Should you buy a motorcycle or a car? It is quite a generic question because a motorcycle and a car each serve different classes of people, albeit serving a similar purpose – mobility.
To choose between a motorcycle and a car, analyze which suits the location you reside in and the nature of your work.
I’ve been in your situation so indecisive about choosing a suitable motor vehicle, but glad I decided perfectly.
So, I will be sincere in this article to help you make the right decision between buying either a motorcycle or a car.
Should I Buy a Motorcycle or a Car?
Buying a motorcycle or a car depends on various factors, which I highlight the major factors here.
If you reside in a crowded city, and you commute either alone or with another person often, you should get a motorcycle.
You can park a motorcycle easily and lock it to keep thieves away. Learn how easy it is to steal a motorcycle.
A motorcycle filters through traffic efficiently. If you buy a motorcycle, you can maneuver in congested areas easily; thus, reaching your destination faster. Additionally, a motorcycle can go on any terrain. If you are going overland on a car, you will need an expedition car.
A motorcycle has better fuel economy than a car. So, you will spend less even in stop-and-go traffic.
Unlike a car, it is cheaper to buy a motorcycle. You can get a bike for a few thousand bucks off Craigslist or even buy a nice-looking motorcycle on eBay. You can also buy a motorcycle out of state cheaply and have it shipped to your location for a few hundred bucks.
Depending on the technology of the bike you’re purchasing, maintenance might be cheaper. A motorcycle with lots of electronics will fail at some point and costs to fix. However, if you are buying an old-school motorcycle, you can fix it yourself and save costs. Moreover, unlike a car, you can change the oil easily.
Are you adventurous?
If you are an adventurous person, a motorcycle is built for you. It lets you explore your environment while riding the winds.
Why You Should Not Buy a Motorcycle
Buying a motorcycle also has its disadvantages! Let me list the disadvantages of owning a motorcycle that nobody will tell you.
You should not buy a motorcycle because of the following:
Nobody will tell you, but you change parts of a motorcycle regularly.
The tires must be changed frequently, typically after every 5,000 to 10,000 miles. It costs between $120 and $200 to change the tires. Other parts become cranky too, and require replacements, especially if you park the motorcycle under the rain often.
If you have to stop often, owning a motorcycle is not comfortable. Climate/weather changes factor in not being comfortable, and you’ll face lots of inconveniences because you wouldn’t welcome the idea of riding under the rain or snow.
If you shop often, a car is preferable to a motorcycle. Otherwise, it is preferable to take a cab for shopping because a motorcycle has no storage space.
Expensive Safety Gear:
You do not necessarily need safety gear for a car since it comes with safety features like carbon fiber. A motorcycle requires safety gear for enhanced protection, including motorcycle passenger helmet, and you will spend about $600 for economy gear. The full-body protection should cost up to $1500.
You can’t ride on a motorcycle if you are sick, although it is not advisable to ride or drive when sick.
Fewer Service Places:
Unlike a car, there are far fewer service places for a motorcycle, especially if you reside in an area filled with cars.
A motorcycle does not have much space to store packages. For a single person, however, a backpack can get you out for grocery shopping. If you will be shopping for two or more people, a motorcycle is not a decent option. Moreover, you can’t shop for more oversized items like a 36″ TV; not a chance.
Since a motorcycle has just two wheels, there is no balance, and it is prone to accidents than a car. A motorcycle can stumble during a crash, and you may fly since there is no seatbelt. But don’t worry; have your full safety gear, and you should be fine. Make sure to pass the motorcycle road test before you get on the road.
If you reside in a mostly polluted area, do not buy a motorcycle. Otherwise, you will receive every dose of pollutants. If the car in front is smoking, you will, of course, inhale the carbon, except you have your full-face helmet with a sun visor.
Why Should You Buy a Car
A car is safer than a motorcycle; you have a nice carbon fiber cage to protect you. Moreover, a car runs on 4 wheels and won’t tip over easily. You have airbags and set belts to prevent injury during a crash.
If you are after comfort and not just commuting, a car protects you from natural elements, including rain, snow, and hot sun. Suppose your vehicle is airconditioned, additional comfort. You can enable the media player for a small party too.
You can sleep in a car and even carry up to 5 passengers. How about shopping? You can load shopped packages, luggage, and bigger items in the cargo.
