WILLIAMSTOWN - As gasoline prices fluctuate from around $4 per gallon and fall to $3.70 per gallon, many people have been looking for ways to save money, but not by purchasing a motorcycle.
"A lot of people are coming in to buy bikes, but we haven't heard much from customers about gas prices," said Patsy Hardy, co-owner of S&P Harley Davidson in Williamstown.
Kenny Hardy, general manager of the Thunder Road facility, said that the store has seen a surge in motorcycle sales, but fuel savings is not a main factor.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Kenny Hardy, general manager of S&P Harley Davidson in Williamstown, poses with several of the store’s motorcycles. Hardy and store co-owner Patsy Hardy said they are selling more motorcycles as gas prices fluctuate, but do not think higher fuel prices are a reason people are purchasing bikes.
The average motorcycle gets anywhere from 35 to 60 miles per gallon, while the average midsize car gets roughly 20 to 30 miles per gallon, according to Environmental Protection Agency 2009 gas mileage statistics. Combine fuel economy with increased motorcycle publicity and that helps explain why more people have turned to this two-wheeled form of transportation, Kenny Hardy said.
Hardy continued that gas mileage for a motorcycle is the same as for mileage for a vehicle.
"Gas mileage depends on the model of the bike and the riding style," he said. "You could have a bike that gets 60 miles per gallon and only average 40 miles per gallon because of the way it is being ridden."
Other motorcycle enthusiasts are warning potential buyers that while the fuel savings will draw you in, there are costs in bikes.
"People who enjoy riding and the sport of motorcycles are more likely to get their money's worth out of the purchase than someone who buys a bike for fuel economy," said Mike Radcliff, sales manager at Lemon and Barrett's ATV and Cycle in Mineral Wells.
Radcliff said his store has not seen an increase in motorcycle sales at all, let alone due to increased gasoline prices.
"A few years ago when gas initially spiked and prices reached $4 per gallon, we saw a huge increase in sales and people realized they could save some money in gas if they rode a motorcycle," Radcliff said. "Unfortunately, it ended up costing them more because they don't love to ride."
Radcliff said that unless you enjoy motorcycles and are passionate about riding them, you will end up losing money on the cost of the bike's purchase, safety equipment and insurance than you will save on fuel.
"I have seen it 100 times," he said. "A guy comes in and buys a bike to save money and he loses money because he doesn't ride the bike enough to offset the cost.
"Unless you are someone who just loves to ride, don't invest in a bike for savings," Radcliff added.