Many people choose to use a motorcycle for daily transportation because it can be a great way to save money. On average, motorcycles are cheaper to purchase and cheaper to maintain than a car. They also are much better on fuel, which can result in major savings at the gas pump. However, just like with anything else, what starts as a money-saving measure can get out of control and soon become a money pit! The biggest mistake most new bikers make is to buy more bike than they need, spend a lot on modifications, and acquire a lot of gear that’s not high quality enough to last or even actually needed. The following tips will help motorcyclists keep on budget while still having fun with their bikes!
Start With the Right Bike
The first question someone considering buying a motorcycle should ask themselves is how they plan on using the bike. There’s a variety of different kinds of motorcycles for sale. Some are tricked out with the newest technology. Others have racing engines. There are bikes designed for off-roading or other challenging terrains. It’s important not to buy more bike than you need. Specialized bikes are more expensive to buy, more expensive to maintain, and typically cost more in gas. For example, touring bikes are designed for riders who go on long trips with their bikes. These motorcycles are larger with bigger fuel tanks. They also use more fuel than general-purpose motorcycles.
Get Your Gear Online
Good gear is expensive, but it’s also necessary! It’s an important piece in making riders safe. Quality gear protects you but it also lasts. Cheaper gear will wear out faster and cost more money in the long run. Still, there are ways to keep the costs down. Buying gear online often nets big savings. It’s also possible to search for additional discount codes. Helmets should always be purchased new, but buying well-made gear used can be another great way to save money. It’s important to buy the gear you need without spending money on gear that is totally optional or, even worse, that you’ll end up not using. Everyone needs a new helmet, gloves, a protective jacket, riding pants, and good boots. Starting with these basics lets riders safely enjoy their bike. As you ride more there might be other things you want or think you’ll need, but getting a little experience before you buy will prevent potentially wasting money on gear that will ultimately go unused.
Manage Fuel Usage
One reason some people chose to use a motorcycle as their daily driver is that most bikes have much better fuel economy than most cars. Still, though, bikes can use a lot of fuel if the rider isn’t careful. There are a few things you can do to improve fuel economy:
- Resist speeding. Maintaining a consistent speed optimizes fuel efficiency.
- Remove unnecessary gear. The more weight is on the bike, the more fuel it needs to run.
- Gradually increase and decrease speed instead of accelerating rapidly or braking sharply.
- Choose your terrain. Smooth ground uses less fuel than rough or hilly roads.
Learn Basic Maintenance
There are five basic maintenance tasks that motorcycles owners can quickly learn how to do to keep their machines in peak operating condition. DIYing these tasks will save you significant money and help you learn more about your bike!
- Change Your Oil: Different bikes need their oil changed at different times, but the owner’s manual will list out how often the bike needs fresh oil. Start by riding the bike for around five minutes to warm up the engine. Turn off the bike, stand it upright, and put a drain pan underneath the bike. Remove both the oil fill plug and drain plug and let the oil drain while removing the oil filter. Install a new filter, replace the plugs, and then refill the bike using a funnel and fresh oil. Finally, put the oil fill cap back into place.
- Put On a New Air Filter: Air filters keep debris from reaching the bike’s engine. It’s an easy task but does take some time. On some bikes, the gas tank has to be removed before it’s possible to access the air filter. However, once the air filter box is reached it’s a simple task to switch out the dirty air filter for a clean, fresh one.
- Maintain Tire Pressure: Checking the tire pressure is very simple! The valve stem is located on the interior of the bike’s wheel. Once you find it, unscrew the cap and then attach an air pressure gauge. The correct tire pressure will be listed on the tire itself. Most gas stations have air compressors that can be used to bring the tire up to the correct pressure.
- Replace the Coolant: Coolant is vital to the proper operation of a motorcycle’s engine. It keeps the engine from freezing, overheating, or corroding. On some bikes, it will be necessary to remove some bodywork to reveal the coolant drain bolt. Once it’s accessible, place a pan under the bike and remove that bolt along with the radiator cap. After the bike has fully drained, replace the coolant drain bolt and, using a funnel, fill the system with the proper amount of coolant, and replace the radiator cap. Crank the bike and let it idle for a few minutes. Turn off the bike, let the engine cool, and then check the coolant again to make sure it’s remained at the right level.
- Clean the Chain: Today most bikes have O-ring chains, which require less maintenance than older-style chains which were unsealed. The bike’s manual will include a cleaning schedule for the chain. When it’s time, set the transmission to natural and then elevate the back tire. A soft brush will remove grime and grit without scratching the chain. After the chain is clean, it’s time to lubricate it. Rotate the back wheel slowly while applying chain lube evenly. After the chain has been coated, let it sit for about five minutes, and then wipe off the excess with a dry micro cloth.
Seek Out the Best Price for Insurance
All motorcyclists need insurance. Some bikers are afraid that they won’t be able to afford it. Motorcycle insurance in general is very affordable. One recent study found it costs about $70 to $2,000 per year for most bikes. The rate depends on the driving history of the insured and the type of bike being insured. Luckily, there are several hacks to lowering monthly premiums!
- Members of motorcycle clubs or associations are usually eligible for reduced rates on insurance.
- Choose a higher deductible. It exposes you to more risk if you are in an accident but usually results in much lower monthly costs.
- Seek out a policy that fits how you use your bike. Riders who rarely take out their bikes can get policies that reflect their low usage.
- Bundle your insurance coverages. Getting your homeowners or rental coverage, along with automobile or motorcycle coverage, from the same company often results in a significant discount.
A motorcycle, like any other vehicle, is an asset and can be very helpful collateral during times of financial hardship. Motorcycle title loans are a form of alternative lending that may be available to you in the event of an emergency. These loans allow you to use your motorcycle to get much-needed funds quickly and they allow you to continue riding your bike.