really don't.  You might like power under your seat, and to have a strong response when you twist the throttle, but it's not at all necessary, and for many things is counter-productive.  Ride what you enjoy, of course, but the 'you have to have THIS' always bothers me.  There was a blog about a guy that went from Ontario to Alaska on a moped.  People do cross country on bicycles with camping gear all the time.  There's nothing you HAVE to have.  If you're having fun and being safe, that's all you need.
I didn't mean to imply that the OP HAD to have a bigger bike, just that my personal experiences of long distance touring/camping for months at a time and commuting via LA freeways was that a small but bigger bike worked best for ME. I think a 550 is a small bike myself (last bikes were 650ish sports bikes) but found them to be very easy to handle and comfortable for long distances. I'm also 5'10" and smaller bikes are very cramped for my legs. Again, its a personal issue and I was just give my 2 centsm
« Last Edit: May 07, 2019, 12:53:06 PM by spartana »

BDWW

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #22 on: May 07, 2019, 12:56:58 PM »
^My 2 cents is that I've never understood the desire for a monster sized bike. If I wanted something open air and huge, I'd just buy a Miata.

I'd look for something in the 4-600 cc range. I had an older carbureted 500 for years and it was about perfect. Perhaps slightly underpowered, but I imagine a modern version would be perfect. Part of the joy of motorcycling is being nimble and maneuverable.  And I'm 6'1 and 200 lbs.

brian313313

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #23 on: May 08, 2019, 07:21:06 AM »
I started off thinking that I'd like to be in the 500-650cc range, but with a newer bike I may go into the 300cc range. I'm trying to remain flexible on my requirements so I can buy used. I love where I live which is fairly rural, but it's not the best place for buying used equipment. Within 25 miles of me on Cycletrader.com, there are only 11 (Japanese) motorcycles available used. I can go further than that but I start to limit myself to dealers. I've had too many no-shows by private sellers and also most people don't evaluate their equipment the same as I do. Dealers may have no-shows on the advertised vehicle but I can leave them a bad review if they do. I haven't had that happen in about 10 years though. Since I live in the mountains, 25 miles by distance can be well over an hour drive. Towards Atlanta, it's not so bad. Too bad websites don't have time to drive instead of miles. That's very difficult to do with software though.

brian313313

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2019, 06:50:28 AM »
Thanks for all the input. I have found it very helpful. I have spent 3 days looking for a motorcycle that fit my criteria and have not had any luck. I think that this may be a better fall purchase when there are not so many buyers. After looking, I realized that the used inventory has probably been scoured by a lot of people. I just hopped into the used motorcycle market for a few days. I am leaving Monday so no more time to shop for now. Also, I realized that I probably didn't want to hop on a 15 year old bike and go a long distance from home before getting to know it. I'm fairly mechanical so after a month I'd probably have the kinks worked out but there's no way to catch everything when buying a used bike.

The best value seems to be in the 2018 new but that's a lot more money. I did a quick ROI calculation for saving gas and the best valued one is about 50k miles. The math doesn't work at those prices. I may decided to get a bike at some point but that may be a different set of requirements and a motorcycle is not what this trip is about. It's hiking and sightseeing. I can accomplish that just fine in my 4Runner. I'll just be choking on gas prices but still, probably not more than 2k for the summer. Even if I go to Alaska I'll still be under 3k for gas. I don't think Alaska is this trip though. That's probably a couple week minimum trip just for that. I want to be back by August because I may go back to school for a second career.


Car Jack

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2019, 07:04:38 AM »
Random thoughts....you mention getting 30 mpg on your bike with you and your wife and gear.  That's pretty horrible.  I'd think you've got a constant leak.  A Harley running a modified huge carb will do better than that.  A Subaru Crosstrek with a trailer hitch or roof rack will easily carry all your stuff and easily beat that 30 mpg.

If you do decide to bike, consider something like a Kawasaki Ninja 650.  This is fuel injected and although it looks like a sport bike, the handle bars are high, so the riding position is way more comfortable.  It's fuel injected so I'm going to guess that if you have no leaks, you're going to see 70mpg.  At this engine size, you'll be fine going up anything and passing anyone.

You won't get one for $3k, but who cares.  Even brand new, they're pretty cheap.

