By on September 14, 2017

2018 Ford Mustang, Image: Ford

Everybody knows motorcycles are faster than cars, right? Except, of course, when they aren’t. On a dragstrip, under perfect conditions, with an immensely skilled rider and all the planets aligned, most of the modern literbikes can easily dispatch a Dodge Demon, McLaren P1, or Tesla P-whatever-Ludicrous-mode. If you can raise seven or eight thousand dollars in ready cash, you can walk into a motorcycle dealership and walk out with a new bike easily capable of breaking into the tens. On the roll, something like my Kawasaki ZX-14R can accelerate to a degree impossible with something like a LaFerrari — I know, because I’ve driven a LaFerrari and ridden my ZX-14R on the same roads.

So why isn’t the whole world, or at least the male half of it, on a sportbike every morning? You know why. They’re dangerous, even if you take pains to ride safely and sanely. They are sensitive to weather, road condition, and high winds. They are remarkably maintenance-intensive. They get stolen. You can’t carry much on them and you can’t travel spontaneously on one. Comfort is an issue. If you’re a track rat, then you know that mistakes on two wheels are far more likely to put you on the LifeFlight than their four-wheeled equivalents.

TANSTAAFL — There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, particularly when it comes to using a motorcycle to do a car’s job. Yet the rush of riding a truly fast bike with all cares thrown to the wind can be a needle to the main vein for adrenaline junkies. Which brings us to this week’s question, in which a complimentary pairing of the Most Sensible Vehicle On Earth with something considerably crazier is considered.

Fredro writes,

Hey Jack, I know you’re a long-time motorcycle enthusiast and owner who also likes to spend money on cars. I’m 26 years old and living in the outskirts of a major Midwestern city, which I think is your deal, too. No wife yet and no kids. I have a budget of about $600 a month for a new car, and I think I could do this one of two ways. Either get something like a Mustang GT, or get the “combo pack” — which is to say something like a really sensible Corolla or Civic plus a motorcycle. I’ve got dirt biking experience so I’m comfortable with something like the Yamaha FZ-09, Triumph Speed Triple, or even a BMW S1000R. Obviously insurance is going to be expensive. What do you think?

This is the sort of calculation that haunted my twentysomething years. When I was 28 I got what I thought was the perfect combination: a Saab 9-3 and a Yamaha YZF600R, both brand new and both in glossy shades of black and grey. Looking back, I should have continued with the modestly priced car and modestly priced bike instead of dialing up an ever-more-expensive succession of frustrating German uber-sedans. Oh well. Hindsight is 20/20.

Here’s my suggestion: Start with a 2018 Toyota Corolla iM. Stick shift, of course. You’ll have a car that will give you an easy decade of service and be worth real money at the end. With the right steelies and snows you can conquer most weather at a total cost of maybe $800. The hatchback form factor will suffice for most home-and-garden tasks. There’s only one downside: it’s not a fast car by any means.

You can rectify that with the addition of the cyberpunk Yamaha FZ-10. Faster, meaner, and more comfortable than the FZ-09, it’s all the bike most people will ever need and it’s still somewhat less expensive to insure than a conventional literbike.

I’m thinking that a five-year loan on the Toyota will run you $345/month with nothing down and a four-year loan on the FZ-10 should be $275. A Mustang GT Premium with all the discounts would cost you $676 or thereabouts, so you’re ahead of the game. Insurance for the two should be about what you’d pay to insure the Mustang, depending on your record and your local susceptibility to theft. This gives you the best of both worlds: an absolutely worry-free commuting box for the average day and a vicious near-as-dammit-to-hyperbike for Sundays and holidays.

There’s just one problem: If you’re single, a Toyota iM isn’t exactly a chick magnet. The good news is that putting a woman on the back of your motorcycle is sort of like a cologne made from real panthers: 90 percent of the time, it works every time. So what are you waiting for? Your six-wheeled solution awaits.

[Image: Ford]

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100 Comments on “Ask Jack: A Six-wheeled Solution to a Four-wheeled Problem?...”


  • avatar
    Boxerman

    Cant argue with your logic, its spot on, atoyota and a bike.

    Much as I love fast cars, no car can come do the machine as an extension of your mind body and will like fast bike can.

    The only car option for budget that might cover both bases is a used lotus elise superchaged to over 300hp, maybe A monster miata. But youre talking used cars here.

    Plus I think the parctical car bike combo works great with women, who being practical seek a practical male for nest building purposes, and are also inextricably drawn to danger males for gene replication purposes. Car and bike is the way to go.

    • 0 avatar
      Detroit-Iron

      While I think both the Elise and a monster Miata of some kind are awesome, I doubt the fairer sex feels the same way. Of course at his age if he found a woman who liked either that would be a pretty good litmus test for whether he should pop the question.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      And of course, the ultimate litmus test is:

      If you love motorcycles, and the object of your affection is indifferent to them, think long and hard about wanting to commit. Trouble invariably will loom over the horizon.

