Jump to content

Alternative Transportation for the "New Normal"


jthayer09
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Supporting Member

With gas costing as much at it does currently I'm probably not the only person who went back to just cycling everywhere if the journey is less that 5mi one-way, milk-crate and all ūüėĄ. I'm lucky enough to work from home only need the car to go to the airport when travel is needed; work pays for the vehicle wear and gas.


I'm looking to snag a Vespa 150 with their old 2-stroke engine, and might do an ebike conversion on my current Trek FX 7.3.

Anyone else just make similar changes? In my town I've started seeing a lot of the electric scooters and ebikes, there are days where I definitely see more bicycles than cars, especially on the weekends.

  • Thumbsup 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a huge outlier when it comes to gas, since last year when I got a new job I've put 3k miles on my car. Wife does maybe double that, gas doesn't directly affect us at the pump mostly. We put more miles on our motorcycles than our cars, so our leisure expenditures are up but that's about it.

I will never had a traditional commute again. I can budget for my income, but I can't make more time. 2 hours in traffic a day is a frigging joke no matter the pay.

  • Thumbsup 6
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Supporting Member
12 minutes ago, kilo3 said:

I can budget for my income, but I can't make more time.

I think along the same lines, I'm not getting any younger and realize that my motorcycling days wont last forever.  I work to have money to enjoy life, once the bills are paid the rest is budgeted for riding- gas, food and lodging. 

Living in the PNW, our riding season is shorter than others so when the forecast says I've got a green light, I'm gone.

  • Thumbsup 7

***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Supporting Member

Motorcycles have always had to be transportation first for me.  I could never justify buying a bike for recreation only.  And I've been brutal about it, always riding the bike to and from everywhere no matter the weather or other unsuitabilities of the machine to the task.

I would tell the wife, honey look how much $ we will save on commute gas.  Knowing full well that bikes are always more expensive to operate than a typical econobox.

Now that I've been retired for 11 years, bikes are nothing BUT recreation, though I still insist on using the bike for everything possible it can be used for.  I really don't care that much how expensive the gas is.  What I need is supply.  As long as there's plenty of gas around, I'm pretty happy.

  • Thumbsup 6
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Supporting Member
7 hours ago, betoney said:

I think along the same lines, I'm not getting any younger and realize that my motorcycling days wont last forever.  I work to have money to enjoy life, once the bills are paid the rest is budgeted for riding- gas, food and lodging. 

Living in the PNW, our riding season is shorter than others so when the forecast says I've got a green light, I'm gone.

I definitely get this line of thinking and I'm still on the motorcycle as much as I can be, still logging roughly 150mi a week in joy riding or moto camping on top of any distance travel I need to see friends and family.

It's just now become a hard sell for those short journeys I know I can just ride straight up to the business/destination and save some $ in addition to not having to park in a parking lot and then walk to the business.

I would also think it's heavily dependent on where one lives if cycling or smaller motorcycles are viable.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the correct answer on whether to get a more economical set of wheels is "it depends".

I can only speak from personal experience, so your mileage may vary - but I have never managed to save any money by buying an additional 'economy' vehicle. I still had to pay to register, insure, and maintain the old thirstier vehicle, as well as store it somewhere. It always works out to cost more. And upon deep self-reflection, often it was not a rational decision but just an excuse to get another toy. IMHO it only makes economic sense if the old vehicle is entirely replaced.

I've also evaluated the option of an e-bike but it worked out to not make sense. The infrastructure of my area just doesn't support the level of safety that I feel comfortable with - and I used to bicycle commute 30km (18 miles) daily about 10-15 years ago when population and traffic was much less dense. Also for a daily rider I'd prefer a new purpose built e-bike rather than a conversion, for reliability's sake - but brand name commuter e-bikes such as Specialized, Trek, and Giant cost the same or more than a motorcycle. And don't forget about bicycle thieves and additional insurance too... my partner has a Giant e-bike and it's wonderful, but we always worry about it getting stolen when leaving it for a cafe lunch etc.

You look fairly young in your profile pic, so if I were you I'd keep going with the bicycle and milk crate option when safe and practical, and enjoy the exercise + savings! ūüėÄ

