True Cost of Buying A Used Motorcycle and Motorcycling Hobby, Used C50 As A 1st Bike - Suzuki Volusia Forums : Intruder Volusia and Boulevard Forum
 22Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
VR Member
 
FireManC50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 159
Thanks: 1
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Garage
Post True Cost of Buying A Used Motorcycle and Motorcycling Hobby, Used C50 As A 1st Bike

Sharing my high-level break-down of the true cost of getting into Motorcycle hobby.
Yes, I know: some of the items listed below (except repairs, maintenance, and some protection gear) are optional. Yet, these upgrades make motorcycle riding so much more enjoyable, as well as a lot safer.

Bike:
I bought my first motorcycle in September 2018. It was a 2008 Suzuki Boulevard C50 Special Edition (different paint and decals, cast wheels instead of spokes, otherwise identical to other '08 C50) with 2,900 Miles. Bike spent a lot of times seating in somebody's garage, and I believe no regular maintenance was done to it for a very long time. Bike came with Vance & Hines exhaust (I still don't know if I like it or it is more of an annoyance), handlebar raisers and a rusted Lowjack.

Repairs:
I fixed some of the critical components at the shop (wheels, breaks, gas tank) and the rest of the maintenance and upgrades were done by me. In the process, I've bought some gear, extra lights, upgraded to LED for most lights (except the headlight - this got an upgraded halogen bulb), did a few popular mods, and bought some accessories to improve comfort.

Future buys:
I still need to buy a bike jack to ease periodic maintenance and storage.

Come sprint I might invest in a different jacket (mesh, higher quality) and again next winter (heated gloves, proper winter riding pants).

From this point on, I don't really need/want any additional modification made to the bike, unless I find Smalley's HB adapter somewhere.

A few summaries on the below numbers:
  • Cost of buying a used bike, that includes Motorcycle, Registration & Tax, Necessary Maintenance and Repairs comes out to $4,312.70
  • Protection gear is the next big spend, with close to $1,600.
  • Optional motorcycle equipment and mods, tools, and various chachkas come out to approximately $1,350 .


High-Level List - $
  • Accessories $212.20
  • Equipment $864.64
  • Maintenance $94.34
  • Motorcyle $2,806.00
  • Protection Gear $1,578.44
  • Registration $239.13
  • Repair $1,173.23
  • Tools $256.65
Grand Total $7,224.63

High-Level List - %
  • Accessories 2.94%
  • Equipment 11.97%
  • Maintenance 1.31%
  • Motorcyle 38.84%
  • Protection Gear 21.85%
  • Registration 3.31%
  • Repair 16.24%
  • Tools 3.55%
Grand Total 100.00%



Detailed List
Accessories $212.20
Bluetooth $95.85
Cover $85.00
Key $6.52
Lock $24.83
Equipment $864.64
Crash Bars $173.88
Electrical $119.91
Key $10.89
Lights $286.58
Reflectors $5.99
Seat $52.00
Windshield $215.39
Maintenance $94.34
Electrical $5.42
Engine Coolant $22.89
Oil $66.03
Motorcyle $2,806.00
Inspection $6.00
Motorcycle $2,800.00
Protection Gear $1,578.44
Boots $184.95
Ear plugs $32.61
Gloves $165.60
Helmet $230.30
Jacket $212.39
Pants $143.99
Airbag Vest $608.60
Registration $239.13
Registration and Tax $239.13
Repair $1,173.23
Labor $621.66
Parts $525.83
Saddle Bags $10.99
Seat $14.75
Tools $256.65
Electrical $42.15
Mechanical $44.98
Miscellaneous $23.66
Oil $2.44
Storage $143.42
Grand Total $7,224.63


Conclusion:
If you are buying your first bike, a used Boulevard C50 is great option. It is not too powerful to kill you on the first ride, but it has enough power to take you on a highway and have some fun around the town. It has decent comfort (seats could be better) and fairly simple maintenance (if the electrical system is in decent shape). There is a lot of aftermarket accessories that are easy to install.
It is fuel injected - no carburetor related challenges. Most of the parts are available on the web, and some of them are even reasonably priced used (exception include OEM fuel cap for $130 (). Volusia Riders Forum is a goldmine when it comes to troubleshooting and helping new riders with their Suzuki cruisers.

P.S.
I originally planned to spend as much $ on repairs and protection gear as I've spent on the motorcycle itself. That came to be very true. If you are satisfied with a stock bike, and can do some basic maintenance yourself, look to spend anywhere from 30-50% of the purchase price of the used bike on repairs. That ratio is approximate, and varies based on a brand, age, labor rates, etc.

