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Should I Get a Motorcycle?

Having two sons means I am being urged on a daily basis to be cooler than I was yesterday. So in a move no parent should make, as we were driving to Barrie Sunday I asked both my boys whether I should get a motorcyle and whether we could it sell it to their mom as an environmentally conscious/money saving move.  (Please do not try this at home).

We had a lot of fun with that idea.  We agreed it should be a speed bike, like a Ninja 500, not a hog. We were pretty pumped about the "this will save a pile of money" and "imagine the carbon footprint" angle we dreamed up in our head. This wasn’t really our motivation, but it sounded so good.

Then came dinner and I broached the subject.  My gracious bride, who is used to living with three men, didn’t completely choke on her food.  We imagined how long it would take before I was in a serious accident (probably not long) but persisted as we thought about how much money we would save.

Then we did the math.  The Ninja would get 20 mpg more than my car…I could drive it every day for six months of the year (it does snow here)….We pulled out the calculators at the dinner table.  And then we discovered that the Ninja would pay for itself by the gas it saved if I drove it every day for…are you ready….55 years.  We double checked the math.  Yep. 55 years. 

I would have to drive the stupid thing till I was well over 90 to make it pay for itself.

Stupid idea.  Stupid logic. 

Next time, I have to do the math before I raise the subject.  Darn it. 


  1. Stafford on June 27, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Carey…I came across your post via Google's blog alerts and it struck a chord. I just received my M2 license after completing the Rider Course up in Owen Sound last week-end.

    As someone who also has economical priorities to consider (mortgage, kids in high school and university), I would counsel you to hang on to the dream regardless. I too am looking for a bike as well. Not sure when or how, but I will keep you posted.

  2. L Fournier on June 26, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Every day for 55 years?! Is there room to strap a walker onto the back?

  3. carey nieuwhof on June 25, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    I can do about 30 on a flat stretch (it's a mountain bike, not a road bike). The 61 was going downhill, fast. Pardon the pun.

  4. Jayne on June 25, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    I have to ask…were you heading downhill?

    If not, I am impressed!!

  5. Carey Nieuwhof on June 25, 2008 at 10:44 am

    You guys are so helpful. A smaller used bike. Scooters that make people look cool. And a life cycle of 27 years for my bike to pay for itself, not 55.

    Until I lose the last 20 lbs, maybe I should stick to mountain biking. No emissions, and it makes me fitter. And I went 61 km/h last night (for like 5 seconds). That was fast!

  6. m.w. smith on June 24, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Here's some research you can add to your math, just in case you are in the mood to contemplate it a while.

    1. says the Ninja 250 gives you 20-25 mpg more than a Ninja 500. By purchasing less horses you may get less power, but more distance. Maybe it starts to pay for itself quicker.

    2. According to recent studies by Professor Diener with the Erasmus University Rotterdam, evidence strongly suggests that happy people live longer than unhappy people. The difference was actually nine years of life.

    Not sure if that mathematically makes you a 99 year old man with bike that could be overpowered by a lawn mower…but it might suggest that you'd be smiling.

  7. wonderdog on June 24, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    If you want to go the carbon footprint route, try getting a vespa.
    Imagine how cool you'd look going to the football game on one of those babies!

  8. Rebekah on June 24, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Hmmmmm, perhaps you should get council from our wise friend, Fred on this. 😀

  9. Brian on June 23, 2008 at 11:33 pm

    Carey, man. You're aiming too high. Check out www, and look at the used bike out there. You can get a real nice 2003 Ninja 500 for $3500. And you can find a better deal than that I am sure.

    It only makes sense 😉

  10. Carey Nieuwhof on June 23, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    @ Pat D. Yeah. You are so right. But I renovated my whole house a few years ago and kept all my fingers and toes. So who knows?

  11. Pat on June 23, 2008 at 4:35 pm

    Seeing you climbing the ladder at Trinity during the "No Perfect People Allowed" series makes me seriously question the wisdom of this idea… haha

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