Steve Saunders Goldwing Forums banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 35 Posts

·
Forum Diplomat
Joined
·
7,368 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
imported post

Will this economic downturn turn out well for motorcycling in general? I think it could..... it is very possible that bikes will move from the "toy and luxury"status to the "economic necessity" class. My son, who still has a job, uses his Suzuki SV650 for serious commuting purposes in the Seattle area. He does so for two reasons, commuting time and cost-savings. His old car that we gave him in high school and that he used all through 5.5 years of college is pretty nigh on it's last legs, but the kid is too nervous to buy a new one.... even the $17000 for a new economy models seems daunting to him..... He doesn't want the debt.

"Hell, Pops," says he. "I'm just gonna ride my bike... cheaper, and more fun, too!"

I'm not quite old enough to say so with authority, but weren't bikes in the thirties used as economic expediencies? Didn't people who couldn't afford cars ride bikes? Even buying new a Suzuki or Honda mid-size standard bike can cost half of a new 4 wheel vehicle; that means 1/2 the monthly payment..... and 1/2 the monthly payment goes a long way toward the rent.....

I may be talking out of a body orifice other than the one I usually do (easy, easy now!), but I think bikes are going to become more important. Not the big, full-dressed luxury touring models like most of us ride, but the 400-650 cc "utility" bikes. America needs a 400cc, fuel-injected standard (like the Nighthawk) that comes in under $6500. My kid's Suzuke falls near that range....I think we shall see the rebirth of the practical motorcycle, and soon. Try and find a Nighthawk for sale lately?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,382 Posts
imported post

The concept is theoretically true but in reality most bikes are toys. Unless you go the Asian route with the wife, kids and a crate of chickens strapped on board, cars will always be more efficient in a ton / mile basis.

M/Cs are too inflexible for most peoples needs. When you add the costs of the second vehicle into the equation bikes lose. That's also one of the reasons legislatures don't give them much recognition.
 

·
Monkey with a Football
Joined
·
19,237 Posts
imported post

Along that line... I was amazed this morning at 6 am in the dark. I'm driving to work in my windshield frosted car at 22 degrees F. Not a biker in sight. All of a sudden behind me in the fast lane comes one of the new scooter type bikes with a guy keeping up with me. That guy was either nuts, brave, desperate or all three. But he was there.

Was like seeing something out of place.

Gotta hand it to him. Especially with the little wind protection you have on those.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
434 Posts
imported post

Agree with you Jack. I have been taking my Honda Magna VF750 in to work whenever the weather permits and I see and talk to others who are doing the same.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,524 Posts
imported post

Totally agree, a lot more bikes on the road, as I ride everyday, I see it happening. But, on rainy days I see the same people riding, not the newer ones, guess that is good.
 

·
Forum Diplomat
Joined
·
7,368 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
imported post

nobbie wrote:
The concept is theoretically true but in reality most bikes are toys. Unless you go the Asian route with the wife, kids and a crate of chickens strapped on board, cars will always be more efficient in a ton / mile basis.

M/Cs are too inflexible for most peoples needs. When you add the costs of the second vehicle into the equation bikes lose. That's also one of the reasons legislatures don't give them much recognition.
I agree that bikes are toys now, but I think it will change... Especially for the young. My kid is not really riding his "second" vehicle (his car's too far gone to be called a vehicle, and he's thinking of parting it out....). I think some future bike sales will not be in addition to, but in lieu of, a car; and I don't think my son gives a whit about the "ton/mile" efficiency; he wants a "no payment" or a small payment in lieu of what he would have to fork over for even a decent used car. I may be wrong, but I think we're gonna see more "utilitarian" bikes on the road, and for exactly the same reasons the Asians do..... Less initial cost, more fuel efficiency, less of a hassle for commuting -- if youlook into the great majority of cars ensnarled in the U.S. daily commute, most of them have only one rider -- somehow I don't think the ton/mile measure applies.
 

·
Monkey with a Football
Joined
·
19,237 Posts
imported post

Cousin Jack wrote:
nobbie wrote:
The concept is theoretically true but in reality most bikes are toys. Unless you go the Asian route with the wife, kids and a crate of chickens strapped on board, cars will always be more efficient in a ton / mile basis.

