The first trip, before I headed off to work, was to stop by the DMV. It was a fairly simple process. Armed with a form I filled out online, my driver's license, an insurance card, the title from the previous owner, and my check book, I was pretty much ready to roll.
I had one additional form about sales tax to fill out and $114 later ($42.40 in sales tax, $71.30 for registration - which is almost as high an the year's insurance!), I had plates and sticker in hand, and a 10 Day inspection ready to go.
After finishing a landscaping job down at the La Salle Institute, I decided to pick up gear from Marshall's Motorsports on my way home. I came to this decision after first stopping at Spitzies Motorcycle Center on Central Ave. in Colonie. They had some AWESOME bikes down there. Some of the monthly payments were close to what I paid for my bike as a whole. The cheapest helmet that I could find was a little over $300. There were some cheaper ones but they had Harley-Davidson written on the side, and I thought that would look foolish to be wearing on a Honda. I had already bought a leather jacket off of Ebay and I just had to play the waiting game until it arrived. It was your standard biker jacket. It supposedly retails for $105, but I managed to get it for $15 plus shipping ($25 - bogus), for a grand total of $40. Still a lot less if the retail was close to accurate.
Once I was in Marshall's, I wandered around looking at the different options. Marshall's comes off as more of a dirt bike place but they have been really friendly and are a lot closer than other options I have found, so I thought I'd go back. I was looking for a full face helmet with a shield. I figured that I spent a lot of money on this brain and rugby has dented my face enough, so I wanted something that covered everything if I were to lay down my Magna. That ruled out a lot of the selection, but I ended up choosing a HJC CS-12. It looked a little more built for a sport bike, but it gets the job done. I also managed to get it on sale, marked down from $109 to $75. I thought I'd share two interesting notes I learned this week about bike helmets:
- I read in my owner's manual that helmets are good for one impact. That includes dropping it of the dinner table onto the floor or off of the bar on the back of your bike to the pavement, on accident. It made me much more careful as to where I put the helmet.
- According to my buddy Dennis, who was inspired to buy a bike this past weekend now that I am riding (he is an old Magna owner), a helmet is only rated to 13 mph for a head-on collision (no pun intended). If your head strikes something square faster than that, chances are that you will break your neck anyway. Wow.
Once I had everything adjusted, I spent some time going over the bike. I tried to get familiar with the controls so I knew what I was doing when my buddy Paco came over that afternoon to go for a ride. I also checked the gas to make sure that I had some and estimated that I had close to a full tank (although looking back after filling it, it was probably closer to 2/3 of a tank. I also contemplated how much money I had spent thus far to "save money" at the pump. I keep telling myself...Start Up Costs...
Purchase Price: $610
Sales Tax $42
Jacket : $40
Gas to Pickup : $60
Cycle Permit $14
Total Thus Far: $1,035 or
345 Gallons of Gas
I figured if riding my motorcycle gave me 3:1 gas mileage as compared to my Ram. I drive about 20,000 miles per year in my truck. I am estimating that I can expect to save about 6,000 miles (because I will drive it on rainy days and still use it for landscaping, etc). At 13 mpg and @ $3.00 per gallon, that costs about $1385. On the Magna, I can expect to only spend about $514. That is a savings of $871. When you consider that I will recoup the cost of the bike, helmet, gloves, and insurance in the first year, that isn't so bad. I will have continuing costs of registration, inspection, insurance, and maintenance (and tires are a need in the near future). I am also estimating gas mileage because I haven't filled it up yet, so the numbers are just estimates, but it seems like it should be a good way to save money and save miles on a truck that I still have 16 payments on that also has 75,000 miles on it.
Next Chapter: The Ride with Paco