With cars becoming increasingly expensive to run, insure and tax, people are starting to look once again towards motorbikes as an affordable method of transport. Motorcycles are cheaper and have an easier time in traffic, but they aren’t always as practical as a car.
Here we look at whether or not a motorcycle can replace a car, and what you’ll have to deal with should you plan to solely use a bike for transport.
When it comes to commuting, bikes have many advantages and disadvantages.
They have a much easier time in traffic, and are able to skip most of it simply by going down the middle of the road.
Motorbikes are also much cheaper to run, only using about half or less of the fuel a car would. Bikes also have much less difficulty parking. While they take up much less space than a car, most people have no problem with a bike parking on the pavement (providing there’s still enough room for people to get by) and bikes park for free in most car parks.
However, when riding a motorcycle it’s heavily advised to wear protective safety gear. This raises the question of where you’d get changed once you’re at work. Most places would have a suitable area for you to change, but it’s worth finding out first.
Another downside is dealing with the weather. Rain would leave you arriving to work very wet, which might not leave your boss overly pleased, while snow and ice stop you riding altogether.
Modifications and Maintenance
Motorcycles require slightly more maintenance than the average car. However, any maintenance that needs doing is easier to carry out because the parts on a bike tend to be far easier to reach.
Maintenance is usually cheaper on a bike than a car too. Labour costs are less due to less effort and time needed in taking a bike apart, and a lot of work can be done DIY without the expense of going to a garage.
For those that like to make modifications to their vehicles, bikes offer more and easier customisation than cars. These modifications can be anything from a rider making the cold mornings easier by fitting heated grips, or just like car drivers, fitting a cherished number plate to their bike.
While it’s possible to perform normal life activities such as going shopping on a bike, there’s no doubt that it’s easier in a car. You can carry shopping only in a rucksack or, if the bike is equipped with them, in panniers or a top box – either way, you’re limited on how much you can take.
Motorcycles also only allow for taking one passenger and this drastically effects how the bike handles. This makes them not very suitable for families due to this impracticality.
When it comes down to it, different people will each have a feeling if a bike can replace their car or not. Some people will find it a cheap alternative that’ll do everything they want, while others will need a car for carrying around shopping or their family. It all comes down to personal circumstances.
That being said, bikes are much more practical than most people first think.