Motorcycle as only transportation? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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EM87
10-17-2012, 20:40
EDIT: I've decided 100% now (it was 99% before) that I am not going to do this, but don't stop the discussion! It's great to hear different points of view.

-------------------------------------------------

I'm not seriously considering this at the moment (just throwing the idea around in my head) because I don't really think it's a viable option, but I thought I'd throw it out for discussion anyway:

I will be moving to Tucson, AZ soon and am wondering what it would be like to own a motorcycle and no car. I have heard of people doing this and want to get opinions and insight from the folks here.

Is this sane?
Is it doable?
Has anyone here done it? If so, could you share your experience?

Looking forward to this discussion, as it could turn out to be pretty interesting.

As a side note, I will be working as a real estate agent and need to look professional, which is one reason I don't think it could work out. It might not look great if I show up on a motorcycle all the time.

Thoughts?

Gareth68
10-17-2012, 20:54
I did it for 2 years in upstate NY. When I was young, I couldn't afford insurance on a car.

Without the snow and ice, it wouldn't be too bad at all.

You get pretty creative at carrying things.

I could carry three brown paper bags of groceries at a time.

Of course, lots of things I did 20 years ago would kill me now.

ray9898
10-17-2012, 20:54
It would suck. Normal things such as carrying passengers and trips to the grocery store are a task. The weather becomes a factor on every trip. No ability to haul anything of size.

Gareth68
10-17-2012, 20:55
I just saw the real estate agent line, I guess I started replying before finishing reading.

No, that would not look professional at all.

Non-starter.

As a factory automaton, I did not have such worries.

jfost11
10-17-2012, 20:56
I have a coworker who's truck was broken down for almost two years. His primary transportation was his Harley. Even in the dead of winter, he rode his bike. If the weather was really nasty, or if his wife didn't need their other vehicle he would drive it or have her drop him off.

I'd imagine in AZ, the weather wouldn't be as much of a bother as it is in VA but the real estate part will probably give you trouble. I don't know how you plan to operate as an agent but, our agent took us to many of the listings we looked at. It would really look unprofessional to tell a client, "Sorry, I can't give you a ride to the house I want to show you. I was actually hoping to ride with you."

EM87
10-17-2012, 21:02
The real estate agent thing is probably the kicker for why I won't end up doing it.

It's too bad, really. But I would much rather look professional than not have a car.

jeepinbandit
10-17-2012, 21:05
If you plan right and have decent luggage on your bike it's very doable. For anything "large" that you really can't fit on a bike (you can fit a more than you think on a bike), you can always rent a car or truck for a day and be way ahead money wise when you compare to keeping, maintaining, and insuring a car or truck.

I only still have my car because well I like cars and racing so I do that stuff on the side. But other than some rare times my car rarely leaves the garage and I'm usually on the bike.

jeepinbandit
10-17-2012, 21:06
Double Tap.

happy seal
10-17-2012, 21:08
I'm not seriously considering this at the moment (just throwing the idea around in my head) because I don't really think it's a viable option, but I thought I'd throw it out for discussion anyway:

I will be moving to Tucson, AZ soon and am wondering what it would be like to own a motorcycle and no car. I have heard of people doing this and want to get opinions and insight from the folks here.

Is this sane?
Is it doable?
Has anyone here done it? If so, could you share your experience?

Looking forward to this discussion, as it could turn out to be pretty interesting.

As a side note, I will be working as a real estate agent and need to look professional, which is one reason I don't think it could work out. It might not look great if I show up on a motorcycle all the time.

Thoughts?

No! Won't suffice!

HollowHead
10-17-2012, 21:08
I only had a bike from '84 -'85 and would not do it again. I lived in NYC so took mass transit but couldn't really leave the metro area that winter. I had to take Greyhound to go skiing at Hunter Mtn. HH

EM87
10-17-2012, 21:10
I've decided 100% now (it was 99% before) that I am not going to do this, but don't stop the discussion! It's great to hear different points of view.

