Having performed a recent transportation analysis of my 10.9mi one way daily work commute, I came away with one conclusion for cost optimization.
Purchasing a $200 rain-suit solution that I can wear over my work clothes will enable me to use our 85-100mpg 2013 Honda PCX-150 for more of the year. Without this suit I am limited to about 50 days when the weather is naturally sunny, dry & warm enough to not require special cold rain gear.
Fuel Offset Math
The fuel savings are about $2 a day when I use the Scooter instead of the Subaru.
The Subaru in its current form uses about 1 gallon per day ($3) to cover my work commute. This economy figure will climb about 28mpg in warmer weather. Right now it hovers between 34-45 deg F in the morning & evening when I make my trips too & from work. The Scooter in its current form achieves about 90 mpg along the route too & from my work, requiring about 1/4 of a gallon or about $1 per day.
Extending the riding season from 50 warm days to a total of 100 total days means 50 extra days or about $100 in annual fuel savings. This is not enough to pay for the rain suit, but the rain suit will last more than a few seasons. Assuming it lasts 50 years & helps to offset $500 worth of fuel, the addition of a rain suit will end up paying for itself while producing a 100% yield in savings. The actual rain suit I found retails online for about $130 + shipping & tax = $150 + add a fleece from Costco for $20 = $200 of gear rounding up for safer budget math.
Turning off the car insurance during the warmest Summer months will also net $120 in annual savings, enough to pay for the tabs on the Scooter (annual registration fee)
I already got some warm motorcycle gloves last summer! Thanks "Lake City Power-sports" in Seattle!
Alternative Add On's for enhance cold weather resistance!
1 ."Fleece, polyester, insulated" scarf or neck wrap $50
2. Aerostich Roadcrafter one piece rider suit" lux ^^ $1000
3. Icon Airmada Volare "hi vis. helmet" $300
4. Turtle Neck Fleece or warm eq. (Snow-boarding)
5. Fabric Store "Black Stick on Velcro" for zipper sealing
1. No Overkill, consider when you are really willing to ride!
2. Consider gear ROI vs Risk Adjusted Reward
3. Cheap Fleece vs Exotic Patagonia : Frugality @ Costco
4. Snowboarding Layers (long undies) considered
5. Hi-vis vs fashion priority : especially in King County
About the Scooter : A 2013 Honda PCX-150
With less than 3000 mi on the odometer, this 153cc liquid cooled fuel injected single produced 10kw (13HP) at 8500 RPM transmitted to the real wheel via an automatic v-belt to the tune of a max speed of 68mph (making it highway legal in the USA)
Around town it gets just over 100mpg, while full speed highway riding nets about 85mpg : if I keep the highway speed at about 50mph, it gives up about 90mpg.
Someone ran into it while it was parked on a sloped driveway last summer, causing some cosmetic damage to various parts :( Otherwise it is in good working order!
The OEM sport windscreen offers little protection, though modifying it remains outside the scope of my interests. I actually have a plan to replace the scooter with a CB300F at some point in the future. I want to get a lot of use out of it before I switch over to another platform, something I aspired to do a long time ago but never happened.
All Season Considered
The "adventure" touring all season riding is not for me. I wake up and look at the weather radar data almost every morning & check it at night when I get home from work. The Accu-Weather app on my phone gets a lot of use on the go too. Climate & weather are more interesting to me than other people due to my interest in motorcycles and related road use thereof since about 1998.
Riding in the rain is dangerous due to the tiny contact patch area of a curved motorcycle tire surface with the road surface, asphalt, concrete, etc. Gravel, steel manhole covers or grates, sand & wet painted road markings provide almost no "grip" for your tire contact patch, allowing wheel spin that can destabilize your two wheel vehicle. This is especially problematic when braking or accelerating over "slippery" road surfaces while entering or exiting a corner.
The Honda CB300F seems like a natural alternative to the PCX-150. I similarly like the KTM Duke 390! My first 2 bikes were 600 super sport bikes & I am over that class for commuting too & from work. A 1999 Honda 600F4 & a 2005 Suzuki GSX-R600, the 600 super sport bikes are remarkable as machines, but in both cases the 34-46 mpg was not inspiring given that my 05 Prius returns better fuel economy with a huge steel air-bag enhanced all weather protection safety frame crumple zone hybrid tech etc.
The Depreciated cost structure of the PCX-150 will not be eclipsed for a decade or better, driving the search for winter gear knowing that to use it more or to make good use of it, I need to be able to use it for more of the year
My helmet is approaching the end of its design life, an expensive Arai GT, I would like to add a cheaper winter ALT to the mix, though doing so is precluded from my financial agenda to pay off credit card debt as fast as possible.
On the way to work yesterday I came to a stop on 405 almost 60 times because of foggy weather & stupid drivers in King County who do not look ahead, race to chase tail lights, slam on their brakes for reasons that cannot be explained, cannot hold their lane margins, drive like they are drunk + sleep deprived & asleep at the switch. A mix of Asian people & people from India who have extremely limited driving skills, King County is home to some of the worst drivers in America. The traffic congestion has more than triple since the late 1980's when I started paying attention. More people keep flocking here from all around the word for reasons that are beyond the scope of my negative conclusions about the drivers, their lack of skill, and why riding in traffic makes me feel nervous deep down and has so far kept me from riding much, especially after dealing with a work related series of back injuries. Sometimes my 10.9 mi commute only takes 17 minutes, other times, often the next weekday without explanation the same route takes 55 minutes. Wednesday vs Thursday the 8th & 9th of March for example were a flip toggle like this. On Wednesday the commute was fluid & traffic was flowing nicely & seemed light. Thursday, phantom slowdowns galore because of foggy weather + poorly skilled drivers galore, the commute thereby took more than an hour. Given the average speeds achieved (mostly 20mph or less) the scooters 10kw engine is more than able to meed the power requirements to pull me along with its frame on wheels down the freeway. Actually in these lower speeds between 15 & 40mph the scooter achieves its peak fuel economy ~102mpg from its 153cc liquid cooled fuel injected single that reaches peak output