Yes, riding a motorbike or scooter is fun in summer sunshine. But there are ten good reasons not to wait that long:
1. Longer lie ins.
On dark winter mornings you could actually get an extra half hour in your cosy bed while everybody else is shivering at the bus stop or railway station. The average motorcycle commuter spends less than half an hour on each journey, less than car drivers and about half the time of the average railway commuter. Hmm... that could be an extra 30 minutes snoozing every morning.
2. Bag a bargain.
Most dealers have great offers on new scooters and motorbikes at the end of the year, because they want to make room for next year’s models. Go in and check out what they have, then make them an offer. Many manufacturers offer attractive finance deals, so you could be riding a brand new motorcycle away before you can say “zero per cent”.
3. If it’s good enough for George Clooney and Angelina Jolie...
Motorbikes are everywhere in Hollywood, from movies like the Green Hornet and Harry Potter to off-duty stars relaxing with some laid-back cruising or sporty fun. You may not be able to afford a Malibu beach house or a designer frock, but you can ride what they ride for surprisingly little.
4. VAT goes up in January.
So you’re only saving £50? That’s enough to buy a cosy pair of gloves, which reminds us...
5. Cold-weather biking doesn’t have to hurt any more.
Modern motorcycle kit is so effective at keeping out the cold and the wet, you’ll probably get to work warmer than if you’d stood waiting for the bus. Windproof layers, thermal linings, and even heated boots, gloves and waistcoats, can keep you toasty. Some motorbikes even have heated handgrips to keep your fingers warm. Luxury!
6. Burning less petrol suddenly seems like a really good idea. (see 4 above).
With bills rising faster than household incomes, forking out over £50 for a tank of petrol makes a big hole in your budget. Scooters and smaller motorcycles fill up for less than £20, and keep going all week on a single thankful. Want to try for 100 mpg? You need to be on two wheels!
7. Nobody ever arrived at work grinning because they’d been sitting in a traffic jam for an hour.
Not only does a motorbike or scooter get you door-to-door cheaply, quickly, and with the minimum of fuss, you can actually enjoy the journey. Rolling between crawling queues of traffic is only part of the fun. You’re more aware of your surroundings on a motorcycle, you’re always improving your riding technique... and how many times have you seen car drivers share a nod, a smile or a spontaneous conversation at the traffic lights?
8. Train fares go up in January.
Fares are set to rise by an average of 6.2%, meaning you’ll fork out more for the same overcrowded journey beset by engineering work and the wrong kind of leaves. If you’re a season ticket holder, you can probably buy a motorcycle for the price of your annual ticket. To see how much you could save by switching to two wheels, try our Travel Savings Calculator.
9. You can go and see all the options at the bike show first.
Until December 5th all the major manufacturers will have their models on show at the NEC. Pop along to Carole Nash Motorcycle Live 2010 and take a close look. Do you want a cruiser, a nifty scooter or a rugged adventure style motorbike? You can even test ride a few, to get a proper feel for what suits you. And if you haven’t got your licence yet, get started with a Free Ride at the Get On stand in hall 4.
10. You always suspected you’d look great in leathers.
There must be somebody who’d like to buy you some for Christmas...