Motorcycle related traffic fatalities may have increased in 2005, however motorcycle dealers tell NewsChannel 11 they are seeing an increased number of buyers and riders. As NewsChannel 11's Kealey McIntire tell us, possibly one of the biggest reasons can been seen on every corner in Lubbock.
It's something we're all familiar with, high gas prices. We found regular gas as high as $2.29 per gallon in Lubbock on Wednesday. The high cost is one reason motorcycle dealers said they're seeing record sales.
|Texas Gas Prices|
It's a liberating feeling; you, two wheels and the open road. Honda of Lubbock Owner Morris Baker says, "It's a lot of fun to get out and you're in control of the motorcycle. You can lean left, you can lean right, they're very powerful."
Baker said a record number of people are finding the freedom a motorcycle can bring, and that feeling is in your wallet. "Anytime we see gas prices go up, we see sales go up. People can really save money all year long, even with normal gas prices it can cut their cost of living."
The shop's new motorcycle sales jumped 20% in 2005 and used sales were up 50%. That's because many bikes get anywhere from 80 to 115 miles per gallon. With gas at $2.18 a gallon, you can fill up a 15 gallon tank car for roughly $33, or a five gallon tank motorcycle wold cost you about $11.
We found Charles White is shopping for his second motorcycle. "Gas with a motorcycle gets 30 to 50 miles per gallon and my pick-up gets 13, so certainly it's a lot more economical to ride a motorcycle," he said.
White heads up a Christian outreach motorcycle group Fellowship Riders. Nearly 80 members hit the road once a week, he said at least three new people have been joining over the past few months.
However, White said high gas prices take a back seat to the real reason motorcycles are popular. "I think everybody deep down wants to own a motorcycle and just needs an excuse and if gas prices is that excuse then that'll work," said White.
National studies show because of high crude oil prices you can expect gas prices to stay above two dollars a gallon until throughout summer.
The Fellowship Riders take rides once a week, for more information ( click here).