My GTO was has been an awesome car. Considering it has a 6.0 Liter V8, gas mileage isn't horrible at 18-20 mpg compared to some vehicles but definitely not great. Recently, I hit the 100,000 milestone on the car. The car has been quite dependable with all origin parts excluding the radiator, water pump, batteries, tires, and fluids. That being said, replacing the clutch on the car is a realistic upcoming expense since ive hit 100,000 miles. Having one of the local shops do the replacement would put us out a little over 1K and leave us without the car for 2 days. As mechanically inclined as i am, i totally could change it out myself, only 2 days would probably turn into 4 days.
Which brings us to our conversation. With a trade in value of 6-8K, trading the car in isn't an option. Seeing as how most new cars start at like 20-30K, even with trading it in, another car payment at 300-400/month would be unavoidable. Selling it outright, drops us down to 1 vehicle which isn't practical since i work so far away and working 4 days per week would make it extremely hard on my wife being stuck at home. Having her drop me off at work wouldnt be practical either making 4 trips/ day. Buying a new car isn't an option because the payment would be high without a decent trade or money down. Buying used opens us up to the same potential problems particularly if we buy a used car with lots of mileage. Even a used car with decent mileage wasn't beneficially cheaper vs buying a new vehicle. Then we came up with the great idea of getting a motorcycle.
Taking the GTO to work 4 days per week was getting quite expensive. I figured it down to cost per trip and was surprised to find that it cost slight over $10/trip. Not a huge amount of money but enough for almost 200/month in my car alone. A definite contributor to our 400-500/month in fuel costs.
In doing a little reseach and we found a decent used motorcycle, a 2009 honda shadow with 32500 miles on it. Know i know you're probably thinking wow thats a lot of miles for a motorcycle. We said the same thing. But as long as you maintain the bike, they can last as longs as cars. Also, having that amount of miles means the bike was driving and didn't spend months sitting. The dealer we found it through even offered an extended warrenty of 2 years. With an estimated 50 mpg, our fuel cost just went down to about $4/trip. Cutting our fuel cost in half. Our trip to the dealer branched off into also looking at what is available now. Lots of research revealed, Honda would be our cheapest option for buying new. They had a CBR250R sportbike that was also reasonably priced as well. Being a lighter, smaller engine bike, gas mileage was estimated to be 70mpg. The cost per trip is now down to $2/trip! Factor in the cost of the bike and insurance and we are still saving money on transportation cost every month.
And now all the naysayers out there. Everybody has an opinion! Motorcycles are too dangerous, nobody ever sees them, i would end up getting killed or hurt. Just like skydiving is extremely dangerous, the parachute opening hurts, landing is hard, and there is a falling sensation. Now as an avid cyclist, i know the dangers because i ride on the same roads with a bicycle only going 20-30mph slower than traffic. I've already got myself preprogrammed to be defensive because i'm always defensive on the bicycle. The advantage is now, i'm on a level playing field because i can travel the same speeds as the vehicles that are usually passing me. This also reverts to the reason we got the bike we did. Upon really examining these two bikes, i noticed something. The tail light and turn signal positioning are quite different. In a automobile, both sit approximately 4 feet off the ground. On the CBR250, they sit about 3 feet off the ground while the Shawdow sits about 2 feet off the ground. Obviously people aren't looking close to the ground to see your lights which is why most people don't see the motorcyclist. So we went with the CBR250.
Then there is the issue of gear. The majority of people injured in a motorcycle accident are due to lack of protective equipment. Being in Florida, helmets are not mandatory. Riding with a helmet and some people make fun of you, riding with a full face helmet and they really make fun of you. But yet these are the same people that complain when they get hit by bugs in the face. I'll forgo the taste of love bugs, and the impact of the rain i'll occasionally hit on the way home and go with the full protection of a full face helmet. By the way, rain sucks when your exposed and traveling at a high rate of speed. Believe me i know i've made a few skydives in the rain and it hurts. NOT FUN! As for further protection, i'm all about full protective gear and make fun of me if you will, my jacket is bright yellow. No mistaking me. Call me new, call me inexperienced, make fun of me all you. I don't care. Instead I'm looking forward to a long time of riding pleasure as safely as i can be.