I'm not scared of old, or working on a machine, I took vo-tech auto mechanicis my last two years in high school (Top of my class both years) and worked as a big truck mechanic for a few years, do most all my own work now ... I also have in my driveway now an '82 MB 240D (275k mi) which is very reliable car, but does not like much above 60 mph, it is slow, and under powered diesel (no turbo) My F150 is an '89 ... HOWEVER, I don't want to be tinkering on a vehicle everyday just to get back and forth to work five days a week, so it has to be RELIABLE. My old MB I would not hesitate today to drive it cross country ... year and a half ago we took it to ME, but it was a slow trip 30+ mpg ... It's goona be for sale soon.
Most of my commute would be highway riding, only a few miles of "city traffic" ... I would most likely only need to carry my lunch, rarely pick something up that my wife forgot, or ranout of at the store ... I had saddle bags for my KLR, but never used them or the rear cargo bag ...
This is how I rode to work I liked the tank bag,as it would expand and make room for my insulated coveralls I needed in the morning:
I looked into an Honda Insight (pre '06) but you really need to baby them (low speed) to get the really good mpg, and they suffer with the ac on ... and there not cheap to start out with, the other small cars are either worn out (high miles), or only get mid 30's ...
I have heard that a car can be cheaper to run, but what is the current price of up keep on a bike?
Tires, how long do they last now? I remember the back tire on my CBR would only last 800 - 1000 miles!
Fronts I could get 2,500 out of ... I do realise that a guy in his mid twenty who liked redlining a bike like that could put a world of hurt on tires, but I had the money, and it was fun, for short runs! I did not like getting all scrunched up, and trying to unfold myself later ... and that was a long time ago!
Are tubless tires better? more expensive? Last longer, or just able to be radials?
How often are oil changes?
A good point brought up about fuel range ... Thanks!