Ferdinandd
10-17-2012, 21:10
I worked with a guy who sold his car to help fund a new Indian. His GF had a car that worked sometimes, and he figured he could use that when weather made for bad cycling comfort/conditions. The weather sometimes surprises us, as it did one Friday evening in early spring after said coworker bought the bike. He had to ride it home during an unexpected hard snow in the spring, no helmet, no goggles. The following Monday he looked like he'd been on a deserted tropical island for years. The wind burn and frostbite had done considerable damage to his face. He stayed upright during the ride home, however...

TK-421
10-17-2012, 21:15
Yeah, it wouldn't have been a good idea, you definitely need a car when you're a realtor. My aunt is a realtor, and she has a car, because she drives her clients around to the different houses they want to look at. She drives an Acura, because she says the trick is not look so impressive that it makes your clients think you're doing well and don't need the commission, but you don't want to look so poor and crappy that they think you're a bad realtor who can't close deals.

You want at least a four door, nice looking car, if not an SUV. A motorcycle just wouldn't do it, because you'd only be able to take one passenger, and your outfits wouldn't look as nice. Remember, you want to look professional, and a suit on a motorcycle isn't exactly the best idea, if you want it to remain clean and looking nice.

Trapped_in_Kali
10-17-2012, 21:16
I had a bike only for years (even had two, one with rain tires & one with dry tires at one time). At various times I carried laundry to the laundry mat, groceries, empty keg of beer back for deposit, a pane of glass to fix a window, my dog, a passenger, 12 gauge shot gun, 30-30 rifle, new tires to be installed, fast food from drive through (including drinks) and anything else I needed.
I only had to go to 4 wheels when I got into construction and needed a truck.
You can wear a riding suit over your clothes if you need to wear a suit or other "nice" clothes.

The Pirate
10-17-2012, 21:17
I've worked at a bike shop for roughly 10 years. I love motorcycles as much or maybe even more than you, and I wouldn't consider it. Especially for the career you have chosen. Buy a $1000 car or truck If you need too, but you'll never make it in that line of work on a bike.


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EM87
10-17-2012, 21:21
Great replies, thanks everyone.

I have a nice car, so that won't be a problem.

Happypuppy
10-17-2012, 21:22
I tend to agree with your location (hot) and job it would be hard. I have used a motorcycle for 2 years as the only vehicle I own. I do however have access to cars , and buses. I like to walk as well. It's a lot easier when retired...


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Snaps
10-17-2012, 21:47
won't fly where I live....

cdog533
10-17-2012, 22:22
In the UK and France, many businessmen drive motorcycles or scooters daily. They typically are nice, quiet vehicles (not hogs) and the guys wear something like a rainsuit but made of very light material to keep dirt and bugs off them.

I would say if you get a 500cc scooter, or a small BMW cruiser, or a Goldwing, it should be fine. THIS WILL NOT WORK ON A CHOPPER WITH OPEN PIPES.

As for real estate, the people can follow behind you in their own car. And the bike will give you some identity.

Clutch Cargo
10-17-2012, 22:27
I've done it. It isn't safe riding in ice storms.

G23Gen4TX
10-17-2012, 22:35
When I was a student with no money in Israel I used to drive a Piaggio Si from my home to school 4 days a week. It was about 15 miles each way.

For those of you who don't know what a Piaggio Si please see the pic below. It's a 50cc 2 stroke scooter with pedals. It had a box on the back into which I would stuff all kinds of things.

http://hanya.ma/annonces/13002249922550361.jpg

I later bought a car but when I started working in Tel-Aviv again I bought a Piaggio Hexagon. Parking in Tel Aviv is a biaaaatch and traffic is horrible. It was a very nice scooter with comfy seats and a trunk. 150cc two stroke engine that will take it to 70mph.

http://www.motorbikespecs.net/images/Piaggio/Hexagon_150_2T_94-97/Hexagon_150_2T_94-97_2.jpg

I once carried a full size microwave in its box from the store all the way home on the back of it.

