Motorcycles are also, with very few exceptions, a lot more affordable than cars, occupy less space in the garage and achieve significantly better fuel economy. Yes, there is nowhere to store anything on most bikes, and inclement weather all but kick-stands them, but taken out for a weekend of club racing at the local road course, the bike only goes through two tires instead of four.
The Honda CBR500R, new for 2013, is something of a return to the basics in sport bikes. It uses a liquid-cooled, 500cc parallel twin engine making just under 50 horsepower – a quarter of the BRZ’s output. But since the bike only weighs 425 pounds – less than a sixth of what the BRZ weighs – it commands a significant power-to-weight advantage over all but the most exotic cars.
Combined with its easy-going suspension system and less-than-radical riding position, it is an easy bike to which beginners can quickly acclimate themselves. It is fun without the intimidation factor of bigger, harder-core sport bikes like Suzuki’s GSX-R series or Honda’s own CBR600RR.
Prices for the new CBR500R start at $6,309, inclusive of $310 destination charge, with a model equipped with antilock brakes going for $6,809. Even after purchasing the requisite helmet, riding leathers and a few saddle bags, and prorating the time spent praying for God’s protection, that is still a lot cheaper than a BRZ.
But it would not hurt to keep a decade-old Honda Civic around for those days when it rains, or when you have a date with someone who lacks your daredevil spirit, or if you want to carry more groceries home than what will fit in your saddle bags.