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Thread: Motorcycle Maintenace Costs versus Automobile

  1. #31
    Proud Veteran SteveAikens's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    BTW - isn't the speed limit in NM is something like 65 or 75 mph and I'm lucky that Tire Rack has lot's fitment options in the $100 per tire range for my lowly 2003 330i.
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  2. #32
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osbornk View Post
    I don't think we are making the proper comparison. We are comparing a mode of transportation that is normally used for mass transportation to a mode of transportation that is normally used for recreation/sport. I think a more accurate comparison is with other modes of transportation that are also normally used for recreation/sport. I think the cost per mile or the cost per hour of use should be compared to small boats, small aircraft, snowmobiles, etc. I think motorcycles compare very favorably.

    I think it also compares favorably with other recreation/sport activities that are not transportation related. I have friends who are tennis or golf fanatics. When all costs are considered, motorcycles are a bargain.
    Hmmm......comparing BMW maintenance costs those of a Continental or Lycoming engine is interesting. Of course, a boat owner has two great days...........the day he buys and the day he sells.

    But, if that is what BMW wants to aim for........I'm sure they can find some customers to fund their dreams. However, I'll be looking for other places to spend my money.
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  3. #33
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    That the motorcycle is more expensive to maintain shouldn't be a surprise. The already mentioned tire replacement interval is a case in point. But if you really follow most cars' recommended service intervals to the letter and have the dealer do the service, it's not that big a difference as you might think. How many of us change the car's brake fluid, transmission fluid, rear end fluid and power steering fluid at the recommended times? And what about timing chain replacement at 60K miles? did you have that done too? cabin air filter? I'll bet not many of us.

    I think we let things go on a car longer because most mechanical failures will just make us pull over and call the tow, whereas some catatrphic failure on a M/C may be more harmful to our health.

    I also agree that a M/C should be compared to other recreational vehicles since whoever uses their M/C for 100% of their travel is certainly in the minority at least in the USA.

  4. #34
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClassicVW View Post
    That the motorcycle is more expensive to maintain shouldn't be a surprise. The already mentioned tire replacement interval is a case in point. But if you really follow most cars' recommended service intervals to the letter and have the dealer do the service, it's not that big a difference as you might think. How many of us change the car's brake fluid, transmission fluid, rear end fluid and power steering fluid at the recommended times? And what about timing chain replacement at 60K miles? did you have that done too? cabin air filter? I'll bet not many of us.

    I think we let things go on a car longer because most mechanical failures will just make us pull over and call the tow, whereas some catatrphic failure on a M/C may be more harmful to our health.

    I also agree that a M/C should be compared to other recreational vehicles since whoever uses their M/C for 100% of their travel is certainly in the minority at least in the USA.
    I change car brake fluid every 5 years to avoid slave and master cylinder corrosion/failure. Timing belt changes at 60K are foolish to avoid. Timing chain changes I've never heard of.

    But, I have lots of places that will do that work at rates well below the BMW rate book and in many cases my BMW dealership will advise me (as a long time customer) to go elsewhere to get some services at a local market price.

    Equating MC maintenance rate costs to something other than cars, is just a rationalization by the customer to accept the high costs. Unfortunately, that rationalization doesn't provide any economic benefit to the customer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 36654 View Post
    I change car brake fluid every 5 years to avoid slave and master cylinder corrosion/failure. Timing belt changes at 60K are foolish to avoid. Timing chain changes I've never heard of.

    But, I have lots of places that will do that work at rates well below the BMW rate book and in many cases my BMW dealership will advise me (as a long time customer) to go elsewhere to get some services at a local market price.

    Equating MC maintenance rate costs to something other than cars, is just a rationalization by the customer to accept the high costs. Unfortunately, that rationalization doesn't provide any economic benefit to the customer.
    You haven't heard of a timing chain?

    You're not listening to what I was saying. I only meant to state that if you have both dealers, auto and M/C do everything that their respective service manuals state should be done, that the costs narrow considerably. I did also state that the M/C costs are greater.

  6. #36
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    Maintenance cost for Motorbike vs Automobile

    The OP is merely asking "why" it costs more to maintain a motorcycle more, and to answer that question properly is first we need to establish how are you using the bike. And what is important to you when riding a motorcycle, this is based on how you are using the bike.

    If you are using it as your main source of transportation, then you are really concerned, IMHO, in getting from point A to B. You may not be too concerned if it's parked outside all year round. This is similar to most car drivers, hence, you don't want to necessarily maintain the bike or upgrade things if you don't have to. You may pass on the 6,000 mile or 12,000 mile service and do it when it is really needed.

    • It is quite true that motorcycle is a toy (you don't need it, cause everything you do on a motorcycle can be done on a car and do much much more).
    • Motorcycling is a sport
    • Most people also fall in this category - Motorcycling is a hobby.


    When you look at those three items, cost to operate starts to become of a secondary point, while the fun and safety starts to take precedence.

