Monday, May 18, 2009


Enough with the lame 'fuel savings' justification, just tell her you want a bike!

I was waiting in line at Starbucks recently when a guy who had been admiring my and my friends' bikes through the window struck up some conversation.

"You guys sure have some nice motorcycles," he remarked.

"Thank you," I replied. "Motorcycling is a little slice of heaven on earth."

"I've just about got my wife convinced to let me have one," he said with a smile.

This remark always makes me cringe a little, and I never know exactly how to respond to it. But not wanting to shoot the wheels off the conversation, I made some innocuous comment about the fun factor and how much he'd love it if he got a bike.

"Yeah, I told her we'd save lots of money on fuel because I have to drive about 60 miles a day. I'm probably gonna get an Ultra Classic when I'm ready to buy."

"Well good luck to you. I hope to see you out sometime."

There ended the conversation, but what I really wanted to say was, "Dude, just tell her you want a Harley and stop using excellent fuel mileage as an excuse. Be honest with her."

Let's do a little rough math. We'll say that commuting via motorcycle cuts his monthly fuel bill in half. For the sake of argument, and to be generous, let's assume that means a savings of $50 per month. Okay, so he then buys a bike that sets him back $25,000 (before financing) to "save money". At $50 per month in fuel savings, it'll take him 500 months to recover the base cost of the bike alone. That's 41 years of riding. The guy was already about 60 years old.

Of course, assuming he sells his car or truck because he doesn't want it anymore, he could probably add a few thousand bucks back onto his bottom line. But honestly, who's gonna do that?

The point is, well, you know what the point is. Buy a motorcycle because it's totally awesome to own one, and is more than worth the cost. Forget all that "fuel savings" nonsense, because in all but a few very well thought out scenarios, you won't be any better off financially.

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