Two Or Four Wheels – 7 Tips To Focus On
Another head to head here. Which is better for you for everyday commuting and general transportation? Two or four wheels? Both have teams of fans who will support their favourite to the death. Both have excellent reasons as to why they should emerge the victors. So what needs to be taken into account? Here are my 7 tips, that should help explain whether you should focus on two wheels or four:
(Before we get into the details, don’t forget our 10% Referral Refund Scheme, for anyone who sends a customer to Motorkwirks Finder and Consultancy Services. Could you be the next to benefit?)
Most would assume that this would be a clear win for two wheels, Their ability to filter through traffic, and accelerate quickly does indeed give them an advantage. But there is a caveat. I can get going in a car within minutes. If you have a bike, you have to get dressed for work, but then put on all your protective clothing, your helmet, ear plugs, gloves and the like. And if you’re commuting early enough in the morning where there is no traffic, you will have no advantage over the car at all. At peak traffic time, the bike is indeed slightly faster but not by the margin you may expect.
Most every day cars tend to have more than two seats, unless you happen to commute to work in a sports car. Some bikes don’t even come with a pillion seat, and quite a few pillion seats are not especially comfortable. One to bear in mind if you’re lift sharing to the office. Especially if you plan to remain on good terms with you colleagues.
Motorbikes are cheaper than the equivalent car, and this statement won’t surprise anyone. They also use less fuel than the equivalent car, and they are cheaper to service and tax. However from here on, things get a bit more expensive for the bike. As a rider, you will require a helmet as a minimum, and really should be getting jackets, boots, trousers and gloves as well. There is also another area coming up shortly where most riders should be spending more than the equivalent car driver.
On a motorcycle, you’re inherently exposed to the elements and to other road users. This means if you’re involved in a collision, you are likely to come off worse. It’s possible to fall off and hurt yourself on a bike even with no one else to hit! I know, I’ve done it. I don’t remember ever falling out of a car, though I’ve not yet driven a Caterham so maybe that is possible!
This is the big deal for a lot of bikers. Bikes get stolen more often than cars. This means you may need to spend a lot more money on security, which closes the cost gap to the car. If you have a lot of security, like I did when I rode, it will take more time to unlock everything before setting off, which has an impact on your overall journey time. But these are both compromises that I would encourage riders to get along with because I’ve seen the heartache that a stolen bike can cause. Investing in bike security is extremely wise, especially regarding a vehicle you depend on. Car security isn’t quite as extensive, but I would still invest in a good solid steering lock as a minimum. If you have secure and easy parking at work, this could rightly skew the decision you make.
Bikes in general are louder than cars. Some bikers like this, as they feel it offers an extra layer of protection against four wheeled drivers who may not have spotted them. They may be right. But extra noise can also make journeys more tiresome, with more than a few commutes being mundane enough as it is! Also, lengthy exposure to excess noise levels can affect hearing, and do permanent damage. Most of today’s cars will not expose us to such dangers.
This one is slightly more subjective. There will be some that claim there is nothing better than a well sorted super-bike, with your knee gently scraping the road surface. There are equally some that claim there is nothing better than taking to the track in a well sorted sports car. I’m fortunate enough to have experience of both sides of the fence. Since our focus here is mainly the everyday travel, any vehicle that can turn a mundane commute into something special is worth pursuing. Want an actual answer? Read on for my personal view!
When I was nearing the end of my biking journey, I had a 130 bhp Focus and a Suzuki 1000F. (The Suzuki officially has 140 bhp but independent tests have shown this to be nearer 160). On trips to Oxford to see my parents, the bike was no faster than the car. This was due to the need to unlock all the security and put on all my protective gear. In the car, I just jumped in and turned on the radio. The bike was faster than the car, in terms of brochure performance. But on the road there aren’t many places to stretch its legs.
In terms of enjoyment, this for me was entirely weather dependent. If it was warm and dry, then the bike was slightly more fun, which is testament to how good the Focus is. Especially when we bear in mind that I’m not talking about a sporty version! When it rained, the car was much more fun, partly because I felt safer maintaining high pace down a country road. If I was on the bike, I wouldn’t enjoy being wet and cold. Overall, for me I would prefer to commute in the car, given the choice. That is, when I’m allowed back in the office.
Do you agree? Which mode would you prefer? has this made you think about your commute? Do please feel free to join the family and share your thoughts with me in the comments. Thanks for reading!