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Mar 3, 2017

Commuting on a Motorcycle

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Governments such as ours here in Canada are constantly investing in massive public transit infrastructure; they are so invested in this particular cause, that they spend further money in attempting to convince us that public transportation is - as the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) likes to call it - ‘the better way.’ It’s no secret that many times the best way to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘B’ may be by foot, bicycle, or public transportation. However, this is not feasible for a colossal segment of the population; it’s just too impractical. A motorcycle however, is in fact ‘the better way’. Here is why:

 

A basic adult Metropass will run you just under $150 per month, and this is in the hopes that you do not require any extra passes such as the Presto card that is required for neighboring cities in the GTA, like Ajax or Brampton. When you multiply this by seven riding months and you’re looking at $1050 in total, plus the extra time that it is taking you to commute daily, it becomes clear that it can definitely get better than that.

 

Depending on your commute and lifestyle, you can buy a limited speed motorcycle (scooter, or a ‘Vespa’) for roughly $1500 brand new. If this is not your cup of tea, you can also go for an entry level motorcycle such as a 250cc, for under $4000. This may become a bit tricky if you want to travel on the highway, so in this case you may want to start looking at bikes that are 500cc and higher. These bikes can be found for a starting price of as low as $5000 brand new. In fact, several decent candidates for commuting can be found for under $14000 brand new. This is much cheaper than your average economy car. If you want a motorcycle for commuting but do not want to spend a ton of cash and you are somewhat mechanically inclined, you can find great deal on used bikes on websites such as Kijiji or Craigslist.

 

Fuel economy on motorcycles is unbelievable when you compare it to several of the available compact cars in the market. Averaging 7.8L/100km is something that is not very uncommon in the bigger bikes. If you go down a notch or two, you may even see crazy numbers such as 2.3L/100km. I know, it sounds unreal, right?

 

Maintenance, unlike in large vehicles, is cheaper and more accessible to the average consumer. With some guidance from your local OtoMoto DIY shop, you can do virtually all the maintenance that a bike requires. Oil and filter changes, wheel balancing and changing, carburetor jetting - you name it, you can do it! The cost of maintaining your motorcycle will be significantly less than what you would spend on a car.

 

On another note, there is a large misconception about motorcycle insurance in Ontario. Yes, Ontarians pay up the… well you know… for anything related to transportation and insurance. However, if you are an adult with a clean driving record, riding an average motorcycle, your premium may in fact surprise you. A 25-year-old, with little experience, driving a 400-750cc motorcycle may pay somewhere around $140/month in insurance. There are several insurance companies and brokers that will happily quote you, so it is better to check with them for accurate information before making a buying decision.

 

Let’s face it - Toronto loves motorcycles! You are able to access the carpool lane, have free street parking (where cars have to pay), can find easily accessible designated street parking for motorcycles, and the perks go on!

So what do you say? Grab a bike and we will see you on the commute!

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  • How Ethanol Is Killing your Motorcycle ​ Nowadays, every gas station has opted-in to including ethanol in their gasoline as a supplement. Ethanol is an alcohol that is derived from plants (corn). This modern fuel is cheap and renewable, but it is also killing your motorcycle engine. There are several reasons why you should opt out of using fuels that contain ethanol. Here are a few: Ethanol is an alcohol which burns way hotter than your regular petroleum-based gasoline. This causes engines to overheat, and the rubbers inside your fuel system, carburetor and engine to dry out and crack. Ethanol is a water magnet. If you were to store your bike with an ethanol mixture in the tank, the bottom of your tank would become pure water. When you go to turn on your bike in the spring, your bike will siphon all the water into the engine. We all know what water does to engines! Ethanol will also create huge issues with the materials that your carburetor is made out of. Are you ready for corrosion and blockage in your carb? I hope not. Ethanol evaporates differently. As a result, your bike will have to have modified tuning if you opt to use ethanol in your engine. Finally, the best gasoline that we have found in Ontario is Shell premium grade gasoline (91 octane), as they claim it contains no ethanol. You can really hear the engine running differently when you use this gas versus fuels from other stations. Any thought on this?

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