I've been pulling together some year-end finance stuff for taxes, etc, and outa curiosity I spent some time analyzing what my motorcycle costs me. One of the 'big lies' one commonly hears is that motorcycling is cheap transportation. Perhaps if you own a scooter, but certainly not if my (perhaps typical?) experience is anything to judge by. Read on:
I bought my SV650 new at the end of May 2008, and paid roughly $8800 OTD by the times taxes and prep were added.
I ran 13,000km to the end of 2008.
Gas cost $884 (6.8 cents/km).
Insurance cost $793 (6.1 cents/km).
Maintenance cost $1379 (10.6 cents/km), of which $449 was tires (3.5 cents/km).
Total 'operating' expenses were $3056 (23.4 cents/km).
I added $896 worth of accessories to the bike (sliders, oiler, fender extender, hugger, hand guards, screen).
I also spent a hair over $2000 on 'ancilliaries' (clothing, boots, paint, cleaner, locks, etc).
Total outlay for my first half-year was $14,700. Whew!!!
2009 was more 'normal':
I covered 22,200km.
Gas was $1228 (5.5 cents/km).
Insurance was $1072 (4.8 cents/km).
Maintenance was $2321 (10.6 cents/km), of which $1310 was tires (5.9 cents/km).
Total operating expenses were 20.8 cents/km.
I added another $3200 worth of accessories to the bike ($1700 for fork emulators + springs + oil and an Ohlins shock, $540 for Givi racks and Kappa E21 luggage, $615 for a radar detector, etc).
I spent another $970 on ancillairies (track day, 2nd helmet, gloves, glasses, etc).
Total outlay for the year was $8800.
How's that compare to operating a car? I don't keep detailed records any more, but I know my little Honda Civic runs about 8 cents/km for fuel, and roughly the same each for insurance and maintenance. I kept records for a Camry before that, which ran at about 30 cents/km total, and earlier I ran a Subaru that ran around 25 cents/km. I've also got a Pathfinder, which costs 35-40 cents/km to operate. In other words, the bike is cheaper, but not by a whole bunch.
Bottom line, I've dumped well over $20k into motorcycling in less than 2 years - but I LOVE every minute of it, and I wouldn't want a penny (or minute) of it back. But don't tell me how cheap motorcycling is... cuz it ain't!
Enjoy your ride!