Edited by KellyL
  • Thumbsup 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I ride my scooters a lot, my Tracer gets ridden about the same amount.  Pretty days I'll jump one one of the scooters.  Only under extreme situations do I drive my van.  Had to put gas in it the other day and cost me $47 at Costco for 12 gallons!  Most of the time when I need to go somewhere I jump in my Chevy Bolt.  I had a 2013 Chevy Volt which I loved (had a motorcycle for fun).  In January of last year noticed some huge discounts on Bolts.  Then GM sent us a letter saying $3,000 bonus earning on our GM card.  We had just maxed out the earnings after using them on the Volt.  Wife would ask if Chevy made anything I wanted and I would say only a Corvette so earnings kept pilling up.  So after $3,000 in bonus earnings plus $3,500 in GM Card earnings and a bunch of rebates and discounts I bought a new 2020 Bolt Premier for $21,322 OTD including taxes  Car sticker'd just over $44,000!  Guess Chevy made it up on volume.  At the time I bought it was too good of a deal to let go by and the more time goes by the more I feel like I made a great buy.  Volt went to son-in-law who has really enjoyed it.  I'm not econut or tree hugger but love the way the Bolt drives.  Smooth and snappy acceleration and instant throttle response.  Fill it up in my garage every night and in the morning I have a "full tank".  Local power company has an EV rate which saves me enough that my expenses of charging are significantly reduced.  I only average about 600 miles a month In this part of the country there are not enough fast charging station to make longer distance travel easy so for now it's just a local car.  Van gets driven maybe every 2 weeks and goes weeks between fillip.  EV is perfect for the short trips which are hard on an internal combustion engine.  

Looked at a Vespa electric but it was $7,500 which is a $2,000 premium for the electric.  I really liked it but like my money more so it stayed at the dealer.  I'd pay $4,000 to $4,500 for an electric version of my Kymco Campagnia 110i.  Vespa is a great scooter just more than I want to pay.

  • Thumbsup 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I spend enough in gas now when I take a good 200 plus mile ride, that I could easily buy a nice bottle of bourbon......RIDICULOUS!!!!

  • Thumbsup 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Supporting Member
2 hours ago, Ride365 said:

I spend enough in gas now when I take a good 200 plus mile ride, that I could easily buy a nice bottle of bourbon......RIDICULOUS!!!!

Now you‚Äôre thinking of the opportunity costs of non-essential riding. ¬† Those economics almost never work out well, so my advice is to stop thinking rationally about our irrational passion. ¬†ūüėÄ ¬†

  • Thumbsup 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Supporting Member

Picked a Suzuki Vanvan 200 which gets 78mpg's. Didn't really get it for the fuel savings but am using it for short trips and appreciate the economy. I was lucky to get this low mile run-around for a bargain, and could probably sell it for $2K more than I paid. Amazing how they seem to hold value. Not sure I could go the Vespa route, enjoy the challenge of the perfect gear changes etc too much.

https://www.fuelly.com/motorcycle/suzuki/vanvan_200

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No gear changes on the scooters or the Bolt.  Use the scooters around the track and when riding with a couple of cameras it's nice to just jump on and go and not fool with gears or a clutch.  On the Bolt I use the regenerative braking a lot, particularly the paddle which is supposedly max regeneration.  Kind of like downshifting into a turn.  LOL on my van the resume paddle is in the same location as the region paddle.  More than once I have pulled on the resume paddle wanting to slow down.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Supporting Member
14 hours ago, PhotoAl said:

 Only under extreme situations do I drive my van.  Had to put gas in it the other day and cost me $47 at Costco for 12 gallons!  

Damn, that is crazy cheap. I don’t remember the last time I paid under $4 a gallon, even for regular. 

***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Supporting Member
4 minutes ago, betoney said:

Damn, that is crazy cheap.

I was thinking the same thing, actually.   I just put $140+ of 87 E10 in my Ram truck, at $4.98/gallon...   and this is in Texas, where gas has historically been 'cheap' relative to the rest of the country.  

  • Thumbsup 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/11/2022 at 11:40 AM, kilo3 said:

I'm a huge outlier when it comes to gas, since last year when I got a new job I've put 3k miles on my car. Wife does maybe double that, gas doesn't directly affect us at the pump mostly. We put more miles on our motorcycles than our cars, so our leisure expenditures are up but that's about it.

I will never had a traditional commute again. I can budget for my income, but I can't make more time. 2 hours in traffic a day is a frigging joke no matter the pay.

I still commute on mine (and will never have a non-commute option due to the work I do) but thank god it's not two hours in traffic a day.  Less than an hour per day counting both ways, and my predilection to take wierd routes to spice the process up... And the one benefit of shift work is that I never have to ride in traffic.  

No change for bikes for me.  So a day trip costs me $10 more in gas, I don't care.

I do know though when I replace my current old Jeep Liberty, fuel economy will be a major concern.  That thing is a pig.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Supporting Member

Just get a bulk fuel account.  It's usually a bit cheaper or at least on par with Costco, certainly cheaper than retail (excluding the odd gas war or whatever, but generally speaking, over time, I'm ahead) and no lineups.  I applied for a Co-Op cardlock card years ago.  Best decision ever.  Dad got a Chevron cardlock, but Co-Op has more locations that are advantageous to me.  Access to bulk oils doesn't suck, either.

  • Thumbsup 2

2015 FJ-09 / touring bags / oil plug mod / Evotech rad guard / SW Motech bash plate / VStream touring windshield / Seat Concepts:  Sport Touring / Vcyclenut ABS rings (speedo correction) / Cosmo RAM mount

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


√ó