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5 Reasons Why You Should Ride In The City

© Getty   Modern black motorcycle in garage. Cafe racer.

By Justin Hughes, RideApart


Riding a motorcycle through the urban jungle gives you some tactical advantages.

Most of us, myself included, relish the idea of going out to sparsely populated areas to enjoy our bikes. The open roads, lack of traffic, and stunning scenery are great reasons to get away from it all. BK Low of FXDLS Brooklyn, however, sees it differently, and actually prefers to ride around the New York City area than driving or taking a subway. He makes some good points as to why riding a motorcycle in the big city is actually a good idea. Here are five of them.


Parking

Finding a parking space can be a real hassle in the city. You could circle the block several times just to find a space. You could also have to pay quite a lot of money for the privilege of parking your car since city real estate is at a premium. Motorcycles, however, are extremely easy to park thanks to their small size. Depending on where you are and how local law enforcement looks at motorcycles, you may be able to get away with parking between spaces, on sidewalks, or other places that are off-limits to cars. As long as you're not a jerk about it and your local cops are reasonable, the ability to park pretty much anywhere is a huge advantage.


Maneuverability

Similarly, bikes can fit where cars can't in traffic as well. That gap that's too small for a giant Ford Excessive may be plenty of room for you to fit with your bike. If you live in California, you can lane split. If you live in Utah, you can filter. In the other 48 states, you can't legally ride between lanes, and BK Low is not encouraging breaking the law. Even on my old commute, though, I found that I could make better progress down the congested four-lane highway I took on the bike than I could while stuck behind left lane hogs going 5-10 mph under the speed limit in my car.


Save Money

Motorcycles are generally more fuel-efficient than cars. Additionally, their better maneuverability means that you won't spend as much time sitting in traffic, burning fuel while going nowhere fast. To BK Low's point, I'll add the fact that motorcycles are generally cheaper to buy and cheaper to insure than cars. Plus, you often won't be paying car prices for parking, as mentioned before.


You'll Get Places Faster

Instead of walking to the bus or subway, waiting for it to arrive, waiting for it to make all its stops along the way, and walking to your destination, you'll just go. You'll often get there faster than public transportation, and between better maneuverability and the ease of parking, you'll go from door to door faster than you would in a car.


Fun

This is one point where I will respectfully disagree with BK Low, but it's a matter of personal preference, so we can agree to disagree. For me, the less traffic, the better. For him, though, he finds the challenge of dueling city traffic enjoyable. I can see the appeal of challenging yourself to get where you're going faster and more efficiently than other means of transportation. I've ridden in New York City, and it reminded me of flying the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field in The Empire Strikes Back. But there is no one right way to ride, so if BK Low finds city riding enjoyable, more power to him.


You Become A Better Rider

As a bonus fact, BK Low says that city riding will make you a better rider. I can't argue with that. You have to be on, all the time, looking for not only the usual natural hazards but extra man-made ones as well. I disagree that regular city riding is comparable to an MSF course in teaching you to ride better, but I can't deny that it will acclimate you to the city environment and make you better at dealing with it.

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