There are quite a few reasons why people choose to ride a motorcycle, but one of the most common is the fact that riding one can save you money. Because motorcycles are smaller and they weigh less than other types of vehicles, they almost always get better gas mileage than SUVs, trucks, and most cars.
That doesn’t mean owning a motorcycle is cheap. There are many costs associated with motorcycle ownership that can make riding one more expensive than you may have initially thought. If you aren’t careful, how much you pay has the potential to surpass the costs of owning a car!
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to keep costs down so you can enjoy riding your motorcycle without emptying your bank account.
1. Learn Good Habits to Save Gas
Just because you have the potential to save money on gas doesn’t mean you will. How you drive can have a huge effect on how often you have to visit the pump.
Learning how to drive the right way can increase your fuel efficiency. Saving just 0.2 gallons equals a six-mile walk, so saving every little bit you can has the potential to really add up. For example, you can visit the pump at the gas station less often if you:
- Avoid quick braking and hasty acceleration
- Take highways whenever possible
- Keep your tires inflated properly
- Choose aerodynamic accessories
2. Know How to Winterize and Store Your Motorcycle
If you live in an area that stays warm all year long, you may be able to ride your motorcycle all year long. However, if you live in an area where it gets cold and your motorcycle has to be stored, it’s important to winterize it properly.
A few things you’ll want to do before you put your motorcycle in storage include:
- Top off all fluids
- Change the oil
- Hook the battery up to a battery tender
- Thoroughly clean the bike
- Wax and lubricate the chain
- Stuff openings so critters don’t call your bike home
- Rotate the tires throughout the winter
How you store your bike matters too. Make sure you use the correct cover, it is stored in a well-ventilated area, and store your bike on a stand, if you can. It is especially important to keep it out of the rain and snow.
3. Make Sure Your Bike is Covered
Owning a motorcycle can be a lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous. It is important to make sure that you are properly covered. That includes making sure you have the right insurance.
There are many different types of coverage, just as there is with cars. Things like your age, the type of bike you ride, and the age of your motorcycle can all affect how much you pay. If you want to save a little money, see if you can snatch a discount for graduating from a training course, or ask about lay-up policies that allow you to suspend payments during the winter when the motorcycle isn’t being driven.
You may also want to keep an eye on your bike’s warranty. If something does happen, but your motorcycle is still under warranty, you’ll save a lot of money on repairs or a replacement.
4. Don’t Go Overboard on Motorcycle Gear
You can’t get away from buying motorcycle gear. It’s important to your safety, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money.
Cost doesn’t always reflect quality. You probably don’t want to buy bargain bin safety gear from unknown off brands, but there are plenty of quality choices that don’t cost a fortune. When it comes to some gear, like jackets and gloves, you may also be able to buy them used for a steal.
5. Make Sure All Repairs Are Done Right
Finding a good repair shop can be a nightmare. Because going to the mechanic can be so irritating, some motorcycle owners forgo repairs or attempt to do them on their own. That’s only going to end up costing you more money.
It’s important to have your motorcycle maintained properly, which means getting regular oil changes and having essential parts inspected, but it also means making sure repairs are done quickly and done properly. That way the problem doesn’t get more expensive over time, and it doesn’t affect your ride, ultimately causing you to get into an accident.
6. Buy Used
Shopping for a new bike? When new bikes can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s well worth your money to consider a used motorcycle instead.
Used motorcycles that are properly repaired and polished up before being sold can cost thousands of dollars less than brand-new bikes. Depending on the brand name and style of bike you buy, you could also purchase one that maintains its value or even increases in value over time.
The type of bike you buy matters too! Lighter, more aerodynamic motorcycles can save you more money at the pump, so it’s worth your time to rethink the style of bike you want.
7. Educate Yourself
There’s a lot to know about buying and owning a motorcycle. Don’t make the mistake of relying on everyone else to know more about your bike than you do. You could end up getting scammed, or you could fall for harmful advice that can end up costing you money.
Know what it takes to maintain your motorcycle, learn the parts of your bike, and be willing to do a little research the next time another biker or a mechanic provides you with advice. That way you can feel confident that you’re doing what’s best for your motorcycle and your wallet.
Driving a motorcycle can save you a lot of money, but you have the potential to save even more! From changing how you drive your bike to shopping around for insurance and buying some of your safety gear second hand, there are plenty of ways you can ride your bike safely and save a little cash at the same time.
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