As of this writing 6 of the top ten on this site are motorcycles or scooters. It's no surprise that these are very efficient forms of basic transportation, witness thier widespread use in developing countries where fuel is a large expense.
For most commuting requirements they fit the bill very nicely. They are reliable, cheap to buy, cheap to own, easy to fix and augment owning a vehicle with carrying capacity well.
So a question to the forum participants: Who ISN'T using one that would like to, and what's keeping you from buying one?
Well, in many countries, the fuel culture is very different.
First, there are places that have incredible taxes added to the price of gasoline. Europe is a great example.
Next, using Europe as another example, vehicle taxes are huge. So, if you'd like something like a 3.0l V6 VW, you're gonna spend thousands extra for the purchase in addition to thousands extra every year over the cost of registering a car with a smaller displacement. I know that limit used to be around 1.6 to 1.8l engines. That's why there were so many smaller engined cars coming from Europe that had good mileage that the US didn't have.
More, storage is a premium. So, keeping a larger car in a city that's been existance for 1000 years can be hard. You just don't have the available garage space, or road space.
So, a motorcycle fits in a small area, uses less gas, and it doesn't cost as much to own. With taxation very high, affordability is important.
So, the culture has had motorcycles as a regular part of the "road scape" for a long, long time.
Here, well, I don't think people pay attention very well. I have raced motorcycles for over twenty years now, and, frankly, it's scary out there on the road with the cars and blue haired ladies turning left in front of you.
yes, I would lover to travel through Yellowstone by bike, but I still prefer an air conditioned ride getting there with the family.
Occasionally, I do get a yearning for a street ride. More for the tinkering aspect and the unique opportunities that one do with relatively inexpensively with motorcycles of all brands.
My current bikes, race only: SV1000S and a GSXR750. I have an old H1 in the works, but that's an on going project.
Too many idiots on the road here to get a bike. I mean, I'd LOVE one. 50-60mpg driving to work would cut my expenses enough for the bike to actually pay for itself, but I can't bring myself to buy one with the way people drive here in New Mexico.
License is the only reason I don’t have one. If it was as easy to get a license here in Japan as it was in the states, I would have had a license 2 years ago. Unfortunately, there are a lot of problems with getting one, and the BS bureaucracy here. I will try for one next year just to see how bad it really is, and I don’t want to waste all of the work I have done to make the pencil pushers happy with my paperwork. Plus it will be great information for those who come after me who want to get their motorcycle license in my program. We have accumulated a lot of car information, but the bike information is completely lacking.
Next, the safety thing isn’t as big a deal here. There are enough scooters everywhere that most people know what to look for. But, I ride like everyone in a cage is a blind deaf idiot hell-bent on killing me, so it won’t really matter as much. Plus, it would be nice to have two vehicles, that have less displacement then one of my father’s truck cylinders.