      If said object is anti motorcycle . . . . . . no way in hell. Play, have some fun, and drop her the moment it even starts to get serious. Relationships like that are never worth pursuing. No woman is ever worth giving up a bike.

      If she’s enthusiastic, you’ve got something there.

      And if she’s enthusiastic enough to want to get her own and ride with you, MARRY HER IMMEDIATELY!!!!! Or at least once she gets her new bike thru the break in service.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        One of the great joys of my life is that my wife, on our second date, said yes to the offer of a ride home to her Manhattan apartment on the back of my FJ1200. Eighteen years later she still loves riding on the back.

        My wife has no desire to ride her now bike and that’s just fine with me.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Not necessarily. For me, a successful relationship is one wherein I and my SO can have different interests and do our own thing, but also come together with a few mutual ones. I’m a loner, so I like to do my own thing much of the time. So, if I were really into motorbikes—which I’m starting to be—but my boyfriend or husband was not, I would be fine…as long as he respected my interest in motorbikes.

    • 0 avatar
      baconator

      I tried using an Elise as a daily driver (after a series of beater Porsche 944s and an M3, just to give you a sense of my tolerance level). It was not viable.

      (1) Not enough luggage space to fit a rollerbag and head to the airport, much less take a lady to a B&B for the weekend or bring home anything from Ikea.
      (2) No actual bumpers behind the GRP shell, so if someone taps you in a parking lot, you’re buying a new front or rear clamshell.
      (3) Not enough wheel travel – it rides well enough, but would literally bottom on on certain potholes.

      I *do* think the Elise is a legitimate substitute for a motorcycle, but you’re not going to find one cheap enough to get it for $250/month unless you put $15k down.

      • 0 avatar
        trackratmk1

        Just bought an Elise and second this assessment. Comfort/convenience level falls somewhere between my 125cc shifter kart and an NA Miata. Which is perfectly fine as long as you also have a truck or 2nd vehicle for utility runs, long drives, and winter.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Good plan, except for the mountain of debt and new-vehicle depreciation x 2. Also we’re kidding ourselves if we think this type of buyer is going to keep a Corolla or a crotch rocket for ten years.

    There are a zillion used bikes for cheap that will out-run a Mustang GT. Pair any one of them with a nice clean manual 2012 Elantra Touring, and you’re in business for $10-$15k. Cheaper insurance too. Bonus points if you have the discipline to wait until you have the cash.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Going price on a late 90’s/early 00’s Honda 996 Super Hawk (aka, the Japanese Ducati) is around $2000.00. And they’re invariably in nice, well cared for shape as the bike never appealed to the squids with mileage in the high 20’s or low 30’s.

      I can’t recommend better. Had one, loved it, only traded it because I found another first generation Hinckley Triumph, which would do everything the Honda would, plus run a three bag Givi setup.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        Arrrrggg!!!!

        I had to sell my beloved Superhawk when the job market collapsed post-9/11. I’ve missed it ever since. Fabulous bike!

        I too ended up with a Triumph (a 900 Trophy) when I could, again, afford having a bike. It turned out to be a turkey. My wife hated it and it’s top-heavy quality (she loved the Superhawk). Funny thing is that we rented a new Trophy in Vegas back in June and she loved it.

        • 0 avatar
          Syke

          I’m currently on my third T3 Triumph. Lost my original 95 Trident to t-boning a deer at 60mph three years ago. 117k on the bike when it went down. Concurrently had a 95 Speed Three (aka, Super 3 cut down to Speed Triple specs), traded it in on a new T5 Tiger. Now have the 95 Sprint, using the same bags an a couple of other parts from the old Trident.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    At first I thought Tyrrell was going back into business.

  • avatar
    Noble713

    I agree with the concept and wholeheartedly endorse it. I’m currently working towards a 10-wheeled solution, all used vehicles:

    DD: AWD or RWD sport sedan. Currently a Mark-II iR-V, planning to replace with an Evo X.

    Sports Car: JZA80 Supra. It rains so often here, I can’t see DD’ing a 600hp RWD car on rain-soaked roads made of coral.

    Motorbike: Honda VTR250…Tiny by American standards, but 250cc nakeds are more than adequate for fun on Japanese roads, and require no JCI.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      Man Noble, I haven’t seen you post in awhile….or maybe I just missed it.
      With your Mark-II iR-V is there something wrong with it or just itching for an upgrade?

      • 0 avatar
        Noble713

        “With your Mark-II iR-V is there something wrong with it or just itching for an upgrade?”

        It’s attractive and bulletproof. Just some minor quibbles. Whoever installed the audio did a shoddy job, and I haven’t felt like pulling apart the dash to fix it. Also, the car is a 4-speed auto. Finally, Okinawa’s notoriously slippery roads made of coral + constant rainfall makes driving with a heavy foot needlessly hairy.