    As someone pointed out earlier, maintaining a high performance vehicle will cost more if repairs are required. Now why do we follow the prescribed schedule is because we are scared that what if it breaks when you are hundreds of miles away from home. That is not fun, in fact, it rained on your fun event. No we don't want that to happen, hence, we take precautions. You then follow the gurus (dealership service advisers, BMW, anyone who tells you something from their experience, etc) and spend the money so we minimize failures.

    You also do it because you want safety. Someone tells you if your tire pressure goes down and you chances xxx could happen, you go get TPM, if they say traction control will save you from possible fallout, you go sell your current bike and buy new with Traction Control, etc. We are scared and we don't want accidents, 'cause it hurts, hence, you will spend the money to rectify this. You don't care this if you have a car.

    You spend money farkling, why? 'cause you want convenience! Extra lights for safety. Engine guard - in case you drop. Rain proof gps vs regular. I bet if I were to offer a rider a garmin weather proof gps and a nuvi at zero cost, you know which will be the ideal pick!

    There, in a nutshell you spend because you WANT to, and not that anyone is imposing on you. And your reasons for "want to" can vary on your needs and requirements and how you view riding a motorcycle - commuter, enduro, touring, racing, or any combo.

  7. #37
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ClassicVW View Post
    You haven't heard of a timing chain?

    You're not listening to what I was saying. I only meant to state that if you have both dealers, auto and M/C do everything that their respective service manuals state should be done, that the costs narrow considerably. I did also state that the M/C costs are greater.
    Yes, I've heard of a timing chain, but the 60K change is the typical replacement interval for a timing belt on a car.
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  8. #38
    Mike LngRdr's Avatar
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    Maintenance

    Thank you, pretty well sums it up with a direct comparison between a high performance car and a BMW motorcycle.

    Another mystery to me, headlight bulbs, I might get 15k before bike bulb needs replacement. Haven't replaced 1 yet in the car.




    Quote Originally Posted by Norms 427 View Post
    I have a 2007 Corvette Z06 and I also have a 2012 BMW 1200 RT. The Chevy is a higher performance machine than the BMW capable of a top speed of 198 mph with the factory stock 505 hp engine. I find the following maintenance comparison quite interesting:

    Maintenance Schedules of My BMW RT vs My Chevy

    1. FINAL DRIVE / DIFFERENTIAL:
    BMW RT: final drive fluid changed at 6,000 miles then every 12,000 thereafter
    Chevy Corvette: changing differential fluid not needed

    2. VALVES:
    BMW RT: adjust valves every 6,000 miles
    Chevy Corvette: no valve adjustments, hydraulic actuation

    3. SPARK PLUGS:
    BMW RT: spark plugs changed every 12,000 miles
    Chevy Corvette: spark plugs changed at 100,000 miles

    4. THROTTLE:
    BMW RT: sync throttles every 6,000 miles
    Chevy Corvette: no synchronization needed, drive by wire

    5. TRANSMISSION:
    BMW RT: change transmission fluid every 30,000 miles
    Chevy Corvette: lifetime transmission fluid for manual transmission, automatic transmission fluid changed every 100,000 miles

    6. BELT:
    BMW RT: replace alternator belt every 30,000 miles
    Chevy Corvette: engine accessory drive belt inspected at 150,000 miles and replaced only if showing wear

    7. COOLANT:
    BMW RT: no engine coolant
    Chevy Corvette: change engine coolant at 150,000 miles

    8. BRAKE FLUID:
    BMW RT: brake fluid changed every 2 years
    Chevy Corvette: no scheduled change (!)

    9. AIR CLEANER:
    BMW RT: air cleaner changed every 12,000 miles
    Chevy Corvette: changed every 50,000 miles

    WARRANTY
    BMW RT: 3 year or 36,000 mile
    Chevy Corvette: 3 year or 36,000 mile plus 5 year or 100,000 mile powertrain warranty

    FINDING THE MAINTENANCE SCHEDULES
    BMW RT: Do you feel like going on a treasure hunt?
    Chevy Corvette: Printed in plain sight right in the owners manual

    SERVICE MESSAGE
    BMW RT: To turn off the message you must visit a dealer or buy an aftermarket GS-911 gadget.
    Chevy Corvette: To turn off message for oil change, turn ignition on (but not motor), floor the accelerator 3x in 10 seconds, turn ignition off.
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  9. #39
    Mike LngRdr's Avatar
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    Thanks

    Thanks for all the replies. I didn't start this thread to get any arguments going, just some discussion which many of you have provided. I enjoy the bike and will continue to add on the miles and learn more about doing my own maintenance.
    I know it's a toy/hobby and the money I spend on it is discretionary spending. I do think it should require less maintenance than it does and the cost of that maintenance is higher than it should be. I pay to play in my other hobbies so I will continue to do it with the bike. Thanks again for the comments.
    IBA Number 49673
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