It doesn't rain much in Israel and for when it did I had a plastic overall that I would wear and it would keep me dry.

Now, riding in snow and ice is something different. That's beyond the safety level of a motorcycle.

EM87
10-17-2012, 22:47
Riding in snow and ice is too much for a motorcycle? Not for this guy! Motorcycles on Ice HD (Teketo lake, Rousse, Bulgaria) - YouTube

Pretty sweet video.

Snaps
10-17-2012, 22:54
on another note... every real estate agent I've had has taken you to look at places? I don't think that's gonna work on a bike

CitizenOfDreams
10-17-2012, 23:37
I was "two-wheeled" for several years. It was fun, but not always practical or convenient.

wingryder
10-18-2012, 00:37
I agree, it is not fun but it can be done. I lived 2-wheel only for a couple of years in Phoenix and a couple of years in Germany... Riding in crappy weather sucks when you must be somewhere. Now, I don't care. I ride my Goldwing rain or shine, but I ride now for fun ONLY. If you go grocery shopping and get caught in a downpour while you are crawling home, hopin your groceries make it, not fun.... BUT it is doable! In fact, There were many times where my Dad wanted me to use his car but I declined... Not because I had anything to prove, but because after a while, driving a car felt awkward and foreign to me and I just prefered my bike! Honestly, I feel much more comfortable on my wing than in my car.

Having a bike as your primary transportation will make you a better driver! If you want to see how effective bikes can be google image "India family motorcycle" lol.

cowboywannabe
10-18-2012, 00:38
in a high desert small town you can.

NEOH212
10-18-2012, 03:20
If you can afford a bike, you can afford a car and be much better off in the long run.

The only advantage I can see to the bike is fuel mileage.

Other than that......:faint:

jeepinbandit
10-18-2012, 05:57
In the long run bikes come out to be about equal in terms of overall cost compared to a car especially once you factor in tires and maintenance which will have to be replaced every 10k miles for a long wearing set.


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HexHead
10-18-2012, 06:15
I did it for 5 years, two in NYC and three in L.A. Your prospects can either meet you at the address, follow you or you can ride with them.

Get an Aerostich suit. Two zippers, step in/ step out in 10 seconds. You can wear a suit under it and once you run a comb through your hair, you'll look the same as if you just stepped out of a Cadillac. Detachable hard cases are your friend. You can easily carry groceries, have a place to store your helmet or riding suit. Yeah, it can be done and not bad. The 'Stich suit is lined with Goretex, so even rain isn't an issue.

SC Tiger
10-18-2012, 06:20
As a Real Estate agent, I don't see it working. The prospective buyer may want a ride to see different properties. You don't want to be the "agent who didn't have a car." It may make you seem a little unprofessional.

Were it me I would at least want to have a small car with a trailer hitch (even a Civic can tow a light-duty trailer with a bike on it).

Gareth68
10-18-2012, 06:21
If you can afford a bike, you can afford a car and be much better off in the long run.

The only advantage I can see to the bike is fuel mileage.

Other than that......:faint:


That is simply untrue.

Insurance costs are the biggest separator. Gas mileage another.

DARKSHADOW
10-18-2012, 06:43
I've had my motorcycle for a little over two year's as my first and only vehicle. (Other than my bicycle's).
Since I have never owned a four wheel vehicle I guess its a step up from pedaling. I have a set of removable hard cases that I use for grocieries, change of clothes, handgun's, and other small items. Really the only things that suck (to me) is heavy rain, and not being able to take my larger toy's anywhere (long guns, bicycles, fishing gear, kayak, ect. ect.)

That being said, I've been planning on buying my first four wheel vehicle in febuary, probably a Mazda CX-5, or a Ford Focous hatchback. I really need to stop buying toys and just get out and enjoy the ones I have more often.

:wavey:

jeepinbandit
10-18-2012, 06:56
What state are you in? I regularly transport my long arms on the bike.