M/Cs are too inflexible for most peoples needs. When you add the costs of the second vehicle into the equation bikes lose. That's also one of the reasons legislatures don't give them much recognition.
I agree that bikes are toys now, but I think it will change... Especially for the young. My kid is not really riding his "second" vehicle (his car's too far gone to be called a vehicle, and he's thinking of parting it out....). I think some future bike sales will not be in addition to, but in lieu of, a car; and I don't think my son gives a whit about the "ton/mile" efficiency; he wants a "no payment" or a small payment in lieu of what he would have to fork over for even a decent used car. I may be wrong, but I think we're gonna see more "utilitarian" bikes on the road, and for exactly the same reasons the Asians do..... Less initial cost, more fuel efficiency, less of a hassle for commuting -- if youlook into the great majority of cars ensnarled in the U.S. daily commute, most of them have only one rider -- somehow I don't think the ton/mile measure applies.
So what we really need is some cheap scooter trikes with bette weather protection so it can expand the market to those who need cheap transportation. Like in parts of Asia and India?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,902 Posts
imported post

You would be correct if it didn't snow in the north and it's 20-30degF for months. My 'wing has left the garage for two months now.

In brazil, the choice of cheap transportation is the Cen e venti cinco, or 125cc. Gas is expensive so, in general, around the world, you gotta have some money to have and run big bikes.

Also, it's hard to fit the kids and stuff in the bags and trunk.

I agree, motorcycle usage could climb, only where its warm and probably smaller bikes.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
5,382 Posts
imported post

Cousin Jack wrote:
nobbie wrote:
The concept is theoretically true but in reality most bikes are toys. Unless you go the Asian route with the wife, kids and a crate of chickens strapped on board, cars will always be more efficient in a ton / mile basis.

M/Cs are too inflexible for most peoples needs. When you add the costs of the second vehicle into the equation bikes lose. That's also one of the reasons legislatures don't give them much recognition.
I agree that bikes are toys now, but I think it will change... Especially for the young. My kid is not really riding his "second" vehicle (his car's too far gone to be called a vehicle, and he's thinking of parting it out....). I think some future bike sales will not be in addition to, but in lieu of, a car; and I don't think my son gives a whit about the "ton/mile" efficiency; he wants a "no payment" or a small payment in lieu of what he would have to fork over for even a decent used car. I may be wrong, but I think we're gonna see more "utilitarian" bikes on the road, and for exactly the same reasons the Asians do..... Less initial cost, more fuel efficiency, less of a hassle for commuting -- if youlook into the great majority of cars ensnarled in the U.S. daily commute, most of them have only one rider -- somehow I don't think the ton/mile measure applies.



In my late teens I sold my car and bought a small Yamaha 175cc and rode it summer and winter through snow and rain. Dates meant taxi or public transit if she didn't havea car.

The reason was the cost of car insurance for me even with a clean record. Bikes were cheap to insure then and gas was a buck a fill-up.

Now insurance up here for a bike (Goldwing)is as much as a car due mostly to medical benefits. AS much as I like the bike if I could only have one I would survive better with the cage. It is just too versatile and forgiving for cargo, social events, night riding, bad weather etc.

Bikes don't last that long if you ride them in the salt and snow 52 weeks a year. A new 250 Rebel is around $5000.00 IIRC and you have to add gear for the rider and passenger. The bike will be a junker in a few years if ridden 365 days a year.

Chevy is practically giving away Cavaliers and would work out cheaper in the long run. Financing a wise purchase isn't a bad thing. We (The consumer nations) got into this position by financing too many of the wrong things, mostly ego related.

There are hypothetical solutions to many car problems but it will take a major attitude adjustment before it could become reality.
 

·
Lost on this *****
Joined
·
4,317 Posts
imported post

I have seen many of the scooter types more and more. Just in the towns and cities and if I lived in town ( witch I hope I never do ) I would have me one of those scooters. 60 mpg would take you to work for 2 weeks along with the quick runs for milk and bread. And I do see more of that each year.

So you have the scooter for the good weather and the cage for winter:baffled:
 

·
Forum Diplomat
Joined
·
7,368 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
imported post

Well, as the Asians have shown -- you can transport hundreds of thousands of commuters on small bikes easier than you can in cars, even small cars...... Dave Barr, the double amputee from California, put stamp to the old question of "riding in winter" by piloting his sidecar-equipped Harley Sportster across Russia... in winter.... riding on the frozen rivers. I think Rudy has a good point in arguing for small trikes to deal with winter, perhaps an "outrigger' even, a small wheel bolt-on for slippery roads.

