• SA’s motorcycle industry is open for business

    The Motorcycle Industry fully opened for business, along with the rest of the Automobile Industry, on 1 June 2020, subject to all the required health precautions. Whilst it is early days, a number of Dealerships have reported that the limited business they were able to do in May was unexpectedly good given the circumstances, and this appears to be continuing into June.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the South African economy across virtually every sector, and the impact of this will be felt for years to come. Websites associated with vehicle sales are now reporting a significant increase in numbers of consumers searching for lower priced vehicles, indicating, amongst other things, that consumers are looking at ways of lessening their financial burdens.

    Now is a perfect time for consumers to look at motorcycling as a solution to not only their transport requirements, but also to take some load off their financial problems.

    Practical, economical and reliable motorcycles and scooters are available from as little as R 15 000. For a sum of R 20 000 it is quite feasible for someone to equip themselves with a brand new scooter, helmet, jacket and gloves and have money to spare for a training course.

    The R 40 000 to R 90 000 price bracket offers a number of sub 500cc motorcycles and scooters that will easily commute at freeway speeds economically. These units generally have a two-year unlimited mileage manufacturer’s warranty and are from reputable brands such as BMW, Honda, Husqvarna, Kawasaki, KTM, Kymco, Suzuki, SYM and Yamaha.

    A typical example of a person living 15km’s from work, using a vehicle with a fuel consumption of 10l/100km, will result in an annual fuel cost of approximately R 21 000. A small capacity motorcycle or scooter using roughly 3l/100km will have an annual fuel cost of R 3 500. The saving in fuel alone will easily take care of maintenance and insurance and also have the added benefit that the motorcycle will pay for itself over a two-year period. With interest rates having been lowered recently, motorcycle dealerships are offering attractive finance options that are available through various finance houses nationwide.

    Then there is the time saving. That typical 15km journey will probably take between 45 minutes to an hour in peak hour traffic in a car, but 20 minutes max on a motorcycle. That is a minimum time saving of one hour per day and equates to roughly 250 hours per annum. 10 whole days! People who earn income on a per hour basis can easily recover the cost of a motorcycle by working an hour per day extra. Certainly, more time is available for leisure and family activities.

    Whilst there is a widespread perception that motorcycles are dangerous, the reality is that the rider can manage the risks far more easily than what many people realise. Undergoing basic training is the first step. Correct and appropriate safety gear is the second. However, the biggest contributor to safety is the attitude of the rider relative to other road users and conditions. A rider who rides in a manner believing that everyone should see him, with an aggressive attitude, is a big danger to him or herself. A rider who THINKS CAR/ROAD whilst riding will take appropriate preventative and pro-active measures whilst operating a motorcycle and will find a completely different world out there.

    Obtaining a licence is also not the horror story that it used to be. It is easy to obtain an examination date online and take it from there.

    Commuters who use public transport such as taxis, busses and trains may find the purchase of a motorcycle a bit more challenging, due to financial constraints. The advantages of mobile independence however, once tasted, is immeasurable, in addition to many hours saved in terms of travel time to and from work.

    Lastly, in the times to come, Covid-19 will have a dominant influence on many of our daily actions. For those in the know, riding a motorcycle is one of the finest ways to practise social distancing and express and enjoy personal freedom.