        I had a DCT-equipped Evo X in the states and it was my favorite car ever. They just have shitty trunk space. But the handling and AWD are peerless, and given the tiny and twisty roads in Japan (also smaller engine = cheaper taxes), it would definitely be an upgrade IMO.

        The plan is to sell the Mark II as well as a currently non-running 2JZ-swapped Altezza that I bought (once it’s fixed up), so I can buy an Evo for only $3-5k out of pocket. Used Evo Xs are now in the $14-20k range.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    In reality if you want to attract women your odds are much better if you a) get a puppy, b) wear bespoke clothes, c) improve your body, d) own a condo/home, e) wear a good watch, f) take dancing lessons, g) learn to speak like a ‘metrosexual’. All much more effective than any vehicle.

    Particularly in regards to younger, urban, educated females. Remember that your vehicle is confined to the roads, while each of the above is transferable to multiple environments.

    Many younger females do not own a vehicle, and/or are not very interested in vehicles. Interest in and/or knowledge of cars is usually acquired at a young age so primarily if one of your parents is a petrol/gearhead. The number of young women raised in that type of environment is diminishing.

    That is one reason why advertising/marketing for ‘performance’ vehicles is aimed at a masculine market.

    Much like architects design buildings to impress other architects and haute couture designers design clothing for other designers, vehicles generally impress other petrol/gearheads rather than the apathetic masses.

    • 0 avatar
      everybodyhatesscott

      I’m guessing I date a lot more younger women than you do and the only thing on your list that works better than a bike is improving your body and that’s only if you’re overweight or skinny fat. If already decently fit, the bike works better. Women under 30 don’t care about good watches and you can get by in off the rack jeans and a t-shirt as long as they fit well.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Sir, while I agree on your point on watches, I have dated a lot more younger women than you and not once was a pedal bike involved. Unless you were referring to a motorcycle and I misunderstood, this begs the question: are you in fact twelve?

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      “Particularly in regards to younger, urban, educated females.”

      Not interested. I prefer going for the cashier at Pizza Hut and stylists at Super Cuts.

    • 0 avatar
      S197GT

      i am pretty sure every female in my office would take a ride on a motorcycle if offered one by a co-worker… husbands be damned… i have seen it happen when some of the harley-owning males bring their bikes in on friday.

      i’m married now (and after our kid i sold the bike) but i tell every single man if you want a date get a motorcycle. darn near fool proof.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Certainly those comments do not agree with my experience. And since I spend a significant portion of my time among college/university students and recent grads, of all genders, what they say/do/talk about is reflected in my posting.

        Perhaps, your experiences are with a different demographic? Pre-selection/screening based on prior conversation? And remember anecdote is not evidence.

        And a number of different trials (including Top Gear) have certainly proven the efficacy of a puppy over a vehicle in attracting attention.

        • 0 avatar
          Jack Baruth

          I don’t want to trigger the commentariat by talking about my imperfect experience with women around half my age but I will say that there is a very wide gap between what younger women SAY they want and what they actually DO in the evenings.

          If you asked a hundred 24-year-old women not a single one of them would say that they are open to dating a right-wing fortysomething cripple who wears tweed and lives in the suburbs. And yet a nontrivial percentage of them are open to precisely that if you can sell it correctly.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.

            I’m not forty something but I have had similar experience. Their male peers are mostly p*ssies without income.

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @Jack B. – +1 (also based on experience)

            FYI I’ve found that particular sentiment swings both ways in humanity whether gay or straight. People are open to many more things in the horizontal mambo than they will admit.

            But then “What I say v. what I do.” has always been one of humanities core disconnects regardless of the subject matter.

            I’m also with Ajla on the kind of ladies I would generally prefer to entertain.

          • 0 avatar
            Syke

            Go twenty years old, and the odds get longer. A LOT longer. Even if you’re upping your target population to mid-fortysomethings.

          • 0 avatar
            Willyam

            Love all these comments. You don’t trigger us as much as inspire us to bump slightly from the safe path onto…scenic gravel?

            Never knew what “Hey Nineteen” meant until I was divorced at 35.

          • 0 avatar
            Noble713

            “but I will say that there is a very wide gap between what younger women SAY they want and what they actually DO in the evenings.”

            ^This x1000.

            I’ve even had women in my harem even say stuff like “I don’t talk to assholes in clubs.” and then I look at them thinking “WTF? I sure wasn’t running ‘nerdy IT guy’ Game when I banged you the day I met you.” They lie to themselves more than they lie to anyone else.

