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Motorbike riding is good for you


If you’re yearning for an off-road motorbike, you’re in good company. Australians bought nearly 20% more new off-road bikes in 2021 than in 2020. They see off-road bikes as a good way to increase their fitness and mental health and to experience the countryside. While it’s still early days for electric motorbikes, two Australian companies are ready for the ride.

Sales of new motorcycles overall were 123,540, up 13.4% from 2020. Honda was the winner, in front of Harley-Davidson, Yamaha and Kawasaki.

  Sales 2021 Increase on 2020 Share of total sales Top brands
Off-road 53,118 18.8% 43.0% Honda, Yamaha, Kawasaki, KTM and Suzuki
Road 37,270 6.8% 30.2% Honda, Harley-Davidson, Yamaha and Kawasaki.
Off-highway 28,321 13.9% 22.9% Yamaha, Honda and Polaris
Scooter 4,821 8.1% 3.9% Honda

Note, the FCAI doesn’t report all sales of new motorcycles because not all brands participate. It doesn’t yet report sales of electric motorcycles separately.

What about electric motorycles?

Boris Mihailovic, outspoken author of At the Altar of the Road Gods, says electric bikes “feel more like appliances than true motorbikes”. He, like many others, loves the throaty sound of a motorbike and will happily change the exhaust system to get more noise.

However, the biggest advantages of having an electric bike are low emissions, instant rapid acceleration and they need almost no maintenance. Some will enjoy the silence.

Two Australian companies are ready to deliver:

  • Savic was the first electric motorcycle company in Australia. Savic aims to deliver at least 20 electric motorbikes in the last quarter of 2022, and scale up manufacturing in 2023.
  • Fonz Moto (was Fonzarelli) is based in Sydney and produces two traditional step-through electric scooters and now an electric motorbike, the NKD.

Riding makes you happy

Research by YouGov in mid-2020 found motorbike riders are the happiest motorists. A huge 82% of motorcyclists claim riding makes them happy, compared to only 55% of motorists.

  • Half said the main reason they do it is for mental wellbeing
  • Two fifths relish the sense of freedom
  • A third enjoy fresh air and being in nature
  • A quarter started riding for a quicker commute.

Black Dog began Black Dog Ride in 2009 to recognise the health benefits of riding and raise awareness of depression.

Apart from the health benefits, motorcycle riding helps to reduce traffic congestion in the cities. It’s surprising there aren’t more incentives to ride motorcycles and scooters to work.

Get a motorbike green slip

Remember, motorcycle riders pay CTP insurance based on the size of the engine, not the brand or model of bike. Riders with electric motorbikes pay the equivalent of 225cc engines.

Get a green slip for your motorbike.

Also see Why buy an electric motorbike?

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Corrina Baird

Writer and Researcher, greenslips.com.au

Corrina used to lend her car to her kids and discovered what Ls, Ps and demerits mean for greenslips. After 20 years in financial services and over 9 years with greenslips.com.au, she’s an expert in the NSW CTP scheme. Read more about Corrina

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