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What to do? Doubts

Discussion in 'New Riders and Riding Tips' started by swaz, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. Through some stroke of genius the wife suggested I get a bike to curb the rising fuel costs. Currently we are a 2 car family (festive and corolla) with our 1st baby due in September. I am just about to complete my teaching degree and will be working in about 3-4 months time. Will be selling the Festiva because it is a 2 door and useless with a kid, to pay for my new bike (again, wifes suggestion)
    But am now having 2nd thoughts! I want a bike to use less fuel, commute to work in a different way (perhaps more quickly) and maybe boost my social network.
    Apart from the gear costing about double what I thought it would. How can I get a decent helmet for $250 yet a middle level, no name, jacket sets me back close to $300.... something wrong with that situation there!
    Anyway, given my situation... need some positive reinforcement that I am doing the right thing.
    Who commutes to work using a bike? I assume you like it?
    Just started reading my RTA bike handbook and within the first few lines it says ho easily it is to get killed or injured on a bike... does make one nervous!
    Oh, and bike riding just looks fun!

  2. I ride to work 4km away, I probably could ride a push bike to save fuel but to lazy, my car uses around 10 lt/100 motorbike 5lt/100 but your festiva would use around the same and you got a roof, I take my car on rainy days, I have the luxury of having all 3 types of transport, i dont use public transport.
    Ride for fun and easy parking and if its under 300cc cheaper rego, anything over costs more than a car

    As for gear, I got the helmet with the bike, the guy sold me
    and got some gloves for $25
    thats it, I ride with my jeans, cargo pants etc, and any jacket thats hanging in my cabinet, and any shoes, sport or black leather shoes

    anyway seen helmets for around $100 with the standards sticker, any more is for brand or features, such as carbon fibre for lighter feel etc the helmet cant be any stronger than the spine its holding up in a collision anyway.

    So I say, dont bother with a motorbike unless you have a pasion for it, and the gear dont cost much, but if your already winging dont bother, stick with the festiva.
  3. Welcome :]

    My first helmet was cheaper than my first jacket ($250 helmet, $350 jacket), but it was replaced by a $400 helmet once it was stolen. All helmets should pass AS 1698, so you could argue that you're paying more for features like ventilation, fit and noise reduction. Personally, I felt like buying a cheap helmet was false economy so I wasn't too miffed when the time came to replace it with something better.

    Go to your local bike shop and try on that $1,000 helmet/jacket and the el cheapo and see how they compare, then find something that is more reasonable for your budget, but more like the $1,000 item than the el cheapo. There are no hard and fast rules!

    I used to commute to work, but no longer need to. I loved it, even in the rain. Even though putting on all my wet weather gear and taking it all off again at work usually meant it took longer than taking the train (my trip is probably only 15 minutes), I still prefer the freedom.

    Dangerous? Yes, but so are a lot of things until you control the risks involved. Invest in proper riding gear and be aware of the risks you can't control - cars, road conditions and other hazards.

    Fun? Extremely. =D
  4. I have just started the commute to work on bike. Two things that strike me straight away... No where to store my lunch and its so awfully cold in the mornings in VIC
  5. You need to understand something about gear, too. A $400 helmet might give you great protection, but all independent tests (there was a thread about it just recently) say that it won't give you twice the protection of a $200 helmet. And while a Joe Rocket jacket at around $500 (?) might look schmick, it probably isn't going to protect you twice as well as a $250 dollar jacket.

    As for the risks, someone has a great line about the dangers of beds in his sig, check it out :LOL:.
  6. You can get jackets for cheaper then 350$. My jacket cost 100$ and its Dririder textile jacket. Not too shabby.

    You just need to research abit more and when you do buy get a deal by buying it all at the same shop. Thats how i got my jacket for 100$ down from 200.

    But anyway hope you do switch to a bike. It's great fun and you wont regret it.

    But if you really want to save money go a scooter, if your game. :p
  7. I am not bitching about prices per say. My comment about the price of clothing is because a jacket does not take as much engineering and testing as a helmet. Nor do they have to pay the 10's of thousands to have the jacket tested and standards approved. Anyway, it isnt a thread about clothing prices. I will be getting the best gear I can afford at the time.
    Am more thinking it isnt making much economical sense to ditch a working and economical small car for a bike I cant really ride in the heavy rain we have just had (I can, but not comfortably)
  8. hunt around for gear.
    bikebiz have good package deals
    the rxt helmets in their summer package aren't bad.
    got one for commuting as I don't want to leave my good helmet
    on the bike.
    there are good sales in winter

    scooters are the best commuters. pity you have to be gay
  9. You already have a cheap, reliable and economical car. Unless your commute is through standstill traffic for an hour just keep the car.
  10. Hello swaz.

