$230 at US prices in gas savings with a CBR250R getting 70 mpg versus riding a 650 at 50 mpgUS. $570 savings in Europe. The savings versus a 35mpg liter bike or Harley would be $570 per year USA and $2000 in Europe. It adds up.
I switched my commuting vehicle from a 4.5L V8 premium gas only engine to the 250. Does make a difference I went from 70USD/week of gas to 15; insurance went from 1200USD/year to 350USD/year (for better coverage); maintenance costs fell through the ground; pleasure of riding is through the roof.
It all come down to dollars and cents. Inflation and fuel prices made people rethink about transportation and what they need to do to still get around and to work. With average household income dropping and fuel prices rising, people still need to get to work. $4000 for a sophisticated fuel sipper all of sudden makes a lot of sense (cents).
In the US, I believe motorcycle is not just a luxury toy, for some, it's now a necessity
I get a lot of pleasure out of the idea of doing the most with the least. My CBR and Helix 250s are the most fun to ride and tour on. I can see the Silverwing and S40 going away but not my 250s.
Plus I get a kick out of parking one of them when I'm touring with a bunch of "real" motorcycles and going "Hmm, 1/2 the price of that one, 1/4 of that other one." Of course if I'm on the Helix it is more like 1/20th or more. Just because I'm old doesn't mean I can't be immature sometimes.
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Probably more in the US that small bikes are becoming popular, I think they have always been pretty popular everywhere else. Maybe the US has traditionally had the bigger is better mentality along with chopper/cruiser bikes being more popular there than anywhere else.
Same with cars, I wouldn't have thought a mini or a VW Golf would sell very well in the U.S 10-20 yrs ago but from what I've read they do quite well now
No resurgence here in SE Asia; small motorcycles never went away.
The Honda Cub made motor transport affordable for millions when it arrived on the scene half a century ago. The design has been refined over the years, but the concept has remained the same. The current incarnation still weighs less than 100 kg and easily gets better than 100 mpg. Cheap to buy, starting at about $US 1,200, cheap, and simple to maintain, they make sense.
More people are getting cars now than in the past, but motorcycles still outsell cars in Thailand by at least two to one.
__________________ there are old motorcyclists and bold motorcyclists,
but you seldom meet an old bold motorcyclist
I just spent 5 days in Cartagena, Colombia and the motorcycle-car ratio had to be close to 1:1, it was really cool to see all those bikes buzzing around. The largest bike I saw was 200cc but the majority were in the 100cc-125cc and I'd say that a good 40%+ had 2 people on them. Granted it's a different world down there (when compared to the US) and the majority of the vehicles never see speeds north of 60km/h but I just love the idea of living somewhere where a 125cc bike is more than I would ever need for daily transport. They lane split like crazy down there too, I was very jealous...
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I used to have a 1995 Mustang GT, last of the 5.0's. Drove the heck out of it and nothing gave me more pleasure. Had to give it up when I couldn't afford to fix it (unenjoyment for almost a whole year). I haven't had anything else put as big a smile on my face until the CBR. It's just plain FUN.
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Everyone at my job is check to check. A new 600 is like a retirement gift when you hit 70. Its really harsh out there man. We have people making mid 20 bucks an hr eating microwave lunch cause 6 -7 buck is too much.
Finally the makers are sensing this.
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