Tag Archives: commuting

Parking costs make motorcycling attractive

Australian car parking costs, which are among the highest in the world, should make motorcycling more attractive as bike parking is often free or discounted.

The 2020 Parking Price Index of car parking costs in 65 major cities shows Sydney in third place only behind New York and Boston.

Brisbane was in fifth place, Melbourne 18th and Perth 39th with no mention of Canberra, Adelaide or Hobart.

Sydney’s shopping district car parks were a whopping 498% higher than the median for the 65 cities listed.

With the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries promoting their fourth Ride to Work Week in September 2020, free and cheap parking should be a highlight of their promotions through the official website and social media.

Parking anomalies

UK car maintenance service Fixter did not consider motorcycle parking prices in their survey because many cities allow motorcycles to park free or at substantially discounted prices.

However, there are a few anomalies in Australia where motorcycle riders are being ripped off as they are charged the same price as cars.

Several years ago we pointed out that some hotels and casinos charge motorcycles and scooters the same parking rate as cars, even though the space is smaller or car bays can be shared with multiple bikes.

Parking squeeze
Four bikes in one car bay

Also, Melbourne airport, which charges 68.78% above the median price, has no discount for motorcycles.

Meanwhile, Sydney has free parking for motorcycles at the domestic and International airports and Brisbane offers a discount of $10/day for up to seven days then $5/day.

Parking costs ranking


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Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Worldwide Ride to Work Day

The 29th worldwide, annual Ride To Work Day on Monday (15 June 2020) will be a great demonstration to the world of what post-lockdown commuting could look like.

Unfortunately, in Australia, it’s winter and we don’t join in the worldwide event, so we lose that global impact.

Instead, we will have our fourth Ride to Work Week in September 2020.

Spread out over a week instead of a single day, it doesn’t have the media impact of the worldwide single-day event.

Our event is organised by motorcycle companies and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries.

They target riders (and inactive riders), rather showing the rest of the population that riding is a great alternative to being stuck in traffic.

There is no media event and virtually no broad-based advertising.lane filter filtering splitting traffic commute commuting congestion Brisbane worldwide

Worldwide event

In contrast, the worldwide Ride to Work Day targets non-riders and seeks employer recognition and support for this form of transportation.

The focus is on increasing public and government awareness of the societally positive benefits of utility riding.

Adding motorcycles and scooters helps traffic flow better, according to Ride to Work, a non-profit advocacy organisation.

Studies have also shown that across the same distances, riders reach their destinations up to 20% faster than those using automobiles. Most motorcycles and scooters also consume less resources per kilometre than automobiles.

The worldwide Ride to Work website includes:

  • Useful tools and in-depth information about issues and programs;
  • An interactive forum to discuss Riding to Work;
  • An assortment of Ride to Work supporting merchandise;
  • A wholesale program available to dealers and retailers; and
  • A photo gallery to show your Every Day Ride on the website.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Inactive riders urged to ride again!

Inactive motorcyclists who haven’t ridden for some time are being urged to ride again, especially for commuting, as the pandemic travel restrictions begin to ease across the country.

This comes as the national cycling lobby is calling for $300 million to be spent on bike lanes.

Inactive riders

Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries motorcycle manager Rhys Griffiths points out that there are about 2.1 million licensed riders in Australia and about 870,000 registered motorcycles and scooters.

That means there are about 1.2 million inactive riders with a licence, he says.

“COVID-19 has changed the way we go about our lives.  Motorcycles and scooters present a clever solution to the challenges the pandemic presents,” he says. 

“A motorbike might well be the best way to maintain social distance without creating congestion. Riders can avoid the contagion risks presented by public transport, while cutting commute times by lane filtering through increased traffic. 

“So the message is, get them out of the shed, get them serviced and get riding. If you haven’t got a bike, your local dealer is open for business.” 

Rhys says the plea to inactive riders will be a theme of their fourth Ride to Work Week in September 2020. Bike lanes lane filtering ride to work tax congestion

He says they will generate awareness through the website and social media.

The FCAI message to inactive riders follows recent surveys which suggest commuters will avoid public transport.

