Most of my road trips were in cars. Recently I did a few trips on bikes, thanks to bike rentals that are now available and because of my recently bought new bike. Both bikes and cars have their advantages and disadvantages, when being used for a road trip. In this post of mine, I am trying to compare the two.
Usually take less time
Usually slower, except in city conditions where bikes can negotiate traffic easily
Always paid, causes delay in case of long queues, factor about 2-3 Rs per km for toll expenses
Usually free, except few places like NICE Road etc, I could catch up with all cars that overtook me at the next toll both where they waited in queue while I could zip ahead in the bike
Less space. Painful if there’re lots of stuff to carry
Relatively Safer. During minor accidents car’s body takes the hit, in case of medium accidents seat belt and airbags can save lives.
Cars are more stable in case of sudden obstacles like a pothole, stones etc
Safety is poor despite wearing helmet, jackets etc. Ride might be thrown off the bike in case of impact, skid etc.
Bike airbags are available, but not common
High, bikes can usually go twice or thrice the distance than a car for same amount of money
No of passengers
Max 2, not possible if both have a bag each
Bags and other stuff can be kept in car and locked
Since everything is exposed, leaving stuff behind could be risky. Either one has to carry it along or find a cloakroom or plan other means to ensure safey of luggage
AC, Heating, foldable seats on which one can sleep, more comfortable driving position
Not as comfortable as a car, frequent stops are required to relax and refresh
Maneuverability & Access
Narrow roads are not accessible by car. Parking, turning etc will be difficult.
Bikes are more fun to cut a corner at high speed, negotiate small roads/congested roads. Bike can go wherever a car can go, not true other way round
Cost of ownership
Relatively Cheaper to own and maintain
Relatively easy to manage because of spare wheel
Manageable for bikes with tubeless tyres, puncture kit and a foot pump, but not everyone carries all of these.
Difficult for radials (tube tyres)
Protection from weather
High. Car’s body offers basic defense against adverse nature
Poor. Rider has to suffer chilling wind, rain, hot sun and other elements
Formation, Group rides and photography
Traveling in multiple cars is not that fun as each car will be on its own. You can’t make much formations.
Riding in a group of bikes is more fun, as one can form a formation, single/double file lines etc. It is more fun in group travel than cars
This depends on how expensive/exotic the car or bike looks like. Riding a 6 lakh Harley can get you more attention than a 9 lakh Ertiga
Not comfortable, not safe
|17||Community Support||Not many. Car owners often go on trip alone, do not go in large groups of cars. There're few groups but mostly online, not as active as bike groups||There're many active biker communities-by city (Ex: Bangalorebikers), by Bike maker (Ex MadBulls). Very easy to interact with other bikers and plan road trips||Bike|
As you see, cars have more advantages- 6 for bikes vs 10 for cars. What are your thoughts?