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Riding to save money?

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by Malcolm Chalmers, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. Hi All,
    I'm thinking of getting a bike and riding to work as a way to save money. Fuel would be cheaper and the parking would be free.
    A mate of mine doesn't think this is a good idea though. Given the risks involved and the extra gear, etc, etc.

    What's the general view here ?

  2. Well, I do claim saving money (especially around the wife) as a motivation. But the reality is, I love riding the bike, and if I commute, she can't complain about the upkeep!
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  3. Well, it is cheaper.

    With the distance I travel to work, I only need to fill up once or twice a week (depending on the bike I take). If I take the DR400z, I fill up twice since it only has a 8 litre tank, which costs no more than $15 any time I fill it. If I take the CBR1000RR, it usually costs no more than $30 and I fill it only once.. which also gives me about 100-150kms left for me to use on the weekend.

    I don't have a car license and consider the amount of money I save by riding a motorcycle to be worth the risk but I live in a rural area without much traffic between me and work, so it's usually just me and the bike on the road. I'd say if you enjoy riding, don't mind spending some money on decent gear (wet weather gear, decent summer gear and a bag to keep the wet weather stuff close by at all times), it's worth it. If the idea of added danger to your day to day commute worries you too much, then stick to driving your car.
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  4. Bikes depreciate a lot faster then cars. So they can cost you a lot more. But if you buy something over 5 years old with the intentions of running it until it stops than it ends up cheaper.

    Gear can be bought cheaply and it really isn't the more you spend the safer it is. There are some good quality bargains to be picked up. I still ride along in $200 worth of Aldi gear plus good boots and a free helmet. For commuting you aren't expecting to be doing 100km/h slides so abrasion resistance is less important than for recreational riding (although you may have an exceptionally enjoyable route to work). Though boots and ankle support are where you need to spend your money because if you crash you are likely to get your foot caught somewhere nasty.

    Riding is more dangerous than driving. No question about that. But if you're not an idiot your chances of hurting yourself badly are still low to sweet fcuk all. There are more $1 million + lottery winners than motorcycle deaths in Australia. So be cautious, but don't be afraid.
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  5. If u want to save $ buy a cbr125, I have seen them for $1000 and they use around 3 liters per 100klms . Plus u can filter through traffic jams on full licence. Won't take long to make the price back in petrol savings.
  6. Haha that's my excuse when I traded in my car. If you are self-controlled in spending habits (avoiding big bikes, expensive Italian gear and premium fuel) and do servicing yourself (bike servicing costs more than a car) you'd be able to save a few bucks. There are other non-monetary costs like rain, cold and time taken to get in and out of gear.
  7. I'm not so sure it's really that much cheaper. Yes fuel costs are lower, but servicing is generally more dear and required more frequently, although some brands are equal to cars now i.e.; 10k intervals etc. But most of your Jap bikes are still 6k service intervals. Tyres need to be replaced more frequently, approximately every 10k, this can vary a bit with brand and type (really too many variables to list).

    I think there are a lot of benefits though. Free parking, usually very close to where you need to be. Traffic is usually quicker to get through, more so if you're in a state that allows filtering. Plus, it's just more fun. I'd rather be on my bike in the rain, than in the car stuck amongst traffic...
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  8. Depends on a number of things. But generally car>motorbike>bicycle>walking in terms of expense.

    So - do you only want one to commute, if so can you bicycle to work, or walk, or P/T? Or do you actually want to own and ride a motorbike? That's the only reason I own one - I love riding. I guess you need to answer some of these first to clarify what you want (maybe you know but its not that clear from the O/P).

    Your profile indicates "between bikes at the moment" so does that mean you have all the gear already? And have owned bike/s before? If so, did you enjoy it/them?
  9. I'm riding to save money AND time. There is a massive AND there as time is worth more than money to me at the present.

    To catch public transport to and from my work would cost me around $15 a day. So $65 a week.

    The bike costs me about $18 to fill up so there is a pretty big direct saving there.

    That said, I've also spent maybe $800 on gear and $4200 on a bike that I should in theory be able to sell in 6 months time for the same price I paid for it (was a good deal).

