The hassle of commuting in Manila is a constant annoyance to us young professionals who now make up a fair portion of the Philippine workforce. If there's anything we've learned from the recent public transport strike in Manila, it’s how easy it is for the entire road network to break down, complicating everything in its wake. Considering many of us can’t afford cars yet, this is a major blow to our day-to-day work sched.
To avoid being left paralyzed by constant traffic and the inconveniences of commuting, many turn to two wheels. The motorcycle remains a flexible and reliable mode of transportation, especially for those without cars. Here are 10 reasons why millennials should opt for motorcycles:
1) Motorbikes are affordable. This is probably the most significant consideration when buying a motorcycle. Scooters are fuel efficient and allow you to avoid traffic and skip long waits at the LRT or bus terminal. You can spend as low as P150 a week for gas, compared to cars which can go up to over a thousand a week depending on distance and traffic. They're more affordable upfront too—new grads and newly employed millennials can get a motorcycle for as low as P40,000.
2) They're safer than you think. Contrary to what’s depicted in media, motorcycles are generally safe if you're a responsible rider. Many motorcycle accidents are either due to aggressive riding or miscalculation. In the hands of a skillful, alert and extremely defensive rider, the motorcycle is a safe and ideal vehicle. You can reduce risks by opting for streets and roads instead of highways, as well as by avoiding unnecessary speeds.
3) Practicality is key. You’re at work but you want to eat at a new restaurant for lunch that's either too far for a commute, or too near for a drive. Motorcycles, especially scooters, fill the role of being the perfect inner-city vehicle for negotiating narrow and confounding streets. For millennials with an active social life, the motorcycle is the solution to fill short transportation needs.
4) Riding is relatively easy to learn. It really isn’t too difficult to learn how to ride. What people need to learn, however, is respecting its flexibility; being small and maneuverable doesn’t mean you can just squeeze into gaps between cars on the road. The added flexibility requires riders to be more defensive and in some instances give way to cars. In the Philippines, what happens is often the opposite.
5) Motorcycles are tough. They can be as tough as nails as long as you put effort in maintaining them. Motorcycles don’t break down easily, parts aren't too hard to replace and almost never run out in the market. Repairs are less complicated and cost only a fraction of the cost of repairing cars, too. There is no fix for a bad rider, though!
6) Parking is a cinch. With more cars on the road, parking has become increasingly difficult. This becomes a problem for car owners, especially those who work in highly urbanized places like BGC and Makati. Motorcycles are not as big or as cumbersome, and there are plenty of slots for them just around the corner (provided that you parked it there legally, of course).
7) Traffic? What traffic? This is probably why there is a growing preference for motorcycles. In fact, many car owners have also begun investing in motorbikes for their daily needs, reserving cars for farther destinations and more special occasions. Motorcycles provide the freedom that millennials are very attuned to; it goes through traffic with ease, and eliminates the hassles of a commute.
8) There’s a motorcycle for every person. Motorcycles range from 100cc scooters to 1300cc big bikes, from manual to automatic. They come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, too. Scooters are ideal for city travel and short drives—when you want to buy takeout for yourself, or visit a nearby friend. A high-performance scooter—300cc and above—is ideal for inter-city travel and trips to work. Off-road and adventure bikes are fairly expensive but make great companions during long hauls and cross-country touring. On top of the list are the 1000cc and above muscle hogs and racers. There are more specialized types in between these archetypes.
9) Motorcycles are fun. There is an immediate adrenaline rush and feeling of freedom when you get on a motorcycle and hear the purr of its engine. Freedom is often one of the selling points of a motorbike. Riding is a pastime and a sport in itself, and there are hundreds of motorcycle clubs in the country that organize cross-country adventures. Carefree millennials will love owning a motorbike.
10) Motorcycle culture is for everyone. The motorcycle is not just for a class of individuals. It's a vehicle appreciated by everyone regardless of make or model. You share an appreciation and passion with hundreds of thousands of riders across the country