Originally Posted by Randy
Well, I've thought more about this and came to the conclusion that maybe it's just a completely different way of viewing motorcycles and what you want/need/use them for. I have a company vehicle along with a gas card. I've never used a motorcycle for commuting purposes, and wouldn't in the Atlanta interstate traffic even if I did need a personal vehicle for the purpose. I don't enjoy riding on the interstate in the least, and absolutely HATE the heavy traffic on my commute route since it's mostly people too busy texting, talking on their phones, or putting on makeup to bother with driving.
Motorcycles have for over 30 years simply been a hobby, a toy, the thing that I do for fun and pleasure. I've just never seen them as a practical "vehicle" or means of transport, outside of just for the shear joy of it. Since they are a "passion" item for me, the relatively small amount of money difference that fuel economy represents just isn't important to me in the least. I buy motorcycles based entirely on the things they DO for me in terms of the sensations and pleasurable experiences they provide. Unfortunately, these days, with my schedule and other commitments I fall well below that 10,000 mile per year average I used in my earlier example, so the paltry amount of money potentially saved really has no meaning to me whatsoever. I mean hell, the bag of beef jerky I ate yesterday would probably pay for the difference in fuel between my Sporty and the average touring scooter for a week or two.
Now, if I were using a bike for daily transportation, and we were talking about a SIGNIFICANT money difference... like say maybe even $75 to $100 a week, then yeah, maybe so. But, using my example above and for the average commuter, we're really not talking about a lot of money saved between what, for me, would be a fun bike and a boring appliance.
That's just the way I look at it personally, but I realize that different people have different priorities and "hot buttons".
To each their own....
I am in both parts -- I ride daily and have done for many years, but I also love to ride and travel, and do it all on the bike that stirs my soul -- a Ducati Monster. While commuting isn't a lot of fun, I found it VERY practical. I was in a pretty ideal situation for it -- in SoCal, the weather's always good and the traffic's always bad. I could go without a car at all (and have since 1988) so the bike really did save money. Also, In CA (and in most other countries) you can split lanes, and the time saved doing that can be a huge benefit. I was a consultant there for 11 years, and the time saved in traffic translated directly to more billable hours at clients, so even if the bike didn't save money on running costs, it made me an extra $40K in income over that time.
The Ducati isn't the cheapest choice for running, but it's been pretty reasonable. Counting everything -- purchase, depreciation, upkeep, maintenance, gas, tires, insurance, everything, I was at about 15 cents a mile up to about 180K miles. In the last few years, I have put a fair bit of money into it, because I love the bike, so I'm probably closer to 20 cents a mile now, but that's still not terribly expensive. There are cars you can run for less than that, but not many, and not any you'd want to spend much time in. Any decent car will run you more than that to operate.