The fear is that this will send Australia from lockdown to gridlock.

The FCAI says motorcycle and scooter riders have two advantages:

  • They can mitigate infection risks by maintaining social distance; and
  • As commuter traffic volumes potentially increase beyond pre-pandemic levels, riders can nimbly negotiate traffic and park conveniently, cutting commute times.

Rhys also reminded riders to strictly observe all social distancing and contagion control requirements, and to regularly disinfect helmets, gloves and any high-touch surfaces on vehicle controls.

He also advises riders to consult their DIY guide to ensuring your motorcycle is ready for the road.

Cyclist lobby calls for bike lanesCyclists in bike lanes ride to work day lane filtering bus lanes reward

Meanwhile, the cyclist lobby is putting pressure on the federal government to spend $300m to build more bike lanes as post-pandemic traffic is expected to explode.

The national cycling safety charity Amy Gillett Foundation has commissioned a national poll which shows “massive support” for safe separate cycling infrastructure.

They claim a “doubling in cycling participation during the coronavirus lockdowns, as Australians turn to bikes for effective social distancing, for transport, enjoyment, and exercise”.

The Foundation is calling for $300m to be allocated from the $3.8billion infrastructure commitment made in late November 2019 by the Federal Government to build bike lanes.

They say the investment could be made immediately as part of the $500m Local Roads and Community Infrastructure announcement last week (22 May 2020).

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Commuting during coronavirus pandemic

Commuting to work is one legitimate way to ride and avoid the pandemic lockdown and travel bans, yet some riders are either scared for their safety or find it inconvenient.

Motorcycle commuting is not only fun and challenging, but also handy for parking, faster than cars because of lane filtering and more convenient than public transport.

Commuting safetylane filter filtering splitting traffic commute commuting congestion Brisbane

However, many riders find the biggest drawback is safety.

Commuting traffic is fraught with danger from inattentive motorists on the phone, eating breakfast, getting dressed, putting on lipstick, reading the paper, changing channels on the radio or Spotify … anything but paying attention to riders.

Peak hour radio traffic reports frequently include motorcycle crashes involving cars, buses and trucks.

Riders can be understandably concerned.

So here are five safety tips for riding in heavy traffic:

  1. Ride as if you can’t be seen. Move around in your lane, try to stay out of blind spots, blow the horn or blip your throttle to alert drivers and wear something bright.
  2. Look at indicators and drivers for their intention to suddenly change lanes. They don’t always indicate, but you can sometimes see them move the steering wheel or their head as if they are about to swap lanes.
  3. Filter to the front of traffic at the lights, stay in gear with the clutch in and plan your exit route in case you hear screeching tyres behind you!
  4. Avoid filtering next to or around trucks and buses as they have limited visibility of small riders.
  5. Practise slow and balanced riding in a deserted carpark at the weekend, slipping the clutch, using the rear brake, keeping your head up and your eyes forward.

Inconvenient truth

Henty Wingman Backpack for commutersBuy a Henty commuter backpack now!

Even those who are confident in traffic may find commuting inconvenient because of the weather or because they have to wear a suit, well-ironed dress or carry a laptop and other gear.

So here are five tips to get around motorcycle commuting inconveniences:

  1. Fit panniers, top box and/or tank/tail bag to carry a change of clothes and gear such as a laptop;
  2. If not, then invest in a really strong but lightweight backpack (some even fold out like a suit carrier);
  3. If you are lucky enough to be able to shower at work, leave a towel and a couple of changes of clothes at work;
  4. Invest in high-quality airflow gear and carry a change of clothes;
  5. Invest in a high quality rain suit or separate waterproof jacket and pants that overlap.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

5 Bikes That Make Daily Commute A Joyride

(Contributed post for our Indian readers)

Certain lifestyles demand transportation in and out of town daily, and a commuter bike is the best bet for that. The primary concern about these bikes is that they should be perfect for navigating the daily grind. Though for an enthusiastic, these usual bikes are not just for daily commutes, they fill the bucket by also being a weekend bike or touring bike.

