A motorcycle can be a great first vehicle for many reasons. They are cheaper to maintain and fuel than cars, are easier to park and can be less expensive to insure (depending on the bike). But, before jumping into the world of motorcycling, you must know the advantages and disadvantages in detail to make the right decision.
The motorcycle market is expanding significantly in the U.S. Several new companies are manufacturing models with high quality, affordable pricing, and style that make them attractive to first-time buyers. I know motorcycles might sound more tempting to buy. But you have to be dead smart at any decision you make. On the contrary, Some may prefer security over speed and choose a car.
But, don’t worry! You want a new vehicle choice, and we want to help you find it. We’ll discuss the pros and cons of buying a motorcycle and a car comparatively so that you can make an informed decision.
Current Situation of Motorcycle Riders in The U.S.
As of 2017, motorcycles made up about 11% of all new vehicle registrations in the United States. However, according to Edmunds Insights Analytics, motorcycle sales have increased by 7% annually since 2010. In the upcoming year, 2023, and may grow at a rate of 4.8% through 2021.
Over the past 20 years, the number of motorcycles registered in the U.S. has doubled, from 4.3 million to 8.6 million in 2021. Registrations have decreased slightly since 2020, possibly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
These statistics indicate that the preference for motorcycles is rising. But does it means a bike will suit you too? Not at all!
Also Read: Is it Dangerous to Ride a Motorcycle?
The main reasons for this growth are:
- More Motorcycle Dealerships across the U.S.
- Increased Rider Satisfaction.
- The New Cruiser Class Models from several Manufacturers that offer Refinement on Handling and Specifications Above Entry-level Models.
- Motorcycles are often an excellent first vehicle because they are cheaper to maintain and insure than cars. However, this may not be the case if you have extensive motorcycle riding experience or live in a state requiring high levels of insurance.
The primary disadvantages of motorcycles are:
- Sometimes more Expensive to Maintain and Insure than Cars.
- Motorcycles cause more crashes and get more charges when compared to cars. However, this is not the case for honest riders.
- Ride Quality May Not be as Good as a Car Compared to Smoothness, Comfort, and Strong braking Systems.
- Some states like C.A. requires $1 million per occurrence for motorcycles compared to only $50,000 for cars.
- Additionally, motorcycles can be more susceptible to mechanical failure because they rely on simpler systems such as engines and transmissions rather than complex circuit boards in Cars.
Despite their disadvantages, motorcycles remain a popular choice for recreation and commuting. They’re easier on your wallet and great for the environment, but riding one requires attention to safety.
While motorcycles are more dangerous than cars, they offer more freedom because riders don’t have to work around other vehicles. And riding a two-wheeler is often cheaper than owning a full-size car.
If you are looking at an ice cream cone, do you choose chocolate or strawberry first? It’s your decision. You might choose more than one flavor, depending on the day. Well, choosing a type of the first vehicle is just like that.
Now, let’s discuss the pros and cons of a motorcycle so you understand the matter as a whole.
Don’t forget to take a cup of tea on hand!
Also Read: Odds of Being in A Motorcycle Accident
The Best Part of Motorcycles as First Vehicles
As mentioned before, motorcycles are perfect for recreation and commuting. When it comes to commuting, motorcycles offer a smoother ride than cars. They have smaller gears that make the bike more responsive when you need to change lanes quickly or take a turn. Additionally, motorcycles don’t tend to dart in and out of traffic as cars do.
Regarding recreation, motorcycles offer a unique experience you can’t get with a car. For example, when riding in the countryside on a bike, you can see everything around you and feel the wind on your face. It is something that nobody can replicate when driving in a car. As a result, you can enjoy the view and nature more flexibly.
One significant disadvantage of using a motorcycle for commute purposes is that they’re often more crash-prone to maintain than cars – primarily if you use them regularly. According to a study, many car and motorcycle accidents occur due to road conditions. Therefore, motorcyclists must stay more aware than car drivers.
Aside from regular oil changes and tune-ups, you’ll also need Maintenance on your braking system and tires.
Traveling Long Distances
Motorcycles are also great for traveling long distances. For example, if you’re going on a trip of a few hundred miles or more, motorcycles are the best option because they offer the most comfort and flexibility. You can ride them in any direction, which is impossible when driving in a car. Plus, motorcycle engines are much smaller and quieter than car engines, so you won’t disturb other drivers while traveling.
However, motorcycles have one significant disadvantage regarding long-distance travel – fuel efficiency. Compared to cars, they require more gas per mile traveled. So, if you’re planning a long trip on a motorcycle, be sure to have enough fuel in your tank.
Overall, motorcycles are great options for commuting and recreation. They’re fun to ride, energy efficient, and offer a unique experience you can’t get when driving in a car. However, their one considerable disadvantage is their fuel efficiency. So be sure to have sufficient fuel in your tank if you plan to travel long distances on a motorcycle. Motorcycles offer a unique commuting experience that you can’t get with a car.
