From bike to car... maybe

Hi all,

My name is Nick and I am considering buying an MX5 following a crash on my motorbike which has made me consider giving up 2 wheels for 4.
Once I have 2 working arms and legs again I will go poke around the local Mazda dealers.

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Hi Nick and welcome to the forum, and hopefully the wonderful world of MX5’ing!

I left 2 wheels behind more years ago than I care to remember, (OH never very keen, and we had our fair share of “near misses”, (all caused by other drivers). I wanted to retain some levels of “freedom” / wind in the hair (what I have left of it anyway).

Must admit I would not want to go back. Although there is no real substitute for 2 wheels there are several big advantages that soft tops have.

For example:-
I used to find crash helmets quite restricting, proper wind in the hair in a soft top.

You can actually carry things in an MX5.

When you turn up somewhere on a bike and want to go off somewhere you end up carrying all your gear.

If you are out and about when it rains / snows you get wet on a bike and end up having to be extra careful due to slippery conditions. With a soft top just put the roof up and off you go.

Obviously you are a lot safer in a car should an idiot pull out on.

Ref above, you are more visible and inherently safer.

When it’s baking hot it is not particularly comfortable on a bike with leathers and a helmet.

When it’s freezing cold on a bike you get really cold. Even with the roof down in an MX it can still be quite warm with the heating on, (also the option for heated seats!). That makes it a pleasure to drive even in the Winter when I would not want to be out on 2 wheels

If you want to go “touring” an MX5 offers some degree of storage space.

I find a car significantly more comfortable, particularly over longer distances

OK you wont get the same level of “freedom” you get on two wheels, and certainly not the “raw performance”, but for me (particularly at my time of life), I prefer all the advantages that a convertible gives you.

Good luck with your decision making and I hope you find an MX5 that appeals to you / (and your budget!)…there are plenty of nice ones out there!..happy hunting and do let us know how you get on. Try and find a local friendly MX 5 owner, (we all are), and go for a spin in one, it may help you make up your mind…

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Good luck with your recovery. I gave up a long biking career a couple of years ago in favour of an mx5 instead. Not because of any accident but a terminal cancer diagnosis. I don’t regret the move over to 4 wheels one bit & should have done it years ago. Just turn the key & off out you go for the day, no mucking about putting all your clobber on before you go out anywhere.

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I had a full white Avon fairing on my old 1956 650 Thunderbird, always nice and warm with the pipes going under the footrests, and at a glance it looked like a Police bike. Except late one afternoon a few days before '67 Christmas I stopped on the A4 for a coffee, having been happily cruising at ~80 (highest possible gearing so much less vibe).
I was shocked by the instant icy cold shooting up through the soles of my boots as they touched the ground.
It was scary, because I suddenly realised the road was heading for sheet ice and no salt or grit and I had another 50 minutes drive before reaching Bristol.

No such problem with the MX5!
I had been saving up for a new Triumph Trophy, but we bought the NC instead. It was one of the best decisions SWMBO ever made for me. :grinning:

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Good decision :+1:
Guess you had a 675 Triumph.
Always been a biker and our last one was a Goldwing until 2016. Having done various long European tours it became too much. Too hot, too cold, too wet, too much bum puckering! A lot of faffing about to be honest. BUT we still needed some fun!
Researched for ages and took the decision to by an MX5. We still go away with our old bike club (another one has an MX5 too). Our best decision yet and am sure you will not regret it. Enjoy :slightly_smiling_face: (Yes the bike was as big as the car!).
From this -

To this -

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@Scarletpimpernel I still have my Triumph Street Triple 675 R, fortunately I was riding my BMW R1250 RS when I had the accident. It was a truck driver reading a text message on his phone whilst driving down my side of the road that caused the demise of the BMW. Fortunately the police have his dash cam footage.

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A speedy recovery to you and best wishes. :+1:

I had a accident in 2013, that ended my biking. Still got two in the shed, but should sell them as they have been on SORN for years.

Toured Europe extensively on various bikes, and then tried to do a family Alps trip in an MPV, oh my… could not compare to biking.

