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With rising fuel costs, are motorcycles the answer?

Many Americans may be considering buying a scooter to save money on their commute. Before selling one’s car, it’s best to consider all sides of the story. Motorcycles and scooters do have some apparent advantages over cars and trucks. But they also have some disadvantages.

Pollution: Many two-wheel vehicle proponents argue that motorcycles and scooters produce less pollution than their four-wheel counterparts. It all depends on the cycle one purchases.

Many reason that because the motorcycle engine is smaller, it naturally must produce less pollution. However, many motorcycle engines are devoid of the intricate anti-pollution technology of car engines.

Also, many of the smaller size motorcycles have two-stroke engines, which burn lubricants together with fuel to operate, causing even heavier pollution.

To be priced lower than cars, motorcycle engines need to be cheaply built, and that often means compromising agents that would staunch emissions. However, an electric scooter or motorcycle may produce much less pollution.

MPG: Two-wheeled cycles do generally get better mileage per gallon on a tank of gas. However, motorcycle engines may be smaller than their car cousins, requiring more frequent fuel-ups if traveling a good distance. Motorcycles are lighter than cars, though, which will help them go further.

What has to be considered, however, is that scooters and motorcycles may be an advantage to a single person or two riding together. But they won’t be as fuel efficient when compared to a car that can transport five or six people at the same time.

Space constraints: Motorcycles and scooters may have the leg up on cars with regard to the space they take up. In crowded urban areas, it could pay to have a motorcycle because parking will be much easier. Also, fewer cars on the road may make for a better urban environment.

Accidents: Anyone concerned more about accidents than gas savings might want to stick with a car. Statistics from most countries around the world indicate that motorcycles are involved in more accidents than cars, and fatalities are higher than with cars. Wearing protective gear, especially helmets, can help reduce the number of fatalities associated with motorcycle riding.

It is up to each individual to decide if a motorcycle is right for their lifestyle and would pay in cost savings down the line.


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