Peter, a friend at work and avid motorcyclist, has been talking about the fuel savings we’ll be getting this year. As the price of gas edges over the $4 a gallon mark and promises to push $5 this summer, riding a scooter is becoming more and more appealing to me. Last year I put around 660 miles on the Honda SH150i from late May when I purchased the replacement scooter to Oct 2010 when it got too cold and wet to ride. At about six miles one way to work and three miles to my parents, that’s around 110 one way trips or around 55 days that I rode the bike last year.
Determined to do better this year, I already made three round-trip rides on the bike. Normally I don’t start riding until the weather gets warmer and drier around May. But I decided that if I want to double or triple my time on the bike this year, I need to become more than a fair weather rider. As I am always riding in town with no highway miles, this should be doable from a safety point of view. Riding a motorcycle in the rain can be a dicey proposition.
Rather than calculating the actual savings to the nth degree, I will round it off. But if you really are into that kind of thing, here is an excel spreadsheet that you can start with.
My back of the hand calculation goes something like this. If I travel twice the distance this year as last, I’ll get ~1300 miles on the bike. If I were doing that in my car, an SUV with an average of 18 miles per gallon, it would take me 73 gallons. With my scooter it would take 13 gallons. At $4 a gallon times the gas I’d be saving (73 – 13), my in pocket savings would be around $240. At $5 a gallon the savings would be over $300.
The figure I can’t calculate very easily is the value of the unadulterated joy I get riding the scooter. Lessee at $40 an hour to do something else as fun… ;O)