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Over half a million motorcycles are sold each year in the U.S. Their popularity is no surprise—they’re low-cost to operate and provide freedom on the open road.
In this article, we’ll answer the question: should I buy a motorcycle? Including the common reasons to get a motorcycle and the factors to consider when buying a motorcycle.
- Motorcycles are typically $35,000 less expensive than cars
- Motorcycles are 3.4 times more likely to exceed the speed limit
- Motorcycle riders make up 14% of traffic fatalities
- Riding a motorcycle is a good workout, exercising your legs, arms, and core
Is Buying a Motorbike Worth It?
Buying a motorbike can be worth it for those seeking an economical option, as motorcycles consume far less gas than typical automobiles. Additionally, the overall cost of owning a motorcycle, including purchase price, insurance, and maintenance, can often be lower than that of owning a car, especially if the bike had responsible previous owners.
Common Reasons to Get a Motorcycle
There are several common reasons why people choose to get a motorcycle:
- The affordability factor— There are attractive prices for new motorcycles and used bikes
- Good workout—Riding a motorcycle engages various muscle groups and requires physical coordination.
- Heightened involvement—Riders can fully experience the road and their surroundings.
- The camaraderie among riders—Motorcycling creates a unique bond and community often cherished by motorcycle enthusiasts.
Are Motorcycles Cheaper than Cars?
Motorcycles are often considered cheaper than cars, which is why many people choose to buy them. While a motorcycle typically ranges from $10,000 to $16,000, the average price of a car is around $50,000.
This price disparity makes motorcycles a more budget-friendly option for economical transportation. Additionally, lower insurance premiums, maintenance costs, and fuel efficiency contribute to the overall cost-effectiveness of owning a bike.
But be sure to prioritize safety while riding motorcycles and always wear proper motorcycle gear. Respecting speed limits reduces the risk of accidents and allows riders to maintain better control of their motorcycles, promoting a safer and more enjoyable ride for themselves and others on the road.
Does Riding a Motorcycle Make You More Attractive?
Motorcycle riding is often associated with a certain level of allure and attractiveness. Numerous famous actors, including Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie, have added to the motorcycle's appeal through captivating scenes in Hollywood films.
A study has confirmed that riding a bike can enhance one's perceived attractiveness, projecting qualities like adventure, daringness, and fun. This perception of "coolness" and the association with a sense of adventure contribute to the appeal of motorcycle riding and its impact on personal attractiveness.
Are Motorcycles Faster than Cars?
Motorcycles, such as sport bikes tend to be faster than cars on the road. Studies have shown that motorcycles travel approximately 10% faster than other traffic, with an average speed of 3.3 km/h faster than cars (car mean speed = 34.97 km/h).
Moreover, motorcycles were found to be 3.4 times more likely to exceed the speed limit than cars. Similar results have been observed for scooters as well. These findings highlight the higher speed capabilities of motorcycles, but it's crucial to prioritize safety and adhere to speed limits while riding.
Reasons Not to Buy a Motorcycle
Mixed opinions exist regarding the wisdom of riding a bike; even experienced riders often advise careful consideration before purchasing one.
- Disproportional fatality risk - even though motorcycles make up just 3% of registered vehicles, they are involved in 14% of traffic fatalities.
- High risk of injury - motorcycle crashes contribute to 18% of occupant fatalities and 4% of injuries to vehicle occupants. The risk of injury in an accident is higher without proper motorcycle gear.
- Adverse weather conditions - bad weather may limit your ability to ride
- Potential side effects - such as allergies and back pain.
- Lack of storage—motorcycles do not have a trunk or other significant storage space, which can be inconvenient for commuting, shopping trips, or long travels.
These factors, combined with safety considerations and the statistical risks associated with bike riding, emphasize the need for careful evaluation and preparation before making a decision to purchase a motorcycle.
Life Expectancy of Motorcycle Owners
The life expectancy of motorcycle riders can be a concern due to the inherent risks involved. According to a 2021 study on motorcycle fatalities, the majority of fatal incidents occurred on urban roads (67%), in good weather conditions (83%), during nighttime (50%), and in crashes involving two vehicles (53%).
Surprisingly, 59% of these fatalities involved riders wearing helmets. These statistics raise questions about the life expectancy of motorcycle owners, and one legal source suggests that the average age for motorcycle fatalities is 42. These findings highlight the importance of safety precautions and responsible riding practices to mitigate risks.
Side Effects of Motorcycle Riding
Engaging in motorcycle riding can have various side effects on the rider's health and well-being. Some of these side effects include:
- Allergies: Riding a motorcycle exposes riders to potential allergens like pollen, dust, and other particles in the air, which may trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.
- Back Pain: The riding posture on a bike can cause strain and discomfort, leading to potential back pain or exacerbating existing back issues.
- Urological Problems: Long rides on a motorcycle can put pressure on the pelvic area, potentially leading to urological problems such as urinary tract issues or discomfort.
- Exposure to Elements: Motorcycle riders are directly exposed to the elements, including sun, wind, rain, and cold temperatures, which can contribute to skin damage, dehydration, and discomfort.
Motorcycles are Small
Motorcycles are undeniably small in size, which brings both advantages and potential risks. When buying a motorcycle,, consider that their compactness can make collisions with cars, objects, or animals particularly hazardous.
Additionally, motorcycles are more prone to theft, with a concerning 26% overall increase in motorcycle thefts from 2019. In 2021, out of nearly 1 million total stolen vehicles, 51,291 were motorcycles. Disturbingly, August saw the highest number of thefts, with almost 6,000 motorcycles stolen. These statistics underscore the need for comprehensive security measures to protect motorcycles from theft.
Factors to Consider When Thinking About Buying a Motorcycle
When contemplating whether to purchase a motorcycle, several factors come into play. One of the key considerations is whether to buy a new or used motorcycle. Other factors that should influence your decision include:
Your lifestyle and purpose of owning a bike—Consider if a motorcycle aligns with your lifestyle and if you have a clear purpose for owning one, such as commuting or recreational riding.
Acquisition and maintenance costs—Evaluate your budget for purchasing a motorcycle, as well as the ongoing costs of insurance, maintenance, and repairs. Do some homework to answer the questions, how much does a motorcycle license cost? Can I trade in a car for a motorcycle? What motorcycle financing options are available? Etc.
Climate and geographic area—Assess how weather conditions and your local area's terrain may affect your ability to ride and maintain a motorcycle.
Your reflexes and physical strength—Reflect on your own reflexes and physical capabilities, as riding a motorcycle requires coordination, balance, and quick reactions.
Family opinion—Consider the opinions and concerns of your family regarding your decision to buy a motorcycle, as their support and understanding can be crucial for a harmonious experience.
Is it Better to Have a Car or Motorcycle?
Whether it is better to have a car or motorcycle depends on individual preferences, needs, and circumstances. Cars offer more space, protection, and versatility, making them suitable for families, long distances, and adverse weather conditions.
On the other hand, motorcycles provide fuel efficiency, maneuverability, and a sense of freedom, making them appealing for solo riders, short commutes, and a thrilling riding experience. Ultimately, the choice between a car and a motorcycle comes down to personal priorities and the specific requirements of each individual.
Final Word: Is Buying a Motorbike a Good Idea?
When buying a motorcycle, consider affordability, fuel efficiency, and the sense of adventure it brings. However, remember to prioritize safety, carefully evaluate the risks, and be aware of potential side effects. If you're looking for an economical, thrilling, and efficient mode of transportation and ready to embrace unique riding experiences, why not consider buying a motorcycle?
Take the leap, and embark on an exhilarating journey on two wheels today!