It is widely reported that younger families are opting to purchase a motorcycle instead of a second car. In fact, the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) reported a significant increase for sales in motorcycles and scooters in 2015, a number higher than any other since records began in 1983. So why are families getting a motorcycle instead of owning a second car.
Advantages of Motorcycle Commuting
One of the obvious benefits to commuting on a motorcycle is the speed at which you can navigate traffic. Whilst cars are forced to sit single-file waiting for the vehicle ahead to move, you have a sense of freedom on a motorcycle. Responsibly, you can weave amongst the traffic, exploiting gaps between cars to cut your commuting time down from hours to minutes.
Financially, motorcycles are a lot cheaper to run than cars, with lower insurance and better fuel consumption. The price of trains and public transport is continually increasing too, which makes motorcycles a much more attractive option. If you need to pay for parking close to your work, or if space is usually a problem, then a motorcycle gives you more options.
As a motorcyclist, your morning commute forces you to get into the fresh air, facing the brisk cold, or the warm sunshine on your back. This can help to waken you up, and set you up for the day ahead. You’ll get to work feeling energised and ready to tackle anything that awaits for you. The benefits to your mental health are unrivalled in comparison to a car.
Disadvantage of Motorcycle Commuting
The weather will not always be on your side, that is a fact you’ll have to accept. Somedays you’ll look outside the window and dread going out in the rain or wind, but investing in some high-quality clothing will ensure you are ready for anything. Unfortunately there isn’t one piece of clothing for all weathers, so you’ll need to invest in a variety of outerwear. But you won’t end up getting into work soaking wet, or freezing cold, or boiling hot.
You are much more vulnerable to other road users and dangerous surfaces. Your concentration levels will need to be much much higher than the other road users. You have to be aware of other vehicle movements, road hazards, manhole covers, oil slicks, and black ice in the winter. This is not to put you off commuting on a bike, but it is important you recognise the risk and act appropriately. You cannot be responsible for other road users behaviour, but you can stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
Why Motorcycles Are Better
The freedom and time saved by journeying to work on a motorcycle is well worth it. Forget about the benefits of the motorcycle for a moment, and concentrate on the down sides to a car.
They are a waste of space. A single occupant in a car has three spare seats generally, an empty boot, and the heater or air con on full blast. The whole car must be set to the right temperature despite only being for a single occupant sitting in one seat.
The journeys will almost always take longer if they encounter traffic.
The volume of emissions is vastly higher - although some cars are now being developed with start-stop technology, most cars will continuously have the engine running until the journey is over, regardless of how often the car comes to a stop in traffic.