Friday, 9 December 2011

“On Two Wheels” By Ian Bax of Roy Jervis, Ripley

Motorcycling – The Benefits

I make no secret of the fact - I love motorbikes! I have loved them since I saw my first one as a toddler and, as soon as me and a couple of mates could raise the required £5 (a lot to a 12-year-old in 1972), we bought a very used Raleigh Runabout, painted it white and proceeded to thrash it round the woods!

Various bikes followed, ex GPO Bantams, stripped down Vespas and such like until the magic day arrived; my sixteenth birthday. My parents had relented and bought me my first road bike, a PUCH M50 Sport, the first in a long line of bikes that I have owned and ridden on and off road, in fact I still have four motorbikes and my son’s scooter in my garage at present.

To me, riding a motorbike is pure joy and I have never really given any conscious thought to the real benefits of owning and riding one, even though I travelled to work for years on bikes - mainly because I enjoyed it but also because I knew I would get to work in less time than in a car and parking was a doddle.

Congestion is a major problem in many of the UK’s towns and cities with the number of cars increasing annually. London’s Congestion Charge has, depending on where you are sitting, proved a success and now the charge looks set to be rolled out to other major cities. Motorcycles and scooters are exempt from congestion charges and often parking for bikes is free so straight away the cost savings are quite substantial.

Not only will you save money but, because bikes can filter through traffic queues, you will get to work a lot quicker and probably be able to park a lot closer to work as well.

With fuel costs at well over £5 per gallon never has motoring been so expensive and many people are swapping to motorcycles and scooters purely for the savings to be made in fuel costs. Modern 125cc motorcycles and scooters cost a lot less than 10 pence per mile to run and some can achieve 100 mpg!

In addition, a 125cc powered two wheeler (PTW) costs just £16 per year in Road Tax, even the largest bikes only attract a tax duty of £74 per annum. Savings will also be made on insurance, running and servicing costs over cars. Also, don’t forget that bikes are substantially cheaper to buy than cars.

Despite manufacturers’ claims, electric cars have a long way to go before they are a viable alternative to the internal combustion engine, whereas electric two wheelers are lighter and therefore don’t need the plethora of batteries and large motors to keep them going. OK the range is still not fantastic - up to 50 miles - but to get into work they are ideal and again parking is a doddle and it’s a lot easier to get close to a plug socket to recharge.

Not only will you enjoy the cost saving benefits of owning a bike you will also be benefitting the environment by reducing your carbon footprint and on a nice sunny weekend, you will have a vehicle that you can go for a ride on purely for the fun of it and hopefully you will come to love bikes as much as I do.

Interested? Then come and see me for a chat and we’ll see just how much you can save by joining the biking community, I’ll look forward to meeting you.

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