Dogastrophe

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2019, 07:19:18 AM »
Buying a motorcycle to 'save on gas' is a line you throw out to your SO to get them on board with buying a motorcycle.  ;)

Larger displacement bikes are great for touring 2-up but certainly not needed.  5 years ago I took a 27-year old Honda 600 across Labrador - it was the perfect size bike for a nice adventure.  Big enough to haul me and my gear.  Currently have a V-Strom 1000 but am considering selling and going to a 650. 

Give the Honda CB500cc range a look - very nice bikes, not a lot of $$, bullet proof.

GuitarStv

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2019, 08:06:26 AM »
My dad loved riding his motorcycle from the time he was in his early teens on small bikes that he built to ride around the farm he lived on until his mid 30s.  He was a very safe driver, didn't ride in the rain or at night, didn't ride in heavy traffic, didn't ride a high powered super bike, always wore his helmet, kept his bike in good working condition . . . and he had to have his right leg amputated just below the knee when it was crushed by a transport truck in an accident.  This radically and permanently changed his life.

Per mile, motorcycles are far and away the most dangerous form of transportation you can use (40 times more dangerous than driving a car, 4 times as dangerous as riding the same distance on a bicycle*).  You have all the speed of driving a car, and all the protection of riding a bicycle (with none of the health benefits associated with the latter).  If you're hell-bent on getting a motorcycle, I'd consider getting one with ABS, avoiding the faster sport type bikes, always wearing a helmet, don't ever drink and ride (should go without saying) and being very careful never to speed on the bike.  Doing this will significantly reduce the likelihood that you die when you get into an accident, but the odds are that you will get into an accident at some point . . . and the long term effects of this can be quite significant.

Not trying to be a downer, but there has been very little mention of the risks of this form of transportation in the thread.  If your sole reason for doing this is to save on gas, it seems like a false economy in my honest opinion.




*https://road.cc/content/news/68212-dft-casualty-statistics-rank-driving-cycling-walking-and-motorcycling-risk
« Last Edit: May 09, 2019, 08:09:51 AM by GuitarStv »

spartana

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2019, 12:07:34 PM »
My dad loved riding his motorcycle from the time he was in his early teens on small bikes that he built to ride around the farm he lived on until his mid 30s.  He was a very safe driver, didn't ride in the rain or at night, didn't ride in heavy traffic, didn't ride a high powered super bike, always wore his helmet, kept his bike in good working condition . . . and he had to have his right leg amputated just below the knee when it was crushed by a transport truck in an accident.  This radically and permanently changed his life.

Per mile, motorcycles are far and away the most dangerous form of transportation you can use (40 times more dangerous than driving a car, 4 times as dangerous as riding the same distance on a bicycle*).  You have all the speed of driving a car, and all the protection of riding a bicycle (with none of the health benefits associated with the latter).  If you're hell-bent on getting a motorcycle, I'd consider getting one with ABS, avoiding the faster sport type bikes, always wearing a helmet, don't ever drink and ride (should go without saying) and being very careful never to speed on the bike.  Doing this will significantly reduce the likelihood that you die when you get into an accident, but the odds are that you will get into an accident at some point . . . and the long term effects of this can be quite significant.

Not trying to be a downer, but there has been very little mention of the risks of this form of transportation in the thread.  If your sole reason for doing this is to save on gas, it seems like a false economy in my honest opinion.




*https://road.cc/content/news/68212-dft-casualty-statistics-rank-driving-cycling-walking-and-motorcycling-risk
This is all true and I think most (all) of us who ride or use to ride are well aware of it. My brother died in a freak motorcycle accident when he was 29 (owl flew into him and knocked him off his bike and over a cliff) and I'm sure that wouldn't have happened if he was in a car. But it's the risk (death, maiming, etc) vs benefit thing each person needs to work out for themselves. I was a moron when it came to my VERY dare devilish style of riding (from clothing choices, to riding in all kinds of conditions and climate, lane splitting, extreme speed, etc) and I'd face punch myself sooo hard now but OP sounds like a sane none-stupid person unlike me so I imagine he's very cautious. Not that it will always make a difference which is why I gave up riding for now and just act like a moron on my bicycle.

ericrugiero

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #29 on: May 09, 2019, 02:32:46 PM »
As mentioned above, don't buy a motorcycle to save money on gas.  It's probably cheaper to operate than a 4-runner but tires, chains, maintenance, gear, etc will eat up most of your savings.  A cheaper car (civic, prius, etc) will have a much lower cost per mile.  That said, if you want to tour on a motorcycle, it sounds great.  I sold mine a year ago but would love to get another when I have more free time to ride and don't have young kids. 

