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10 facts that defend motorcycles

How many times have you had to defend motorcycling when a non-rider has attacked them as dangerous, noisy and smelly?

They tell you to grow up or suggest you catch a bus or take up cycling instead.

You feel like thumping them, but instead you defend your pastime by offering to take them for a ride and experience some of the thrills that have you hooked.

But they rarely take you up on your offer, do they?

Instead, you can give them these 10 motorcycle facts and maybe it might change their views.

10 facts to defend motorcycling

  1. More people are hospitalised playing Australian Rules, soccer or cycling than those involved in any of the wheeled motor sports, let alone just motorcycling. Official stats show that over the past 30 years fatal motorbike crashes per 10,000 registered bikes dropped 79% despite motorcycling being the fastest-growing vehicle segment with numbers doubling over the past decade.
  2. Belgian consultancy Transport & Mobility Leuven has found that if 10% of all private cars were replaced by motorcycles, it would reduce traffic congestion by 40%. If 25% went from steering wheel to handlebar, traffic congestion would cease.
  3. Lane filtering eases traffic congestion because it takes motorcycles out of the queue at traffic lights and other snarls.

    lane filtering signs consensus duty defend
    Here’s a sign we’d like to see!
  4. The motorcycle industry contributes $340.5 million to the Australian GDP or 0.02%.
  5. There are more than 880 new and used motorcycle businesses in Australia with an annual turnover of $1.8 billion, employing nearly 4000 people including 1700 mechanics and paying wages in excess of $184 million.
  6. Motorcycling provides a low-cost and flexible means of medium to long-distance travel while public transport is limited in the areas served and the hours of operation and cycling – even for dedicated cyclists – is only a viable option for relatively short-distance commuting.
  7. Motorcycles move through traffic quicker 48% quicker than a car because they use up less space and can manoeuvre through congestion.
  8. If a motorcycle breaks down, it does not block traffic like other vehicles.
  9. Motorcycles are a solution to scarce parking spaces especially if they are allowed to park on footpaths.
  10. Motorcycles are green! Their engines are smaller and therefore inherently fuel efficient. The CO2 emissions from an average car is 206g/km, while the average for a motorcycle is about 110g/km and smaller machines average 70g/km.

Thanks to the FCAIDefend motorcycling in Australia FCAI motorcycles

Many of the facts in this article come the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries document “Motorcycling in Australia”.

FCAI motorcycle spokesman Rhys Griffitsh says their first version in 2014 was updated late last year.

The purpose of the document is for it to be used by ‘The Industry’ to educate people/politicians about the motorcycle industry, and what it is worth, what it is doing, and where its challenges lie,” he says. 

“It is also a bit of a showcase of the Industry, in the sense that we try to bring together all aspects of the Industry into one succinct and focussed document.

It was proposed that the Manufacturers would take the document to any political meeting, and that should any of their Dealers need a supporting document, when dealing with local politicians, councils etc. that it was a resource for them.”

It’s also pretty handy for riders to help defend their favourite pastime the next time it comes under attack from a non-rider.

Fact 11

If your non-rider whiner complains about the noise of a passing motorcycle, ask them if they have a leaf blower, mower, or power tool that they use on the weekend?

  • What other reasons do you have for justifying your motorcycling passion? Leave your comments below.


  1. 12. Motorcycles have almost no impact on the road surface of paved roads unlike cars and trucks. Reduce the cost of road maintenance and car park upgrades. If 25% of cars were replaced with motorcycles roads would not need additional lanes or carparks saving councils and governments billions annually that could be used for schools and hospitals.
    13. The more bikes on the road the fewer rider fatalities as SMIDSY would be significantly reduced as driver awareness of riders increases making it safer to ride.

  2. 11. Japanese research found riders arrived to work less stressed, with enhanced problem solving skills (ie brain is switched on) and more productive than those who came by car and public transport. Drivers who switched over to riding motorcycles acquired the same higher brain functions and reduced stress levels after 2 to 3 months of daily riding.

  3. I don’t ride a bike for the pleasure of others and as such don’t give a stuff what non riders say .

    I don’t have to defend to anybody what I do (as long as its Legal).
    I’ve been riding motor bikes since I was 14 ( I’m now 74 and ride a Triumph Tiger ),I don’t Lane Filter and don’t mind those Wire Rope barriers .

    Of the twenty or thirty motor bikes I’ve owned over the last 60 yrs.’ only one had a noisy exhaust ,but not as noisy as some of the HD`s that come out each weekend .

    As I don’t ride in a group,I enjoy my rides ,travel where I want or cancel I ride if I don’t feel quite right .

    I have ridden for many years in the Big Smoke ,but now I’m a Country Bum rider ,riding during the week is The Greatest ,no greenies or city folks to complain about my Riding Footprint .

    One of the best thing’s I’ve noticed about fellow riders around here (as apposed to four wheel drivers ), is that there is no social network phone tapping for us Motor Bike riders .
    Its all hands on the grips and ride like the wind .

    The ten (10) things suggested to defend are relevant …………………….but who cares ,,I don’t .
    Just get on yer bike and ride …………..

  4. +1 for more noise checks, I have a neighbor who rides to work early most mornings, when he had a sport bike I never heard him but he traded it for an HD now I’m tempted to sugar his fuel even though he tries to be quiet.

    The greenness of motorcycles is not that cut and dried, if you compare a single occupant SUV to a motorcycle the bikes a winner but if it’s a fully occupied people mover the bike loses . In fact some bikes lose on the pollution and economy front even to a single occupant Yaris . The only way bikes come out on top in total is in heavy traffic. I worked in Sydney and would leave for work after a neighbor who worked in the same building, I would often pass him and be at work having a coffee before he even got to the car park. If he didn’t need a car he would get a bike he’d tell me every time we bumped into each other

  5. I would NOT argue about the noise of some motorcycles .. especially the Typical Big V Twin, or those using Hi Performance exhaust systems. When group riding, I refuse to sit behiond some of those Noisy Bastards, so certainly would not defend those idiots to a non-motorcyclist. Frankly, I wish police checks were more frequent and stringent.

  6. 11. If you reckon I’m a Grumpy old bastard now, do you really want to deal with me, without a motorcycle (or two) in my life?

  7. 11. Motorcycles are inherently more stable (thus safer) than 2 or 3 wheelers because anything that requires a wheel in each corner to prevent it from falling over is a disaster waiting to happen!

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