Monday, 13 July 2020

Economics of my motorbiking ownership experience in Singapore

I recently sold off my 8 year old KTM Duke 200 motorbike and thought it'll be good to do a reflective post on this, in a bid to explore quantify the economics of my motorcycling experience. 

I purchased my motorbike in 2015 for a cool S$9,000 or so and held it for just over five years. It was a 3rd hand bike that had seen probably only 7,000 km or so of mileage over the first three years of its lifespan, given the profiles of its previous owners - an expatriate and another professional who used it mainly for weekend riding. At that time, the purchase price was a real bargain for me, given the seller was a friend who was looking to move on the motorbike as he was looking to relocate. If I recall correctly, a brand new KTM Duke was around $14 to 15k or so at that point in time. 

Over the last 5 years or so, I've spent close to S$4,700 on motorbiking expenses. These include petrol costs, maintenance costs, ancillary costs (vehicle inspection, insurance, topping up of the cash card, purchasing locks, gear, covers, etc). Majority of these expenses (c. 70% or so) are allocated to the maintenance aspect, and this was probably because I didn't ride as much as it necessitated. 

Strangely, the mechanics have told me that the motorbike (or at least this particular brand KTM) requires frequent enough usage, otherwise it'll see a enhanced deterioration of its moving parts and other integral systems. Basically I had to replace a substantial number of integral parts over recent years, but the engine was still in tip top shape. 

I managed to sell the motorbike for about c. S$4,500 with a little over 2 years left on the COE. So the net cost of 5 years worth of motorcycling was c. S$9,200, or c. S$1,850 per year of use. The total mileage over my ownership period was about 5,000 km, which could be characterized as meagre at best. 

Was it worthwhile? 

Given I was the rare motorcyclist and didn't quite exact the full advantages my motorcycle had to offer, I gather that for the price of S$1,850 per annum, it was a really good thing to have on hand for the convenience and experience that it offered. 

Frankly, I think the costs wouldn't have increased by much even if I had put more mileage on it, and the maintenance costs can possibly even be lowered by going to a cheaper workshop. I hadn't quite bothered and got it serviced at the original dealer workshop Dirtwheel, was was rather pricey.

For the adventures and experiences that it had given me, I don't have any regrets from owning a motorcycle over the last 5 years. In fact, it was a great experience. However, I've discovered that I don't quite like to own things given the maintenance aspect - you've got to take good care of your stuff and send it for regular servicing, upkeep and general maintenance (like recharging the battery, or taking it out when you go for a long holiday etc etc.), and this is even more challenging when you don't quite utilize the asset in question. 

There were many a time at the start where I wanted to use the bike but realized the battery had gone flat, or the tyre was out of air, or the side stand sensor didn't work, and I had to get the bike towed to the workshop. I did pick up some basic motorcycle maintenance skills over the years, and these problems abated, but still my infrequent use of the motorcycle probably didn't warrant me owning one, or at least this model which required some loving tender care. 

One thing I might have done differently was to probably own a motorcycle that was low maintenance, say like a class 2A scooter (Yamaha XMAX 300) or some sort that came hassle free and with copious amounts of storage space that'll still afford me the convenience factor sans the "wow" factor. 

Perhaps that is something I'll consider next, but with COE prices at S$7,702 presently, I guess I'm gonna stick to public transport and grab rides. Indeed, that will perhaps truly be fuss free, especially during off-peak times :) 

1 comment:

  1. u should've got a scooter. very low cost

    Due to work, i seldom in SG.
    i spend about $500 annually and about 60days while back SG.

    just needed to remove the battery and recharge at home

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