What CC is Good For a Beginner Motorcycle?
When deciding which cc motorcycle is right for you, consider the riding you plan to do.
The cc of a motorcycle engine is the total displacement of the machine. It tells you how large the engine is and allows you to make comparisons between different motorcycles. It also allows you to estimate how powerful (or not) a motorBIKE will be in general.
If you’re looking to get started with motorcycles, WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND you begin with a 50cc or greater engine size. This size is typically easier to learn on than smaller models and will give you plenty of power and control for practicing the fundamentals.
However, if you want something more advanced, consider 125cc or more. However, note that even this level of the bike is still satisfactory for beginners. And don’t choose motorcycles that have more accidents on the road.
What is A Good First Motorcycle to Buy?
Ultimately, the best motorcycle to buy for a new rider is one that matches their needs, preferences, and budget. We recommend going to a dealership that offers a test ride program where you can try multiple bikes before deciding. Also, seek out advice from friends and riding instructors.
However, some good beginner motorcycles that are generally safe and easy to operate include:
- Honda Monkey.
- KTM Corner Rocket (390 Duke)
- Harley-Davidson Street 500.
- Kawasaki Z125 Pro S.E.
- Harley-Davidson Superlow.
- Honda Grom.
- KTM RC 390.
- Kawasaki 300.
However, consider a motorcycle that has plenty of torque and power and is priced affordably. Remember, you must be very careful when choosing a motorcycle as your first vehicle. Although certified and suitable, some types of motorcycles possess more accidents than other regular motorcycles. Don’t mistake buying these motorcycles at your early stage.
Cars as Your First Vehicle
Cars are generally the best choice for a first vehicle since they’re reliable and spacious. They can accommodate many body types, offer storage space, and have solid braking systems. Additionally, cars typically come with all the safety features required for driving on public roads.
According to data by IIHS, Motorcycle accidents are more deadly than car accidents. Motorcycle riders are 35 times likelier to have a fatal accident than car drivers for every mile traveled. It is because motorcycles lack the protection found in cars and trucks. Therefore, motorcyclists are vulnerable to injury or death from even minor accidents.
One potential disadvantage of cars is that they can be more expensive than motorcycles or other vehicles. And because they require regular oil changes and other repairs, car ownership may not be ideal if you don’t have some mechanical experience. However, this is not a disadvantage if you have some technical skills and can perform regular maintenance on your vehicle.
Additionally, car rides tend to be smoother than those taken on motorcycles, which may not be suitable if you’re a beginner.
While cars are the obvious choice for most people when selecting their first vehicle, this decision has advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, what matters most is your comfortability preference and where your interests lie. To get a car as your first vehicle, you will need at least 2x-3x more money than a motorcycle buying budget.
If you want an easy ride that’s affordable and reliable, a car will likely work well for you. However, motorcycles may be better if you’re looking for something more challenging or environmentally friendly.
The Best Part of Cars on the Road as First Vehicles
If you’re interested in commuting but don’t feel like you could handle the stress of driving on a motorcycle, why not try commuting a car? Getting around town in a car can be easier than navigating the New York subway system or fighting through traffic daily on your bicycle.
Learning the road environment will be challenging if you’re not used to driving. Cars are more expensive than motorcycles and don’t offer the same freedom as bikes, but fortunately, they come with added security. You’ll never have to worry about navigating city streets with a car and getting into fatal crashes like motorcycles.
There’s no denying that it’s a hassle during peak traffic hours. However, what if you could have a screeching-free commute at all times with an air-conditioned vehicle? A car can offer that to you.
Your nearest and dearest people will thank you for commuting in a car, especially when the weather is hot. You can drive in peaceful silence, listen to music, or chat with the person next to you without having to shout.
You can even take naps while en route! Moreover, if your kids are with you, they’ll love being able to roll down the windows and feel their hair blown back as you speed along. Finally, going on a long trip is always more comfortable than sitting on a motorbike.
Also Read: Why many motorcycle accidents are caused by cars?
Choosing a Type of First Vehicle Depending on Your Personality (The Type of Individual)
Choosing the right vehicle is not a joke, especially if you already have a particular personality. After all, buying the perfect match for your character will make you look cool and improve your self-confidence.
Getting yourself a vehicle that does not fit into who you are as an individual, whether as an employee or an entrepreneur, may make others laugh at you because it makes them think that you’re fooling around with life.
Although certain vehicles are more popular choices for a particular profession, such as a truck for construction workers or an SUV for a family, each person should carefully choose something that fits their personality.
If you had the budget to buy anything literally, you wouldn’t have come online to search if a motorcycle is an excellent first vehicle for you. Consider all the choices available before making the final decision so you do not regret your purchase later.