          • 0 avatar
            Carzzi

            From https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2017/09/08/millennial-chick-cant-stop-sex-trump-supporters/

            “Glamour magazine’s Korey Lane has a problem. Apparently, if there’s a Trump supporter in a #MAGA hat within ten feet of her, her pants fall off and she ends up in bed with him. In her latest article, “Help, I Can’t Stop Hooking Up with Trump Supporters,” she hilariously writes:

            “I started arguing with a Trump supporter at a bar and then before I knew it, I was waking up the next morning in his bedroom. There were flags everywhere: Ronald Reagan’s face was emblazoned on one of them, “Don’t Tread On Me” made an appearance on another.”

        • 0 avatar
          Frank Galvin

          Expect that your mileage will greatly vary with respect to what a woman says to herself, her girlfriends, her parents, her co-workers, and an older male in an position of authority.

        • 0 avatar

          Puppies? Nothing attracts heterosexual women like a small child.

          Since my older grandson has been about a year old (he’s now 5) I’ve babysat him about once a week. I’m almost 50% older than Jack and Aryeh is such a good wingman I’ve thought of starting a business that combines child daycare and renting the kids out to single guys.

          At the SAE World Congress, at one of the vendor booths there was an attractive 40 year old woman who was just charmed by him. I told her, “You know, if you’d like to get to know him better, we can go have coffee.” It was only a half serious flirt, but it didn’t get smacked down.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Trouble is that a baby may imply you are taken. A puppy carries no such baggage. Sure, you can steer the conversation to “watching my sisters kid”…which makes me think of years ago when I took my nephew (2 years old) and my Golden to the park and sat under a tree to eat some lunch. I had women around me the entire time! Too bad I was dating someone at the time.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @golden2husky – agreed. Kids mean “taken” or you got baggage. A buddy of mine had a little chihuahua. That thing was a chick magnet. My golden retriever was a decent chick magnet. The labs I had weren’t as effective since they more common. The little cockapoo I have gets more attention from women than my chocolate lab.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “In reality if you want to attract women your odds are much better if you a) get a puppy, b) wear bespoke clothes, c) improve your body, d) own a condo/home, e) wear a good watch, f) take dancing lessons, g) learn to speak like a ‘metrosexual’. All much more effective than any vehicle.”

      all of that is “window dressing.” That stuff might get you noticed, but it won’t carry you very far if you don’t have much to offer underneath that.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        Agree with ‘JimZ’. However we are talking about marketing/getting the initial attention required.

        And unless you are standing beside your vehicle, then it is not much help in getting that initial attention.

        As JB would probably confirm, confidence is the primary key, as too many ‘guys’ are too self-conscious to make the initial approach or to respond confidently to a potential partner who approaches them. Some of the factors in my first posting are meant to i) help increase the requisite confidence ii) serve to distinguish yourself from potential competition.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Trying to figure out what chicks go for is insane. Just drive what you would drive, wear what you would wear and do exactly what you would do, if women didn’t exist. Just be yourself.

      And if you still don’t get a somewhat positive response from chicks, preferably the more normal, downtoearth, 8s out of 10s, girlnextdoor types, then you’re a monster and it doesn’t matter if you’ve got the right watch, car/bike/truck, job, cologne, etc. But at least you get to have it exactly “your way”.

    • 0 avatar
      mrwiizrd

      “In reality if you want to attract women your odds are much better if you a) get a puppy, b) wear bespoke clothes, c) improve your body, d) own a condo/home, e) wear a good watch, f) take dancing lessons, g) learn to speak like a ‘metrosexual’. All much more effective than any vehicle.”

      Meh. All of those items don’t really matter a damn bit.

      All a man needs to be successful in today’s dating environment is a ZFG attitude and an extroverted personality. A little game trumps all, the rest is window dressing.

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        What truly makes a man sexy in a woman’s eyes. At the age of 63, I got a real good indication.

        Be clean, have a decent social attitude, be employed, own your own home and have a decent bank account . . . . . . . plus, be widowed, having just spent the previous seven years caring for a terminally ill wife.

        Unfortunately (not really), I’d already found Patti’s replacement by the time word was out that I was available. Because I was getting more attention than I’d seen since I was 27. And most of them weren’t my age, not by a long shot.

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      f) take dancing lessons

      Well, maybe not lessons, but I fortunately learned very early in my teens that guys who are willing to get out on the dance floor do way, way better than guys who don’t.

      Won’t dance with your SO at a party or bar with a good band? I’ll take her right out from under your nose.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        some of us just plain lack the talent/whatever to do things like music, art, dancing, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          As the saying goes, men don’t dance and women don’t bond….

          • 0 avatar
            Fordson

            Another saying is that dancing is the vertical expression of the horizontal idea. Frequently enables us to skip over the usual social niceties.

            The usual takeaway for women is that if you won’t get out there and dance with them when the music starts and they give you a look, you don’t have the balls. Not always fair, but there it is…the women with these guys see me dancing – even with my wife – and come up to me to get the next dance. Once you show that you’re part of the ~20% of guys in a club who are willing, you become a hot commodity.

