To many motorcycle enthusiasts, motorcycles are merely toys. These toys come in many shapes and sizes—from sportbikes for spirited trackdays, to adventure bikes for weekend getaways with friends. However I’m sure it has crossed your mind, as a motorcycle enthusiast, to consider commuting to and from work, or to anywhere for that matter, on your beloved steed.
Undoubtedly, there are quite a number of cons—reasons for you to save riding your motorcycle for weekend leisurely rides. However, in as much as there are cons, there are twice as many pros—reasons why it is a good idea to commute with your motorcycle. So, I’m going to try to convince you that commuting on your motorcycle has quite a lot of benefits.
First, for a little context. I live in the Philippines, a country with one of the worst traffic conditions in the world. I’ve been commuting to and from work on my motorcycle for a couple of years now. I’ve practically seen it all as far as city commuting is concerned. From 40-degree summer heat, to torrential downpours in the middle of the monsoon season that had me chilled to the bone, I’ve managed to survive and enjoy commuting on my bike regardless of the situation. I’m lucky enough to have the option of driving myself to work in the safety of a four wheeled enclosure, also known as a car, when riding my bike is simply out of the question. However, the joy that motorcycling brings me seems to cut across the drudgery of day-to-day life (that’s one pro right there).
I'm one to take my vegetables first, so let's discuss the cons. Quite honestly, I don’t think the cons need that much enumeration. Of course, you have the exposure to literally all the elements. From sun, rain, snow (if it snows where you live), and not to mention the high levels of pollution in densely populated cities, you get a front row pass to experience all of these up close and personal. There’s also the increased chance of getting into an accident as opposed to driving a car. Us being on two wheels means that we’re more likely not to be seen, and the fact that we don’t have the protection of doors, bumpers, and airbags doesn’t help either.
Lastly, commuting on your motorcycle means you’ll be needing to change into your work or office clothes when you get to work. This can be a slight inconvenience, since you may even need to go as far as taking a shower before proceeding to your desk.
You can practically go on and on about all the cons of commuting and actually riding a motorcycle in general. However given the fact that we are into motorcycles means that our wants and needs transcend those of mere utility. Don’t get me wrong, motorcycles offer a hell of a lot of utilities under the right circumstances. To give you a rundown of some of the pros which definitely outweigh the cons, for starters, commuting on a motorcycle means that you get to save money on gas with the added bonus of lower emissions (depending on what motorcycle you ride).
Of course it goes without saying that you would look utterly stylish rev bombing your way into your office parking complex, with envious coworkers giving you nods of approval. Kidding aside, riding your motorcycle will also save you a lot of time, especially if lane splitting is legal where you live. Now in most Asian countries, lane splitting is practiced by all motorcycle riders. However the legality of lane splitting is a lot murkier in America and in parts of Europe, so the time saving aspect comes with an asterisk.
Another pretty cool pro, especially for you folks who are trying to stay in shape, is that riding your motorcycle can be quite a workout. In fact, studies have shown that riding a motorcycle burns significantly more calories per hour, as compared to driving a car. Of course this number varies from person to person, as well as the conditions of the environment you’re riding in. I personally burn an average of 500 calories on a one-way ride to home from work, or vice versa.
Lastly, another pro that motorcycling gives you is something that can be difficult to measure simply because it’s a very personal thing. I’m sure we can all agree that our motorcycles are our pride and joy. We love every moment we spend with our bikes. So it’s definitely extremely beneficial for your mental health to do something you love everyday, right? Personally, riding my motorcycle to work everyday keeps me sane. It’s one of the few things I look forward to starting and ending each day.
So there you have it. I hope I was able to convince you to even consider taking your motorcycle to work tomorrow, or the next day, and the day after that. Motorcycling is truly an awesome thing, and it’s something I wouldn’t give up for the world.