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Advantage Motorcycle….

April 29, 2010


Economy, practicality and style

Clevedon, England – It’s never a bad time to buy a motorcycle but it maybe a good time to consider a purchase.

If the number of stolen machines being palmed off to dealers as trade-ins is a barometer to the honest purchaser of the right time to buy it appears that now is the time! Not to mention a major manufacturer offering a £1500 riding suit with every purchase.

With sales down 20% year on year there are bargains to be had as the UK dealers up their game to encourage perspective purchasers into showrooms. Units sold are increasing, but slowly, and we have yet to weather the economic cuts expected after the May 6 general election.

With some pundits suggesting that up to five hundred thousand jobs will be taken out of the UK economy, in an attempt to balance the books and avert a Greek style economic implosion, spare cash for luxury purchases like motorcycles is at a premium. Thus sales prospects appear to be like the British weather i.e. changeable!

The only encouraging aspect is the robustness of 125cc motorcycle and scooter sales. With petrol currently costing over £6 per gallon owing a vehicle that can better a hundred miles to the gallon has obvious economic advantages and sales reflect this.

Strange then how the ‘industry’ persists in its affectation with high performance sport bikes. Buy almost any UK motorcycling paper or magazine and you find it’s full of articles and reviews about sports or touring bikes. Where’s the stuff about commuting on small machines, the costs, the best buys, the dodges, the facts.

The same appears to be true in dealerships. Pop in and ask about a 125cc bike, the running costs the mpg and its often blank stares. Where are the trained staff willing to engage with the 125cc riding commuter, where are the information packs setting out the costs of ownership?

It’s about information. It’s about a change of emphasis from balls out knee down weekend warrior sales to talking to people who simple want to get from A to B as quickly and cheaply as possible. It’s about explaining that low powered motorcycles and scooters are; Cheap to run, Easy to repair, Easy to park, Can stop anywhere, Are flexible in traffic, Aren’t boring, Look cool and are fun to use.

Recession offers opportunity. Time then to climb to the top of the motorcycle mountain and take a peek over to see that the future is not all about massive machines but more about economy, practicality and style.

© Back Roads Rider 2010

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris Hodder permalink
    April 29, 2010 12:06 pm

    Amen to that

    • Back Roads Rider permalink*
      April 29, 2010 10:02 pm

      Yes indeed a gathering at the river will be arranged soon.

      Meantime advice on advanced riding principals can be found at: 2 Kings 9:20

  2. April 30, 2010 10:36 am

    Great article and I totally agree. I’m commuting on my 80-90mpg Suzuki Marauder and it does me fine and looks not half bad. Yes the top speed is about 55mph but much like the tortoise and the hare, the sports bikes that streak past me, I eventually pass as the next gas station, and the next gas station etc. For all the great tech coming out found in such bikes as the Multistrada, I’m nost excited to see the hybrid Gen-Ryu from Yamaha hit the streets.

  3. May 2, 2010 9:22 pm

    Yes absolutely true. Whilst I run a KTM 990, the advantages to teh community in terms of congestion, parking, to the individual in terms of capital outlay, running costs, and time saved, and to the environment, 100mpg+ low emisssions per person (compared to a car) and low emissions in terms of manufacture – you really can’t get much greener.

    Biking so should be so positively promoted as a fantastic means of transport…and yet it is seen as something different. Why????

  4. Honda90 permalink
    May 3, 2010 3:38 pm

    Manufacturers could also help by making bikes/scooters that need less maintenance. I’ve been comparing figures and my BMW 850 cost little more per mile than my 125 scooter – the scooter does 80mpg vs 48mpg for the BMW, but the scooter needs servicing every 2,500 miles vs 6,000 for the BMW. When you add all the costs there’s not much difference, especially if you use independent dealers or DIY.

    This attitude seems to filter through the whole industry. Cars have got cheaper to run, while bikes have increased. OK, with sports bikes you’re talking (generally) low mileages and high speed thrills, but utility bikes like the Deauville/CB600/Bandit/any larger scoot ought to be aiming for service intervals of 10,000 miles, with a service time of three hours max. This would cut running costs significantly. ho cares if we lose a few mph off the top speed if we get real savings? When was the last time you did over 100 mph on your commute?

    Add in some basics like luggage/storage capacity either included or at a realistic price (it’s a plastic box, Honda – you want how much???) and you start to get something that makes sense for commuters. You only have to look at the continent and everybody’s using a scooter in fine weather, without getting all romper suited up either. Motorcycling used to be about being cheap and practicle, this was forgotten in the rush to flog everybody a missile, which has led to us being pushed out of the transport equation. Come on big manufacturers, explain why I should pay you three grand or more for a scoot/commuter that needs expensive servicing every ten minutes, when I can be nice and dry in a car for not much more and just get it serviced once a year.


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