            It just…works.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      Not discounting anyone’s experience, but in mine no one really cares if you have a bike, certainly not women. It’s like owning the latest 4k capable Xbox. They basically see you as an adult man riding a big wheel.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I’ll tell you what brings in the ladies on dating websites: your kids.

      Not kidding about this.

      After I split up with my wife, I got into online dating. Yes, I know, the body wasn’t cold yet. But…a) me so horny, b) I needed to put an exclamation point on “we’re finished,” and c) me so horny.

      Besides, I was broke as hell, and the courts hadn’t figured out that giving custody of the kids to my ex, who’s a walking advertisement for electroshock therapy, was right up there in the Pantheon of Bad Ideas with the Great Leap Forward, Brexit and “Speed 2: Cruise Control,” so I was spending practically zero time with my daughters. So, it was either date or spend every night with my hand and a 20 inch (tube) TV.

      So I did a profile and joined a site. It didn’t get one damn nibble except from some crazy Russian woman who claimed to look just like Bond’s girlfriend in “From Russia With Love” and was desperately looking for someone to rescue her from her lonely, abusive life in Sverdlovsk.

      I mentioned this to a female co-worker, who was also divorced and about my age. She asked me whether I had pictures of my kids up there. That took me by surprise. Who would want that baggage, after all?

      She assured me that plenty of women would indeed be my baggage handler. That, or they’d figure that a 50-ish divorced guy with no kids might be a serial killer, or a recent parolee. So, I put up pictures of me with the kids. I debated whether to put up one of me dancing at a wedding with my oldest daughter. Would that be too manipulative, too “awwww”? What the hell – I posted it.

      And the hits began. One was my current girlfriend, and we’ve been together seven years now. Know what she said really hooked her? The picture of me dancing with my daughter.

  • avatar
    earthwateruser

    The combo idea is great, but I suggest a clean used pickup truck instead of the iM (unless he has room in the budget for a utility trailer). After riding a fast motorcycle, the need for a fast car diminishes and you really just want something dry, quiet and comfortable. Bonus points if it can haul your bike places. Balance the truck cost by buying the motorcycle used. In my experience, women enjoy riding around in a truck, especially if you have a bench seat. Please make sure the truck is nice and the bike is fairly comfortable for two up riding. Finally, make sure she gets the “good” helmet, not the stinky yard sale one you bought for your buddies.

    Alternatively, he could do what I’m doing and get a cheap, clean used 500 Abarth. It works as a car, but it also does a passable job of simulating a large sport touring motorcycle. He would save about $400 per month and my girlfriend loves my Abarth (much more than riding on the back of a bike BTW).

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @earthwateruser – you beat me to it. YES! A pickup is a great choice since a decent bike will make virtually any car seem lame. Fredro mentioned a dirt biking history. Get a dirt bike, a street bike and a truck.

    • 0 avatar
      trackratmk1

      Bench seat pickup ftw. Here in the Northeast it seems few things are cheaper to insure than a full size pickup, and not much can beat the lease deals. 2 yr lease on a 16 Ram 1500 cost $289/mo. It’s incredibly comfortable, gets a not-intolerable 20mpg at 70mph, and easily hauls a dirt bike, or a kart, several bicycles, and up to 5 friends… it tows, and it makes a great V8 noise. What more could you want? After years of trying to make it work with sports car dd’s, the truck has become the irreplaceable vehicle in the stable.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Grandpa checking in here.

    Even though you have dirt bike skills, at 26 years old, start with a 600 cc sportbike and develop mad bike handling and traffic awareness skills before moving up in performance and displacement.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Start with a 300cc sportbike, not a 600.

      600’s are state of the art (for the model year) high performance, 100+ hp, twitchy, incredibly fast machines. Only slightly slower than the 1000cc superbike’s in the same showroom.

      Now a 600cc twin standard or V-twin cruiser, that’s a good beginner bike. But if you’re talking sportbike, anything over 500cc are meant for riders who know what they’re doing.

      • 0 avatar
        kosmo

        I have to say, that’s an even better idea!

        Plenty of sporty options in that displacement class, these days.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Syke – sound advice. Current 125-300 cc bikes are pretty nice. Honda has a 500 twin that can be had in naked, sport or adventure trim.
        I had ridden dirt bikes for years and found the transition to street a bit awkward at first. My first street bike was a used Honda Nighthawk 750 I purchased from a friend. It was a good starter.

        • 0 avatar
          frankev

          Having put 13k miles on a 125 dual sport over the last three years, I believe a 175-200cc bike would be worthwhile if one plans to ride long distances or on expressways and rural roads, only because at 55-60mph I’m pretty much wound out. I find that in suburban traffic (40-45mph), the bike is much happier, so it really boils down to one’s use case.

