This is a discussion on Scooters vs. Motorcycles within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Originally Posted by What the? Gas cost for a 25 mpg car (in your scenario) is about $450/year. Gas cost for a 95 MPG scooter ...
Your estimated travel distance plays a big role in the economy calculation. If you are only driving 0-50 miles a week, buying ANYTHING to save gas will be difficult to recoup, unless it's a pair of sneakers.
On the other hand, my round trip is 125 miles every day. A scooter would pay for itself in less than a year for me. Most people are somewhere between these two scenarios.
To each, their own. But around my parts, only the girls ride scooters.
If you do the route of a bike/scooter look at used. research the brand...etc don't want something that takes a lot of $ to maintain or one that will be in for repair more time that the machine is on the road...
We are seeing more scooters and small bikes on the road every day. I'm sure that running the numbers on initial cost, commute distance, etc. will give you a starting line. I think gas will continue to rise rapidly to who knows where. With a caveat that since I have a 25 mile one-way drive to work, I'd be struggling with the small scooters that just can't get to highway speeds.
The scooters that I see here are usually at the front of a long line of cars waiting to pass, which would make me nervous. I'd prefer 250cc ++ and ideally a 500cc so I could at least get out of the way. The only defense on a bike is speed and agility. For brand, Honda. They are just reliable. If you go toward something of 500 or larger, do ask people about true mileage as some bikes really do not get what you'd think they do.
What I do know is that without our motorcycle, my wife and I would not be able to afford to go anywhere other than work and home, and we already ride together.
Now with gas going up, we are getting alot of people who have never been on a bike before and going out and buying scooters and small cc bikes, again not having a clue as to what they are getting into.
Bike accident death stats are on the rise as the street are flooded with people who have no riding skills. Just because you can ride a bicycle doesn't meant you can ride a motorcycle..same as a guy getting a private pilots license and thinking that he can now fly a commercial air liner..takes ALOT of time and practice to be good at it and know not what to do to get yourself killed!
Sorry for my skeptisisiam, thats just me.. but riding a motorcycle out in public is a DEADLY SERIOUS venture..
"Brains before Bullets"
I know that the OP's question was "scooters vs. motorcycles." However, for 5.5 miles, if the goal is to save money, I would buy a bicycle. Zero gas usage and you get the added fitness benefits out of it. However, you might arrive at work a little sweaty. If there's no shower at work, I might opt for the scooter, based on what you've told us.
Why, you ask? As others have pointed out, you won't REALLY save money with a motorcycle, given the length of your commute. Second, a big V-twin probably will barely have time to warm up properly on so short of a ride. (Ask me how I know). If your manhood can take the jokes, the scooter is better on gas, and you will solely be on city streets (per your post).
If you go with the motorcycle, definitely take the MSF course. Also, start out with a bike that won't get you in too much trouble. Get your basic riding skills down before you go dumping a lot of dinero into an expensive bike. I rather lay down a cheap bike I bought used than a Harley that cost as much as my truck.
As always, YMMV.
I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on Earth.--Steve McQueen
Good point Herk. Bicycle for that distance. If you don't want to be sweaty when you get there, get an electric one or a kit for an existing. You can get from 10-25MPH and 10-25 mile range. For about $5-800, you could do well, and still pedal when the mood strikes you or you need more range or power, and probably bring inside at work and plug it in there:)
I walk to work every day and honestly I can't even imagine spending money on gas and vehicles and insurance and maintenance and stress just to go 5 1/2 measly miles. That little distance is a perfect commute situation. Take advantage of it. Save 100% of your cash and just use your feet, or dust off the ol' bicycle. If it rains, wear a jacket. As a bonus you'll be healthier and strengthen your body, your heart, and your mind.
That said, I ride a motorcycle (Honda RC51) but not to/from work. If I can possibly walk somewhere, I do it.
How 'bout an electric bicycle? They cost under $600, go 18 - 30 mph (depending on model), and I don't believe you would need insurance or licensing. CampSolution.com offers superior quality discount camping supplies and DC gear motors sells a couple for under $500, and has a convert-your-own-bike-to-electric kit for $250.
Last edited by Paymeister; May 22nd, 2008 at 07:40 PM. Reason: mph not mpg!
Yes, knuckleheads will always be there to do stupid things on machines far faster than their brains work, just like there will always be the same buying and carrying guns. Clearly, the OP is not part of the dreaded “OCC” crowd, as he is asking for advice about a sensible bike for commuting.
Other thought I had about the bike vs. scooter thing is how you dress for work. A scooter will allow you to more easily keep pants and shoes clean, where as a traditional motorcycle makes that tough sometimes.
"Just blame Sixto"
I get 50mpg on my big H-D. Those scooters scare the hell out of me. The small wheels are very hard to control unless riding in a straight line. Maneuverability is the biker's greatest defense. If you don't have the power or handling, you're just asking for trouble.
On the other hand, the new high power sport bikes are instant death with an inexperienced rider. These things are so fast. I cringe when I see parents buying them for their teenagers.
Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.
My Harley Electra Glide gets 39 mpg...it rides like a car...foot boards, highway pegs & back rest...cruise control (can actually get to my gun)...I ride to work on enjoyable, open-air comfort...
I prefer the 23 miles trek on my Harley rather than in the car...at our high school the kids enjoy seeing the 'old man' pull in to the lot...
Get a motorcycle...
"That I cannot do."
"Give this to, uh, Clemenza. I want reliable people, people who aren't going to be carried away. After all we're not murderers in spite of what this undertaker thinks."
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NRA Life Member
OK, I've go to comment. First, the Motorcycle is much safer then a scooter, more stable and easier to manover out of a bad situation.
Second, The Motorcycle is easier to do maintanance and repair on. Changing the back tire on a scooter is something you only want to do once.
Third, for 5.5 mile comute, walk stay alive. If you feel you need to ride, at that distance a Honda 90 will do. Regardles what others are saying lower cc motorcycles will do just fine but they won't massage your ego.
I have ridden Scooters, and motorcycles from Honda 90 to Harley 75. The quickest and most maneuverable was a Triumph 125, I did 120MPH on a back mountain road in Oregon when I was 16 and stupid. My suggestion is take a safety course and try different sizes of Bikes and go with what you feel confident on. Keep your ego in control, save your life. Have fun.
Just to clarify, I do not own a car right now. I'm really just doing the math on keeping my used Mazda & buying my wife a car for her & the kids or just giving her the Mazda & buying a motorcycle/scooter to use for my commute, etc.
The mpg is what is attractive to me. 75-90 mpg is strong. I couldn't find a car for $4,000 that would get anymore than 30 mpg.
Anyone suggest an American-made motorcycle that would be an economical choice? I'm not looking to boost my ego, just want something easy & safe that saves cash on the fuel bill.
You're very limited in American made options...I'm thinking a Sportster would be about your only choice. Victory claims to be American, but I dont think they have a smaller bike and I'm not so sure how a Canadian company is American.
"Just blame Sixto"