Displacement is not the only thing you look at when comparing motorcycles.  A 600cc sport bike is WAY overkill (power) for anything any sane person needs to do on the road.  A 600cc honda shadow isn't enough power to do much more than putt around on back roads. 

My bike was Suzuki VStrom 650 and would be perfect for what you describe.  It got about 50 MPG, was comfortable, had some wind protection, very reliable, luggage attached easily, good power but not stupid fast and it was fun to ride.   At 5'-8" it might be a little tall for you unless you are comfortable being on tip toes when stopping.  Kawasaki Versys is another good bike in this range.  Either can be found for ~$3000 if you shop around. 

One of the best budget bikes is an older Kawasaki Ninja 250.  You could probably find one for under $2000.  They are reliable, get 70+ mpg, the tires last longer and parts are cheaper.  They are plenty fast enough but would be more busy at highway speeds.  It would also be harder to attach luggage to.  Overall, more economical but not as comfortable for touring.  One of these days I might own one for riding around town. 

The most practical option would be to buy a hatchback and put a roof rack on it that can carry your bike and kayak.  Better gas mileage and can still carry your toys.  That's not as much fun as a motorcycle. 

sammybiker

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2019, 08:55:57 AM »
@brian313313

As others have said, maintenance and tires eliminate cost from being the primary reason.  However, as others have posted, there are fewer more fun ways to do long road trips.

I'm a little weird as I like touring on sportbikes but it's what I love.  Some pictures from exploring Western side of North America below...so YES, pull the trigger, get the bike and go do some trips!

sammybiker_431957_10100769243122683_1665910382_n_zpsc9ac3654 by sam burn, on Flickr

sammybiker_999094_10100822752399663_1531948641_n_zpse164fefc by sam burn, on Flickr

sammybiker_IMG-20130615-00710_zps05762995 by sam burn, on Flickr

sammybiker_IMG-20130616-00714_zpsfc2c677e by sam burn, on Flickr

sammybiker_IMG-20131019-00878_zps0bdb8060 by sam burn, on Flickr

sammybiker_1001316_10100822751820823_1117858964_n_zps6c50c3d2 by sam burn, on Flickr

sammybiker_992890_10100822752225013_1702003797_n_zps73ec1790 by sam burn, on Flickr

Just Joe

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #31 on: May 10, 2019, 02:42:38 PM »
I think a 550 is a small bike myself (last bikes were 650ish sports bikes) but found them to be very easy to handle and comfortable for long distances. I'm also 5'10" and smaller bikes are very cramped for my legs. Again, its a personal issue and I was just give my 2 centsm

That's one of my issues as well - the smaller the engine, sometimes the smaller the chassis. I've owned a 1970s 550 aircooled bike and it was physically too small for me for long distances. Also it was geared pretty low for interstate speeds. I swapped the sprockets for something slightly taller and it was better but I gave up some speed in the hills and I worried about overheating it (never did).

I owned a 900cc 1980s aircooled light touring bike (not a Goldwing) and it was about the right size and was comfortable. Plenty of power and thus not as much shifting. It was the most comfortable bike I've ever owned and I've owned 5-6 over the years. 

spartana

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2019, 08:02:19 AM »
I think a 550 is a small bike myself (last bikes were 650ish sports bikes) but found them to be very easy to handle and comfortable for long distances. I'm also 5'10" and smaller bikes are very cramped for my legs. Again, its a personal issue and I was just give my 2 centsm

That's one of my issues as well - the smaller the engine, sometimes the smaller the chassis. I've owned a 1970s 550 aircooled bike and it was physically too small for me for long distances. Also it was geared pretty low for interstate speeds. I swapped the sprockets for something slightly taller and it was better but I gave up some speed in the hills and I worried about overheating it (never did).

