If you are new to riding a motorcycle or even just in the thinking about it stage, you might be wondering how practical they are and if you can replace or even forgo getting a car if you decide to get one. Or maybe you are just looking for a way to justify it to a spouse or loved one. Whatever the reason, I wrote this post to help you out and answer any questions you might have about it.
So, are motorcycles good daily drivers? A motorcycle is a good daily driver, they are cheap to run, easy to maintain and cut down on your daily commute time. Motorcycles are also easy to find parking for. They also help lower stress and make your daily commute more fun and enjoyable.
While that might seem like all there is to it, it’s actually not. There are a few problems with using your motorcycle as a daily driver, weather, shopping and work clothes can all be problematic. If you want to know more about this and some solutions that have worked for me. Read on.
Are motorcycles good daily drivers?
There are a ton of reasons why riding a motorcycle is a good idea when it comes to daily driving. Let’s go over some of these reasons first.
Faster commute times
One thing I love about using my motorcycle to get to work, is the amount of time I save. Motorcycles can easily slip though traffic and spaces that a regular car would be stuck at.
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere you are allowed to lane split, your commute time will be cut down even further. In many cities, motorcycles are allowed to use bus lanes, this is a great way for zipping past the long line of cars stuck in a traffic jam.
Not only that, but studies have shown that if 10% of private cars were replaced with motorcycles, time spent in traffic jams could be reduced by 40% and emissions by 6%.
Motorcycles Are Easy To Park
Motorcycles are so easy to find parking for, it doesn’t matter how cutthroat parking is in your neck of the woods. You will always find a good place to park.
I prefer to just pull right up to the building where I’m going and park on the sidewalk just next to the main entrance. Not only does it keep your motorcycle safer from thieves, it’s also protected from idiots knocking it over when they are trying to park.
I’ve never ran into a situation where someone complained about me parking like this. If you do, be polite and move your motorcycle. No need to get into an argument.
Daily Driving A Motorcycle Saves Money On Gas
Due to their smaller engine size and lighter weight, motorcycles get around 50 mpg. This is a big jump from the average car which is around 24.7mpg. Using a motorcycle as a daily driver could save anywhere from $500-1200 a year on gas.
Riding A Motorcycle Can Lowers Stress
There is a reason so many riders love to ride motorcycles, it’s a great way to get perspective on life and clear your head. This is because when you are riding, you are so focused on the moment, all problems and stress just disappear while you are doing it.
It’s quite similar to mindfulness meditation, I just call it “throttle therapy”. Anytime I feel a bit stressed or bummed out, a quick 30 minute ride will usually help put it all back in perspective and lift my spirits.
I also noticed that when I started to ride to work, I began to enjoy going to work more and work just seemed to suck less. I don’t know if it was due to riding or just a coincidence, but it was something I noticed.
Riding A Motorcycle Burn calories
Riding a motorcycle also has an added bonus of helping you burn some extra calories. When riding a motorcycle you could burn up to 600 calories per hour of riding! So if your daily commute is one hour each way, you could burn around 1200 calories just from riding to and from work.
To give you an idea, 1200 calories is around half the average daily intake for a man and over half for a woman. Not bad, beach bod here I come.
It’s More fun To Ride A Motorcycle To Work
How often do you jump in your car just for fun. Chances are not often, you plop your butt in the seat and off you go. Blasting some music to try and make it a little more enjoyable.
Motorcycles are the complete opposite, each ride is a treat and feels like a mini adventure. Rides are exciting and get your adrenaline going. Not a bad way to start the day or get to work. Even just going to pay the phone bill can be a fun trip.
A Motorcycle Is Cheap & Easy To Maintain
On to the last point, motorcycles are cheap and easy to maintain. They have fewer parts to worry about or replace and most fixes can be done with the most basic of tools.
On top of that, you don’t need fancy lifts to get to parts or have to rip apart your motorcycle just to get at a wire. On a motorcycle everything is right there. At most you might have to remove a fairing or to take off your seat.
Just open the service manual and follow the instructions. It’s quick and easy.
Those are all reasons why a motorcycle is a good daily driver, but there are a few problems with using a motorcycle as a daily driver too. Let’s go over them now.
What do you do when the weather is too bad to ride?
You matter how hardcore you are, there is going to be times when it is just not safe to ride a motorcycle in certain weather. When that happens you are going to have to find a solution. For me, I’m lucky enough to have a car as well as a motorcycle. Even though it doesn’t get much use, I still keep one. So if you can, think about getting a cheap car as a backup.
If that isn’t an option for you, no worries. There are some things you can do. Try asking a co-worker or friend to give you a ride, offer to pitch in for gas or pay for coffee in the morning and most people will say yes. The key is to ask them and offer something in return.
If you are lucky enough to have a job that allows you to work from home, a great option is to call up work and tell them due to the weather you can’t come in but are going to be working from home.
If you do this, don’t use it as an excuse to “screw the pooch”, show your boss that you are just as productive or even more productive from home. This will make him/her more likely to be cool with it when you need to do this again.
If those are not options, you are going to have to suck it up and take the bus or call a Lyft or an Uber. If it is something you are going to have to do too often, I would recommend taking the bus. No point spending a big amount of your daily wages just to get to and from work.
What about work clothes when riding a motorcycle?
If you plan to ride a motorcycle to work often, you are going to need to figure out a way to still be presentable while still being protected when riding.
The easiest would be to pack a change of clothes and take them with you to work. Then when you get to work, just find a place like a bathroom or if you have a private office and get changed there.
I used to work with a guy who would ride a bicycle 2 hours every morning during the summer to work, the guy would walk through the door drenched in sweat smelling like a locker room.
He would go to the bathroom, and 15 minutes later he’d come out fresh as a daisy. It was like a miracle. I don’t know how he did it, but judging from him it’s possible.
If this isn’t an option, you are going to need to look for gear that is more stealthy and doesn’t look like motorcycle gear. Things like dark motorcycle jeans and boots that look more like dress shoes are your best bet. There are options, you just need to look.
If you are a high roller, you could just work out a deal with a dry cleaner near you. Have a few outfits or suits there and pick one each morning before you go into work. Then just use your private office or the executive bathroom and get changed.
There are ways to get around the gear issue. What you choose will depend on the type of work environment you’re in, your position and the attire that is expected of you. If your office or work place is more casual about dress code, then a simple pair of motorcycle jeans, boots and tucked in dress shirt might be acceptable.
Whatever it is, there are easy solutions so it’s not that big of a deal.
What about groceries when riding a motorcycle?
You can use a motorcycle to carry groceries, it’s not really a problem. There are a few things you need to do, but it can be done fairly easily. I wrote a whole article all about how to use your motorcycle to transport groceries. Check it out here.
That’s it for this article, I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line here.
Until next time, happy riding!