          I’m hoping to upgrade at some point, but right now my operating costs are quite low (it’s the epitome of “cheap and cheerful”), and I have other priorities.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      Agreed, a new Yamaha R3 at $5000 or a used Ninja 300 for $3000 will feel WHOA FAST for a while, I’ve had my R3 for 2 years and I’m still not looking for anything faster.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    About 4-5 months ago I would have said “get the bike!” but now I’m really not so sure anymore. I put about 20K street miles on my motorcycle… I bought it when I lived in NYC to get OUT of NYC without public transportation, and when I moved down south I kept it as a fun foil for my daily driver Civic.

    Thing that threw a wrench in it all was me getting a G37S, which combined the bike’s speed with the Civic’s practicality. I’m not a “Sunday drive” kind of guy; all my miles are commuting or heading out with some kind of purpose. As soon as I got the G my miles on the bike took a dive.

    But what really put the nail in the coffin for me was taking the bike to the track for the first time. At that point I realized I wasn’t getting anywhere near 100% out of the bike or myself as a rider. So I’m going to sell the bike and quit street riding… and for now just rent bikes to ride at the track.

    So I would suggest maybe getting a cheapo used bike. Something with some teeth, but with streetable ergos. A used Street Triple R sounds perfect. Commute on it, get out on track with it, see where you really enjoy it. I’d also go ahead and get something a little fun for the daily driver. Maybe not a Mustang GT but something like a GTI. No need to get a full on slow penalty box. Having a funnish car will REALLY show whether or not you actually enjoy riding, or just enjoy having something faster than a Corolla. And buying used will keep your losses low if you decide it’s not actually for you. Either way, go for it.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      One of the really great things about motorcycles is that they are very entertaining without getting 100% from them. The reserves of handling, acceleration and braking then become safety factors in that the bike will do way more than you usually ask when you need it to. I never ride beyond 6/10s on the street for this very reason. To each his own…

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Yea, I guess it’s how you’re wired. Some folks have gradients…. my time at the track revealed to me that I’m binary, at least when it comes to motorcycles. If I can’t push to the limit I don’t see the point, especially with all the added dangers on the street.

  • avatar
    Syke

    As a 41 year motorcycle ride, car junkie for a good twenty plus years before that (I grew up in a Chevrolet dealership), you’re spot on.

    Owning a motorcycle, in my eyes, is one of the few things that make ownership of a Corolla, etc. tolerable. And you don’t want to get too fancy on the car, especially in the performance category. While I love my Fiat 500c Abarth, I rarely drive it – because even with the top down it’s still not a motorcycle. Driving it does not have the excitement, the enjoyment that two wheels can give.

    Yet, if you wanted to check on which of the vehicles in my stable gets the most use, it wouldn’t be the Fiat. Or the Harley Super Glide, Triumph Sprint, or Honda Gold Wing.

    It would be the Yamaha Zuma 125. My daily commuter on the days that I still go to work (down to three a week now), and general errand runner. Because, if I don’t have to do over 55mph on the commute, it’s a fun as a motorcycle, as spontaneous as a car (tossing on a helmet and maybe a jacket is the only thing standing in between thought and turning the key). No specialized clothing needed, up to a certain load point no special consideration for carrying packages required (amazing what you can toss into a large Givi top box).

    Oh, I totally agree with earthwateruser on the Abarth. It’s as close to a motorcycle as you can get on four wheels. But there’s still those two extra wheels, and all that unnecessary bodywork.

  • avatar
    ajla

    How long do I have to ride a SR400 before I can buy a Rocket III?

  • avatar
    everybodyhatesscott

    “The good news is that putting a woman on the back of your motorcycle is sort of like a cologne made from real panthers: 90 percent of the time, it works every time. ”

    Buying a motorcycle made my dating life much easier

    If the guy has any spare cash, I’d suggest a used fz-09 bought private party. In Illinois private party sale tax on a bike is $25 so you’re saving 500-1000 bucks right there (if he lives here he did say midwest) and maybe other states are similar. Plus a used fz-09 can be had for 5-6k vs 12ish for the 10 and the fz-09 is plenty fast.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I’ve always admired bikes from a distance, but here in Chicagoland it’s too cold/gross/wintery to ride a bike about 6 months out of the year, and of the other 6 months, about three of them are really hot. I sweat my sack off in front of the maxed-out air conditioning in my S2000 with the top down on a hot day, I can only imagine what the guy in leathers and a helmet with a heat pump between his legs is going through. Sure, you get the breeze of riding on a back road, but in traffic/around town, you don’t. Is it as scorching hot as it looks on a bike?

    • 0 avatar
      everybodyhatesscott

      ” Is it as scorching hot as it looks on a bike?”