I owned a 900cc 1980s aircooled light touring bike (not a Goldwing) and it was about the right size and was comfortable. Plenty of power and thus not as much shifting. It was the most comfortable bike I've ever owned and I've owned 5-6 over the years.
I agree. Everyone is different and I think the OP just needs to find the right "fit" for him for long distance riding (perhaps with an occasional passenger and extra gear). Maybe worry less about the CCs and more about comfort. I know from experience a larger bike - especially a heavy cruiser - just feels too big for me but a smaller bike feels too small and squirrly. Like @sammybiker (cool photos btw!) I prefer a sports bike in the 650 range for overall riding as they fit me best but, for me, most would be too uncomfortable for long distance cruising. Which is why I kept my old little cruiser but used my sports bike(s) closer to home.

HipGnosis

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2019, 11:49:43 AM »
I've been riding for most of 45 yrs, on a pretty wide variety of bikes. Most were 650-750.
I've got 50K miles on my Kawi ex650.  It's never been my only bike.  I'm 5'6.
Boots with thick soles help (a bit) with tall bikes. 

I wouldn't get smaller than a 650 unless you are a real minimalist camper.

I strongly suggest you take a rider safety course; the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's is the most common.  I've taken the refresher course multiple times, and always glad I did.

Possibly TMI, but for all day rides, I wear undewear that does NOT have seems on my inner thighs (where they go over the edge of the seat).   Some long distance riders (1k/day) wear compression shorts.
I also stretch and walk a bit every time I stop, and I usually stop more than I have to; sep. stops for gas, restroom, drink (water or soda), take pics...

AdrianC

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #34 on: May 13, 2019, 06:54:17 AM »
Thanks everyone. I was looking at some bikes yesterday mostly to get sizing. I'm 5'8" and a lot of bikes are too tall or big for me. There were several bikes in the 500-650cc that where a good fit. I saw one I liked that was only 300cc. I'm not sure if that will be enough power though since I live in the mountains.
I'm 5'5". I've had a Kawasaki Versys-X 300 - cheap, light weight, but you need to rev the snot out of it to get anywhere. It will do what you want, but it won't be very comfortable.
I've now got a Versys 650. These are really good value used. I paid $4200 for a 2014 with ABS and 3k miles in perfect condition. I fitted a lowering block and can get both feet on the ground easily. It's fast (enough), economical, comfy. Worth a look.

2WheelPilot

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #35 on: May 13, 2019, 08:01:32 AM »
The only way you can save money by getting a motorcycle is if you replace your car with it. You can't justify getting a motorcycle based on saving money. From my username, it's probably obvious that I like motorcycles (bicycles, too), so I'm not anti-motorcycle. If it would bring you happiness, go for it, but don't fool yourself into thinking that you'll save money. Many people only look at fuel efficiency when thinking about savings. Motorcycle take WAY more maintenance than cars, insurance is higher, and tires cost more than car tires (per mile). On a total cost per mile basis, motorcycles are generally cheaper than cars, but not by much, and there's a lot of overlap. I.e. a 1000cc sportbike will cost more per mile than a Prius. An F350 diesel will cost WAY more per mile than a 250 Rebel. I love motorcycles, and have one, but I have no illusion that it saves me money.

JLee

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #36 on: May 13, 2019, 08:24:36 AM »
The only way you can save money by getting a motorcycle is if you replace your car with it. You can't justify getting a motorcycle based on saving money. From my username, it's probably obvious that I like motorcycles (bicycles, too), so I'm not anti-motorcycle. If it would bring you happiness, go for it, but don't fool yourself into thinking that you'll save money. Many people only look at fuel efficiency when thinking about savings. Motorcycle take WAY more maintenance than cars, insurance is higher, and tires cost more than car tires (per mile). On a total cost per mile basis, motorcycles are generally cheaper than cars, but not by much, and there's a lot of overlap. I.e. a 1000cc sportbike will cost more per mile than a Prius. An F350 diesel will cost WAY more per mile than a 250 Rebel. I love motorcycles, and have one, but I have no illusion that it saves me money.

Wait what? I paid $76/year for my SV650 back in 2011. My cars were a lot more than that.

Edit: I just quoted insurance for a 2014 Suzuki V-Strom ABS where I live (northern NJ).  It's $80/year.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 08:30:04 AM by JLee »

sol

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #37 on: May 13, 2019, 08:40:57 AM »
Buying a motorcycle to 'save on gas' is a line you throw out to your SO to get them on board with buying a motorcycle.  ;)

I concur with this sentiment, it's just a sales pitch.  I didn't find the gas savings significant, and I found the increased tire expenses effectively offset the minor gas savings.  Bikes are not cheaper to operate than cars, on the whole.