    A bike can save you time and money, but these shouldn't be the reasons you buy one. Riding a bike in traffic is very dangerous. You should understand the risks, especially with a kid on the way. You will get a whole bunch of excited newbie riders here claiming if you wear the right gear, you can control and minimise these risks. I prefer to be a bit more realistic about it.

    Motorcycling can be one of the most exciting things you can do if you get it right. It can also be one of the most dangerous things you can do if you get it wrong. So have a think about this before jumping in, but if you still want to, it can be very rewarding.

    Ride safe, Mark.
  11. haha my old man has been a long time motor bike rider and loves it! I thought be would disown me if I got a scooter but he actually suggested it!
    Part of getting a bike is the fun factor and it is something I have always wanted to do, but let fear get in the way.
    However the aim of the game is to get away from putting $60 into a small in fuel per 500k's and only to get worse.
  12. damn, already booked in and paid for my L's tomorrow night
  13. You're right, it doesn't make economical sense. :shock:
    No-one really rides a bike for that reason, a little cheap car makes more sense.
    BUT driving a little cheap car is BORING and SH#T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    If bikes don't really interest you I'd stick with the car, if you really want a bike then go for it; they're fairly economical but most of all they're FUN.
    Buy the gear in a sale, ACTION MC in Parramatta are selling off heaps of jackets for very low prices at the moment.
    I ride to work every day, rain or no rain, and it gives you something cool to do at the end of a day at work, it's not really quicker because of all the changing/unchanging though.
    BTW I live on the Central Coast too, I've just been on a great ride up to Wollombi and the Putty Road with a local bike group (Central Coast Sports Bike Riders http://www.ccsbr.net), if you get a bike come for one of their L&P rides.

  14. Well said.
  15. Although I do think I would like riding a bike and will have a car to drive if it REALLY rains or I have to take something big to work, I am a bit hesitant to sell the Festiva. I gave it a service and a polish the other day and it looks damn good for Korean junk lol
    At the moment though, it is about reducing costs.
    Hmmmm, I hate decisions!
  16. my wife and I share a little 100cc scooter. she commutes on it and I ride locally on it. saves wear and tear on the big bikes.
    cost under $3000 new and costs stuff all to run
  17. +1 to this....though bikes are more dangerous and shitloads more fun to commute on.....if commonsense with a stick up ya arse is your thing keep the car......wanna have a play, release that 4 year old boy inside on the way to work and upset all those "commonsense with a stick up their arse drivers" get a bike.

    Oh and the people you met through riding are just great too :wink:

    :WStupid: bikes can and do have life altering effects if you get 'em wrong
  18. Faced a similar dilema myself not so long ago.

    We dont have 2 cars - but I have come to realise that having one car is not sufficient (Brisbane buses may work for odd occassions but if I stay using them for my commute I'll end up paying a fortune in medical bills for the decline in my mental health, or will end up in jail because of poor anger management).

    So I weighted up the costs of getting a reliable, small economical car, insuring it, servicing it and running it against the costs of a bike.

    in the end as far as I can tell its a close call. Bike servicing will probably cost me at least as much as car servicing and the fuel economy of a small car is almost as low as a bike anyway. Factoring in the cost of rider training and gear purchasing and all of a sudden the great bike idea starts to look like the $$$'s are getting out of hand.

    having said that - in the end I've done OK:

    Bike: $3500 (ZZR250 with less than 12K on clock)
    Training: $ 620 (expensive but thorough Q-Ride program)
    Insurance: $ 200
    Helmet: $ 250 (RJays GP1 - it may be cheap but it *FITS*!)
    Jacket: $ 100 (dri-rider on eBay)
    Gloves: $ 50
    Draggins $ 150 (via USA)
    Boots $ 170
    TOTAL $5040

    ..and with that I can get commute comfortably and have fun in the process. If I'd spent $5k (including insurance) on a car what would I get? A piece of junk - that I'd HATE driving!

    Furthermore - although I dont work in CBD at the moment you can never say never - and having bike means that option is open to me without worrying about outrageous parking costs or returning to piss-poor public transport!
  19. If you want a bike for $$$$ savings and your commute is not far, get a scooter. Otherwise keep the lil car. All bikes cost.

    If there's no passion you'll always worry about the danger and the weather which is less of a worry in the car.

    Most of us ride because we love it. Most of us have a car or 2 as backup :)
  20. Scoots can end up being cheap... Bikes always end up costing you more than you expect. Frequent servicing, tyres, extortionate oil prices, gear, spastic insurance money - and then there's the fact you'll wnt to take courses, go on tours, do trackdays, go to the races and buy more and more bike stuff. Oh, and your coffee expenditure will go through the roof if you buy certain brands of bike.

    Plus they're not really all that great on fuel. $25 gets me around 250-280k of gentle round-town and freeway action, or as little as 130-140k of thrashing.

    If your genuine motivation is to save money, get a scoot that'll do freeway speeds and you'll never look back. If you want to get into bikes, that's a whole different thing but it's gonna cost you.