The table below shows some first vehicle recommendations based on different professions.
|Profession||Type of Vehicle||Reason|
|Student||Motorcycle (KTM 250 Duke)||They don’t need a broader space to carry their family or kids. Therefore, a cool-looking motorcycle is enough.|
|Doctor||Car (Toyota)||Doctors don’t suit anything else than a car worldwide. In a study, Medscape.com found that over 12,000 US physicians use Toyota branded vehicles.|
|Lawyer||Car (Honda)||A car is an excellent choice to carry the office papers and sometimes your long-term clients to the office.|
|Merchant||Car/Motorcycle||We have learned that merchants have the freedom to work as they want. The same attitude also goes with choosing vehicles.|
|Cashiers/Officers||Jeep type cars||Cashiers have a responsible attitude. Similarly, jeep-type cars consist of an authoritarian personality. That’s why cashiers/officers must consider such vehicles.|
An Honest Overall Comparison Between Cars And Motorcycles as Your Potential First Vehicle
I talked a lot about the pros and cons and the different aspects of them. But still, a face-to-face open challenge will tranquil your heart, and we hope that you can ultimately be capable of making a decision. Choosing the first vehicle will be your life partner for the following decades. If you make a little mistake at this crucial stage, you will regret it later, like my friend Micheal.
Micheal preferred a motorcycle as his first vehicle for amusement, but later, he realized and sold his bike to buy a car. Why? Because he didn’t understand that his small kids were growing, and after a year, he would have to take them to school. Hence, he needed transport badly, so he sold his motorcycle to buy a car.
So, it’s better to decide if your own: will a motorcycle suit you as an excellent first vehicle?
However, let’s look at the table below. It shows the comparison between motorcycles and cars from all aspects on average.
|Long riding, tours, or transporting from city to city.||In easy words, cars are a must if the long-rides are going to be collectivist. Also, In office-related matters, you must use a car even if you are willing to get a two-wheeler in the short term.||On the other hand, motorcycles are always better if you need transportation for amusement (e.g., touring with friends).|
|Maintenance cost.||According to CarMD, about half of all car repairs and Maintenance occur within the first four years of ownership. The costs can start as low as $6000 per year for a brand new car, with most cars hitting the average maintenance cost range ($1,500) around the ten-year term. But a vehicle usually lasts longer if you spend money on Maintenance instead of repairs.||Maintenance costs depend on the type of riding and how much you spend on upgrades. Generally, it’s safe to expect your maintenance costs to be around $2,000 yearly for regular day-to-day riding. Expenditures include tires (3 times a year at $450 each), oil, filters, and brake pads (3 times at $80 each), chain lube ($20), and degreaser ($30). And don’t forget about all the cleaning products!|
|Safety, accidents, and Road hazards.||Cars generally possess fewer chances of getting into accidents. The surrounding metal, airbags, and security alert system makes a car ten times safer than a motorbike.||Two-wheelers, on the other hand, are causing a significant number of crashes worldwide., This article on the chances of dying on a motorcycle might be helpful for you.|
Here are some other responsibilities of a car vs. motorcycle
|Insurance and additional expenditures||Car owning includes higher Licensing, registration, and taxes. Also, consider the Stamp duty, Registration fees, Maintenance and fuel, and Monthly car loan repayments before making a budget for your car.||Motorcycles are less in size, hence inexpensive for parking. The insurance costs are also lower unless you have a horrible crash history. Comparatively, in easy words, you can expect your motorcycle to cost way more down than motorcycles.|
|Regulations and Reality of cars.||Cars drivers can smoothly deal with the aftermath of accidents. Several reports say they tend to have less legal complexities when compared to motorcycles.||The police have a wave of anger on motorcycles in the U.S. Motorcyclists often fall into the hassle of charges, insurance claims, and regulations. If you are a newbie rider, you might have to learn the rules very well before choosing a motorcycle as your first vehicle.|
FAQs on Motorcycle as a Good First Vehicle
Should I get a car or motorcycle?
In easy words, both cars and motorcycles have their pros and cons. So the answer to this question would depend on your requirement and preferences. However, if you are a beginner rider and live in a big city where traffic is always an issue, it might be wiser to choose a motorcycle.
How much is a good first motorcycle?
An excellent first motorcycle can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. It all depends on the motorcycle's features, brand, and condition.
How much should I spend on my first used motorcycle?
You can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for a good used motorcycle. Again, it all depends on the motorcycle's features and condition.
Is a motorcycle easier than a car?
Here is a simple answer - it depends on the rider. Many car drivers find motorcycles more challenging than cars because of their smaller size and different riding style. However, motorcycles may be a better choice if you're a beginner rider because they are easier to learn.
What size motorcycle should a beginner buy?
A beginner should buy a small motorcycle, such as an electric bike or a 50cc motorcycle. These motorcycles are easy to ride and have low insurance rates.