Motorcycle for saving money?

It seems this comes up a lot.  “Will riding a motorcycle save me money?”  The answer is “it depends.”  If you lose the car (and consequently maintenance, monthly bills, insurance etc) and only ride a motorcycle – yes, you will save money.  If you own both and ride the bike sometimes to try to save on gas then you would have to need it for a LOT of miles before you would even break even.

Here is an example.

If you were to ride a 2009 Suzuki TU250X that gets an amazing 82mpg for 7,000 miles per year and you would have been driving a car or truck averaging 20mpg that would mean you would burn 265 gallons less per year.  At the current price of $3.92/gallon here that would save you $1,430.80 per year.  Sounds good, right?  Except at that many miles you really should be thinking about a set of tires, 2 oil changes and possibly some other maintenance every riding season.  That will cost you $300/yr if you do it yourself.  Add in $200/yr for cheap motorcycle insurance and you’re down to saving $930.80 per year.  Unless you are really lucky and someone GAVE you the motorcycle, you will need to pay for it too.  Assuming a used bike cost of $3,000 and a loan term of 36 months you will have a monthly payment of $88.23 or $1,058.76 per year.  All of a sudden you are losing $127.96 per year by having and riding the motorcycle.  The numbers are worse the less miles you ride.  Also keep in mind these miles I talk about only count if they are miles you normally would have taken the car or truck so motorcycle trips don’t figure in.  So as you can see, riding a motorcycle may make financial sense to some, but for most people probably not.

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