With upright ergons, excellent fuel efficiency, high mileage and stunning visual appeal, daily commute bikes are something worth getting out of bed for. Here is the list of some of the best bikes for your daily commute at a price that won’t break your bank accounts:

Hero Super SplendorJoyride

(Image Source: Hero Motocorp)

Here Super Splendor is known for its durability, reliability, and fuel efficiency. It gives a mileage of 65 to 81 km/litre and has a 125cc engine, which retails for INR 61,186. Along with this, it has i3c technology and IBS system for added security. The wide and firm seats reflect the stature of the rider. Available in several guises, the Hero Super Splendor has got a bike model for everyone’s taste. Splendor’s lightweight, easy control and the prudent engine makes it a persuasive suggestion for a rider looking for a durable, fuel-efficient, no-nonsense motorcycle.

Bajaj Discover 125Joyride

(Image Source:  Bajaj Auto)

Bajaj Discover 125 is powered by 124.5cc and a single-cylinder engine which produces 11 bhp of maximum power and 11 Nm of peak torque. This comfortable bike is available in 4 colors – red, blue, black and black with grey. You might have noticed the huge traffic that abides on roads during office hours which sometimes leads to unlikely mishaps. Because of the same reason this bike has lately been updated with Combined Braking System (CBS), which makes it one of the best choices for your daily commute to work.

Honda Dream YugaJoyride

(Image Source:  Honda Two Wheelers)

Like the other bikes of the ‘Dream Series’, the styling of Honda Dream Yoga is conventional and very basic in its styling. Currently, it is available in two variants – with and without CBS (Combined Braking System). The engine is 109.19cc air-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder HET engine that is tuned to produce 8.31bhp of power and 9.09 Nm of torque. In terms of color options, Honda Dream Yuga is available in five colors – Vibrant Blue, All Black, Sports Red, Majestic Grey, and Sports Black.

TVS Star City PlusJoyride

(Image Source:  TVS Star City)

TVS Star City Plus is made out to be a bit sleeker and smoother than the other TVS bikes. It has an enhanced wing mirrors and low-profile rolling resistance tyres for better commuting. It is an everyday motorcycle that focuses on high-end performance and fuel efficiency with a revised ‘Eco thrust’ 110 cc DLI engine. The powerful motor produces 8.3 BHP and has a crest torque of 8.7 Nm. So, if you want a stress-free ride that caters to your needs of daily commute, then this can be the right pick for you.

Bajaj CT100Joyride

(Image Source:  Bajaj Auto)

Bajaj CT100 has an extra-long seat that keeps things comfortable for both the rider and pillion. Concerning power, the Bajaj CT100 uses a 102-cc single-cylinder and a 4-stroke engine which is modified to deliver 7.6 bhp of power and 8.24 Nm of highest torque. This commuter bike is available in three vibrant colors, black with silver and red decals, black with silver and blue decals and a vivacious red.

Planning to Bring Your Daily Commute Home? Don’t Forget to Buy Bike Insurance

One common mistake done by people who are planning to buy a new bike is that they miss out on one crucial aspect – bike insurance. While you look at the significant factors like fuel efficiency, engine power, mileage, it is equally important to buy bike insurance policy to get coverage against losses that you might have to incur in case of an unlikely event. Be at the safe side and buy bike insurance from a prominent insurer like TATA AIG. They offer several add-ons like third party property damage cover to increase the third-party liability coverage, along with the other essential insurance coverage.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Does Lane Splitting Make Motorcyclists Safer?

(Sponsored post on lane splitting for our North American readers)

Lane-splitting is the act of riding a motorcycle between the lanes of traffic on a freeway or city road. It’s a controversial topic in motorcycle safety, with a variety of opinions and different laws on whether it benefits motorcyclists or puts them in more danger. Many riders advocate for lane-splitting, out of fear that they’ll be sandwiched between two vehicles in a rear-end accident in stop-and-go traffic. They claim it’s safer to travel between lanes, and eases traffic during a busy commute. Those against it argue lane-splitting increases the likelihood of a crash if a driver isn’t paying attention, and doesn’t notice the rider along his or her side.