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Eurodriver
10-18-2012, 07:05
I have a car, but try to ride my bike as often as possible.

I live in FL - snow and temps below 50* are not an issue.


....but rain? I suppose I could get a jump suit rain suit. But what about carrying stuff? Books? I guess I could get a waterproof tail bag as well.

Still isn't ideal, and I don't think I could do it.

wingryder - if I had a goldwing I would ride it rain or shine too!! :)

Eurodriver
10-18-2012, 07:15
That is simply untrue.

Insurance costs are the biggest separator. Gas mileage another.

Insurance costs?

1.) You're an idiot if you don't have insurance on your bike.
2.) Insurance is what? $500/yr for minimum coverage on a cheap car?

Gonzoso
10-18-2012, 07:38
Insurance costs?

1.) You're an idiot if you don't have insurance on your bike.
2.) Insurance is what? $500/yr for minimum coverage on a cheap car?

500 a year for car insurance?

Insurance costs vary for lots of reasons for different people.

In my area I pay 80 a month for my liability for my car(960 a year) and paid about 206 a year for full coverage on my motorcycle.

This is a significant difference.

HexHead
10-18-2012, 07:50
Insurance costs?

1.) You're an idiot if you don't have insurance on your bike.
2.) Insurance is what? $500/yr for minimum coverage on a cheap car?

if he's concerned about looking professional, on a bike he may just be thought quirky, adventurous or a free spirit. I used to go see my high net worth clients on my motorcycle all the time.

If he shows up driving a beater, he'll just look like a loser.

Haldor
10-18-2012, 10:44
Riding in snow and ice is too much for a motorcycle? Not for this guy! Motorcycles on Ice HD (Teketo lake, Rousse, Bulgaria) - YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8DmZTled0o)

Pretty sweet video.

The question is not can the bike handle it, but can the cars driving around you handle ice and snow without losing control? An incident that would be fender bender in a car turns into major injuries or worse when cars and bikes co-mingle.

Kevinr20
10-18-2012, 10:54
I have a car and a bike and I would never keep my bike as my only transportation.

It would be very inconvenient when going on dates, going places with friends/family, having to limit how much groceries you can get at one time and then make two or three trips to the store, carrying my gym bag for after work, going camping/hiking/shooting/fishing.

jeepinbandit
10-18-2012, 11:18
It helps being single lol. I can fit a week or two worth of groceries on my bike so I only have to make one trip. Dates are great because you show up on a motorcycle to take ol'girl out on said date (make sure she's geared up too).

Gym bag can be easily bungied on the back seat with very little effort. Shooting is not a big deal either. I carry long guns on my bike all the time.

Camping/hiking is just as easy. If I'm going hiking as well as camping and not just camping off the bike I'll just strap my Kelty to the backseat and go to whereever I'm going to be hiking.

Eurodriver
10-18-2012, 11:26
500 a year for car insurance?

Insurance costs vary for lots of reasons for different people.

In my area I pay 80 a month for my liability for my car(960 a year) and paid about 206 a year for full coverage on my motorcycle.

This is a significant difference.

I'm the complete opposite. Full coverage for my Mercedes is $860 a year (With $250 deductibles)

Collision alone is $1100/yr for my Honda CBR600. Comprehensive and bodily injury and property damage add about $500/yr to that.

I could insure two Mercedes for what GEICO wants for 1 motorcycle.

...and I have an MSF course completed.

jeepinbandit
10-18-2012, 11:34
Check out different Insruance Brokers. I use MRA Insurance which their insruance is actually Progressive. They saved me 300 dollars a year compared to Progressive Direct.

GEICO is a rip off. My Insruance bill got cut in half when I switched my car to USAA and my bike to MRA.

Gareth68
10-18-2012, 11:39
Insurance costs?

1.) You're an idiot if you don't have insurance on your bike.
2.) Insurance is what? $500/yr for minimum coverage on a cheap car?

Back in 1991 here were my numbers. I was young, and had a poor driving record (speeding etc...no accidents).

