When you’re commuting to work, there are a number of factors you need to keep in mind every day. What does the traffic look like? Will you be late? What’s your excuse going to be if you are? With so much to think about, it’s completely normal to neglect everyday aspects of your commute that really should be serving you better, and one of these aspects is definitely your mode of transport.
You might have an old faithful car that you’ve been using to take you to work since as far back as you can remember, but you might not be using the right mode of transport. If you’re a dedicated driver, you might want to consider a motorbike, and if you’re a diehard biker then switching over to cars might be for you. Here’s a list of ways in which they’re both great for a commute (and some ways they’re not so great).
Motorbikes require specialist equipment
We’re going to start off with something that some people might see as a negative, but it’s important to get it out of the way early. If you’re going to be a motorcyclist, you definitely need to come equipped. When you’re driving, all you need is a pair of sensible shoes, but motorcyclists will need to wear sturdy motorcycle boots, a good solid helmet, and riding gear. You could be putting yourself in serious danger otherwise.
…but they’re much faster
Thanks to filtering, you can easily improve your position on a motorbike when you’re in stationary traffic. Bikes are much easier to turn and don’t feel as heavy or cumbersome to operate as cars, so you’re likely to feel more in control as you drive and potentially get to where you’re going quicker. If you’re in a hurry, you definitely want a bike rather than a car.
Cars offer better bad weather cover
Sometimes, when you’re biking out in the rain, it can feel like there’s nothing worse. The water lashes against your helmet, your tyres feel like they’re not gripping as well, and you wish you’d stayed at home. A car is by far the more comfortable choice when bad weather happens to strike. If it snows, you’ll be thankful you’ve got a car because there’s no chance you’re making it anywhere on your bike unless you’re an expert rider.
…but they cost more to run
Usually, motorbikes are much more fuel-efficient than cars. The most fuel-friendly motorbike can sometimes reach levels of up to three times the efficiency of less environmentally conscious cars. If the environment is a concern to you, and if you’re running a little low on cash, then running a bike day-to-day tends to cost less. This isn’t always the case, but as a rule of thumb, it’s right more often than it isn’t.
Motorbikes are less safe
The fatality rate of motorbike riders vs car drivers is not favourable to the former. If you’re safety-conscious, you definitely have better odds if you’re in a car. Of course, clever and conscientious drivers will avoid accidents much more reliably than reckless ones, but even if you’re driving perfectly there’s a higher chance of you being seriously injured if you’re a motorbike rider.
…but they cost less to park
Quite frequently – in the UK, at least – you’ll encounter dedicated motorbike bays in car parks. These bays are very often free, which means you’re saving a potential small fortune in parking fees if you opt to travel by motorbike. Of course, this isn’t true of every car park, so this won’t be the case every time you ride. Still, you’ll really start to notice the money pile up if you take advantage of free motorbike parking.
Motorbikes take up less space on the road
If everyone rode a motorbike to work, the roads would feel and look significantly less congested. The fact is that most cars aren’t necessary for the single occupants who drive them. Estimates suggest that around 80% of the space in a car is completely wasted if it only contains one person. A bike is much smaller, much more compact, and much less likely to cause traffic disruption.
…but you can’t really listen to music or podcasts
You may scoff, but for a lot of people, this would be a make or break factor. Cars offer great safe havens in which you can listen to your music, blast it as loud as you want, and nobody will tell you not to. You’d need to take special measures to be able to listen to your music on a motorbike, and these aren’t even particularly reliable. If you depend on your music to get you through, a car is your option.
The fact is that both motorbikes and cars can make great vehicles for your morning and evening commute. Which one you prefer will, of course, depend on a mixture of the factors above. It’s not a simple binary choice; if you’re more environmentally-conscious, you’ll prefer bikes, but if you want more personal space, then a car is the obvious choice. We hope we’ve illustrated that both are completely valid and that your personal taste is the most important deciding factor.