Nothing beats the feeling of freedom that comes with the wind in your face when you hit the open road, or carve through a set of winding curves on a motorcycle, but be sure to do your research before taking the plunge and buying a motorcycle. Motorcycles can bring some great cost and enjoyment benefits, but also some significant risks. Here are some of the important pros and cons to motorcycle ownership.
Motorcycles undoubtedly require more skill and concentration on the part of the operator than does a car and novice riders are strongly encouraged to undergo a safety course. However, far from being a negative aspect to motorcycle ownership, the increased focus and situational awareness that come with riding regularly not only make safer riders; these benefits transfer to car driving too.
2. Fuel Economy
Weighing in a lot less than a car, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that motorcycles get much better gas mileage. From scooters getting an incredible 100mpg to heavy touring bikes averaging only 40mpg, motorcycles will definitely bring a smile to your face at the gas pump.
Many bikes are capable of rapid acceleration and may also have top speeds way in excess of any legal limit. Modern sport bikes can serve up supercar-like performance at a fraction of the cost. If you like the sound of 4 second 0-60 mph acceleration and top speeds nearing 200mph then a motorcycle may be just the ticket to get your pulse racing.
Even the safest and most defensive rider is vulnerable to dangerous actions on the part of other motorists or unexpected road surface variations. Without the protective crumple zones and airbags of a car, getting in an accident on a motorcycle can have far more dire results. Wearing the best protective gear you can afford definitely helps, but there is no getting away from the fact that the risk of serious injury or death is higher in motorcycle accidents than car accidents.
Modern cars require very little maintenance and last for hundreds of thousands of miles. Not so for motorcycles; the higher state of tune and lighter weight of motorcycle engine components mean such high mileages are rarely attained without regular engine overhauls. Motorcycles also require much more interaction on the part of the rider in the form of pre-ride safety checks of tires, brakes etc.
6. Bad weather
Not so much of an issue for recreational bikers who can just choose not to go out for a ride on a rainy day, bad weather makes riding a motorcycle considerably more difficult as road surfaces become slick with water and oily spots. The way in which a motorcycle steers by leaning means slippery surfaces become that much more challenging. Add to this the probability of getting wet cloths, even when wearing waterproof gear, and bad weather biking becomes a far less pleasant prospect. This is of particular importance for people considering a motorcycle as their sole means of transport to and from their place of work, who would be wise to consider keeping a car to use for the commute in the worst weather.
Whether you’re considering a motorcycle to help reduce transportation costs, have a little fun on weekends or even take that a two-wheeled trip across the country, it’s important to be aware of everything that goes with motorcycle ownership, good and bad.