Reasons for Buying a Motorcycle
There are many benefits to owning a bike, ranging from aesthetics to finances and even to moral reasons.
However—just like all other major purchases in life—you should consider the possible downsides, as well, in order to make the most informed decision you can.
Not all motorcycles are created equal. In fact, there are at least five basic bike designs to choose from.
The cost of a motorcycle can vary as much as its style—typically from a few thousand dollars to something quite pricey. However, unless you're splashing out for a luxury model, buying a bike will probably cost you less than purchasing a car.
Still, the motorcycle itself will typically not be the only thing you pay for. It's important to keep in mind other expenses of owning a motorcycle, including:
- Motorcycle insurance. Your rate will most likely be lower for a motorcycle than a car, but policies vary, depending on the type of bike you're riding.
- Helmets and other protective gear, which can run hundreds or thousands of dollars.
- Training courses. If you're a new rider, or starting again after a hiatus, it may be a good idea to refresh your skills. Courses can cost several hundred dollars.
Hopping on a bike will almost definitely save you more money at the pump than taking a car.
When tested for mileage, many bikes will get at least as many miles per gallon as a car, if not much more.
Of course, these figures depend heavily on your particular riding style, but some motorcycle manufactures are starting to add features to bring more awareness to the issue, such as a light to indicate when bikers are riding in an economically sound manner.
Positive Environmental Impact
With greater fuel economy comes greater benefits for the environment. A higher miles-per-gallon count will directly lead to less carbon-dioxide emissions coming from your bike, and is a big perk when thinking of reasons to purchase a motorcycle.
Motorcycles' relatively small size compared to cars also has a positive impact. Fewer natural resources are typically needed to create a bike, and therefore, less raw materials likely have to be mined for the process.
Impact on Infrastructure
A motorcycle's lighter touch can also have a beneficial effect on infrastructure. With a lower average weight than a car and a narrow, two-wheeled frame, a bike will likely cause less wear and tear on a bridge or road than a heavier, wider-set vehicle.
Commuting on a Motorcycle
The reduced environmental impact of a motorcycle will help us all breathe easier. And in states like California, where bikers are legally allowed to split lanes, the agility of a bike can help ease congestion, and therefore the amount of time cars spend idling every day.
Not to mention the simplest reason many people choose to ride a motorcycle: pure enjoyment. Some riders may feel more meditative on their bikes, while others get a rush of excitement from the power provided by their motorcycles.
Either way, with the streamlined design of the bike limiting the distractions—or opportunities to drive distracted—faced by those in cars, many riders will be totally focused on the road.
Parking a Motorcycle
Parking a motorcycle is much easier than parking most cars due to one huge factor: they're usually much smaller than their automotive cousins.
Parking, especially in urban or congested areas, can be a huge cause of stress, which a motorcycle can help relieve.
There are many benefits to riding a bike, and they can all be yours. But making the decision to ride is only the tip of the iceberg. To ensure you make the most of your purchasing process, check out the rest of our motorcycle buyer's guide.