Car vs Motorcycle: a battle to save you money

hqdefaultWith salaries frozen and energy prices spiralling out of control, we investigate how much money could be saved by switching from a Car to a Motorcycle.

Automobile versus motorcycle, it’s the argument that has been raging on tarmac since the four and two-wheeled rivals first met in the 19th century. Be it performance, looks, practicality or economy the fiery altercation has taken many forms and featured in many places before now, but perhaps none have been quite so poignant as the topic we attempt to thrash out in this article.

Recent news that the UK’s economy has grown for the third successive quarter is welcomed with open arms, but whilst we are undoubtedly on the road to recovery, with employment rates also improving, the truth is that many of us are still feeling the pinch of very hard times.

The recently announced price rises from the UK’s ‘big six’ energy suppliers mean that households will face bills over 8% higher than last year. For the average household, this could mean annual bills hitting the £1,500 mark for the first time in history. This highly topical issue compelled us to take action, so we set off to see if consumers really could save money by changing from four-wheels to two.

The first problem we came across in our quest to save money and encourage motorcycling, was finding a starting point! A bit of research into running costs of cars and bikes seemed a logical place to begin, but what cars and what bikes? Should we target a particular user such as commuters? or perhaps first time bikers? Well to give this post the widest possible appeal we’ve hand picked a few different examples, all of which are based on 3-year ownership costs to build a balanced picture.

The following isn’t meant as a definitive guide for how to save money and which bike you should choose to do so, nor is it reflective of all the different types of drivers and riders, it is merely a few examples and generalisations we’ve made to get some healthy debate going.

The Commuter

To start with we picked a reliable and frugal commuter bike, something that will return good economy and won’t leave you stranded at the roadside. The Suzuki Inazuma 250 does just that and if it doesn’t put a grin on your face at the same time, then we’re not quite sure what will!

Next up we needed to find an equivalent from the 4-wheel world, we’re the first to admit that we’re not car experts, which is why we decided to keep things simple and pick a vehicle from the same company. The Suzuki Alto is ingrained with same brand philosophy to deliver value-packed products, it sits at the no frills end of the firm’s range and it’s Japanese heritage ensures a reliable and efficient performance.

So, how do the Inazuma and the Alto stack up on paper:

The facts are undoubtedly in the bike’s favour but some might argue that it comes at a compromise, and to a certain extent they’d have a point. With only 2 seats instead of 4 or 5 and no protection from the elements, it’s not going to be practical to sell the family car and invest in a bike. That said, the bike could be a serious alternative to a second car, and with savings of around £750 per year (50% of the average households energy bills), it’s worth some serious thought.

The Learner

For this comparison we decided to use some real bargain second hand vehicles, for the bike we picked the original trusty learner bike, the Honda CG125. On the car front, perhaps an equally stereotypical learner-mobile or first car, the Ford Fiesta. Here’s how they compared:

So even though the buying costs are pretty similar, there is still a huge amount of cash to be saved in the annual running costs of the bike. We’ll concede that you’ll be hard pushed to get an adrenaline rush onboard a CG125, but the same can be said about driving the Fiesta.

If you’re looking for a no-frills winter hack or summer commuter and you’re not doing lots of motorway miles, then an economical 125cc commuter bike will bag you around £1300 in savings each year. What’s more you can also ride a bike of this capacity without getting your full motorcycle license. Instead you can do a 1-day compulsory basic training (CBT) course for around £100 and get straight out on the road with L plates.

The Petrol Head

The last car vs bike comparison we made has a slightly unexpected twist. You might think that an article written in an attempt to save money might only focus on the most frugal of machines, but we don’t think that those looking for performance should be excluded.

Our last comparison is between the tarmac-melting BMW S1000RR superbike and the BMW 135i M Sport super-hot hatchback. Realistically there are much cheaper ways to buy big performance, but the BMWs, like the Suzukis we mentioned earlier, are ingrained with the same core values to deliver a pure, unadulterated riding/driving experience. So here’s how they sit:

As you’d expect the super-car beating S1000RR simply outclasses the hatchback in all areas of performance and in the economy stakes it is leaps and bounds in front too. With the comparatively huge price tag of the car, you can also expect equally high depreciation. This has big implications when it comes  to the annual running costs, meaning you can have the awesome performance of the S1000RR and save over £3100 a year compared to the 135i M Sport!

So to conclude, the figures really do speak for themselves on the performance and economy front, with two wheels coming out on top. That said, modern cars have almost certainly closed the gap on their more economical two-wheeled equivalents and they are clear winners in the practicality stakes, with longer tank ranges, more torque, the ability to carry more passengers and keep them dry!

We’ve proved that there is certainly some money to be saved if your lifestyle will support a switch from four-wheels to two and even though we are somewhat biased, you’ll also realise that nothing can beat the rush and the sense of freedom and independence you get from riding a motorcycle.

If you have any views or comments on this subject or if you’ve made the change from four-wheels to two-wheels we’d love to hear from you, please leave a comment below!

* Insurance quotes based on a 25yr old male with clean license, no accidents, 8yrs NCB.

A cheap anti fog solution to prevent your motorcycle helmet visor from fogging or misting

The most annoying and potentially dangerous thing a motorcyclist an experience when riding in wintry conditions is their visor misting, steaming or fogging up. Even with a supposedly anti fog visor and helmet vents open this fogging can still happen, so how do you stop your motorcycle visor from fogging?

