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economics of bike commuting

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by roundabout, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. oh godf aus.motorcycles

    all those guys do is shit stir and whinge
  2. Perhaps that is all they do, but this is actually quite a relevant issue. One of the things we (as motorcyclists) frequently say is that motorcycling is a more cost friendly method of transportation than car. The question - is it?

    I believe that it works out to about the same cost. After you factor into gear (including upgrades), replacement tires, other parts, etc. it really adds up. I am sure it would be quite cost-effective if you had a bike that was low cost to run (i.e. a bike made for commuting like a cb250 or something), but most bikes aren't like this...
  3. I beleave the biggest expence by far is devaluation. That at the parts sales rip off.

    It's hard to offload a bike these days that has more then 25k on the clock.

    For me that would mean a new bike evey year, if I only rode to work.

    Whereas cars devalue a great deal in the first 2 years, but have good resale for the next few after that.

    So I guess the moral of the story is, if you drive a car to work, get one 2 years old and get rid of it before it's got more then about 120k on it.

    If you ride it's either replace it every year or buy a BMW or Guzzi and plan to keep it for as long as possible
  4. Depreciation is only one factor and it is important that it is kept in context.

    For example, 10% depreciation over a year on a new $16,000 VTR is $1,600. 10% depreciation on a $35,000 Falcadore is $3,500.

    Even if the bike depreciated 20% compared to the cars 10% over a year, the bike still has only depreciated $3200 against the cars $3500. The bike is a better bet.

    Add on top of this the additional costs to finance a $35000 car compared to a $16000 bike then the bike is significantly cheaper to finance and run over a year compared to the car. Even if you are not financing the bike or car you are otherwise tying up capital in a non income producing asset.

    The equation changes a bit if you can find a cheaper and well regarded car (eg. A Corolla for example) where the depreciation is good and the initial purchase price is in the low/mid 20's.

    Your best bet however is to buy near new (12-24 months old). This is where the person has worn the largest amount of depreciation for you, left you with a vehicle still in warranty and if you are pretty savvy has included with it for free a number of the expensive mods you would have put on anyway.

    If money is an issue then...

    If money is not a major issue then...
  5. Economically speaking it's a no brainer for me. ZZR600 gets 300k or more to a tank, $17 or so to fill up. Car costs about $70 to fill up and I get around 400 a tank.

    Gear is already owned from a previous bike, have bought a new helmet though. Servicing is probably more expensive generally on the bike but that's because I care about it and do get it serviced, car I just want to sell.
  6. this year has been more expensive for me
    cost of the bike
    $50 levy
    speeding tickets (6 points worth) :LOL:
    and other associated fines where points arent lost

    would have been cheaper to run the car this year :LOL:
  7. I never bought the bike because it is cheaper to run than the car, Although it does use less fuel. I use the bike when I do because it is a lot more fun and faster to boot. The car just does not seem to fit in the same spots as the bike does.
  8. What about parking expenses?? Surely more for a car, cause you can park a bike about anywhere for free...

  9. *thumbs up* :)
  10. Yer, the point is that everything we do costs money and what price can you put on the freedom and enjoyment of riding?
    I reckon most of us would do it even it WAS more expensive; I know, I would.
  11. I actually worked it out for the year a while ago.

    This doesn't include purchase cost & depreciating. Though the car depreciates faster than the bike.
    Also petrol was a seperate budget item (which I won't put in here)

    I used a Spada to commute to work. Wife uses a Mazda 323 for her commute.

    For my 89 Honda Spada vs 91 Mazda 323.
    $34.71 a week for the Spada.
    $63.63 a week for the Mazda.

    This is both fully comp insurance, both members of car clubs, all maintenance etc. I based all numbers on what it costed us for the past year. This doesn't include petrol costs!

    Petrol of course is cheaper on the bike per km. It didn't make sense here, as my work commute is 15 km vs 30 km commute for the Mazda.

    I also didn't include safety gear for bike (as this was a seperate one off purchase)

    Dep costs for the Spada are neglible per K travelled.

    That's just the facts. Doesn't include all the extra fun stuff a bike comes in handy for :)
  12. Heard this sort of talk from a few people who've had their arse handed to them in there...
  13. Interesting comparison. 250's hold their value, no matter the k's, because of the learner thing. Other bikes would have faired less well.

    Also gear wears out.

    how did you work out serviceing? Yourself or workshop?
  14. so these figures are based on an even km rating for both or the figures are based on 30/day for the car and 15/day for the bike?
  15. And some of those have been regulars there since well before forums such as Netrider existed.

    Ausmoto is a bit like a long running soapie. You've gotta hang around for quite some time to get to know and understand the characters (most of whom I have met over the years).
  16. thats nice IK, so just generalise it, good work.

    i tried to follow that forum and a few others when i became interested in riding, i watched a few topics and most if not all turned into shit fights or lame whinging about someone else, i forgot the notorious bloke who was desepised by all of them, bobby or something,