Motorcycle injury attorneys at Cannon & Dunphy, S.C. claim motorcyclists face a greater risk than any other vehicle on the road. If involved in an accident, riders are are also more likely to suffer serious or catastrophic injuries. Lane-splitting has come up a lot in legislation about motorcycle safety, with a lot of gray area in different parts of the nation. So what is safer, splitting lanes or staying within the lines? A study at UC Berkeley suggests splitting reduces the likelihood a motorcyclist will be hurt in a crash, and the findings could change motorcycle laws across the country.

Lane-Splitting Increases Safety

The study, shared by the American Motorcycle Association, showed that riders who split lanes were significantly less likely to be struck from behind in a crash. Researchers reviewed nearly 6,000 motorcycle-involved collisions between 2012 and 2013. In 997 of those cases, the motorcyclist was splitting lanes at the time of the crash. Overall they found riders who split lanes were 6% less likely to suffer a head injury, 10% less likely to suffer an injury to the torso, and 1.8% less likely to die in a crash.

A few significant findings include:

  • Lane-splitting motorcyclists are less likely to be rear ended than those that don’t lane split, from 2.6% to 4.6%
  • Riders who lane split are 14% more likely to wear a full-face helmet and proper protective gear
  • Lane-splitting is safe if the rider travels at 50 miles per hour or less, and no more than 15 miles per hour above the flow of traffic

Authors of the study cite stop-and-go traffic as the main reason motorcyclists are in danger on the road. The American Motorcycle Association agrees, stating,”reducing a motorcyclist’s exposure to vehicles that are frequently accelerating and decelerating on congested roadways can be one way to reduce rear-end collisions for those most vulnerable in traffic.”Lane filtering lane splitting

Which States Allow Lane-Splitting?

Despite being a common practice on other continents like Australia, Europe and Asia, only California has legalized splitting for motorcyclists. California passed a bill known as AB-51 in 2017, ensuring that the practice is legal across the state.

After the bill was passed, the Governor’s Highway Safety Association released data showing an almost 30% decline in fatal motorcycle accidents since lane-splitting was legalized. The data failed to highlight a specific trend across the United States, with numbers ranging from a 66.7% decrease in Washington D.C. to a 175% increase in fatal accidents in Rhode Island. However, the national average dropped by 8.6%, 30 states saw a general decline in fatal motorcycle accidents, and there were decreases of more than 20% in 14 states.

Other states are working on their own legislation, but no other states have fully legalized lane-splitting like California. Utah has passed some legislation in May 2019, legalizing lane splitting with specific modifications for lane-filtering”. Oregon, Washington, Connecticut, DC, and Maryland are currently considering new lane-splitting legislation as of October 2019. Many states don’t have any specific mention of lane-splitting within their legislation, meaning it’s not necessarily prohibited by law. This list includes Montana, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, West Virginia, and North Carolina. All other states have laws in place to specifically prohibit lane-splitting for motorcycle riders.

As more information begins to come out about lane splitting safety, it will be interesting to see if more states choose to legalize the practice in hopes of keeping motorcyclists safer.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Industry boss is learning to ride to work

Putting his body where his mouth is, Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries boss Tony Weber is learning to ride in time to take part in the third annual Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Week (7-11 October 2019).

When it was announced earlier this month, Tony said “we are traditionally a country mad for motorcycles”.

Yet, he admitted he is not a rider: “When the motorcyclists I know start explaining their love for it, I have to admit I am tempted to ask for lessons.”

Learning to ride

Tony is certainly a man of his word with his first training session at motoDNA Riders Academy, Sydney Motorsport Park.

“I was hesitant at first, but I got a feel for it quickly. I must admit, now I see why my colleagues and motorcycle industry members get so excited about motorcycle riding,” he says.

“It’s one of the great experiences – it’s just so enjoyable! I can’t wait to take it to the next stage.Tony Weber prepares to learn to ride

“Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Week is a brilliant opportunity for riders to share their passion and make sure their bikes are prepared for the summer.

“I would encourage anyone to get out there and have a go, take your first steps as a rider. It’s just magic.”

