You often see people zooming around on motorcycles when you’re out driving. They manage to pass all the traffic and slip their way to the front of the queues. Within a few seconds, you’ve completely lost sight of the motorcycle – it’s left you in its dust.
It sometimes makes you wonder, should you swap your car for one of these vehicles instead? Clearly, riding a motorcycle gets you from A to B a lot faster than a car does. Could your days become way more productive when you spend less time traveling?
There’s a lot to consider before making a big decision like this. So, let’s take a look at some of the main talking points:
CARS VS. MOTORCYCLES: CONVENIENCE
We’ll start by going over something we have already introduced. As mentioned above, some elements of convenience come with a motorcycle. The very nature of these vehicles makes them light and maneuverable, allowing you to travel around without the restrictions a car may pose.
For instance, you can snake your way through traffic jams and always be at the front of a queue at the lights. You will also find it so much easier to travel around narrow streets or winding roads. Motorcycles are much simpler to park as well, so you never have to worry about the inconvenience of a) finding a parking spot, and b) actually parking your vehicle.
However, motorcycles can also be less convenient than cars in some regards. Most notably, the effort required to drive a motorcycle is much greater. When you drive a car, you can hop into it with any clothing and have a nice relaxing journey. On a motorcycle, you need to wear special gear, a protective suit, and a helmet, and it requires every bit of your concentration. Riding motorcycles is more physically demanding as well – which can make them better for your health, but does it make them more convenient?
Oh, and another obvious point about convenience. Motorcycles can only ever be suitable for two people to ride at the same time. They also lack the storage space of a car. So, if you often do your grocery shopping or give people lifts, a car is clearly more convenient for you.
CARS VS. MOTORCYCLES: COSTS
How much does it cost to drive a car compared to riding a motorcycle?
We can’t provide any concrete figures as the averages change so dramatically due to car models, locations, etc. However, it is typically a lot cheaper to run a motorcycle than a car. They require less fuel, yet are also more efficient than four-wheeled vehicles. A motorcycle is normally more affordable to buy, given that cars are bigger with more components and technology. This means that cars are also a lot more expensive for you to insure.
So, the running costs are higher when you keep your car. The only additional costs you’d have to worry about are lessons, tests, and equipment. Seeing as you already own a car, you have your driver’s license. This won’t let you ride a motorcycle – instead, you need to pay for your M1 Practice Test, the test itself, and any lessons you require. Then, you have to spend money on a helmet, gloves, a proper suit to ride in, and so on.
Nevertheless, these additional costs are only going to be one-offs. Once you have a motorcycle and can ride it, the cost of doing so is far less than the cost of owning a car.
CARS VS. MOTORCYCLES: SAFETY
A massive concern for many is the safety of motorcycles. Let’s be honest, they are nowhere near as safe as cars. The whole design of a motorcycle means it can never provide you with the same level of safety and protection that a car can. You have nothing surrounding you to provide cushioning if you crash. It means that minor car crashes turn into major problems for motorcyclists.
To back this point up, stats show that 13 out of every 100,000 cars are involved in a fatal accident. By comparison, 72 out of every 100,000 motorcycles are involved in fatal accidents. The same data also indicates that motorcyclists are at a greater risk of fatal accidents per mile traveled.
This isn’t rocket science; it’s pretty obvious that this is the case. You simply lack the protection on a motorbike compared to a car.
SHOULD WE RETHINK THE POINT ABOUT COSTS?
Interestingly, the lack of safety makes us wonder, should we rethink the idea that motorcycles are more affordable to run? Certainly, they are more prone to serious accidents on the roads. Therefore, you may have to spend more money repairing them. Not only that, but a motorcycle accident is more likely to lead to physical injuries, meaning lots of medical costs.
So, while motorcycles are cheaper to own and run, they do become more expensive in crash situations. Obviously, you can try to avoid crashes by riding sensibly – but it’s not always your fault that a crash happens.
CARS VS. MOTORCYCLES: SECURITY
Similarly, there’s just no comparison between cars and motorcycles in terms of security.
A car will give you more security features than a motorcycle will. It is harder for someone to break into a car – particularly these days as technology is so vastly improved. Some cars don’t even have locks anymore, they open via sensors.
Anyway, when you park a car, you know that all of your belongings are likely to be protected. You have more faith that they will remain safe, as long as you hide them. If you broadcast to the world that you have expensive items in your car, then they will likely be stolen. But, that’s a different point entirely.
A motorcycle kind of just sits there with no protection at all. It is way easier for someone to go up to it and break into the small storage compartment, taking anything from the inside. Also, you have to think about security from the perspective of keeping your vehicle free from damage. Anyone can walk up to a motorcycle and give it a hefty kick or push. As a result, it can easily fall over and be pretty badly damaged or scratched.
With a car, you have something sturdier that’s harder to damage, making it more secure.
CONCLUSION: SHOULD YOU SWAP YOUR CAR FOR A MOTORCYCLE?
In all honesty, there are very few situations where this makes sense. If you have a family or are relied upon to give people lifts, you definitely can’t make the swap. From this point of view, a motorcycle is widely inconvenient.
The only possible reason this could make sense is if you live alone and want to save money. If you have a car, but you’re the only one that drives it and uses it, perhaps you will get more value out of having a motorcycle. But, you still have to go through the process of learning how to ride one and gaining your license.
In reality, it makes more sense to own both vehicles at the same time. Yes, this can be very costly, so it’s not a viable option for everyone. But, if you want to ride a motorcycle, this might be the only way in which you can do so without losing the benefits of a car. You can use the car on your daily commutes or when you have to take the kids places, but ride your motorcycle on weekends when you’re looking for a bit of fun.
Long story short, two wheels seem more enjoyable, but they’re rarely worth swapping your car for.
Photo Credit: Newspress