P.P.S.
Skimping on protection gear is not a good idea. Your skin, bones and scull are much softer than anything that you might impact even at 10 MPH.

Joy Rider

2008 Suzuki C50 Limited Edition

Last edited by FireManC50; 12-13-2018 at 04:00 PM.
FireManC50 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to FireManC50 For This Useful Post:
Whiskey (12-13-2018)
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 01:27 PM
Senior VR Member
 
Petey2006(No)C50C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 235,687
Thanks: 153
Thanked 1,368 Times in 1,109 Posts
I gotta say, "You be good with figures."
ronken10 likes this.
Petey2006(No)C50C is offline  
post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 02:44 PM
Super Moderator

 
DCinCT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Ct,Columbia
Posts: 17,736
Thanks: 1,912
Thanked 3,213 Times in 2,073 Posts
can't worry about money invested in good quality riding gear... w/o it...all the money one spends on the mc becomes senseless if the rider is unable to ride anymore. I remember I had a similar list I kept on my first mc...2004... I'll have to see if I can find it...remember the final cost owning that bike exceeded the cost I paid for it new. Best money ever spent for the pleasure it gave me and the people I met thru riding....especially here on this forum.
floydrturbo likes this.

Whats the big hurry...slow down and enjoy the ride!

DCinCT is online now  
post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 02:58 PM
Super Moderator
 
beezer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: The Slate Belt
Posts: 52,354
Thanks: 2,132
Thanked 4,265 Times in 3,262 Posts
Garage
like me?
Paraquat likes this.

beezer is offline  
post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 04:06 PM Thread Starter
VR Member
 
FireManC50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 159
Thanks: 1
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCinCT View Post
can't worry about money invested in good quality riding gear... w/o it...all the money one spends on the mc becomes senseless if the rider is unable to ride anymore. I remember I had a similar list I kept on my first mc...2004... I'll have to see if I can find it...remember the final cost owning that bike exceeded the cost I paid for it new. Best money ever spent for the pleasure it gave me and the people I met thru riding....especially here on this forum.
If you find your list, please share with us. I'm very curios to compare 2004 figures to today's.

Joy Rider

2008 Suzuki C50 Limited Edition
FireManC50 is offline  
post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 04:48 PM
Super Moderator
 
Whiskey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Kennesaw, GA
Posts: 19,853
Thanks: 1,486
Thanked 1,679 Times in 1,272 Posts
Garage
Wow! That's a heck of a breakdown. Personally, I choose to remain ignorant about how much this hobby has cost me over time. Thanks for sharing though, I'm sure it will be useful for someone thinking about getting started with a motorcycle. Especially those young people who think that they can save money by getting a motorcycle instead of a car.
ronken10 and DickB like this.

Music, Motorcycles, and Family... Nothing else really matters in life!

2005 Boulevard M50 (DOA)
2006 Boulevard C50 (retired)
2000 BMW R1100RT
2017 KTM Duke 390

Whiskey is offline  
post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
VR Member
 
FireManC50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 159
Thanks: 1
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskey View Post
Wow! That's a heck of a breakdown. Personally, I choose to remain ignorant about how much this hobby has cost me over time. Thanks for sharing though, I'm sure it will be useful for someone thinking about getting started with a motorcycle. Especially those young people who think that they can save money by getting a motorcycle instead of a car.
It might be more economical to ride a motorcycle (cheaper vehicle, cheaper gas, cheaper tolls, cheaper insurance). If all maintenance is done yourself, it can definitely be a somewhat cheaper option for commute.
However, motorcycle doesn't replace a car, and car doesn't provide the same experience as riding a motorcycle.
floydrturbo likes this.

Joy Rider

2008 Suzuki C50 Limited Edition
FireManC50 is offline  
post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 05:35 PM
Super Moderator
 
Whiskey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Kennesaw, GA
Posts: 19,853
Thanks: 1,486
Thanked 1,679 Times in 1,272 Posts
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by FireManC50 View Post
It might be more economical to ride a motorcycle (cheaper vehicle, cheaper gas, cheaper tolls, cheaper insurance). If all maintenance is done yourself, it can definitely be a somewhat cheaper option for commute.
However, motorcycle doesn't replace a car, and car doesn't provide the same experience as riding a motorcycle.
I'm not convinced on that. The vehicle may be cheaper, but there are plenty of cars that get motorcycle level fuel economy these days, so I think the fuel savings aren't nearly as much as people think they are. Cheaper tolls might apply, that just depends on where you live. We've got a number of toll roads around here, and some of them are free for motorcycles to use, but there are some that charge for motorcycles.