Basic insurance for a car $1400 a year. No collision, nothing...this was as cheap as it got to be allowed to drive.

My bike?

$98 a year.

I was 18 freshly moved away from home, barely supporting myself on entry level wages.

Yes insurance was a big difference.

And yes I would expect collision on a motorcycle to be outrageous.

To be honest, it seems a piss poor fiscal decision.

What would your insurance be without the collision coverage?

:dunno:

camelotkid
10-18-2012, 11:39
I'm the complete opposite. Full coverage for my Mercedes is $860 a year (With $250 deductibles)

Collision alone is $1100/yr for my Honda CBR600. Comprehensive and bodily injury and property damage add about $500/yr to that.

I could insure two Mercedes for what GEICO wants for 1 motorcycle.

...and I have an MSF course completed.
it greatly depends on the bike, crotch rockets are expensive to insure. I've quoted a hyabusa once at $9k per year for full coverage once. I've also sold a policy for a 250 dual sport that was $78 for the year.

GIockGuy24
10-18-2012, 16:56
I used to live next door to a real estate agent. He had a very large car so he could take clients around in it. Made sense to me.

Gonzoso
10-18-2012, 17:08
it greatly depends on the bike, crotch rockets are expensive to insure. I've quoted a hyabusa once at $9k per year for full coverage once. I've also sold a policy for a 250 dual sport that was $78 for the year.

Full coverage on my 2001 Suzuki 800cc cruiser was 206$ a year with 0 deductible. Adding a brand new 2012 KLR 650 brought it up to 475$ a year. Both have full coverage, roadside assistance, the whole 9.

MikeG22
10-18-2012, 18:23
There are certain places and lifestyles where it can work but it is pretty limited. Obviously all the points brought up about being a realtor fully seals it as not possible. Add to it wanting to have a nav system in whatever vehicle and you'll be all over the place and going to new addresses. Combined with the summer heat which sucks to ride in, and I believe Tuscon can get cold in the winter, which also sucks to ride in. You can use the bike and look professional for most jobs. It's easiest when it's a job where you are just commuting to work and have a desk/office inside the same building you go to. Then you can have a change of clothes, work shoes, etc all there all the time.
I drive around to a few client offices every day and will lock up my gear on the bike (heavy armored leather jacket, helmet, etc). I don't really like taking it on really hot days or when it might rain/is really cold out. For the hot you just end up sweaty and gross when you arrive and when it's cold it's just miserable....same for wet.

One last thing, I really see even less point in states where you can't lane share. I do it here because I can easily save 45 minutes+ in my day by moving thru traffic. Sure the gas mileage is a nice perk, but the traffic thing is what makes it a winner.

Insurance on a bike is usually cheap (from the right companies) as long as you have a car also insured. I have a sportbike and it's ~280/yr for full coverage with AAA. The cars cost quite a bit more for full coverage.

Frankly unless there was some serious reason with parking and finances that made a bike the only option then there is just too many times when taking a cage is just so much more comfortable and the better option.

Huaco Kid
10-18-2012, 18:29
Did it for several years when I was a kid in northern Pennsylvania.

I was young. And tough.

Due to frostbite, my fingers don't work so well these days when it's cold out.

EM87
10-18-2012, 20:45
Yeah, it's not something I really considered because of the job. If I had a different one I would think about it.

I have a full size sedan which will be more than sufficient for driving people around.

Clutch Cargo
10-19-2012, 03:10
If you can afford a bike, you can afford a car and be much better off in the long run.

The only advantage I can see to the bike is fuel mileage.

Other than that......:faint:
You no nothing about motorcycles. Liability insurance, when I was 2 wheels only, cost $27 per year.

My wife left and took the car, leaving me the
motorcycle. Ever tried to trade a motorcycle for a car? Pre-internet, it was next to impossible.

I lived in a not so nice area. I couldn;t afford a garage with the wife gone, so I kept my motorcycle in my apartment.