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Old 07-07-2009, 02:18 PM   #101 (permalink)
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Wanna B Eco,

There is no question that proper bike maintenance is much more important than proper car maintenance in regards to safety. Bad tires or bad brakes and you're going to be hitting the asphalt sooner than later.
However, in regards to cost per mile, I disagree. I certainly mean no disrespect to you, but your costs are probably more associated with the type of bike that you ride and the "scene" that goes along with that particular bike rather than motorcycles in general.

My bike costs are infinitely less than my car costs. Some of that is because I'm currently riding a Chinese scoot and everything is relatively cheap, as far as OEM replacement costs go. But I've done the majority of my travel over the last 2 years on two wheels. In that time, I might have spent an average of $20 per month, including gas and maintenance. (Oil changes on a 250cc or 150cc run about $8.) Compared to the car, with a monthly cost of at least $40 a month of gas alone, and considering that I ride more miles that I drive, I'm getting much more MILES PER DOLLAR on the bike than on the car.

In the end, I guess it mostly depends on what type of car you have and how you use the car. The same can be said in reverse order for the bike. If you use your bike a clunker to save gas and get from place to place, it'll be cheap. If it's a garage toy that gets very delicate attention every weekend, the cost per mile will be higher.

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Old 07-07-2009, 02:51 PM   #102 (permalink)
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Agreed. It depends. Just like with cars, the Total Cost of Ownership must be looked at. A cheap to buy car or bike can be horridly expensive if it requires expensive maintenance and repairs. It can also be really cheap to own.

The Kawasaki Concours is known for durability and reliability. Typical overbuilt 1980's vintage Japanese motorcycle engineering. Mine was purchased for $1800 and needed some clean-up and basic maintenance and had some minor cosmetic flaws. It has shaft drive and screw valve adjusters - really easy and cheap to maintain.

For tires, there are often many choices. I have well over 40K miles on the rear gold wing touring tire and it is still going strong. Fronts last about 20K. Touring rubber lasts much longer than sport rubber, and I've never had a traction problem except in ice (duh). I feel that if I needed sport rubber to maintain traction I'm probably doing something I really shouldn't be doing anyway. Some people buy the best traction they can buy, but I can say that I don't need DOT R compound radials on my truck. The same philosophy goes for the bike.

If low cost of ownership is part of what you're after, choose carefully. Some manufacturers know that thier customers will pay alot in maintenance, but it is assumed that it is acceptable to the customer. In some markets, the customers demand bikes that are cheap to buy AND maintain, and the manufacturers make them. Do your own evaluation to see what best fits your need.
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:01 PM   #103 (permalink)
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You did a better job of saying what I was trying to get across.
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Old 07-07-2009, 05:31 PM   #104 (permalink)
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Well, I am selling the van. I'm actually trying to trade it for a newer Ninja 250, possibly even up. I'd also look at other bikes, but I'm really stuck on the Ninja.

As far as maintenance, the tires for my old Ducati-clone were never even close to $375... I think the two times I bought tires, they were about $200 for both... pretty much the same price as a half-assed set of car tires. (Which I never buy new) That on top of the fact that there are always decent used tires (from last season) on craigslist and in the paper.

If your Passport's tires need to be changed every 1000 miles, you need to look into a harder tire compound. You could actually use a low-speed high-load trailer tire safely on a Passport/Ruckus. (Load range C tires would last for damn near forever on a scoot.)

Chances are, if I get another bike, I'll put 10k a year on it, just like I do every other vehicle I have. I'm not the kind of guy that stops riding because it's not 70* outside. I've ridden in the middle of winter, and would do it again, although not for a long distance. (Few miles to the store, maybe.)
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:14 AM   #105 (permalink)
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Turtle

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan150cc View Post
(Oil changes on a 250cc or 150cc run about $8.)
8 bucks, seriously? I found Mobil 1 synthetic 10W30 on sale at Farm and Fleet for $1.79 per quart. The engine on my Honda Elite 250 takes 0.85L, and the transmission takes 0.15L (I always change both of them at the same time). So, I used around 2 bucks worth of oil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan150cc View Post
My bike costs are infinitely less than my car costs.
I'm having a bit of trouble understanding this mathematically... :P
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:19 AM   #106 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
I'm actually trying to trade it for a newer Ninja 250, possibly even up. I'd also look at other bikes, but I'm really stuck on the Ninja.
I'm thinking about buying a Ninja 250. I like doing long drives, and I was thinking a Honda Nighthawk 250 would be more comfortable, but the Ninja looks so freaking badass. Plus, people who check out your bike will confuse the Ninja 250 with the faster, larger-displacement Ninjas.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
I think the two times I bought tires, they were about $200 for both.
I'm about to order a set of Michelin S1 tires for my Elite 250. $55, shipped.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christ View Post
Chances are, if I get another bike, I'll put 10k a year on it, just like I do every other vehicle I have.
Sounds awesome.
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:39 AM   #107 (permalink)
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I just need to chime in here for a second...

Lately, I have noticed that my accomplishments with my Ninja 250 have persuaded peoples interest towards buying one.

While the 08-09 Kawasaki Ninja 250's look very different from the 87-07 models, you guys need to understand that they are different bikes! Sure, they have the same engine... almost. The New Ninja 250's have different cams and are tuned differently than its older twin. Also, the wheel sizes are different, the stock gearing is different, etc etc etc. Its almost a completely rebuilt motorcycle.

Having said that, the new Ninja 250's do not get the same fuel economy as the older ones. Through break-in, most guys are seeing MPG numbers in the 40's!! Average on the bike seems to be in the mid 50's. My ninja in stock form got around 70mpg!

Could that improve over 30% using techniques i have been using on my 250? Probably. But i don't think you will see a 100mpg 08-09 Ninja 250 anywhere.

Conclusion: Ninja 250's are a complete BLAST to own!! They are easy to work on and maintain, INSURANCE IS CHEAP, they are light weight (easy to push around the garage, etc), and replacement parts for them are plentiful!

For those interested, head over to the Ninja 250 forums and check out the plethora of information and support for these bikes.
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:04 PM   #108 (permalink)
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1337, in your bike choice look a the longer term. You probably plan on owning it for a while. If it turns your crank, get a charge out of walking up to it anticipating the ride, and look good on it, you'll ride it more and keep it longer.

And smile more.

Buy what you like. I'd definitely go with the ninja over the nighthawk. Comfortable standing still has no relation to comfortable while riding. The ninja wins hands down, IMHO of course.

Ride on! And on! And on!
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Old 07-08-2009, 12:08 PM   #109 (permalink)
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I've never ridden any other motorcycle any distance, but I have to say I didn't really like my Ninja 250 for long trips ... more than an hour was too long for me. Bothered my neck/shoulders. I'm average height & light build.
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Old 07-08-2009, 01:19 PM   #110 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theycallmeebryan View Post
I just need to chime in here for a second...

Lately, I have noticed that my accomplishments with my Ninja 250 have persuaded peoples interest towards buying one.

While the 08-09 Kawasaki Ninja 250's look very different from the 87-07 models, you guys need to understand that they are different bikes!

Conclusion: Ninja 250's are a complete BLAST to own!! They are easy to work on and maintain, INSURANCE IS CHEAP, they are light weight (easy to push around the garage, etc), and replacement parts for them are plentiful!
I love that I could buy a 1990s Ninja 250, and it still looks new and cool. I'd probably buy sort of a beater and fix whatever is wrong.

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