Then I learned that bikes generally don't have catalytic converters.  Back in the 2000s when I was riding a lot, bikes engines were universally dirtier than car engines, largely due to their enormous NOx emissions.  So even if you get a fuel efficient bike that is better on your pocketboook, it won't be better on the environment.  In my mind, that negates both of the reasons why people like fuel efficient vehicles (reduced cost and reduced emissions).  Bikes don't give you either one of those.

Insurance costs are bikes are generally lower, but then you spend on extra on gear and maintenance.  And a big cost, to me, was that I was taking my bikes place for fun, not as transportation, so I did a ton of extra miles that I wouldn't have done in a car.  It definitely cost me more to ride a bike.

And that's before we even arrive at the day I incurred $35,000 in medical bills on an off-camber downhill corner.  It's all good, though, chicks dig scars.

JLee

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #38 on: May 13, 2019, 08:49:03 AM »
Buying a motorcycle to 'save on gas' is a line you throw out to your SO to get them on board with buying a motorcycle.  ;)

I concur with this sentiment, it's just a sales pitch.  I didn't find the gas savings significant, and I found the increased tire expenses effectively offset the minor gas savings.  Bikes are not cheaper to operate than cars, on the whole.

Then I learned that bikes generally don't have catalytic converters.  Back in the 2000s when I was riding a lot, bikes engines were universally dirtier than car engines, largely due to their enormous NOx emissions.  So even if you get a fuel efficient bike that is better on your pocketboook, it won't be better on the environment.  In my mind, that negates both of the reasons why people like fuel efficient vehicles (reduced cost and reduced emissions).  Bikes don't give you either one of those.

Insurance costs are bikes are generally lower, but then you spend on extra on gear and maintenance.  And a big cost, to me, was that I was taking my bikes place for fun, not as transportation, so I did a ton of extra miles that I wouldn't have done in a car.  It definitely cost me more to ride a bike.

And that's before we even arrive at the day I incurred $35,000 in medical bills on an off-camber downhill corner.  It's all good, though, chicks dig scars.

Yeah gear is not cheap!

Yikes @ $35k.  Off camber corners are evil...I ended up in the shoulder from that once, but luckily didn't crash.

sol

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #39 on: May 13, 2019, 09:28:59 AM »
Off camber corners are evil...I ended up in the shoulder from that once, but luckily didn't crash.

I also ended up on the shoulder, about two feet over the line, which would have been fine in most circumstances but there happened to be a driveway with a drainage culvert in the middle of this particular country corner, and my front wheel went from 35 to 0 right quick.  As it turns out, human bones don't respond well to that kind of deceleration, and I snapped a bunch on impact, then went airborne, then went bouncing down the road.  I was shocked to discover that my motorcycle did not come equipped with an airbag or even a seat belt.  Who designs these things?

Since then, I've adopted the perspective that nobody should buy a motorcycle until they go at least a year driving a car with no airbag or seat belt just to see how they feel about it.  Preferably while sitting on the front bumper.  Most normal humans would think that to be the world's stupidest idea, and yet many of those same people think motorcycles are great.

I was lucky, though.  I did not get run over by oncoming traffic, or sail into a tree.  I met a dude in physical therapy who had a bike accident very similar to mine and then slid into a metal guard rail and severed one of his arms.  I still have all of my parts, thankfully, and my scars are a daily reminder to make better decisions.

I still think about motorcycles, especially on sunny spring days when I find clean twisty roads while stuck in a minivan.  But I know better, now.  I am a man of many talents, but riding a motorcycle definitely isn't one of them.  Two seconds of wandering attention at the end of a long day gave me a trip to the ICU, then a nursing home, then rehab, then a lifetime of bitchin' arthritis.

Bikes are dangerous, but some people are so wrapped up in the lifestyle that they don't mind.  If you and your partner and your friends all ride, and you always go to the weekly bike night at the local pub, and every vacation is a tour, and you spend all of your hobby money on bike mods, I understand how it's hard to give it up.  For some people, bikes are their only identity.  One of my former colleagues killed his wife when he wrecked his cruiser on the freeway with her on the back, and he STILL rides.

