Common Questions about Motorcycles

Common Questions about Motorcycles

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Before purchasing any motorcycle, it is important to conduct an adequate amount of research. Since operating a motorcycle is drastically different than that of a car, you should understand how they operate, the laws that you may be subjected to, and the maintenance requirements within your state. Here are some frequently asked questions regarding motorcycles:

Can motorcycles drive between lanes?

Commonly referred to as lane splitting, driving between lanes can be an effective way of reaching your destination quickly. Motorcycle drivers can drive in between stopped cars, thus shortening their commute. In most states, lane splitting is illegal because it is deemed dangerous. The only exception, California, recently changed its laws, still allowing land splitting but under certain circumstances. Motorcycle drivers cannot drive more than ten miles per hour faster than the surrounding cars. In addition, the speed of the surrounding cars cannot exceed thirty miles per hour. In most cases, experts advise against lane splitting.

Do motorcycles save on gas?         

Generally speaking, it depends. In many cases, a motorcycle can save on gas. Many bikes purport to get upwards of fifty to seventy miles per gallon, which will definitely cut your gas bill. However, it depends on the actions of the driver. For example, if you use your motorcycle for your daily commute and do not act erratically, then yes. However, if you speed and do all sorts of ill-advised tricks on your motorcycle, then you may not save on gas. In addition, there are many cars on the road, such as hybrids and electric cars, which are very fuel-efficient. If you are looking to purchase a motorcycle to save on gas, make sure to research the bike thoroughly.

Do motorcycles need to be smog checked?

Whether a motorcycle needs a smog check depends on the state that you live in. For example, California and Arizona requires some motorcycles to be smog checked. Others are exempt due to the age of the bike. In most jurisdictions, new bikes do not normally have to be smog checked. If you are unclear as to whether a bike must be smog checked, then refer to your local Department of Motor Vehicles.

Can motorcycles use express lanes?

This also depends on the rules of your state. In some states, you need a certain amount of people in a moving vehicle in order to use the express roads. Others, like in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, allow motorcycles to enter express lanes for free. In other areas, they can use the lanes but still have to pay the same price as automobile drivers.

Does motorcycle oil and coolant expire?

Yes, for the most part, car and motorcycle oil will expire after a certain point. On the bottle, most motorcycle oil has a date of expiration. After that date, the oil can become less effective and can eventually damage the engine. All motorcycle riders should get their oil changed routinely so that the engine runs smoothly. In motorcycles, coolant can also go bad and should be replaced regularly. Those who race their motorcycles, which is ill advised, will need to change both their oil and coolant more often.

Is riding a motorcycle more dangerous than riding in a car?

Although there are many safety mechanisms installed in these moving objects, motorcycles can be dangerous, especially when an inexperienced driver operates them. All motorcycle drivers must remember to operate the bike with care and not try any risky moves. In most cases, experts suggest that riding a motorcycle is riskier than riding in a car because the driver does not have the outside physical protection that a car may have. However, if you choose to ride a bike, you can take a series of precautions, such as always using a helmet, to protect yourself.

Is motorcycle insurance cheaper than car insurance?

Of course with all insurance, the cost largely depends on factors such as the driver’s record, age of the driver, or geographic location. In many cases, states may require more coverage for someone who operates a car; however, most states do require motorcycle riders to carry liability insurance. In most cases, vehicles are more expensive than motorcycles so car insurance will probably be a little more for car drivers. There are some motorcycles that are worth upwards of $50,000 but in most cases, you can purchase a motorcycle for much less than that of a car. Before purchasing any motorcycle, make sure to investigate the insurance options.

So, should you purchase a motorcycle? Well, it depends on a number of factors including your lifestyle, daily commute or driving record. When making the decision, make sure you research your options for a bike thoroughly and read the many consumer reviews. If you ultimately decide to purchase that bike, make sure to drive it safely!