The Advantages of Riding a Motorcycle
Contrary to popular belief, fossil fuels won’t last forever. Neither can we keep building more roads with additional lanes to accommodate the staggering 165,000 new cars manufactured worldwide, every day! Let’s doing something about it, right now. These are the type of things you need to keep in your head when someone asks you about the advantages of riding a motorcycle.
Riding a motorcycle will mark you out as someone who is concerned about the bigger picture and better still, a doer rather than talker. And while this is entirely true, what we have to keep to ourselves, though, is that riding bike rocks, end of! Just don’t tell everyone.
I know what you’re thinking my fellow bikers. It doesn’t rock quite so much on mornings when you have to scrape the ice off your seat. Or you get caught in a downpour on the way to work and spend the rest of the day squelching around. But there are far more pros to riding a motorcycle than there are cons, and here, we’re going to explore them in the following five categories.
- Environmental Impact
The Advantages of Riding a Motorcycle:Your Wallet Will Love You
That’s an easy one. The average price of buying and running a new car for the first year is positively scary. In the United States, this works out at around $ 30,000 annually. Great Britain isn’t far behind at $23,700.
Compare this to a motorcycle and with initial outlay, fuel, tax, insurance, etc., etc.; you are saving on average $6000 a year. Spread that over a three-year period (the average time for a higher purchase or loan agreement) allow for capital depreciation etc. and you’d still save enough money to buy that Korean sub-compact you’ve always wanted.
Even if we forget about the astronomical costs of the purchase of a new car, have you seen how much they want you to pay for city center parking these days? It costs on average $56 per day to park in central London. That beats Manhattan, Tokyo, and Sydney.
Sorry car drivers, there’s worse news to follow. Central London and Manhattan are overflowing with cars and positively encourage motorcycle riders by providing, wait for it, FREE parking.
A strategy also being adopted in the southern hemisphere too. Implemented in 2017, the City of Sydney (the most gridlocked city in Australia) has just implemented their Riders Action Plan. This plan gives motorcycle riders free access to long and short stay car parking in the city center.
I’m trying to be objective here. But are there any aspects of motorcycle ownership that are more expensive than other forms of transport? I can’t think of any. The only thing cheaper, of course, is the humble bicycle but c’mon guys. When was the last time you saw a cult movie about two cool looking dudes riding across America (looking for adventure) on a pushbike? Easy Bicyclist. I don’t think so.
The Advantages of Riding a Motorcycle:The Quick Getaway
Maneuverability leads on nicely from the previous category because time costs money. Getting stuck in traffic is not only inconvenient but also darn frustrating.
On a motorcycle, you can paddle through traffic jams and weave your way to the front of the stoplight. In some city centers, you can even use designated bus lanes during rush hour. Massive traffic tailback on the freeway? No problem, just trickle right down the middle of it.
What’s more, if you’ve got a few stops to make in town you can usually just park your wheels close to your destination, get in, get out, ride off. No looking for a meter or playing ‘double parking roulette.’
If you’ve ever traveled to some of the capital cities of Europe and here I’m thinking specifically of places like Rome, Paris or Barcelona, the scooter is king. Why? Put simply, the convenience level for navigating through traffic is incomparable, so scooters are used by quite literally everyone.
Ever been horribly lost and momentarily stop to ask directions, beckoning frantically for a pedestrian to come to your aid? In a car, you’re about five seconds away from the person behind going berserk on their horn. On a motorcycle, you can pull right up to them, job done.
And if that worst-case scenario ever presents itself, where you’re in a line of traffic and the road has been closed off altogether. All you need to do is look for a small piece of curb, leave the bike and go for a coffee until things start moving again.
The Advantages of Riding a Motorcycle: You’re Greener than you Look
A motorcycle is anywhere between a 1/4 and a 1/6 of the footprint of a car. Therefore, you are physically taking up less space on the road or parked in town. Furthermore, that personal gripe of the anti-bike league about motorcycles being dirty, smelly, noisy things, has been completely blown out of the water.
The Advantages of Riding a Motorcycle: Emissions
Motorcycles are now required to comply with Euro 4. A set of regulations that makes them ultra- quiet (which, in my opinion, is a bad thing) and ultra-low emissions (which is a good thing). Consider also, what is involved in the manufacture of a motorcycle. The amount of raw materials and machinery needed to make, and assemble a bike is almost insignificant in comparison to the auto industry.
Even at the end of their useful shelf life, when it comes time to recycle. A motorcycle can be broken down into its component parts by one man with a spanner. While a car needs a crane with a grab and a 30-ton diesel powered crushing machine to turn it into a block.
The Advantages of Riding a Motorcycle: Fitter and Faster
It doesn’t matter whether you ride a bobber, a scooter, a cruiser or a superbike, in the process of an average journey, you are moving it, throwing a leg over it and using hands and feet to operate it. This action gives your whole body a workout and develops core strength, dexterity and flexibility.
Of slightly less benefit but true never the less, is the motorcycles ability to help you shed weight. Apparently, an average size man (and presumably a woman too) will burn an extra 40 calories riding a bike over his car-driving counterpart. Don’t get too excited, though, eat an apple straight afterward and you’ll put it all straight back on.
And those are just the essential health benefits. If we also consider the psychological advantages of motorcycling the case becomes even stronger. According to neurologists, an exhilarating ride produces a flood of endorphins. These are the neurotransmitters contained in chemicals released from the brain that trigger feelings of positivity and well-being.
Motorcycles also give you a very real sense of freedom and independence. So, when coupled with the sense of positivity, give you a renewed sense of purpose, which permeates into everyday life. A positive mental state also boosts the immune system and helps you deal more readily with stress.
The Advantages of Riding a Motorcycle: Last but Not Least
Finally, and this is probably more related to the novice rider, a road trip is one of the must do’s of motorcycle ownership. The route planning, pre-ride maintenance, and adventures that unfold on your journey will change you as a person in a very positive way. You will feel more independent, and able to cope with life’s unexpected hurdles.
Even meeting fellow bikers on the road and swapping stories increases your social skills. Furthermore, the experience gained from clocking up the miles in different locations and challenging topographies increases your riding ability exponentially. Your motorcycling experience will make you a far more aware, capable, faster reacting and considerate car driver too. The phrase ‘win-win’ comes to mind.
Motorcycling sets you aside from the humdrum of everyday life. It encourages you to live rather than to exist merely. It makes you walk tall and gives you the tools to cope with whatever life throws at you. And is one of the few things in our daily lives than can’t be reproduced or imitated. Those reading this who understand its meaning will smile knowingly. Those who don’t will just have to try it for themselves and discover, the benefits of motorcycling.