Why I Prefer Motorbikes to Cars

Everytime I ride

It's strange how a certain feeling can follow you all the time. Every time I go out for a bike ride, I feel completely different from when I sit in a car. On the bike I feel agile and free. I feel that I'm in control and that I'm happy riding. When I get off the bike, I'm usually happier than I was when I got on it.

In the car on the other hand, I feel slow, I feel trapped in the box and I feel trapped in the traffic. I feel out of control; I don't really know exactly where the corners of the car is. I don't see what's on the other side of the car. Not a very nice feeling actually.

Can't remember who said it, but from somewhere I got this; "Meditation is focusing the front of your brain with a mundane task so that the back of your brain can reorganise things" - or something to that effect. Maybe my "mundane task" is riding the bike, and maybe that's why I feel so much better after the ride..?!

Riding the bike just feels good - driving the car doesn't feel bad, but it doesn't feel good in the way the bike does.

The wind, the air, the smells

This probably sounds like a proper cliche, but it's hard to describe how alert your senses are when you ride your bike along a country road. You can feel the wind hitting you, you can smell the forrest, you can smell the newly cut grass. You can smell the barbeque. You can see the birds of prey circling the skies. Absolutely wonderful. Ride across a bridge with a wild river underneath it and you can hear the water, you can even smell it.
Couple this with strange feeling of the bike disappearing from underneath you when you ride along. It's like you're just hovering along the roads you don't even feel the bike under you. You don't control the bike, you control your own movement and the bike underneath responds perfectly.
All these sensations make bike riding such a fantastic "you are there" feeling. You go around the bend and fly towards the next one, you tip into the corner and surge out. It's all so perfect. You come to a village and slow down. You smile, you smell someone's newly cut grass. Someone is maybe burning some leaves somewhere, or maybe someone has just tossed some meat onto the barbeque.

Absolutely fantastic! You can't get that from driving a car along a country road. Never ever. It is just lovely out there on a bike!

The bang for the buck ratio

Another reason I prefer the bike over the car for is the incredible bang-for-the-buck-ratio you get.

Let's take my bike as an example. It's a BMW R1200GS of 2004 model. It weighs 199kg dry, it has got 100bhp out of a 2-cyl 1200cc engine. It tops about 135mph (around 220km/h). It reaches 60mph from stand still in about 3.2 seconds (yes! three point two). When I ride it I get about 10 miles per liter out of it. On the motorways across Belgium I get 230 miles before I turn to reserve and have to fill up the tank that usually takes about 18 - 19 liters. With the luggage I think I can pack up to 80 liters before I need to resort to a backpack or any other contraption. Oh, and the whole contraption cost me, brand new, less than £10,000.

Could I find a car that costs about £10,000 that does 0-60 in 3.2s with 45mpg? I think not!
A car that does 0-60 in 3.2s? Caterham? Porsche GT? Ferrari Enzo? Some come close, but you'll be paying through your nose if you do (and I'm talking out-of-the-box cars here).
45mpg isn't a problem - you can get cars like that - but jeeeeeeezzzz... aren't they boooring! You could even get one under £10,000. But they'd probably reach 60 in 32 seconds... Hmmm..

And this is my practical bike - what if I started comparing a cheaper and faster bike like the Suzuki GSX-R1000. Here you have a bike with 170ish bhp and 170kg (yes, that's about 1kg per bhp!) They sell for, maybe £7,500. They're electronically restricted to 299km/h - that's 186mph. They do 0-140 in about 10 seconds... Impressive!

You just can't beat a nice bike can you..

But you get wet on a bike..!

People who don't ride usually says that the best thing with a car is that you don't get wet, and the worst thing with a bike is that you do get wet.

The truth is that with proper bike gear you do not get wet. Seriously! However, the keywords are "proper" and "gear". If you have bad gear, you're not only going to be uncomfortable, but you'll be jeopardising yourself and everyone around you. But with proper bike gear you'll be warm and comfortable. My preference is Gore-Tex based garmets. I also wear waterproof boots and gloves.

The only real gripe about bike gear is helmets, or in particular visors. I still haven't found a helmet that will stay completely fog-free in all conditions. Other than that, you're nice and dry, and very comfortable.

Another myth killed; You won't get wet, but your clothes will on the outside. If you do get wet, you've got bad/old/wrong gear. Easy peasy.

Aaah... How lovely

There you have it. I prefer riding bikes because I feel agile, I feel in control. I love the prescense of nature, and I love to feel the wind and all other sensations around me.

A car is a nice form of transport, but I feel trapped, and far off from full control. I also think that I'm wasting a lot of natural resources when I'm dragging that huge tin-box around wasting about 4 empty seats of space. It's very handy for transporting large things, but to transport a singler person, no thanks.

Aaaah... Have to quit writing. I need to plot on my world scheme to quit work and go riding all the time... I wish.