Happy New Year! Yes, it’s a new year, which means that it’s time for a fresh start. So why not make your resolution to be more frugal with money (let’s face it – that fiscal cliff thing likely has you paying more taxes) while helping the environment? How do you do this? Well start by storing that gas-guzzling SUV of yours and investing in a two-wheeler (scooter, motorcycle, dirt bike, etc.). You’ll go further between fill-ups, save money at the pump, all while helping out the environment too. Bikes are perfect for city living, as they allow riders to easily zip in and out of traffic while getting from “point A” to “point B”— and they’re fun to ride to boot!
Just how economical can a two-wheeler be for you? Try up to 70 miles per gallon, or an astonishing 132 MPG with the 2012 Yamaha Zuma 50F, according to TotalMotorcycle.com. For comparison’s sake, the Toyota Prius, largely considered the most popular hybrid car on the market, gets about 51 miles per gallon on the highway. Here’s a look at four categories of bikes, how they can work for you and why now is the time to downsize from four to two wheels.
Dirt bikes are one option for your daily commute but, unlike the other bike options we’ll be mentioning, you’re likely going to have to do some work to make your wheels street legal. They typically come in 2- and 4-stroke models, the former of which is less fuel efficient than the latter, so consider shopping for a 4-stroke bike if you really want to save money on fuel. There’s also electric options out there for dirt bikes, such as the line manufactured by Razor, including the MX Rocket 500.
Of the options listed in this article, scooters generally get the best gas mileage— but they’re also typically not as powerful, as fast or as large as dirt bikes or motorcycles. For this reason, scooters and mopeds are better served for the city-living rider and not so much the commuter from the suburbs. They’re also an ideal option for students living on college campuses. What’s more is that there is a wide variety of electric options. Take for instance the EVO eco-scooter, which can achieve over 100 mpg and costs less than $1,500.
Generally speaking, there are two types of motorcycles out there – smaller bikes and large cruiser types. But both offer great options for commuting and can be purchased reasonably for less than $10,000 in most cases. And let’s face it – motorcycles are cool, arguably much cooler than a street-legal dirt bike and moped-type scooter. In addition to looking stylish, motorcycles also make it easier for you to zip between cars and lanes, which can be done safely if you do it right, according to GQ.com.
While motorcycles are likely to cost more than the aforementioned categories, you can save money in other ways, such as buying quality, but cheap motocross helmets and other accessories to offset the high costs.
There’s plenty of options in the small motorcycle category, but if you’re out for exceptional fuel mileage, consider the Yamaha TW200 – it gets about 74 mpg. Also be sure to shop your local Honda dealer, as Honda makes a variety of bikes that get well over 70 mpg. You could also go electric with a model such as Yamaha’s Electric Monkey Bike.
For large-bike lovers looking for great gas mileage, the king of the might just be the Lifan 200 Sport, which gets over 80 mpg.
As you can see, downsizing from four to two wheels is a great way to “go green” and save some green, too. And of course, this isn’t even considering perhaps the most popular two-wheeler of all – a bicycle, which is even greener if it’s applicable to your daily routine.
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