I have now been commuting 20 miles each way to work on a 125cc motorcycle for about a month now. I have come to some conclusions:
- It’s cheap – 110mpg
- It’s fast – filter through the traffic
- It’s more fun
What I really wonder about is why so few people use motrobikes to commute. Travelling in South East Asia recently you see huge numers of motorcycles – Vietnam has very very few cars but millions of little Hondas. I’m saving money, the enviroment and also saving all the lazy people in cars a bit of time as I’m not making the queues 5m longer.
First of all here are the rough costs:
Bike: £400 for a 2000 Suzuki GS125 – simple, reliable and capale of doing 70mph flat.
Clothes: £100 odd for second hand Leathers, boots new gloves and a cheapo rain suit.
Luggage: £50 for a waterproof rucksack and a simple magnetic tankbag.
Helmet: £50 for a basic flip front lid.
Insurance: £110 for the bike in Harrogate.
CBT: £80 for a days training.
So thats less than £1k all up, and the bike should fetch most of what I paid when I sell it.
Running Costs, Weekly, 40 miles per day, 99.9p for unleaded
Car (1992 Golf GTI) – 32mpg = £27.90 in fuel
Bike (Suzuki GS125) – 110mpg = £8.25 in fuel
Thats a big saving of £19.65 per week, or £943 for 48 weeks per year of work. That covers the full cost of the bike and equipment after year one of commuting – including tax (£15), training and insurance. In year 2, the savings would be around £800. The bike needs servicing every 2500 miles – a liter of oil, a filter and some mechanical checks cost the DIY mechanic around £10, so thats abig saving as well.
There’s more to come on this issue. One of the major concerns is horrible weather. Thus far my water proofs have been fine, but the purchase of a nice waterproof / warm / protective suit will be nice before winter. I’m also interested to see how economical the XJ600 I have my eye on will be on my commute.