Hopes for wider LAMS model choice

Harley-Davidson Street Rod - wider choice

Novice riders could soon have a wider choice of motorcycles such as the Street Rod (above) under the Learner-Approved Scheme (LAMS) if Harley-Davidson has its way.

The company is planning to put a proposal to Australian governments through the Federal Chamber for Automotive Industries to axe the 660cc engine capacity limit.

Instead, it would retain the 150kW per tonne limit only, as is the case in the ACT.

At the launch today in Singapore of the new 749cc Street Rod, Harley-Davidson Australia marketing manager Adam Wright confirmed that they are planning to “put a paper to the government through the FCAI”.

“The ACT has no restriction on capacity and we are trying to expand that to all states in Australia,” he says.

While they would hope other manufacturers would support their proposal, it is Harley that has the most to gain from such a move with the Sportster range and the Street 750 and Street Rod being suitable candidates. It may even include some Softails and Dynas.

Harley-Davidson Sportster Roadster legends rum wider
Harley-Davidson Roadster Sportster

Harley has already had huge success with their Street 500 which has been their top seller since its introduction and hoisted the brand to the top of the road bike sector in Australia over Honda.

Since their introduction of LAMS laws over the past few years, the choice for many tall and heavy riders to ride a more stable bike with better and safer technology has grown substantially.

Almost every manufacturer has at least one learner model and it has been a huge sales success for many brands.

However, the midweight capacity market is very soft in Australia and there are few models offered as riders tend to leap straight from LAMS bikes to over-litre bikes.

If the capacity limits were dropped, novices would then have a wider choice and be able to more sensibly graduate to bigger bikes over time.

That fits in much better with the new graduated licensing laws.

7 Comments

  1. If we must have restrictions the ACT model (kW/tonne) makes more sense than mandating a cubic capacity limit. The argument of limiting the motorcycles weight is only relevant to the size & strength of the individual & as I have heard from many that part of the motorcycle licence test should be the ability to pick up your fallen motorcycle I put to them the challenge should really be that you do not drop the motorcycle in the first place?

  2. Yep this is a sales pitch all right by those manufacturers whom don’t want to make the smaller bikes.
    One of the few pieces of legislation with which I mostly concur is that on learner bikes .
    The heavier the bike the harder it is to manipulate , so legislation and effort needs to go to programs which develop skill

  3. Great – the earlier 990cc can am spyder RT is learner legal in ACT. The proposed change would open up motorcycle riding to those who need or prefer three wheels. All in favour.

  4. I have no problem with no cc limit as long as there is a power limit but I am far from convinced that a learner should be able to ride heavy bikes – say 180kg or more dry weight. I’d be in favour of a power to weight limit plus an absolute weight limit. In my view the Harley 500 is already far too heavy for an absolute learner even if they are selling like hotcakes.

  5. The 150kw per tonne limit would be a handicapp for a purpose built learner bike that could be de lams’d to its full potential.

    Optimising for safety, stability and agility. A bike like the Ducati Supermono of the mid ’90s would be ideal, the near horizotal engine layout lowers the centre of mass, being narrow improves efficiency, handling and stability. The ideal weight would be like the Supermono 125kg. Even going hybrid to add functional mass has its advantages not just environmental, smoothness and instant torque response.

    Even blowing it out to 145kg that is only 21.75kW/30hp.

    Unlocking the potential of any modern engine of say 393cc single cylinder engines would provide 80-100hp as it would feature Jet ignition as a given in this day and age no one is going to accept the low 20-25% thermodynamic efficiency of current bikes for much longer, when 46% is available. Environmental footprints our now under scrutany by all vehicle purchases. Jet ignition gives you low emiissions and ultralean combustion, plus performance with multiphase combustion where you add more fuel once 50% of fuel is burned, shortly after tdc, this burns with the excess oxygen available with ultralean providing large torque gains with very little loss in efficiency, normally the higher compression ratio compensates for this. Ultra lean for low loads and multiphase for higher loads. Jet igition was developed in Melbourne by Dr. Bill Attard, Mahle powertrain in the UK then hired him, and this is how Ferrari beat Mercedes in the recent Melbourne F1, Mercedes implemented Jet ignition since 2013, lured one of bills team members.

  6. “100kW per tonne limit ”

    But that will mean that just about any Harley will become learner legal.

    Wow, talk about marketing opportunity. Just use left over ancient engines and increase the weight even more to meet a maths formula.
    Bit unfair on manufacturers that supply light and spritely controllable machines that are kind and forgiving to new riders.

    Maybe its time a bike lay over and pick it up off the ground test by yourself should be introduced as part of licensing. That should get some reality back into the picture.

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