MotoDNA founder and CEO Mark McVeigh says Tony took to the bike quickly.

Tony Weber prepares to learn to ride
Mark and Tony

“He was unassisted in under an hour. Initially he was a bit nervous, but once he got a feel for the bike, I could see him falling in love with riding, just like I did, just like everyone does when they try it,” Mark says.

We suggest riders encourage their friends to start learning to ride during Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Week which also corresponds with the NSW Motorcycle Awareness Month

Ride to work

Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Week aims to unite riders, celebrate taking the ‘long way home’, and showcase the small moments in a journey only riders notice.

The event is an initiative of the FCAI, supported by Aprilia, BMW Motorrad, Can-AM BRP, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Husqvarna, Indian Motorcycles, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph, Vespa and Yamaha.

To support the week, a selection of Australia’s motorcycle dealerships will offer a free Ride-Thru 10-point inspection of their bike to make sure it is safe and road ready.

Riders are also encouraged to share their favourite sections of their long way home on FacebookInstagram and the official website.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Third Ride your Motorcycle to Work Week

The third annual Australian Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Week is on from 7-11 October 2019 and once again double Dakar Rally winner Toby Price is the event ambassador.

According to the official Ride to Work Week press release, Toby says:

When you ride, you’re living a little more!

No one should go through life without knowing the joy of riding a motorbike.

Easy parking, lane filtering and the freedom and feeling of two-wheels. How could you have a bad day at work if it starts and ends with a ride?

No matter what you ride, this a week for us all to come together and enjoy taking the long way home!

Free inspections

The event is an initiative of the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, supported by Aprilia, BMW Motorrad, Can-AM BRP, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Husqvarna, Indian Motorcycles, Kawasaki, KTM, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph, Vespa and Yamaha.

To support the week, a selection of Australia’s motorcycle dealerships will offer a free Ride-Thru 10-point inspection of their bike to make sure it is safe and road ready.

Riders are also encouraged to share their favourite sections of their long way home on Facebook, Instagram and the official website.

According to the press release, FCAI CEO Tony Weber says the goal is to get current riders riding and make prospective riders curious:

We are traditionally a country mad for motorcycles. This event gives riders an opportunity to share their love for bikes with their colleagues and prepare for summer.

When the motorcyclists I know start explaining their love for it, I have to admit I am tempted to ask for lessons. Bringing a group with so much passion together, making them more visible on the road … it’s a great opportunity to get back on the bike, or take your first steps as a rider.Sydney traffic congestion motorcycles lane filtering planning forgotten work week

Our view

Anything is better than nothing and I will do my best to support this initiative (even though I work from home!).

However, I believe this is another opportunity lost.

As usual there will be no single event planned to hook the mainstream media.

Overseas, similar events are held on one particular day. That focuses the mainstream media on one event and attracts a lot of attention.

There is also nothing planned to highlight to the public how many of us ride and how our lives matter.

It would be great to see the media getting the message that lane filtering is legal and to leave a gap for our safety and for their expediency.

roadside lane filter filtering ad sign billboard work week
Here’s a sign we’d like to see in Ride to Work Week!

Instead, this is simply a commercial initiative driven by dealers and distributors to get riders into their shops.

That’s fine and certainly needed as sales continue to spiral downward.

We admire and respect Toby. In fact, after his second Dakar Rally win this year, we launched a petition to have him recognised with a national award.

But we wonder if a rally rider is really the right ambassador for commuter riding?

We would have included a nice photo of Toby riding to work, but the FCAI didn’t provide one and probably doesn’t have one.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Footpath parking ban a ‘conspiracy theory’

Claims that the Melbourne Council Draft Transport Plan will reduce motorcycle parking in the city is a conspiracy theory, says transport spokesman Cr Frances Gilley (above).

However, he does admit they will restrict some footpath parking in the short term with a long-term option of removing all motorcycles from CBD footpaths.

In the meantime, he says they will reduce street car parking and convert it to motorcycle spaces.

“Motorcyclists won’t lose any spaces,” says the councillor who used to commute on a scooter and park on the footpath outside council chambers.

