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
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.
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.
Lane filtering eases traffic congestion because it takes motorcycles out of the queue at traffic lights and other snarls.
The motorcycle industry contributes $340.5 million to the Australian GDP or 0.02%.
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.
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.
Motorcycles move through traffic quicker 48% quicker than a car because they use up less space and can manoeuvre through congestion.
If a motorcycle breaks down, it does not block traffic like other vehicles.
Motorcycles are a solution to scarce parking spaces especially if they are allowed to park on footpaths.
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 FCAI
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.
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.