Then I did an Alps and South of France trip in my first cabriolet (BMW) and it was awesome. Couldn’t believe how close it was to the biking experience, with a lot of other positives as you can imagine.

Now on my second MX5, and suggest you give them a go. Most nights, if the sun is shining, me and the better half will go for a run just for fun. Never done that in a normal car, often did it on the bike but the hassle of getting all the kit on was always a pain.

Strongly recommend giving them a go.

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I was so lucky when I highsided my Ducati 999 that I decided I couldn’t possibly be that lucky again, so went with SWMBO’s insistence on giving up on 2 wheels.
No, you haven’t got the sheer performance and you can’t carve lines in the same way but MX5s just make you smile and you can just jump in and go, no 15 mins preparation…

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One thing I have noticed is that the forum seems to be very friendly and supportive, that’s a big plus. I thought I would miss the motorcycle forums but its looking good so far :slight_smile:
For the time being I will keep this in the garage to see if I can bring myself to ride again, if not well…

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I gave up motorcycles after 30+ years of two wheel fun, I have toured all over the U.K. and Europe in my time. Owning an MX5 is the most fun you can have on the road today after motorcycling and at least you can put the top up when it rains.

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Been riding bikes since I was 11 years old. Can’t give them up, travelled god knows how many miles, visited loads of countries and interesting places I’d never have gone too in a car. I love my MX5, but I worship my bike.

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You could always stick one of these in the garage for when you do want to get out on two wheels and you don’t have to pay tax and insurance,

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Just a fine, as they are illegal to ride anywhere except on private land.

Sadly, anything legal is restricted to 15 mph and must only have assistance for pedalling. As soon as you stop pedalling, the power has to switch off too.

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Love Ducati’s in the eighties I owned a 900ss in blue/ silver, also had a 250cc and 350cc Desmos. I bought the 350 from a guy called Vic Camp who had a racing school at Brands Hatch. The sweet sound of a Ducati on full song, is bliss.

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I had a 450 Desmo in the late 70s. Damn thing wanted to break my leg every time I tried to start it…
The handling was fantastic though. I hit a diesel spill in Kingston High St, courtesy of the bus garage top-ups to the filler cap. The bike slid sideways with both wheels, gripped again and carried on - amazing.

It was a real wrench to give up the 999 but as I said, the MX5 makes me smile every time I drive it.

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Hi Nick,

Try both for a while. Replace the BMW with a MX5. For the price of a new GS you can have a very nice late MK3 and some change [to be spent on trick bits of course] or an early MK4. Avoid Mazda dealers unless you want new or nearly new. Most of them don’t seem to realise that an MX5 is not like a Mazda2 and needs some special care/knowledge. There are many MX5 specialists about, at least one of which can be found posting on here.

I know the natural response when you’ve been down is to think about giving it all up. You owned two bikes for a reason, motorcycling is very likely [as it is for me] part of who you are. Get well, get yourself a little sports car but give the bike another try. If you’ve lost the love then so be it but if you sell the bike before giving it another try you’ll have pangs every time you hear a bike go by and every time you have one filter past you in traffic.

Good luck with whatever you decide

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Now for a laugh!
I had an MZ ETZ300 once, (my mate had the 250 so had to be able to beat him) “Ming… ming… ming …on the over run”.
Not sure you could get any more basic than that.
But do you know, it really was a fun little bike.
A true Eastern Block machine. :wink:
I did progress to the “Top Gun” machine the GPZ900R, now that really was great in the day. :+1:

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I bought a new Triumph Bonneville in 2011 an then developed heart trouble a month later after deciding fast bikes no longer did it for me and I was still tempted to silly speeds, this despite having raced motorcycles including the legendary Yamaha TZ350 in the early eighties, we did some lovely trips in the UK and really enjoyed it, with yoyoing health I haven’t ridden it for sometime (it’s only done 3700 in 9 years ) and I have to say that with what I see regarding driving standards and the amount of traffic on the roads plus the fantastic experience of an MX5 I am wondering if it’s time to hang up the helmet for good, it’s true what people say, no getting togged up just drop the roof and have fun I love it. Good luck with your decision but I doubt that would regret AN MX5

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