Readers have been very vocal this spring and summer about their growing interest in motor scooters and motorcycles as a means to reduce their fuel consumption. The rapid rise in fuel prices is taking an unexpected toll on the average household, and these two-wheeled machines promise an entertaining alternative to commuting by car.
As we have conveyed in the forum and through blogs, the Cars team is looking very seriously at motorcycles and scooters. We've been visiting dealers, talking to manufacturers, and studying market research as we get our collective hands around these products and related issues.
One tool we have used is our latest Auto Pulse survey conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. The focus for this random, nationwide telephone survey was gas prices, and the results are presented in "Gas prices survey shows pain at the pump hurts at home." In constructing the interview-based survey, we did slip in a question asking the adult car drivers if they have considered the ultimate vehicle downsize--giving up two wheels.
What we found is that 26 percent have considered this significant change, with 18 percent looking at a motorcycle and 14 percent drawn to a scooter.
As we wrote in "Motorists move to scooters and motorcycles to save," sales of scooters are up 24 percent for the first few months of 2008. With gas prices continuing to rise, sales could increase during the summer months.
These numbers are quite dramatic given the inherent compromises with two-wheel transit, such as seasonal, fair weather use; limited speed; limited passenger and cargo capacity; and of course, safety. But clearly, there is an accelerating trend that we will continue to monitor.
Are you using a motorcycle or motor scooter to reduce your fuel costs? Considering purchasing one?
Join in the discussion in our forum. We’re interested in hearing how often you drive one; what you’re riding or considering; and what kind of fuel economy you are observing.
As always, be safe.
Read our full report and tests of scooters and motorcycles.
Join the discussion in the Cars forums to share how gas prices have impacted your lifestyle and what adjustments you are making to compensate. If you’d rather talk motorcycles and scooters, visit this forum.