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i was trying to be hyperbolic, and to use that hyperbole to show that when you compare a similar performance bike and car - the only way to make the car cheaper is to cheat.
motorcycles being cheaper than cars is why motorcycles rule developing nations.
however in America people like me who are unwilling to give up our commuter cars, but still want a bike, are not much better off money wise.
bike instead of car-cheep-but you have to be willing not to use a car
bike and car- not really gunna save money.
oh and for the fuel price difference- premium for the bike, regular for the car +me not wanting to use decimal points.
mpg levels- bike is driven like crazy, car has magic fuel abilities(probably related to under hood fairy farts...keep reading)
high bike maintenance cost- to pay for all the plastics from all the times they drop the bike in parking lots.
no car maintenance costs- magic maintenance fairies under the hood(i really wish i could upgrade my under hood gremlins to fairies)
price levels- with bike they are idiots and get shafted, car they have magic negotiating abilities.
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Millions of people chose a bike for budget reasons. There is nothing wrong with that. Heck, one of the biggest benefits of my bike is I can go places across town for next to nothing in gas (AND enjoy the journey) where previously I would tell my friends "no thanks" because of the extra $10 it would cost me just to get there and back (AND the boring car ride).
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I can't lie. My zx14 saved me big and it didn't get great gas mileage. Somewhere around 37 or so mpg. I was riding it about 2000 miles a month for almost 3 years. If I had taken the truck that gets about 17mpg it would have cost a fortune.
Geez, can y'all say "deferred maintenance"?!?
I had a ZX-14 for 26K miles, so I can speak more directly about them. I never saw 37mpg on it except for pure interstate runs - maybe 32 was my average. But let's use his numbers.
72000 miles (claimed - really???) / 37 mpg = 1946 gallons of gas. The truck would burn 4235 gallons. I'll arbitrarily pick $3 /gallon for regular (not knowing when this three year period was), and $.20 more a gallon for premium for the bike. So the truck would cost $12,705 in gas, and the bike would cost $6,227. Wow! You saved $6,500 in gas money over three years!
Now let's look at tires. My actual, real tire rate for sport tires on a ZX-14 was ~3,500 miles. Let's be generous and call it 4,000. A set of tires with mounting - I bought tires on sale and took the wheels in myself - no less than $300. That's $5,400 just in TIRES. In a truck I'd expect to go through two sets in that period, at about $1000/set. So $5,400 - 2,000 = $3,400. Half that fuel savings is gone, just in tires.
ZX-14, per the manual, calls for a valve adjustment every 15K miles. That's 5 of those (the first is at 600 miles), I paid about $300 a pop with the associated service. There's half the remainder of savings - down to $1,200!
I got 18K out of my OEM chain and sprockets, and they could probably have gone further. Let's say 24K, so you need three sets at $200 a set (chain, front, and rear). $600. Half the remainder, again.
How about fork service? The shops I know charge $75 a leg if you have removed them yourself, should be done every year. That's $150 three times for $450. I replaced my wheel bearings at 24K, and steering head bearings should definitely be done before 72K. That'll bring you up to $600 even if you do your own work. Fuel savings - gone.
Now, you can nickel and dime this for awhile from this point, adding a set of brake pads and shocks for the truck; but I'm going to come back with a new shock and brake pads for the bike, because you sure aren't riding an OEM shock for 72K miles - but you see how it shakes out. The bike requires much more and much more EXPENSIVE service than a car does. People who say they are saving money are *usually* ignoring either maintenance on the bike, or the cost of having done that maintenance.
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