Tag Archives: monash university

Millennials turning to public transport

Australian millennials are taking longer to get their driving/riding licences and are using public transport more, according to a multi-national university study.

The study looked at Melbourne, Brisbane, London, New York and Atlanta and found Brisbane millennials had the biggest increase in public transport kilometres (66%) followed by Melbourne with 45%.

London had a 22% increase and Atlanta 16% while New York had a slight decrease in public transport kilometres as millennials choose to live closer to work.

public transport
(Image from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers)

Public transport trend

While the trend toward public transport was applauded by the Monash University — the only Aussie uni among the five US and UK universities involved — the trend is alarming for motorcycle retailers.

They are struggling with a significant slide in sales over the past three years that will not abate if millennials don’t get licences.

Suggestions solutions

Diverse Harly-Davidson riders women youth public transport

Many suggested solutions to the millennial problem have been floated by retailers, distributors and manufacturers, but few are based in solid research.

So the American Motorcycle Industry Council has engaged researchers to find out exactly why millennials don’t ride and strategists to work out how to get them on to motorcycles.

MIC board chair Paul Vitrano, of Indian Motorcycle and Polaris, says the industry “needs to reach and inspire new customers”.

“While many of us, with our individual businesses, have taken steps to grow ridership, we also should be working together, and the MIC wants to help make that happen,” he says.

“To help us fully understand the barriers to entry, and to create an inclusive strategic plan to conquer those barriers that will be available to all stakeholders, we have partnered with a team of researchers and strategists to bring fresh perspectives to this challenge and opportunity.”

MIC has hired consulting firm Centauric LLC to do the research and come up with a strategic plan next month.

MIC vice chair Chuck Boderman, of Honda, says he does not expect a “quick fix”.

“It’s about showing people how motorcycles can fit into and enrich their lives, no matter where they live, what they do, what their hobbies are, or how old or young they are.

“This will take time, so we are committed to building a campaign that takes the long view.”

Stay tuned for the results of their research.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Uni hints at more LAMS bikes limits

The learner-approved motorcycle scheme (LAMS) should not only consider limits on power-to-weight (PTW) ratio and engine capacity, but also motorcycle type.

The suggestion is included in a new Monash University’s Accident Research Centre report that assesses factors affecting crash risk related to PTW ratio, engine capacity and motorcycle type.

It found that crash risk increased with the PTW ratio in some types of bikes such as sports and naked bikes, but actually decreased with off-road and adventure bikes.

While the uni report did not specify changes to LAMS as used in Australia and New Zealand, it says “further research” is required on the injury crash risks associated with engine size, rider experience and motorcycle type.

“This is needed to validate the observed relationships of crash risks varying positively and negatively with engine size depending on the type of motorcycle,” it says.

“If valid, then there is opportunity to reduce injury outcomes of novice riders by re-assessment of the LAMS to allow for engine capacities relevant to the motorcycle type.”

LAMS limits

Currently, LAMS has 150kW per tonne PTW ratio and 660cc engine capacity limits (except in the Australian Capital Territory). There is currently no restriction on motorcycle type.

Harley-Davidson Australia has been lobbying the Australian Government to axe the engine capacity limit for their cruiser-style motorcycles.

Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 Sportster review limits
Harley Sportsters are above current LAMS limits

Such a move would widen consumer choice for novice riders.

However, the Monash Uni report could also lead to limiting the LAMS list to some some bike types, such as naked and sport.

The report says sports bikes, which have the highest crash risk and highest risk of serious injury outcomes, are becoming “more prevalent in the fleet, which is adversely affecting motorcycle safety”.

“Further adverse effects on motorcycle safety are stemming from the trend to increasing power to weight ratio of newer motorcycles, which has shown a significant association with more severe injury outcomes in a crash.

“Analysis results also suggest that the effectiveness of the LAMS criteria could also be improved by considering motorcycle type in the restriction criteria.”

Given governments’ past propensity to cite MUARC studies, this new report could lead to new limits on the number of bikes available for learners and novices.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com

Improve rider and bike visibility says Uni

Visibility of riders and their motorcycles should be increased and high-speed limits in rural areas reduced, a new Monash University’s Accident Research Centre report suggests.

This is despite the report acknowledging that motorcycle crash rates have decreased as a proportion of the number of riders. (In NSW and Victoria alone, rider numbers have increased as much as 74% in a decade.)

Suggestion box

The uni report also suggests:

  • Licence refresher courses for older and returned riders;
  • Promote high-visibility motorcycle clothing and research into its effects;
  • Increase motorcycle visibility technology such as modulating headlights;
  • Support national standards for motorcycle protective clothing;
  • Reduced speed limits in high-speed zones, rural areas and intersection;MCCNSW Steve Pearce submission to Ombudsman over Oxley highway speed
  • Increase speed limit enforcement;
  • Increase rider licensing requirements;
  • Promote technologies to mitigate multi-vehicle crashes;
  • Improve the quality of rural roads;
  • Evaluate roads for their specific motorcycle safety; and
  • Reconsider the learner-approved motorcycle scheme (LAMS) to also consider bike type, not just power-to-weight ratio.

Visibility fearhi-vis vest visibility

While some of the recommendations have merit, there is a fear among riders that authorities will twist words such as “promote” and “support” into “mandatory”.

This could lead to mandatory high visibility clothing, mandatory protective clothing minimums and mandatory technology such as emergency braking, traction control and crash sensors.

The Monash Uni report is quaintly called “Current Trends in Motorcycle-Related Crash and Injury Risk in Australia by Motorcycle Type and Attributes”. It is sponsored by Australian state government bodies, state automobile clubs and the New Zealand Automobile Association.

It has been compiled using 2005-2014 data from police crash reports in several states, vehicle registrations in Victoria and NSW, and Redbook motorcycle specifications.

Click here to read how critics suggest police crash reports are flawed.


Honda Blackbird killer visibility
(Pic from need4speed)

The Monash Uni report reflects previous studies with findings such as older rider numbers and associated crashes are increasing.

However, it also found some new and interesting characteristics such as the fact that the number of riders choosing more powerful motorcycles has doubled.

It also claims to show that the crash and injury severity risks on high power-to-weight-ratio bikes are higher.

Here is a summary of the crash stat findings:

  • Fatal and serious injury motorcycle crashes increased 20%;
  • Rural areas are more dangerous for riders;
  • Most popular motorcycle types — sport, off-road and cruisers — also have the highest incidence of severe injury crashes;
  • Unlicensed and novice riders are more likely to crash older motorcycles;
  • Severe injury risk in motorcycle crashes is higher at intersections and in multi-vehicle collisions; and
  • Risk is lower in 50km/h zones.

What do you think of the Monash University report? Leave your comments below.

Source: MotorbikeWriter.com