Author Topic: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?  (Read 2516 times)

middo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 654
  • Location: Country Western Australia
  • Learning.
Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #50 on: May 14, 2019, 04:46:04 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.

I read through this and thought of a few more savings for you, and had some further thoughts:

You are suggesting $1000 gear costs.  I have paid for my gear (in AUD) the following:
Helmet:  Full face Aldi $90
Boots:  Forma Adventure $230
Jacket:  Leather, Aldi $100
Jeans: Kevlar Draggins $150
Gloves: 2 pairs, winter and summer $200
Wets:  Top and bottom $100 - replace every 2nd year.
Total $870 AUD.  You should be able to do better in the US, and this is without looking 2nd hand at jackets and pants.

I would also suggest you consider your luggage for your bike.  A rack will cost if the bike doesn't come with one, and a good set of lockable panniers and top box can cost as much as $2000 new.  I built my own panniers from scratch, including the frame, and enjoyed the process.  I did have the tools to do this, and the costs were around $200 per bike (mine and my wifes).

The reason I suggest luggage is that once you can lock it, you tend to do the errands that would have once been done in the 4runner on the bike.  Need to go across town for a hard to get widget - bike rather than car.  Going to meet some friends and they live in the next city - bike rather than car.  I no longer have a car for my use, as I found it wasn't getting any use except when travelling with my wife on the weekends.  We can use her car then.

Just a few more ideas to help you justify the decision you have already made.

brian313313

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 191
Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #51 on: May 14, 2019, 07:06:26 PM »
I would also suggest you consider your luggage for your bike. 


Important point. This is something I've been adding to the cost for any bike I look at that doesn't have it. I estimated luggage for a few bikes and they averaged around $1,000 USD (new). I would buy on EBay but this would be too difficult to find on CL. I'd also be interested in building my own luggage if needed. I didn't even think of that. With the cost of the luggage I'll try to stick with something that already has it.

I've already bought about half of my gear. I'm not planning on cutting corners there. This is required for the MSF course near me.

middo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 654
  • Location: Country Western Australia
  • Learning.
Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #52 on: May 14, 2019, 09:52:09 PM »
There are various forms of cheap luggage options.  Ammo boxes, pelican cases etc.  It is an area that a lot of csh can be saved.

brian313313

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 191
Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #53 on: June 16, 2019, 12:49:52 PM »
I bought a 2014 Honda CB500F. I just got back from a ride and I'm getting 71.0 according to my trip odometer. That works for me. The power is great too for me. I've ordered a trunk and I'm hopeful that will be enough. If not, I can add side cases also. Depending on the weather, I hope to go camping the latter part of next week. I'm not sure where yet but somewhere close for now.

middo

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 654
  • Location: Country Western Australia
  • Learning.
Re: Buy Motorcycle to Save on Gas?
« Reply #54 on: June 16, 2019, 05:42:06 PM »
That sounds like a great solution.

I'm leaving on my trip next Sunday.  12,000 kms over 3 weeks.  Bliss.