I have other hobbies, thanks.

2WheelPilot

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #40 on: May 13, 2019, 09:33:15 AM »
Wait what? I paid $76/year for my SV650 back in 2011. My cars were a lot more than that.

Edit: I just quoted insurance for a 2014 Suzuki V-Strom ABS where I live (northern NJ).  It's $80/year.
I'm guessing that that's just for liability. Ok, I will agree that if you're willing to go with only liability, motorcycle insurance can be cheaper. But if you add comprehensive....

JLee

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #41 on: May 13, 2019, 09:45:24 AM »
Wait what? I paid $76/year for my SV650 back in 2011. My cars were a lot more than that.

Edit: I just quoted insurance for a 2014 Suzuki V-Strom ABS where I live (northern NJ).  It's $80/year.
I'm guessing that that's just for liability. Ok, I will agree that if you're willing to go with only liability, motorcycle insurance can be cheaper. But if you add comprehensive....

The OP is talking about $2500-3k bikes...

spartana

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #42 on: May 13, 2019, 09:58:18 AM »
Wait what? I paid $76/year for my SV650 back in 2011. My cars were a lot more than that.

Edit: I just quoted insurance for a 2014 Suzuki V-Strom ABS where I live (northern NJ).  It's $80/year.
I'm guessing that that's just for liability. Ok, I will agree that if you're willing to go with only liability, motorcycle insurance can be cheaper. But if you add comprehensive....

The OP is talking about $2500-3k bikes...
Even expensive SoCal is pretty cheap with liability policies starting around $18/month. Comprenesive on a newer mid priced bike is around $650/year though. You can get it lower if you have many years of riding experience, aren't a 20 year old male, and bundle it with other policies. I only did liability so cheap.

HipGnosis

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #43 on: May 13, 2019, 01:09:01 PM »
Buying a motorcycle to 'save on gas' is a line you throw out to your SO to get them on board with buying a motorcycle.  ;)

I concur with this sentiment, it's just a sales pitch. 
I, for one, do NOT concur.
A Honda CB500 (R, F or X) is a good candidate for trips as mentioned.  They get 60-65mpg (city/highway).
A Miata is an approimately equally good candidate for the same trips.  They get 30 MPG.  That is less than half.  Period.  Full stop.

Sure there are cars that get equal or better mileage.  But there are also small motorcycles that get well over double!  I wouldn't enjoy any of them on a 'pleasure trip'.

FIREstache

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #44 on: May 13, 2019, 03:23:24 PM »
I used to ride a lot when I was younger, over a couple decades - pretty crazy, usually no helmet, and most of my riding on busy streets.  I had some close calls but always managed to keep the bike under control.  I thank my lucky stars I came out of that period of my life with no accidents.  All it takes is a slight lapse in attention or some other driver not seeing you to change your life forever (or end it).

I still have two motorcycles, currently not running.  The last times I rode them, I still had that urge to get out and take a ride, but I prefer outside of the city now where I don't have to stop and go or ride through a lot of traffic, and I was ready to get off after a little while rather than keep riding and riding as I used to.  I also wore a helmet at that point.

I never considered it a money saving way for transportation.  I had additional licensing costs, insurance costs, motorcycle maintenance (self performed).  It was just seen as a form of entertainment that I happened to use for transportation also.  My big bike only got about 40 mpg.  The other got over 60, but it was a small enduro and uncomfortable to ride for long, and I would get cramps on it.  I've also been caught in the rain on a motorcycle, which totally sucks.

middo

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #45 on: May 13, 2019, 07:23:45 PM »
I think this discussion has passed on from the original purpose, to decide if it makes sense to tour on a motorcycle to save money on gas.  @sol and @FIREstache , I understand why you mention safety, but the OP obviously has considered this already as they have toured before on a bike. 

Assuming that the OP doesn't ride beyond their abilities, then safety in this type of touring shouldn't really be an issue.  Yes, riding can be dangerous, but it does also tend to attract those that seek danger, hence a bit of bias in the accident rates.