      As long as you’re moving and have the right helmet and jacket it isn’t too bad. Sitting in stop and go traffic on a 90 degree sunny day will leave you drenched in sweat unless you get a little ‘squiddy’ with your riding style to get the wind flowing again. This nice thing is you can park a bike almost anywhere in Chicago for free and not have to worry about city stickers which saves a lot of money on parking if you enjoy attending Cubs games.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Perforated leather, or mesh textile riding gear. You’re warm (hot in the leather) at a traffic light, but once you get moving it’s like you’ve got nothing on over your street clothes.

      The down side? Get into late summer, early fall, where the daytime is in the 80’s, and the evenings drop down to the 50’s. It gets damn chilly in a perf jacket once the sun goes down. Unless you’re carrying a rain suit jacket with you to use as a windbreaker.

    • 0 avatar
      economist

      Chicagoland-ish rider here. After I got my bike I found the weather to be fine for riding nine months a year. Once you get the bike your temperature comfort envelope will change to accommodate your newfound motorcycling addiction.
      Also, my desire for a new car has flatlined, leaving me quite satisfied with the old (paid-off)Acura as a backup for when I can’t ride the bike.

      • 0 avatar
        prisoners

        I could’ve written this myself. I’ve had my Acura for 13 years, has well over 200k miles, and remains comfortable/reliable. In fact last weekend I drove from Chicago to Nashville and back in under 36 hours. I’d love a new car as much as anyone but I always talk myself out of it. I also ride a Honda NC700 as much as possible, which is a great all-around bike for the city/suburbs.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      ” Is it as scorching hot as it looks on a bike?”

      if it’s a water-cooled engine, not really. I’ve been out around town on my FZ in 85-90° days and the only additional heat I’ve noticed from the bike was if the radiator fan kicked on. then I felt the warmth on my knees.

      Now on my Dyna (air-cooled Harley,) the rear cylinder is right under the seat horn, and can cause swamp @ss on hot days.

      You want to roast your chestnuts? Ride a Harley Softail (the old one) or Sportster in stop-n-go traffic. the engine oil tank is right below the seat.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Just factor in how much you will actually ride. I had a Ford Escort and a CBR 600 back in the day and eventually never had time for fun riding just commuting. Don’t really expect to keep them 10 years. Most likely in 5 years you will be married and perhaps on the way to kids and then the bike should really go.

    Pick up something fun like a Focus ST either discounted or used and a used 600cc bike. Enjoy as safe as you can and then reassess.

  • avatar
    TOTitan

    Back in the early 70’s in Alaska when I was dating I had a VW squareback, no bike, and did just fine. The car was quirky enough that chicks liked it, with the engine in back and the right tires it would go just about anywhere, and there was plenty of room in back to do the wild thing whenever the opportunity arose.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      I can certainly confirm your last statement. In both the Type III and Type IV squareback/shooting brake. The only problem was that back then tinted windows were not readily available.

  • avatar
    JimZ

    “So why isn’t the whole world, or at least the male half of it, on a sportbike every morning?”

    I’ll tell you why- my shoulders. On any bike where I’m leaning that far forward, after more than a half hour my shoulders will be screaming and sore for the next day or so.

    the more upright position of the “naked” street bikes works for me. I went with the FZ-09; I kind of like the sound of a triple and it’s still “I peed a little” quick. that is, when you’re used to a Harley.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Nothing in this question says about garage. Where do you keep it? My real issue with having 2 vehicles for a single person is to losing freedom to a degree. If you have a house with garage, you already lost some freedom – you’re tied to your home, so why not get the bike as well? But if you rent, you can just take your car and take off. No worries.

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    I’d say Jack has it wrong, you’ve ridden dirt bikes but never had a high power street bike, nor does it sound like you’ve ridden one very much. So it does not make any sense to buy a brand new ultra high performance bike. As others have said start with a used less than ultra high performance machine. At the end of a full year of owning it through all 4 seasons then decide if you are ready for something faster and if you really use it all that much.

    Because those performance bikes are maintenance intensive the car needs to be a truck, a nice used, well kept truck. Again check back in a year to see if it is all it is cracked up to be. By buying used and buying them right, if you decide they aren’t right for you then you won’t be out as much money as you would on 1 year old vehicles, that you’ll probably owe more than you can sell them for and thus be stuck with them.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    Jack,

    You’ve owned many high performances euro four wheelers but it seems everything on two wheels hails from Japan.

    Did a euro bike “touch” you?

    Was there no love for Ducati, Bimota, Cagiva, BMW, Ducati, Triumph et al?

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I’ve come close a few times…. almost bought a Diavel Titanium late last year, and the ZX-14R was the winner in an internal competition that awarded second place to the K1300S.

      The only excuse I have is that I grew up in the Eighties when BMW was selling the K100 and Ducati was selling the Paso. So you can see why I lean Japanese.

      If you look at my Instagram you’ll see that my son has the faux-Monster Razor bike!

