MOTORBIKES. We often think of them as loud, noisy machines that are extremely dangerous to ride on public roads. But my question is this: How do motorbikes really stack up when you compare them to cars? Are they really all that bad? Are cars really that much better after all? Well, to answer this question, you of course need to begin with the pros and cons of cars and motorbikes.
Let’s start with motorbikes. We mostly like to think of the dangers involved in riding a motorbike. And yes, there are big dangers out there, but the danger is most often not the motorbike rider himself. I take it that when a motorbike hits the back of a car, the rider might go flying into the car in front of him, but he probably wouldn’t kill himself without help. The killer is often the cars behind him. Often it’s the fault of a car driver when there’s a motorbike accident, because the car driver isn’t paying as much attention as he should, thinking he’s invincible and safe in his car compared to the motorcyclist.
So, motorbikes aren’t the safest thing to ride around in, but what are they good for? Well, in my opinion, probably the biggest advantage is practicality. I often see a motorbike slowly squeeze through the centre of the traffic at a traffic light all the way to the front of the line. Then they zoom off ahead of all the cars, their acceleration being much more effective than that of the average car.
Also, the fact that motorbikes generally cost less to buy and to maintain than cars is important too. While they don’t have much real storage space, you can buy a storage box to place on the back. But even then, they don’t have as much storage space as the boot of a car. I happen to have been on the back of a motorbike, and to me it definitely felt more interesting than being in the back of a car. Mind you, that’s partly due to the fact that the only thing I’ve ever done in a car is sit in the front passenger seat or the back seat. Anyway, you could say that motorbikes are very practical for people who are not living in a huge family, and who don’t require lots of space when they go shopping. Still, the things I listed there are things that you can’t get in most cars.
And now for cars. Cars, as I’m sure you know, can drive for longer distances than motorbikes, and have much more interior comfort and space. The thing about cars is that they’re a lot more comfortable to drive in when you compare them to motorbikes. Cars can have far more options in terms of what seats you want, what special features you want, etc. There’s really an endless list of options out there. In a car you can get seat massaging, seat warming, fold-out picnic tables, touch-screen TV screens, neon lights, and all these luxury features motorcyclists can only dream about.
Cars are also a lot safer to drive on roads than motorbikes. At least in modern cars you have a full set of airbags around you, and many other clever systems that help boost your safety and security in a car. Yes, they’re harder to park, you have to wait behind all the traffic, you’re generally a lot slower and less mobile, but they are miles ahead in terms of practicality. For example, for those of you who go to Costco or IKEA and plan on buying a kilo tub of Nutella, 500 toilet rolls, or a whole houseful of flat-pack furniture (which suggests that you have an enormous house and suffer from frequent bouts of dysentery), you’re much better off having a car with lots of boot space than getting there in half the time on a uselessly small motorbike. For example, when James and John go to Costco, the big storage box on the back of the motorbike could only store John’s overwhelming stock of Dettol hand-sanitiser bottles. Whereas, in a car, there’s actually enough space for everyone else to put a few other things in around the edges.
So, by looking at all this, it’s hard to answer the original question definitively, but I think that motorbikes can be useful when your living by yourself and don’t want to have to pay huge sums of money to buy it and keep it going. But I would think that a car is definitely more necessary for a big family, or even a small family. Car sizes can vary too, so you’re not restricted to just a decision between a Volkswagen Up and a Toyota Land Cruiser. It’s up to you to choose what vehicle suits you best really.
DISCLAIMER: most certainly NOT me.
Photo credit: .bmwblog.com/2010/09/29/2010-bugatti-veyron-16-4-vs-2010-bmw-s-1000-rr/