My basic analysis of the costs etc involved works this way:

  • If you are looking to buy a bike, and keep your current car, then it will be more expensive to tour on a bike.
  • If you already have a bike, use it to tour.  It will be cheaper (a little)
  • If you  are thinking of selling the car and choosing a bike as it's replacement, then assuming you buy secondhand and do your own maintenance, a bike will be much cheaper.

I have a motorbike.  I do not own a car for myself, so I cannot commute in one.  It is cheaper for me to commute by motorbike than car. 

My wife owns a car.  She also owns a motorbike.  This is not cheaper than just owning a car.


NorthernMonkey

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #46 on: May 14, 2019, 01:40:42 AM »
I have a Grom (tiny 125cc bike) in addition to my car. It's very cheap to insure and run (100+mpg)

Even with this super cheap bike, it probably doesn't become cost neutral vs using a car unless I commute on it over 100 days a year. I probably only manage 20 days commuting on it

brian313313

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #47 on: May 14, 2019, 04:04:39 PM »
This has been a very interesting thread with a lot of good comments. Thanks everyone for your contributions.

One comment that stuck out was that I would probably go more miles. This is true, but also the point. I am not doing things now because the cost to operate the 4Runner is pretty high.

I got more detailed on the math and included repair and maintenance:
- The tires on a 4Runner are not cheap, so the cost about averages out with a motorcycle. (It was the same within 2 significant figures.)
- Insurance is an extra 99/yr on a motorcycle. I ran quite a few bikes through Geico and they all came out the same so I think that's probably the minimum they charge. I'll still have to carry the 4Runner insurance so this is an extra cost.
- Repairs should be slightly cheaper on a motorcycle. I can't see anything I wouldn't do myself short of machine shop work and I'd be taking the parts in. This is pretty cheap relatively speaking. I may need to use a mechanic more on the 4Runner due to weight, size, and repair location. I can't work down low much anymore.
- $3000 motorcycle cost
  - I can recover some of that cost by reselling it. I gave the motorcycle 10 percent/year depreciation, plus 10 percent to cover transaction costs.
- $1000 gear cost - not recoverable
- Gas is the big savings on a motorcycle.

If I go 8000 miles/year for 3 years and then sell the motorcycle will save about $200/yr. My model doesn't account for risk, so there is not enough ROI to make a purchase for that reason. At higher mileage this goes up pretty fast. At 12k/year the savings is over $500/year. I have no idea how many miles I'll go though. My mileage has gone up significantly since I retired. Now instead of sitting home working I'm out doing stuff. 8000 miles is my best guess though. I will concur that the math doesn't work out for a motorcycle saving money. However, I may still get one because the annual cost is still quite low.

I have also signed up for the MSF safety course. I am looking at the CB500 mentioned and this should give me a test ride in addition to the safety training. I'm also looking at a GL500 now for $1000. Probably $2000 by the time I do some cosmetic fixes that it needs. It will be gone by the time I'm ready to purchase, but there will be others similar if I can be patient.

Also, regarding safety. I know other drivers can be the cause but I'm low risk compared to other riders. I'm an adventure junkie but not an adrenaline junkie.

Edit: While the dollar amounts are small enough that saving money is not the primary factor, it will probably save a little money AND I get to ride a bike for a few years.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 04:15:12 PM by brian313313 »

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #48 on: May 14, 2019, 04:13:08 PM »
Sounds like you've got a pretty good bead on it.  One comment on this:

I'm also looking at a GL500 now for $1000. Probably $2000 by the time I do some cosmetic fixes that it needs.

Careful with trying to make a non-cosmetic bike look cosmetic.  That's the hardest and most expensive part of restoring a bike.  If you want a bike that looks good, you're probably better off getting one that looks good.  Or better yet, don't care about how it looks and you'll save a fortune in so many ways :-)

brian313313

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Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #49 on: May 14, 2019, 04:16:32 PM »
Sounds like you've got a pretty good bead on it.  One comment on this:

I'm also looking at a GL500 now for $1000. Probably $2000 by the time I do some cosmetic fixes that it needs.

Careful with trying to make a non-cosmetic bike look cosmetic.  That's the hardest and most expensive part of restoring a bike.  If you want a bike that looks good, you're probably better off getting one that looks good.  Or better yet, don't care about how it looks and you'll save a fortune in so many ways :-)

Just a seat & gas tank. I'm not going to try and make it look new. I can reupholster the seat myself.