Sincerely, a car is decent than a motorcycle. You can go on a date feeling fulfilled, and your partner’s family prefers a car over a motorcycle.
Why You Should Not Buy a Car
Owning a car is costly, starting from the purchase price to maintenance. The insurance is also higher, and you spend even more on repairs. If you are shipping a car you just bought, the shipping fee is higher than a motorcycle because of weight.
Unlike a motorcycle, a uses more fuel, depending on how frequently you use it though.
Driving a car feels less involving; you only sit in there matching the pedals and steering left and right.
You can’t take a car on terrains, except you get an expedition vehicle, which is relatively expensive; plus, it burns more fuel.
If you reside in a busy city, you do not want a car. The traffic holds you, and you can’t maneuver through shorter cuts to your destination.
You Should Buy a Motorcycle
A motorcycle rider has many aspects to contend with, including balance, counterbalance, working brakes independently, and being attentive to acceleration.
A rider is responsible for the motorcycle and must be vigilant to the road condition, motor vehicles at the curb, people’s activities beyond the curb, and other road users.
So, whereas riding a motorcycle demands skill acquisition, a typical modern car driver is inattentive and careless.
Think about it; a motorcycle operator does not ride and read magazines, apply makeup, make a cell phone call, or brush their hair.
On the other hand, when you sit in a car, you are merely watching TV because it does not feel real. A motorcycle exposes you to the texture of the road, but a vehicle conceals the surface, and you are just in there passing things by.
On a motorcycle, you can hear whistles blowing, running engines, and other drivers/riders may be screaming at you.
Modern cars kill the moments the most; drivers merely have to be skillful to know how to drive. A car driver does not have to look behind anymore to turn or back up since a screen is in front.
When you take a corner in a car faster, the traction control corrects the error. You can slam the breaks fearlessly in a car, but you must be skillful slamming it on a motorcycle. Else, you end up in the opposite direction.
When driving, you do not have to pay attention to your lane since the car informs you. Even the screen wiper decides when it comes on, but a motorcycle gives you full control.
If the person operating a car is below the technical operating parameters, there is a big problem. The front airbags, crumple zones, multi-point restraint system, and side-curtain airbags keep the driver from harm’s way. How about other road users or pedestrians? Well, that’s their problem because nobody cares.
What is the Cost of Owning a Motorcycle?
A motorcycle may be cheaper to maintain than a car, but there are things people are not admitting. I ride my Ninja 300 daily (65 mpg on aggressive riding), and I put 14,000 miles a year on. It has 40,000 miles now. If I consider gas, it costs about $0.057 per mile. If I include the ownership cost, it is closer to $0.16 per mile.
I factor in the tires too because motorcycle tires require lots of service intervals. Anyways, let’s break it down further:
- I replace the front motorcycle tire once every 8,000 miles. That’s about $160 per year, but I spend $80 per year. The estimate is that 3 front tires go for every rear tire.
- I replace the rear tire at least 3 times after 8,000 miles at about $180. That’s about $360 per year.
- 75 (premium) * 14,000 per 65mpg gas = approximately $807 each year.
- Motorcycle insurance costs about $450 per year.
- Oil change: $16 Rotella + $12 filter every 4,000 miles costs about $84 per year.
- New chain sprockets + new chain every 24,000 miles costs approximately between $150 and $300 yearly.
- Valve adjustment + full service every 24,000 miles: approximately $400-$850 yearly.
In essence, it costs approximately $2,250 per year to travel 14,000 miles on a Ninja 300, which equates to $0.06 per mile.
Depending on your motorcycle, you may spend even lower. Make sure to factor in additional expenses like a parking ticket and replacement of broken parts. When you misplace your title, you’d request a replacement title, of course.
If you need a motor vehicle for complete comfort, get a car. But get a motorcycle if you reside in a crowded city and most concerned about commuting.
If you will cover longer miles, the experience on a motorcycle would not be decent. Get a motorcycle if you encounter terrains and prefer an adventurous ride through the wind.
I own a car and a motorcycle, but I use the motorcycle on my weekly commute. Dry evenings are better on a motorcycle; when it is raining or excessively sunny, I prefer using the car.
19 Best Expedition Vehicles for Overland. Sanedriver.com.