Amongst all the doom and gloom of the plague there is actually some really good news for motorcycling. June motorcycles sales broke recent records for a number of brands, thanks for the early superannuation withdrawal Scomo!
On top of that good news, motorcycle training provider Stay Upright is reporting a more than 20 per cent increase in customers compared to the same period last year. Their rider training figures are most up in NSW, with most of that increase coming since May 1, when in-person motorcycle rider training resumed following closures across the state due to COVID-19.
Annaliesse Cawood, General Manager of Stay Upright, believes the spike has potentially been fuelled by the pandemic as people look to reduce expenses by downsizing to two-wheeler vehicles, given they are cheaper to purchase and operate than cars. They also offer more flexibility in terms of mobility and there are no problems with social distancing on a motorcycle!
“In NSW, the State Government supports motorcycle riding by subsidising learner licencing. Therefore, the initial L-plate training sessions are relatively inexpensive ($96 in NSW), and many people have looked at getting a motorbike licence now as they suddenly have the time to do it,” Cawood said. “But having a learning licence does not equate to riding experience.
“Unlike four-wheel vehicles, riders on their L-Plates are free to ride on public roads by themselves immediately following the awarding of their learner licence,” Cawood said. “New, inexperienced riders are particularly vulnerable. Car and truck drivers need to be aware of blind spots with more people expected to ride and drive back to work rather than catching public transport.”
Drivers need to remember to check their blind spots – motorcycle riders are trained to avoid driver blind spots, but it helps if drivers are also looking out for them.
“Places such as empty car parks are a great way to gain experience with the basics of what they’ve learned in their initial training,” Cawood said. “Riders are responsible for their ongoing training and experience building. Regular riding is critical to riders becoming more comfortable on the road.”
“However, the biggest precaution road users can take at this time is increasing their awareness,” Cawood said. “We have become accustomed to emptier-than-usual roads, but this quickly going to change, and road users need to readjust their awareness to pre-pandemic levels.”
About Stay Upright
Stay Upright is Australia’s first and largest motorcycle rider training and safety company. Founded in 1981 by Warwick Schuberg, the ex-Head of the NSW Police Rider Training Unit, the organisation was the first to offer rider training to the Australian public.
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