Ask Jack: A Six-wheeled Solution to a Four-wheeled Problem?
Everybody knows motorcycles are faster than cars, right? Except, of course, when they aren’t. On a dragstrip, under perfect conditions, with an immensely skilled rider and all the planets aligned, most of the modern literbikes can easily dispatch a Dodge Demon, McLaren P1, or Tesla P-whatever-Ludicrous-mode. If you can raise seven or eight thousand dollars in ready cash, you can walk into a motorcycle dealership and walk out with a new bike easily capable of breaking into the tens. On the roll, something like my Kawasaki ZX-14R can accelerate to a degree impossible with something like a LaFerrari â€” I know, because I’ve driven a LaFerrari and ridden my ZX-14R on the same roads.
So why isn’t the whole world, or at least the male half of it, on a sportbike every morning? You know why. They’re dangerous, even if you take pains to ride safely and sanely. They are sensitive to weather, road condition, and high winds. They are remarkably maintenance-intensive. They get stolen. You can’t carry much on them and you can’t travel spontaneously on one. Comfort is an issue. If you’re a track rat, then you know that mistakes on two wheels are far more likely to put you on the LifeFlight than their four-wheeled equivalents.
TANSTAAFL â€” There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch, particularly when it comes to using a motorcycle to do a car’s job. Yet the rush of riding a truly fast bike with all cares thrown to the wind can be a needle to the main vein for adrenaline junkies. Which brings us to this week’s question, in which a complimentary pairing of the Most Sensible Vehicle On Earth with something considerably crazier is considered.
This is the sort of calculation that haunted my twentysomething years. When I was 28 I got what I thought was the perfect combination: a Saab 9-3 and a Yamaha YZF600R, both brand new and both in glossy shades of black and grey. Looking back, I should have continued with the modestly priced car and modestly priced bike instead of dialing up an ever-more-expensive succession of frustrating German uber-sedans. Oh well. Hindsight is 20/20.
Here’s my suggestion: Start with a 2018 Toyota Corolla iM. Stick shift, of course. You’ll have a car that will give you an easy decade of service and be worth real money at the end. With the right steelies and snows you can conquer most weather at a total cost of maybe $800. The hatchback form factor will suffice for most home-and-garden tasks. There’s only one downside: it’s not a fast car by any means.
You can rectify that with the addition of the cyberpunk Yamaha FZ-10. Faster, meaner, and more comfortable than the FZ-09, it’s all the bike most people will ever need and it’s still somewhat less expensive to insure than a conventional literbike.
I’m thinking that a five-year loan on the Toyota will run you $345/month with nothing down and a four-year loan on the FZ-10 should be $275. A Mustang GT Premium with all the discounts would cost you $676 or thereabouts, so you’re ahead of the game. Insurance for the two should be about what you’d pay to insure the Mustang, depending on your record and your local susceptibility to theft. This gives you the best of both worlds: an absolutely worry-free commuting box for the average day and a vicious near-as-dammit-to-hyperbike for Sundays and holidays.
There’s just one problem: If you’re single, a Toyota iM isn’t exactly a chick magnet. The good news is that putting a woman on the back of your motorcycle is sort of like a cologne made from real panthers: 90 percent of the time, it works every time. So what are you waiting for? Your six-wheeled solution awaits.
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September 14, 2017 at 09:11AM