Conspiracy theory

I get the conspiracy theory that if we create 10 spaces we lose a thousand.

“We will create more spaces on-road and if we need more we will provide them.

“But at some point we may find there is no need to park on pavement and we may do something. But that is not the current plan.”

Melbourne zones
Melbourne footpath parking

Footpath obstruction

He says motorcycles are a major obstruction to pedestrian traffic which represents 90% of the movement around the CBD.

“But there is nothing in the current Draft Transport Plan to say people can’t keep parking on the pavement. However, there will be some places where we will restrict it,” he says.

“The problem is that some motorcyclists keep ignoring disabled parking spots and park too close on the footpath which prevents people from getting out of their cars.

“We will clearly mark paces where people can’t park.”

Frances says riders of big motorcycles would find it easier to park in on-street parking spaces than to “go up on the pavement and have to weave around pedestrians”.

“When we create alternative on-street parking spaces we will see what it looks like,” he says.

“We think there will be a change in the number of motorbikes that use the pavement.”

Keen rider

Frances says he is a keen rider who had an old 250cc Vespa and a BMW K 100 in the UK in his 20s and is “not quite finished” customising his 25-year-old Honda Trans Alp.

Melbourne Council draft transport motorcycle parking conspiracy theory transport spokesman Cr Frances Gilley
Frances and his Trans Alp

“I rent in the inner city and for the past six years I’ve ridden a Vespa 250 to work and just recently swapped it for an electric bike to use the bike paths.”

He also owns a KTM 530 EXC dirt bike and his son and daughter have dirt bikes.

“We go weekend bush riding at our shack in Mansfield high country,” he says.

“There is 10km of dirt to get to my shack. It’s a nice ride up through the hills.”

Draft plan discussion

The Draft Transport Strategy 2030 was endorsed for public consultation by the Future Melbourne Committee on May 7 and is open for public comment until June 19.

Information sessions to discuss the draft with the community will be held at the Wheeler Centre, 176 Little Lonsdale St, next Wednesday (29 May) from 6pm-8pm and on Saturday, June 1, 11am-1pm.

Click here to register to attend an information session.

Riders can also speak with the project team at one of the following pop-up sessions:

            Melbourne Town Hall Pop-up

            Melbourne Knowledge Week – Prototype Street Pop-up

            North Melbourne Station Pop-up

            Harbour Esplanade Pop-up

            Southern Cross Station Pop-up

Go to the Participate Melbourne page for more details.         


Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Lane filtering a Whopper to drivers

Burger King now has motorcyclists lane filtering their Whopper burgers to hungry Mexico City drivers who can be stuck in traffic for up to five hours a day.

The delivery system is so popular Burger King is planning to extend the service to other cities with traffic problems such as Los Angeles, São Paulo and Shanghai.

Who knows! It could one day come to our traffic-snarled cities.

Click there for the 100 best and worst cities in the world for commuting.

The reason the Burger King system works is that motorcycles can lane filter, as this video shows.

Traffic Jam Whopper

They call the system the Traffic Jam Whopper and customers can order and pay on a special app while stuck in traffic.

It’s like an Uber system with GPS guidance for the delivery riders right to the driver’s window.

Drivers can also track their delivery and know when to open the window and receive their Whopper delivery.

Burger King say the system has been successful, resulting in a 63% increase in orders.Whopper lane filtering

What do you think?

Is this a good idea or not? We can see advantages and disadvantages in this system.

  • Would it be a great way for a motorcyclist to earn some extra pocket money during peak-hour traffic snarls?
  • Would commercialisation of lane filtering make the space between lanes too crowded if other fast food franchises latch on to the idea?
  • Would lane filtering become too dangerous for normal commuting riders?
  • Would more drivers become distracted by ordering and then eating food while in traffic?
  • Would it eventually lead to the much-appreciated lane-filtering road rule concession being revoked?
  • Would it make drivers happier and therefore more amenable to lane filtering, leading to a reduction in road rage toward riders?

Tell us what you think? Leave your comments in the box below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com