The easiest long term method is to get a PINLOCK ANTI FOG VISOR INSERT HERE

But if you’re looking for a cheap and proven method developed through the long winters in Scandinavia, then watch the following video or read the quick steps below:

How to use washing up liquid to prevent anti visor fogging: 

Step 1: Remove your visor from your motorcycle helmet

Step 2: Thoroughly clean your visor in warm soapy water, inside and out, then wipe it dry with a lint-free cloth

Step 3: Add a tiny smidge of washing up liquid to a dry lint-free cloth and gently apply it evenly to the entire surface area on the inside of the visor

Step 4: After applying leave it for a couple of minutes then very lightly buff it with another clean dry cloth until no smear marks appear

Step 5: Refit the visor to your motorcycle helmet

And voila a cost-effective anti fog visor is ready to go. You can breathe heavily on the visor to test it’s effectiveness, you might notice a temporary mark or pattern which will quickly disperse. It’s best to use this system in conjunction with an anti fog mask if you have one, or if not just regulate your breathing sensibly. We’ve personally tested this method and it usually works for a good few days and then you can just quickly follow the above process again to give it a fresh coat.

Enjoy a fog free winter of motorcycling!

Christmas offer from Get Geared – 2 days only!

Motorcycle clothing and accessory retailer Get Geared have just announced a cracking deal giving 20% off all full-priced items in their online shop, but you must act fast as the offer only runs from 25th to 26th December 2013!

To claim your 20% off, simply click the following link and use the voucher code XMAS20 at the checkout!

New Suzuki V-Strom 1000 price and specs announced

Suzuki GB have just announced new details of its hotly anticipated V-Strom 1000 adventure bike which will retail for £9,999 plus on the road charges, making it a very serious contender for those in the adventure bike market.

Confirming the final specs for the new adventure bike, Suzuki announced that new technology including its MotoGP developed traction control system will be included on the new bike.

Planned to be the company’s most advanced adventure model ever made, the V-Strom will feature a new 1037cc V-Twin engine, developed to deliver impressive low-mid range power and torque. Power will be 100PS @ 8,000rpm with torque at 103Nm @ 4,000rpm, demonstrating that the new bike is designed for real-world riding conditions. The V-Twin engine layout also aids the bike’s slim design and nimble handling.

Motorcycle News: Suzuki announce new V-Strom 1000 pricing at £9,999

To keep riders safe on all types of road surface, the new V-Strom features a one of the most advanced Traction Control systems ever seen on an adventure bike. The new unit analyses readings from five sensors on the bike, helping to deliver optimum traction and multi-function settings.

The V-Strom’s new chassis provides great manoeuvrability thanks to a Twin Spar Aluminium frame which helps the bike weigh in at an overall kerb mass of 228kg, the lightest in its class. As well as reduced weight, the new bike features a 19-inch front wheel – providing stability and agility.

Suzuki’s lightweight  ABS system is combined with new radially mounted brake calipers, providing controlled braking performance. Along with the increased power, the V-Strom returns class-leading fuel economy, with a great 59MPG and a range of 259 miles from the 20 litre tank.

Suzuki GB General Manager, Paul de Lusignan, commented, “We’ve all been eagerly anticipating the final specification of the new V-Strom 1000, so to get some hard facts as we approach the launch period is great. Crucially this has been a model development process driven by customers. We’ve consulted and conversed with existing and future riders to see what they want on the new bike. Agility and manoeuvrability came back loud and clear, and I believe potential customers will see that we’ve listened and delivered a bike that’s not just about bigger capacity, but strikes the perfect balance between lightweight handling and real-world performance.

“Pricing is naturally a crucial question that’s been asked of us in the run-up to the launch of the new V-Strom and I’m pleased to announce that the new model will be priced around the £10,000 mark, making it one of the most competitively priced models available. We look forward to confirming an exact price soon.”

The company also revealed that a comprehensive catalogue of accessories will be available early next year, including a three-piece luggage set and much more.

For more details check out

Top deals from the UK’s number 1 bike insurer

With bank balances and credit cards suffering after the summer holiday and your bike insurance renewal closing in, there has never been a more important time to hunt around for the best deal on your bike insurance policy. The good news for bikers is that the UK’s number 1 bike insurer Bennetts are dedicated to finding you the best possible bike insurance deal.

Bennetts are the UKs most recommended bike insurance brand.

By visiting Bennetts website here riders can get instant online quotes, simply by filling out a quick form as you would with your car insurance. Chances are you could save a bundle off your renewal and there are no hidden charges either.

No matter what type of bike you ride or where you ride it, Bennetts aim to deliver you a highly competitive quote that can be fully tailored with options such as helmet & leathers cover, breakdown cover and even European cover for that special summer tour of the continent!

Even if your insurance isn’t due just yet, you can get a quote now and save it for later, just log back in with your details to retrieve it, and if it has expired you can simply update it for a new quote.
Bennetts’ website provides much more than just a place to go for insurance deals, the website also contains a great ‘Bike Social’ section with everything from maps and routes of popular rides to motorcycle and racing news and galleries.

So whether your bike insurance is up for renewal now, in the next few months or even further down the road, why not take a look around at the deals available with the dedicated bike insurance Bennetts.