    If I say incidentals like rego, insurance and maintenance costs $17 a week I'm still saving $30 a week, plus an hour day of time with my kids.
  10. There's a much bigger advantage in Melbourne where you can park for free on the footpath. In other states it depends on whether you can wangle a free spot on private property. Apart from that, the cost of tyres and servicing on a big bike will eat up the fuel savings.
    A small bike or scooter might come out ahead.
    If the safety aspect overly worries you, then you probably aren't suited.
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  11. Hi Chillibutton,
    yep I was a bike rider, got a full bike licence now and enough gear to ride in summer. But no bike.
    I did enjoy it most of the time. I didn't lane filter back when rode last, it wasn't allowed back then and I was new to riding so was a bit nervous about doing it as well. So I had to sit in traffic allot.

    Now though, I've moved and traffic is lighter, I'm more experienced and lane filtering is allowed, so I think i would enjoy it even more.
  12. There we go, you do WANT a bike - so yes, go for it. Now the decision is, do I just want a commuter, or do I get something with a little bit of zing for the weekends as well :)
  13. I had a long post, with figures and estimates.

    Forget the economics of it. It's the enjoyment, and time savings, for me.

    Every time you filter down a gridlocked freeway, you'll get your money's worth!
  14. The only reason I go to work is because it is at the end of a great bike ride ;)

    If your bike servicing is more than your car servicing you are getting shafted.

    340kms from my 14L tank vs 600km from my 60L tank! We have a winner and its not the car.

    As the saying goes, you only live once - buy the bloody bike :) :)
  15. You're in Canberra, you're gonna want to hit the Alpine roads and the Kings Hwy or the Monaro/Snowy Mtns Hwys to the coast when it gets warmer...

    I bought my first bike 'cause I thought it would be cheaper. PHHT. Never drove just for the sake of driving, but ride for pleasure all the bloody time now.

    If you want to save money give up the booze and fags :)
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  16. In NSW it's dearer to cummute on a bike than it is in a car. Greenslip, Rego and insurance (on medium capcity and larger bikes) is so high it's not offset by minor saving in petrol.

    Then there is the fact that servicing costs more per kilometer. Tyres are dearer and then there is gear replacement.

    If dollars really are the driver, then get a cheap smaller capacity bike. At only $4k there's not a lot to depreciate and tyres cost less.

    Rego and greenslip also cost less. The fact that it uses less petrol is an added bonus only.

    Of course you are in Canberra, so I'm not sure how those rego overheads sit there, but all part of the mix. Bikes are nowhere near as cheap as the greater population would believe.
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  17. My bike saves me $100 a week in petrol and parking alone. It probably saves me around 30 minutes each way time wise.

    So approximately $5K a year saving and 260 hours (or 4.5 weeks @ an 8 hour day)

    Who cares about depreciation, still quids in with a smile.
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  18. No you wont save any money, my 4 cylinder 600 uses the same amount of fuel as the very latest Corolla, plus tires are expensive + gear......
    If the bike is also your weekend sport that is a different matter, you can't really put a price on that
  19. I've been commuting on my bike for the past year in Brisbane. Given the distance I'm travelling to/from work as well as the half price tolls compared to a car, for me it was worth it get a bike when I moved over here, instead of buying a car.

    Insurance-wise, for me it's the same price to insure either my 250cc or 650cc bikes (both LAMS approved) as it to insure an equivalent value car. Probably related to my age, and the length of time I've held a drivers license, plus a general lack of claims.

    Horses for courses, if you want a bike and the numbers work out similar to a car, go for it.
  20. ^^ what he said. To paraphrase an old saying: Cheap, fast, reliable ... pick two.

    It largely comes down to the bike you pick. It's entirely possible to commute cheaply if you buy a cheap commuter. Try to commute on a $25k sportsbike and the costs will start racking up pretty quickly.

    On the other hand, if you wanted a $25k sportsbike anyway (and were therefore willing to wear the deprecitation and running costs on that basis alone) then you can think of the lower fuel costs and cheaper/free parking as helping to subsidise your hobby. You might have a tough choice about what tyres to fit, though.