Gas Prices and Motorcycles

I just go back from filling up my truck with $60 of gas. Ouch. So I thought I’d look at old posts I had about fuel cost savings.

First is that fuel in April 2006 was $2.60, which is more than I thought. Seemed to me out costs had skyrocketed in a year, but they’ve been in this range for over a year. I just paid $2.95/ gallon at Costco for regular unleaded.

Suzuki’s fuel savings numbers have been adjusted since I last looked. They are now look at the cost being $2.90. They also assume 22 MPG, and even my truck make 17 MPG on average. Which is the same as my RX-8.

Not that I’m going to get a motorcycle. There is the danger factor, but there is also just the cost.

Gas Gasp

My car cost 17 cents a mile in fuel to drive right now! Ouch. And prices are suppose to go up. Maybe its time to think about a motorcycle again.

Update: Read Ray’s comment where he breaks down his savings by using his motorcycle over his car. And his car gets better milage than my RX-8.

Color

BMWF650
Man I seem into these one word titles. Ray you corrupted me.

Caught the picture at the left on sportbikerider.com and liked the look of the bike. Its a BMW. It has a belt drive which I haven’t seen on anything but Harley/Buell. Doing a little research I find out the bike was designed by a maverick American at BMW.

I also found these pictures that show you can drop the bike at low speed without the fairing hitting the ground. So you could knock it over. Not really lay it down/crash it. Wonder if that impacts insurance costs? One of the reason sportbikes have high insurance rates is all the fiberglass that is easily damaged. Of course this bike isn’t a full fairing bike anyway.

One of the innovations in the bike is it comes in a variety of color schemes. Kind of wild to think you can pick from more than a couple of colors for a motorcycle.

Of course it is a BMW which means it will be expensive. Well its retail is $8,690 which isn’t great for a 650, but isn’t horrible either. Apparently this is BMW’s first belt driven bike and the first belt driven bike with a single swing arm.

They bike’s style is sort of a duel sport. Part off road as shown by the high suspension, but lots of street features. It also has a built in tank storage system which looks cool.

Mmmm haven’t been the the Houston BMW dealer. I think I need to look at this bike.

Written while listening to “Me Wise Magic”
album Van Halen Best Of Vol. 1
by Van Halen
Written while listening to “Rhythm of the Night”
album Moulin Rouge Soundtrack
by Valeria

Motorcycle Medics

Via Spoons: Motorcycle medics in Miami. At some point in the next couple of years I’m going to take the EMT course. I’ve always wanted to do it, mainly just to have the skills. Never thought about the two being used together. Of course you need cargo capacity, and the bike’s I’ve looked at don’t have that.

Fuel efficiency and motorcycles

Gabriel posted a comment asking for suggestions of fuel efficient motorcycles. I haven’t really paid attention to fuel usage on the bikes I’ve been looking at, but I found an AMA article on saving money on fuel costs over cars that I thought was interesting.

An interesting comment in the article is most people aren’t buy a motorcycle because of fuel costs.

UPDATE: I just reread my post Gabriel commented on and noticed gas cost $1.39 then and is $1.57 now. Which makes my fuel savings now $719 a year.

As an aside, I bought a helmet yesterday. Don’t even own a bike but I have a full face helmet now. There is a new cycle accessory store near where I work and I decided to stop in at lunch and see what they had. They have a bunch of stuff, including a whole wall of helmets. I was trying some of the cheaper ones for size. These were HJC helmets for $149. I looked over and they had a couple of helmets sitting on boxes for $79. They were normally $179, but were on clearance since they had a discontinued graphic design. There were only 2 left but they were my size, so I bought one.

Just did a search and here is my Fusion II helmet for $107.99 online. So I did get a good deal.

Now I just need to get a chance to ride.

Written while listening to “Where Life Begins”
album Erotica
by Madonna
Written while listening to “Deeper And Deeper”
album Erotica
by Madonna

DPS

Following Ray’s one word titles of late.

So Tuesday morning I decided to go take the test and get my motorcycle license. I arrive at the Department of Public Safety Driver’s License branch at 9 AM. The parking lot is 3/4 full, but I figure all I have to do is take a test. Should be on the fast track. Go in and the seat are 70% full. I get the form from the information desk and sit down to fill it out. I notice they don’t ask about the helmet exemption which reminds me I have no money. “Hey I wonder if I have to pay a fee to get a new license?”

At this point I should have just gone to work. I’m obviously too stupid to pass any kind of test. But instead I go ask the information lady. Did I mention I have a number? It’s 21. In the 10 minutes I’ve been sitting there they haven’t called any numbers so I don’t know how far down 21 is, but it can’t be more than, well, 21, so it shouldn’t be that long.

Told you I was stupid.

The woman tells me there is a $15 fee. I say I’ll have to come back another time. She says there are ATM machines at each end of the road at the gas stations. She also says I should have time to go there before my number is called, and if not she’ll remember me. That was very nice.

So I hop in the car and go to first gas station. Their ATM is out of order. I call work and let them know I’m going to be seriously late. I go to the other gas station and its ATM is also out of order. I ended driving to downtown Humble and going to a Wells Fargo bank.

I get back to the DPS and it is almost 10. I’m sure my number has been called. But alas no.

I sit in the waiting room for at least 40 minutes until I’m allowed the privilege of standing in line. There is one worker at the 17 terminals handling the line. I stood in that line for an hour before giving them my paper work and taking the eye test. Now I get to take the test.

The testing area is visible from the line so I got to watch a bunch of people take tests while I waited in line. All of them were taking the commercial drivers license tests. In the hour I was watching 8 people took the test and none of them passed. And they get to take it twice. This can make us feel good or bad. Good if it means the test is so hard only the best get to drive 18 wheeled trucks behind me on the highway. Bad if you figure they can take it again every day until they pass and eventually all of these idiots will get on the road. Behind me on my motorcycle. I was tempted to ask to take the test just to see how hard it was.

I took the motorcycle test and passed. Paid my $15, lowered my official weight 3 lbs, confirmed I had a CHL and got a new picture taken. I have a temporary motorcycle license and will get my new card in a couple of weeks.

It’s now 11:15 AM. Might as well get lunch on the way to work. Half a day shot dealing with the bureaucracy.