This is it …
Motorbike riding is exhilarating! And sexy!
And all the while, there’s also money to be saved and maybe even money to be made; read on.
For those concerned about safety, how about these statistics: passenger car occupants are more likely to be injured or die in accidents than motorcycle riders or even the driver of the car involved in an accident (don’t believe me, check the Australian Bureau of Statistics).
(See Reference 1 below).
Interestingly, drivers of cars are less likely to die or be injured than their passengers in car accidents.
Check the statistics for yourself online:
Source: Australian Transport Safety Bureau 21st May 2016. The data is a bit old but it will give you the basic idea.
Serious injury due to road crashes
In 2002 there were 22,248 people seriously injured in road crashes (table 22.22), a slight decrease compared with 2001. The highest number of people seriously injured were occupants of cars (51%), followed by motorcyclists (20%), bicyclists (11%) and pedestrians (11%).
The ratio of motorbikes to cars on our roads is around 1:20 currently (motorbike registrations make up 5% of registrations in Australia according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics but that figure includes buses and light trucks; so an even smaller proportion of total registrations). So this needs to be factored in with the numbers reported killed in motor accidents.
What about these fun facts: A motorcycle (without side-car) will legally transport up to two people at a time.
A car will legally transport up to 8 people (in some 4WD and people mover configurations) and for buses and single train carriages upwards of 60 to 200 people at a time. So on paper it would make sense to keep doing what we’re doing … Add more roads, trains and planes … Oh, and roads.
But … Consider this …
Almost all motorbikes have a rider (well, okay they all do when being ridden) and the majority of cars have only a single driver in them most of the time. So, all that potential utility wasted most of the time.
Buses (and trains for that matter) are even worse. Yes, they are packed at the start and end of the business days (during week days) … but, during the day and weekends they are mostly empty. Mmmm, much like our homes when we head off to work in the morning but that’s another rant (see the next scheduled article/rant about working from home making much more sense).
You know where this is going don’t you … Well, let’s cut to the chase.
While ever the ratio of motorbike registrations remains at around 5% of the total vehicle registrations in Australia, the motorbike riders will be enjoying the continued freedom of lane-filtering in all those congested cities around the world and strut their sexiness and fun of the ride while more and more roads are built for the car drivers to sit in their car park/roads and pay to wait to get to that job in the city on time.
Interesting additional fun fact: talking about cities, motorbike and scooter riders get free parking in the city of Sydney (yes, even in the CBD) all day every day. It seems we’re not the only ones catching on to the advantages of motorbikes. Saving money on that car by not driving it? Nope. You have to ask, why is the city of Sydney not asking motorbike riders to pay for their parking? Currently it is not unusual to pay towards $AUS20 per day to park a car somewhere in Sydney.
So, keep building those roads and the motorbike riders will use them really well. We love them. And we’ll park free too, no problems. I’m not convinced about the car drivers though.
Now, as for savings; an electric bike here in Sydney costs around $AUS8.5k (this is for a new electric bike including all on-road costs such as rego). It costs $AUS160 per year for full comprehensive insurance. And runs on electricity costing $AUS0.01 per kilometre (a small car like a Toyota Corolla runs at $0.09 per kilometre for petrol at around $AUS1.20 per litre). In Australia 1kWh of electricity costs around $AUS0.40.
The electric Fonzarelli electric moto bike is a new technology developed right here in Sydney. Check out http://www.fonzarelli.co – it’s like the Vespa meets 21st Century riding. Cool looks and extra cool technology. Think Tesla meets Vespa.
Interesting fun fact: the Tesla has minimal maintenance requirements. Check tyres, check break fluid levels and windscreen washer levels … Ummm, we’re done.
The same applies to all electric direct drive vehicles. No transmission, no gears, no belts, no exhaust pipes, no oil, no petrol … Did I forget anything? This applies to the Fonzarelli too.
Now, unlike the Tesla, the Fonz is designed for urban commuting and not meant for highway riding.
With a top cruising speed of 70 km/hr and burst speed (via the Forza button – think nitro-boost) of 75km/hr for 10 seconds (it’s actually really cool – once you try it you’ll be hooked) the Fonz is a city dweller.
With this in mind, it has a reverse function to get into tight spots behind you or spots on hilly bits and runs off a 1.6kwh Li-Ion 72 volt rechargeable battery. Or two.
That’s right, it can store two batteries under the seat to give a total range of between 80 and 100 kilometres at 50 and 70 km/hr respectively (depending on how urgently you ride).
The batteries are good for 40 kilometres of hard riding each (or 50 kilometres of soft/gentle riding). You’ll need to physically disconnect the power cable and signal cable (this drives the power connection for the dash and controls) from the spent battery and reconnect to the still charged second battery but this takes only seconds to complete.
Charge time for the spent battery is 3.5 hours from flat to full or 1 hour charging gives you 80% full. This is via the optional extra fast charger ($400). The standard charger will do the same but takes 7.5 hours to fully charge the battery from flat to full). One hour will give you about 75% charge.
It will perform like a fast Corolla or Pulsar. 0 – 60 km/hr in around 6 seconds. With the Forza button the 0 – 60 km/hr test will take about 3 seconds. It definitely keeps up with (and often out-runs) the traffic around town.
Don’t ride the Fonz in 80 km/hr zones; you’ll annoy everyone as it just can’t get to 80 km/hr.
With all that, love that ride … Oh and please keep building roads Australia, so those motorcyclists can speed through the traffic to the free parking in the cities and really get out and enjoy what cities like Sydney have to offer.
Oh and did I mention the fun factor and pure sexiness of it?
Love that ride.