Bike riders in the U.S. are spoiled when it comes to "riding conditions." Often, the waxed-to-death Harley or Goldwing won't leave the garage until the sun is shining, the birds are singing, and all's right in the great outdoors! Red and I on our European van trip saw hearty commuters and others riding in pretty miserable conditions. They dressed for it, made allowances.... in France, we saw the almost universal use of lap-robes, a rubberized garment-shield that hooks somewhere to the bottom frame and is belted around the waist.... slick...... and looked pretty darn effective. Modern garments, goretex and cheap, rugged polyester fleece, and electric gear have made staying warm and dry easier than ever before.

When I was kid back home from Vietnam, I lived, worked, and went to school in Seattle for two years with only Honda Scramblers for transportation.Rode them every day, every night, rain or shine....I don't remember suffering; I do remember it as one of the best times in my life! Of course, my dumb youth, the lovely girls, the cheap beer, the rock and roll, and the omnipresent marijuana had nothing to do with it!

:cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1::cheeky1:

I just hope that someday bikes will become what they have always been for me: important.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
200 Posts
imported post

For years I commuted from near LaHonda Ca to San Francisco on my Vespa 200. 80 miles round trip rain or shine. Half mountain roads, half freeway. I did have a car at the time but enjoyed the ride and saved money.

A little bike like the Honda Cub makes real sense as a commute vehicle if you don't have to go fast. There is probably no cheaper vehicle to operate, even a bicycle considering the cost of the extra food you'll consume.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,379 Posts
imported post

i ride my bike for fun. since my car gives the same mpg as the bike, it is safer with our crazy ppl around here.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
814 Posts
imported post

Yep, were going to a surge of small cycles out on the road. I'm thinking about a 125cc scooter for the wife to run the mile to work and back.

I bought the wing to save on gas. But found I really didn't save after my therapy rides:dude:.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
261 Posts
imported post

I think that CJ is correct. I know people that are riding motorcycles now that I never thought Iwould seeride. Ask and they will tell you. Cheaper to ride than it is to drive. I think we are already seeing a greater use of motorcycles and it will continue to climb.

I just hope that the supply and demand don't drive up the prices on other motorcycle related things (parts, apparel, labor etc.) The more bikes people buy the higher the costs will go.

Just my opinion.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,880 Posts
imported post

The only vehicle our family had for several years was a motorcycle. The first vehicle I ever rode as an infant was a motorcycle. The first car we ever had didn't have a body; just a frame. We would ride out of the hollow on a dirt road to the company store, buy groceries with the "script" (fake money the coal companies paid miners) and go back home. It wasn't licensed for the highway but it never got on the highway. Boy, the good ole days!

Bernie
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
720 Posts
imported post

They say if you do or wear something long enough It will be in style. Well I've commuted to work now for the last 35 plus years on a motorcycle (Big and small).

For the last 15 or so I have used Klr 650s ,My current one has 30,000 on it and going strong .

now Rudy talking about the Mega Scooters , I switched 5 monthsago ( at 3300 miles now) to a Yamaha Majesty 400 , Rode It this morning and love it , It is comfortable and more than capable of holding it's own Very good weather protection and will easly show you 95 mph .



:waving:
 

·
Monkey with a Football
Joined
·
19,237 Posts
imported post

chdeshm wrote:
They say if you do or wear something long enough It will be in style. Well I've commuted to work now for the last 35 plus years on a motorcycle (Big and small).

For the last 15 or so I have used Klr 650s ,My current one has 30,000 on it and going strong .

now Rudy talking about the Mega Scooters , I switched 5 monthsago ( at 3300 miles now) to a Yamaha Majesty 400 , Rode It this morning and love it , It is comfortable and more than capable of holding it's own Very good weather protection and will easly show you 95 mph .



:waving:
I sure wasn't leaving him behind so I can see what you mean.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
48 Posts
imported post

I think as long as people take it seriously and not just as a "cheaper means of transportation", everything will be just fine (yeah right). Most people with that mindset have no idea of what it takes to ride. We all take it for granted because we already know but we take it seriously because we know the inherent danger.

I saw one of those guys this summer. Brand new Harley Sportster. He was wearing shorts and sandles, had a backpack on and almost dumpted because he was trying so hard to look cool when he look from my Goldwing back to the car in front of him (which at this time was almost stopped), he locked the rear up and almost dumped it right in front of me.

They dont ask you when you go to the dealership if you have any experience, they just ask you for your checkbook.
 
1 - 20 of 35 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top