My car cost 17 cents a mile in fuel to drive right now! Ouch. And prices are suppose to go up. Maybe its time to think about a motorcycle again.

Update: Read Ray’s comment where he breaks down his savings by using his motorcycle over his car. And his car gets better milage than my RX-8.

I’ve been trying to ride my motorcycle as much as possible since Katrina. There are two trips I make regularly: University of Houston twice a week and College Station once a week.

My car requires around 16.4 gallons for the combined mileage (~22 mpg), the motorcycle requires 7.2 (~50 mpg). Compounding that, the car requires premium unleaded while the bike takes standard.

Cost savings at this week’s prices (if I can ride the bike for all three trips) is $28.54.

Of course, you’ll have to factor in “start-up” costs for the motorcycle (the bike itself, safety gear, etc.). My total cost for the bike, helmet, jacket, etc. was probably around $7k.

If I fudge and say that the average prices for gas over that period are $2.60 for regular and $2.80 for premium and exclude purchase costs, that gives me a cost per mile of $0.127 for the car and $.0.052 for the bike. So I save 7.5 cents per mile on gas riding the bike.

Since September I’ve put about 5,500 miles on the bike that would otherwise be on the car, resulting in a total per-mile savings of $412.50. Certainly not enough to cover the startup costs on the bike, but then the bike is a heck of a lot more fun to drive. =-)

er…. that last bit should say “total mileage savings of $412.50.” If it were per-mile savings, I’d be making money just riding the bike. =-)