• Jul 1, 2008
Click on the image for more high-res shots of the Night Rod Special

As you may have noticed, we've been featuring more two-wheeled content lately as interest in motorcycles and scooters has risen rather dramatically along with the increase in fuel prices. While we can appreciate the reduced cost of operation that sometimes goes along with choosing a motorcycle over four-wheeled transport, the enjoyment some of us get from bikes easily eclipses our desire to save at the pump. After all, this particular blogger has been riding since the days of buck-a-gallon gas. Still, the growing trend of drivers dropping half their wheels in the name of gas conservation deserves close examination and has even caught the attention of Consumer Reports. In fact, a recent survey conducted by the group has found that a staggering 26-percent of respondents have considered downsizing from four wheels to two. According to CR, their team is intently studying this two-wheeled phenomenon in an effort to become acquainted with the products on the market, how often they are ridden and the newly-found fuel savings of their riders.

[Source: Consumer Reports]


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  • 40 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      Personally, I think far too many people approach motorcycle ownership from the "how long will it take to pay for itself" viewpoint. Just remember that from that viewpoint, a hybrid vehicle takes decades to pay itself off (unless your previous ride gets gas mileage of the single-digit variety); and many other vehicles never will.

      Personally, I welcome the idea of more motorcycle riders on the road. The biggest safety risk for a (motor)cyclist is other distracted drivers. As people see them more often, they (theoretically) get in the habit of noticing them, which will in turn make motorcycling safer. A couple of other big benefits are the fact that parking lots will be less crowded, and the size (maybe even the frequency) of traffic jams will decrease. But then again, perhaps my thinking is a little too optimistic.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Organ transplant recipients rejoice. More newbies without helmets running around in traffic with cars and trucks with the AC on and the audio cranked, and the drivers texting like mad.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Where is Vintage to make a snide HD comment based on the picture.
        HotRodzNKustoms
        • 6 Years Ago
        He's going to say something about how the Japanese "PWN" the American bike manufacturers in every way shape and form.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So true...I've seen quite a few riding mopeds, scooters and bigger bikes around my neck of the woods.

      I've been considering myself getting back to two wheels myself for local trips(hard to find/above msrp '08 Ninja 250R)..in my teen years, I had owned a Honda 125 trail bike and earlier even a Honda Z50J aka Honda "Monkey"(minitrail).

      Guess I'll wait around after X'mas for that Kawi bike...
      • 6 Years Ago
      northeast, where there is summer weather that requires a f150 let alone the winter, all I am seeing is f150's swapped for harleys. way to go! elastic. demand destruction. yum.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I just purchased my first bike a few weeks ago. To keep costs low I went with a Yamaha V-Star Custom (only 650cc). Here in New Hampshire it's tough to get into the training class, but I have paid and await a date. Kills me to see the bike sitting in the parking lot but I have a wife and kids and also want to be safe.
      • 6 Years Ago
      once all these new riders take a MSF safety course and at least have some formal training it will be better for all drivers and riders. NY has put much more emphasis on looking out for fellow riders, so at least that's a start.

      i recently started, not for gas savings though but its good to tell my wife as a reason, and got a '08 ninja 250R which most people think its a larger 600 bike. it was relatively cheap, gets about 60-65 mpg and has a 4 gal tank. It is definitely a different experience from driving and a lot of fun, but gear does get a little expensive, but you don't have to replace it all the time, and most times it will last a long time. Just be safe out there!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Let's see...

      My 08 SI...400 a month (lease cost and insurance), aprox. 20 mpg

      My ZX6-R Ninja...paid for, 60 a month for insurance, 45 mpg

      If i drive 1000 mi/month:

      Civic = 0$.65 per mile
      ZX6R = $0.16 per mile

      And dont forget splitting lanes here in Cali
      • 6 Years Ago
      If you want to save money by riding a motorcycle, don't buy a $14,000 one. Buy a 250 or 500 that gets 50 to 60 miles per gallon. You can get a used 250 for 2-3K.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree, for commuting purposes nothing larger than a 250 or even a 500 is needed, and get a used one!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I am buying a scooter or a motorcycle as soon as I leave North Dakota! (Less than 1 year)
      • 6 Years Ago
      It is also summer when sales of bikes and scooters go up. I dont doubt they are up due to gas prices but summer has has an effect.

      Being able to save money by purchasing a bike/scooter and keeping your car is difficult unless you have a really crappy MPG car/truck, a really cheap bike, or you ride it all year, or really far. Usually does not work out mathmatically, depends on the situation and what you currently drive. Always works if you get rid of the car but by adding a vehicle - not always.

      For example me: I drive 20 miles a day - easy commute for a bike. I drive ~1000 miles a month. At $4 a gallon I spend around $160 a month on gas (25 mpg). So if I get a bike that gets 60 mpg I would save $93 a month - but only during the months that I ride it. Lets say 6. So 12 months * 1000miles @ 25mpg given 4 gas = $1920 in annual expense. If I add a bike (60mpg @ 1000 miles per month) and ride it for 6 months a year, I can cut my gas expense down to $1520. So that leaves $400 fuel savings. I still have to buy the bike so lets assume $5000 for a decent bike. It will take 12 years to make this a smart move in my situation. Sucks cause I tried this criteria on my wife to justify a bike purchase, sucks she did the math.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Kind of a good excuse to buy a toy.
      Looking at a 1098 myself...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Exactly- if you buy a reasonably priced/used bike, you can recover the cost of the bike, depending on where you live and how much you drive/ride. In my instance- 50mpg on the bike and 20 in the Truck. 60miles round trip, so I could save 9 gallons a week. In Michigan you can ride about half the time, if you're hardy. So figure 20 weeks to be conservative, and we get $750-900, depending on what gas prices do. Insurance is $300 for the year, so I could recover the cost in 5-6 years. Ok, so its a streach, but its fun.
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