  • avatar
    brawnychicken333

    So…I’m a decidedly non motorcycle guy-kids, wife (for the time being), and a business. But it seems like a Honda Rebel 300 or 500 will give you 90% of the fun with minimal cost. How fast do you really need to go to have a good time on a bike?

    • 0 avatar
      economist

      No faster than the speed limit. Motorcycles are quite fun at any speed, I had a blast last weekend taking some motorcycle training where we never exceeded 15 mph. A modern 300 or 500 will be just as fun as anything else in the same price range. What you ride ride is not important, what is important is THAT you ride.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      The ultimate truth about motorcycles is, “It’s more fun to go fast on a slow bike, than slow on a fast bike”.

      This was driven home the years I had my 69 BSA Royal Star A50R, a 500cc vertical twin that looked identical to the BSA Lightning 650cc, but had half the horsepower. It handled like the 650, too, and was an absolute gas in the twisties because you never had to back off the throttle.

      This is also the reason I enjoy the 125 scooter so much. Fast handling, really good acceleration from 0-40, and you just crank back and let it (relatively) scream. Which still keeps you ahead in traffic of everyone except the most determined tuner or hot rodder.

  • avatar
    stuki

    Bike + car (or perhaps truck) is definitely the way to go. The parking convenience of the bike alone, anywhere even remotely urban, makes it worth vile. And realistically, in anything resembling traffic, even the slowest bike, is plenty faster than a LaFerrari.

    A bike is just a better way to get around, for all those trips where you don’t need the extra space, and weather isn’t too horrid. Similar to how walking around, tends to beat crawling on all four.

    If you’re a dirtbike guy, you could look into a Supermoto for a first bike. They handle like dirtbikes (because they are high powered dirtbikes with street wheels, brakes and suspensions…), and maintenance and upkeep on them, is very little different from what you are used to with dirtbikes as well.

  • avatar
    hubcap

    I like the ideal of a car and a bike but neither need be new and I kinda like to have some excitement while driving. The IA is a nice car but wouldn’t be my choice. You could pick up a very gently used, 2016 Fiesta ST for around 15 large.

    You could also pick up one of a number of late model motorcycles, such as an FZ-07, for five grand. If you’re looking for something smaller to get acclimated to street riding allow me to suggest the 2017 KTM Duke 390. This year’s bike received significant upgrades, which is why I wouldn’t recommend a 2016 or earlier.

    As a bonus the Duke 390 is $5100 new. I’ve seen leftover 2016 models going for a grand off sticker. The 2017 should follow suit.

    So that’s a car and a bike for right around twenty large. And I have another suggestion.

    Take some of the money you saved and learn to fly. You can get a Sport Pilot license for around five grand and you’d be surprised at the influx of new and fun aircraft you’ll have access to and the wonderful experiences you’ll have.

    Many of the B&B were commenting on a motorcycle’s effect on the fairer sex. Imagine, if you will, riding the bike to the airport and taking your SO on a leisurely glider ride. Or flying to Mackinac Island. Or any one of a number of interesting and exciting things you could do (to include becoming a card carrying member of the mile high club).

  • avatar
    manu06

    Since I just witnessed a horrible accident when a Harley and versa tried to occupy the same space,
    I’ll refrain of a motorcycle recommendation. Get a used Jeep. Fun enough and your future dog
    will attract the women.

    • 0 avatar
      Charliej

      Everything is dangerous. Living is dangerous. You will never get out of this world alive. Riding is as dangerous as you make it. I rode for 54 years. My only encounter with a car was 34 years ago. A woman ran a stop sign ahead of me. I was too close to stop. Thanks to my training from racing motorcycles, I braked hard enough to drop my speed by three quarters before I hit her. I had a cut finger, she had a broken arm where the door came in on her. Just before impact, I jumped straight up as hard as I could. I went over the top of her car. This was before so many people drove trucks.

      My last bike was a Honda VFR750F. A 1994 model that I sold in 2012 just before moving to Mexico. I wound up with 122,000 miles on that bike. The best bike I ever owned.

      I cringe when a middle aged person wants to start riding. It takes a long time to develop the reflexes necessary to ride safely. Starting with a small bike is essential. In my youth, we started with a Cushman scooter or a Vespa. Now people think of a 750 as a small bike. Any bike that will do over 140 is not too good for a beginner. Also, not any bike that will rear over backward with a careless twist of the wrist.

      Like I said, I rode for 54 years and only had one street accident. However there were too many to count times that I went down racing motocross or riding enduros. Dirt riding will teach bike control much faster than riding on the street. But street riding is enough different that it must be practiced too. One good thing, riding in the woods you can be sure that a tree is not going to jump out in front of you. If you crash, it is your fault.

      I have really enjoyed my life on motorcycles. It is one of the many things that I miss. When you get older you have to give up so much. My advice to the young, is to get out and enjoy life now, while you can. When you get to be an old fart, all you can do is reminisce and enjoy the memories.


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