As for maintenance, I'm not convinced on that one either. First, in my experience the cost of taking the vehicle somewhere to have maintenance done if you can't do it yourself is significantly higher for motorcycles. There is far less competition in that market, so the labor rate is much higher. I get oil changes on my car for $35 at the dealership and could probably get that down to $25 if I searched around. I got stupid and took a motorcycle into a shop for an oil change one time and it cost me nearly $200 for that lesson.

Second, from a parts standpoint, although the bike has less oil in it, resulting in cheaper oil changes, I find the biggest maintenance cost to be keeping tires on a vehicle. I can get tires for my car at around $100 each, including mounting and balancing; I just roll into the dealership and roll back out an hour or so later with new tires. By contrast, motorcycle tires seem to run around $100 each for the cheaper tires, and that's just the tire. If I want to save money, I have to take the tire off and take it to the shop to have them swap the rubber, which will cost me around $25 per tire. I'm now at around $250 for motorcycle tires vs $400 for car tires. Seems like I saved a lot of money, right? Wait just a minute. Motorcycle tires seem to get maybe about 5-6k miles. If you drive really conservatively and get hard tires that will corner like crud, you might get 10k out of them. By contrast, I can get 30k miles out of a set of car tires while driving like Dale Jr and I know people who regularly get 60k miles out of a set of tires. Let's do the math on the tires and equal them out:

Motorcycle - 10,000 miles for $250
Car - 60,000 miles for $400
Motorcycle - 60,000 miles for $1,500

That's just tires. I haven't gotten into the cost or replacing clutches on the motorcycle vs the fact that my car's CVT has 160k on it and hasn't even needed any maintenance done to it.

Oh yeah, one more thing is insurance. Yes, motorcycles are cheaper, but usually, people aren't getting what they need. One reason they're far cheaper is that insurance companies list them as recreational vehicles and expect that they will only be operated on the weekends for a few months out of the year. If you're going to use your motorcycle for regular transportation, you should tell your insurance company that and expect that your rate will immediately double. If you don't, you'll most likely be fine, but if an adjuster figures out that you've been using it for primary transportation and not as a recreational vehicle, they could nullify your policy and refuse a claim when you need it most. Granted, even at double the cost, my motorcycle insurance would still be hundreds less than my car, but that is something to consider.

Sorry but from the numbers I've run, cars are far more economical than people think they are and motorcycles cost a lot more than people seem to believe. Your mileage may vary, of course, but I wouldn't encourage anyone to go for a motorcycle just to save money. They are cool though, and that is worth something.

Music, Motorcycles, and Family... Nothing else really matters in life!

2005 Boulevard M50 (DOA)
2006 Boulevard C50 (retired)
2000 BMW R1100RT
2017 KTM Duke 390

Whiskey is offline  
post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 06:19 PM
Senior VR Member
 
scorpion46's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Indiana
Posts: 17,482
Thanks: 1,532
Thanked 1,494 Times in 1,331 Posts
Garage
I find it's hard to put a price on enjoyment, relaxation, and stress relief. We won't even mention the fun of riding around with the wifey and just being out of the house on a beautiful day with no worries and going where I want to.
Can't really let the wife talk me into shopping with the limited room and she knows I hate shopping, with her, and I'll leave her there.
Let's not forget the joy of doing charity rides for friends, family or, especially, needy or sick kids. Charity rides are priceles.
ronken10 and Whiskey like this.

I can head East or West, it doesn't matter as long as it's on 2 wheels.

Last edited by scorpion46; 12-13-2018 at 06:22 PM.
scorpion46 is offline  
post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-13-2018, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
VR Member
 
FireManC50's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 159
Thanks: 1
Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Garage
Point taken on motorcycles potentially not as cost efficient to commute as cars.
I wonder what is the situation in countries where gas costs are 4-6 times higher that in US, and cars cost double due to to import fees? Some countries tax engine displacement, others tax face value of a vehicle, third just don’t have enough space or road infrastructure for all the people who want and can afford a car.
Of course we are not trying to compare apples to oranges here (both round, both have nutritional value, yet very different in essence), but motorcycles are still a very much a minor part of people lives in US, same as bicycles (which I rode for 10 years in NYC before buying my first MC).

As the saying goes, “the bigger the boys, the bigger (and more expensive) the toys”. It is very hard to put a price tag on enjoinent of riding. Every time I take my MC for a ride (New York City), I stand in traffic, it is often hot/cold/wet or too dry, but my trip becomes and experience, rather than a dull daily activity. Not every time positive, but non the less something I would forget later than a boring subway/bus/cab/car ride to my destination.
Whiskey likes this.

Joy Rider

2008 Suzuki C50 Limited Edition
FireManC50 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Suzuki Volusia Forums : Intruder Volusia and Boulevard Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome