Many years ago, motorcycle riders were exempted from paying road tolls. Bridge tolls followed. B2 riders were exempted. Very soon followed the government’s decision to reduce road tax. Road tax for motors become RM2 only. But if you think that’s all the authorities are doing for motorcycle rides, you’re wrong. A few months ago, 135,000 Sirim approved safety helmets were given free in exchange for old helmets.
The above campaign had to be carried out. Motorcycle riders, it seems, were using old and worn out helmets, which the authorities claimed were dangerous. Each Sirim approved helmet, mind you, cost approximately RM80 – RM100. If you were to be a motorcycle rider, what more can you expect from the authorities? Unfortunately, how have these youths who ride motorcycle repaid the authorities? By becoming “Mat Rempit”, which is becoming a major headache for the government today.
Even Section 81 of the Road Transport Act 1987 has failed to deter youths from participating in illegal racing. The above act carries a RM2000 fine. It has even been suggested in Parliament that machines be confiscated. All these have failed to prevent the menace of illegal racing in this country. In spite of all these developments, the authorities came out with the biggest surprise of all just recently.
A bonus for all motorcycle riders, I should say. A directive to all driving institutes all across the entire country, that potential candidates opting to secure a B2 (below 250 cc) motor license cannot be charged more than a sum of RM211. Irregardless of whether the institutes make a profit or otherwise, the regulation now stipulates that’s the maximum amount a motorcycle rider can be charged. This tantamount to encouraging and assisting more and more youths, especially from the kampung areas to secure a motor driving license to ride motorcycles.
To tell you the truth, I would be happier if it had been the other way around. The authorities, it looks, has made a rather unwise decision. Instead of raising the minimum age of riding motorcycles to say 18 years, it has gone out of its way, to introduce recommendations to assist motorcycle users again and again. Lest it be said that I am against those who ride motorcycles, the fact it, I am not.
What does the sum of RM211, recently announced by the authorities encompass? Basically, the amount covers: 1) The “L” driving license. 2) Attendance of the K.P.P. course (5 hours). 3) Attendance of the theory class (6 hours). 4) Sitting for the highway code test (once only). 5) The Q.T.I. test conducted by the J.P.J. authorities. 6) The “P” driving license. Be it reminded that should you fail the highway code test the first time around, most driving schools and institutes would charge you RM50 for test and service included the next time around.
Potential candidates should also bear in mind, no service like fetching the student to learn practical lessons and training purposes are accorded. Likewise for all other tests and practical tests conducted, a student has to fend for himself. The instructor or driving schools or institutes provide no service whatsoever to the students. Be it also be known, that the profession of driving institution is a service oriented business.
Besides levying fees approved by the J.P.J. authorities, a driving school proprietor is permitted to charge a reasonable amount of what is termed as service charges.It should be reminded the driving school entity has to bear overhead and assorted charges. And for that, service fee has to be taken into account. I have chosen to explain this to the readers, as a failure to do so might lead those interested in taking up driving lessons, be it car or motorcycle, to misconstrue the manner in which the fees are charged and calculated.
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Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/monkey2k/whybike.com/blog/wp-includes/functions-formatting.php on line 76A lot of people coming from automobiles see the purchase prices of motorcycles and think that it is an inexpensive form of transportation. It is especially apparent when I talk to high school aged males who see that a summer’s wages can get a brand new 600cc supersport with aggressive looks.
Compare that to a used compact and it seems like a no-brainer when choosing your ride. Motorcycles are inexpensive but you can’t just plop down a summer’s wages and ride off into the sunset. There are a lot of other upfront costs that you need to consider as well as hoops you need to jump through. First is a license. A motorcycle license is not particularly hard to get, but if you take the MSF class which I recommend because it makes it easier, you will need to throw down a couple hundred for that.
The other consideration is gear. You can jump in a car in shorts and flip flops but to ride a bike you need protective gear. I budgeted $1500 for the basics, a helmet, jacket, pants, boots and gloves. I included another $1000 for rain gear. I wanted to compare how the real cost of owning a motorcycle stacks up against a car or SUV over 5 years. So I tabulated all the costs of owning 4 vehicles, a Suzuki GS500, a Harley Davidson Road King, a Toyota Prius, and a Jeep Grand Cherokee, and put it into the following spreadsheet.
I chose an efficient but plausible example commuter in the GS500 and Prius, and then a less efficient but still common example in the Road King and Cherokee. Costs of owning a motorcycle Excel file Here are the factors I used to calculate operating costs over 5 years and 50K miles: Purchase Price - MSRP Depreciation - From Kelley Blue Book Fuel Cost - $3.25/gallon, the current price at the station nearest me Safety Gear/Rain Gear Training Insurance Tolls/Parking Tires Maintenance/Service - Average cost from Yahoo Autos Fees, Taxes Repairs - Average cost from Yahoo Autos Opportunity cost is the amount of interest that the purchase price would have garnered if you had left it in the bank.
Looking just at the totals, owning a motorcycle can be half to four times cheaper than owning a car. But there are some differences that new riders will wan to be aware of that are not factors when buying a new car. While the purchase price can be 25% to 75% of the purchase price of a car, you need to buy gear and go through training. This can bring the cost of buying some motorcycles up to the cost of a car.
Here is where the motorcycle is saving you the most money ranked in order of percentage of savings: Tolls and parking Depreciation Purchase price Opportunity cost Insurance Surprising to some, motorcycles are more expensive for some things and other things cost about the same as cars. Here are some of those things: Safety Gear/Rain Gear Motorcycle training Tires Maintenance/Service Fuel costs turn out not to be that different, depending on vehicle.
A Road King compared to a Prius are close but you are actually saving money filling up the Prius. Comparing the fuel costs to an SUV on the other hand can save you a lot. Maintenance and service are also comparable. Where motorcycles cost more is in tires. Even though you only need to replace half the tires, they last a quarter of the miles and cost twice as much. Make sure you have some cash in the bank come 12K miles and you need to replace your tires.
So even though riding a motorcycle can save 25-75% over driving a car, there are some costs that you will incur. Here are the lessons I have learned and you should take into account when you are thinking about commuting by motorcycle. Maintenance is more frequent, but you can save some money if you do the maintenance yourself, but tools are expensive so short term you won’t be saving money. Tires are expensive.
The worst traffic is on rainy days, so investing in good rain gear is essential. Just because insurance is cheap, don’t skimp. A minor crash can cost a lot. Let me know your experiences with commuting on 2 wheels or 4. PermalinkThe URI to TrackBack this entry is: http://www.whybike.com/blog/wp-trackback.php/150