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How to scooterize Oz?

Last post 06-15-2011 02:21 PM by hank. 16 replies.
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  • 09-15-2010 07:37 PM

    • csomole
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-25-2008
    • Brisbane
    • Posts 65

    How to scooterize Oz?

    I brought this thread over from http://scootercommunity.com.au/forums/p/13902/104597.aspx to highlight what is a big sleeper issue.

    Steve@ace wrote: "we have got the best weather in the world for scooters, so why aren't we seeing more of them?  Well I'd agree that cheap fuel is one reason, and the great Australian love of the motor car is another.  I suspect Australian machismo is another, and the significant desire for social acceptance is another (I think that the teasing sense of humour stops many people taking the risk of doing something different as they don't want to be the butt of the joke).   Where scooters are really making great inroads are those cities where congestion is very significant, parking is woeful, and petrol is cheap.  It's hitting Australian cities now (bar the third point), such that I'd definitely say that scooters are here for good, but the market growth to date has and will be largely affected by fuel price.  If (when?) this spikes again, expect another major surge in sales."

    Sure, the next petrol-price-hike is coming, eventually, but I reckon the market is more ready than that.  Both my high-schooler daughters and gen-Y metrosexual work colleagues find it way cool that despite my, ahem, middle age, I ride a scooter, so the machismo problem is limited to the bourbon-and-coke demographic.  These people need to be made aware of the advantages of scooter riding:
    - freedom from public transport at a comparable cost,
    - freedom from parking problems in the cities (mostly),
    - ability to get ahead in stalled traffic (illegal, but done and part of the attraction),
    - ability to ride a 50cc on a car licence (in most states) and thus test the water first,
    - never too late to start,
    - a wide choice of brands from cool to workhorse to el cheapo,
    - easier and more flexible/convenient than pushbikes,
    - more socially responsible than some other options, helping to reduce emissions and congestion.

    The industry needs to bite the bullet, band together without prejudice, pass the hat around and advertise the concept, not a particular brand.  Could try rationed cinema advertising that can be very targeted to a specific audience, and would look great on the large screen:  a couple of B/W frames from La Dolce Vita, cut to pissed-off people queueing at a bus stop in the Oz city where the ad is screened and a cool dude and girl whizzing past on 50s, cut to people doing the Great Ocean Road on maxies, pointing out how easy/affordable it is to get started, directing people to a collective industry website that has dealer links for all cities by postcode.  This website could then have ads for specific brands, a scooter selector based on people's highest preferences (price, image, power,  purpose, licence held, etc. to allow a fair coverage of all the contributors' brands) and a link to this website as a source of accumulated wisdom.

    I still think that the servicing costs need to be reconsidered, as these are likely to sour the ownership experience and hinder the word-of-mouth advertising.  Another thing is rego costs, and an industry peak body should lobby politicians to give discounts to 50cc scooters on grounds of social advantages.  Getting some Greens or independent pollies excited about switching people out of single-occupant cars would help immensely.

    But the objective should be for people to buy their first schooter, even if second-hand off eBay, and get hooked.  Just put a decent 2-stroke 50 under people's bums and see them taking it from there.  Upgrading and changing over is much more frequent for scoots than cars, so the whole industry would profit.  

    Not being involved in the industry other than a happy scooterer, there is nothing in this for me financially.  I would merely like to see less traffic and people finding the better mode of transport that worked out so well for me.

     

     

  • 09-15-2010 09:26 PM In reply to

    • SteelMoon
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 05-04-2008
    • PERTH , WESTERN AUSTRALIA
    • Posts 420

    Re: How to scooterize Oz?

     Reading through your comments and thoughts , firstly please do not attack steve at ace scooter , he is really awesome person to deal with , secondly the scootering industry is what it is . Anything you say , would you say , certainly not make a difference whatever . If you like scootering ,then go for it , if you dont , just buy a car like everybody else is now driving. It really personal choice , on the transport needs , and how much you can afford .

    cheers.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Piaggio fly 150 and lovin it.

  • 09-15-2010 09:35 PM In reply to

    Re: How to scooterize Oz?

     When i started we could ride a motorbike/scooter at 16 cars you could not drive until 17 . Now people go straight to cars so thats one lot of recruits you have lost

    Si ‘Thi’ later
  • 09-15-2010 09:46 PM In reply to

    • hcrun
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 05-23-2010
    • Canberra
    • Posts 431

    Re: How to scooterize Oz?

    Even if fuel costs climb over the $2.00 per litre mark (as they were projected to do before the GFC), two-wheel ownership (motor-cycles and scooters) in Australia will never reach the level that it has in either Europe or Asia.

    Bruce

    Mid-life went past too quickly so I'm having a late-life crisis.
  • 09-16-2010 12:17 AM In reply to

    • Jobbie
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-05-2010
    • Craigmore, SA
    • Posts 238

    Re: How to scooterize Oz?

    csomole:
    I suspect Australian machismo is another, and the significant desire for social acceptance is another (I think that the teasing sense of humour stops many people taking the risk of doing something different as they don't want to be the butt of the joke).

    True. The other day, I heard a Holden ad on the radio that said "Imagine what your mates would say when you came around the corner in your new V8 ute..." Any brand that uses 'what your mate thinks' as a selling point lose my vote. Holden aiming for the blue singlet, VB swilling, flouro work shirt wearing Bogan. Hmmmm........I agree with their slogan..........they could "drive better".

    I also agree with everything else you say. I think Australia would be a better place if we could shed our Bogan pride and do things like-

    a- realise you can catch a train and ride inside the carriage for a change.

    b- realise wearing an Aussie flag as a bikini in a crappy magazine is not doing your ex-country or your mother-in-law any good at all.

    c- realise tagging every train station in your city is not something the rest of us are proud of you achieving.

    d- realise what you drive/ride is like being called "four-eyes" at primary school- No-one actually care once you grow up.

    e- realise wearing Auscam pants with your flannelette shirt on ANZAC day doesn't impress ex-servicemen, or indeed, those currently serving.

    Make no mistake- We are watching the  dumbing down of this nation. Do a test...ask a secondary school student to make a paper plane...if he/ she can't, YOU fail.

    Viva la Revolution! 

    (Spoken by Jobbie for the 'Twist-and-go' party of the not-so-united States of Australia.)

    Aprilia Sportcity 125 2007.
    Aprilia Scarabeo 250 2010.
  • 09-16-2010 05:26 PM In reply to

    Re: How to scooterize Oz?

    George - well done for setting this up as an excellent topic. 

    Mark - I don't think George is making any kind of "attack" on my posting - the question of perception is that its based on individual experience, and George's will certainly be different to ours.  Its clear from the sales figures that we see for Piaggio/Vespa that NSW/Sydney is leading the way in terms of sales of those models (more than twice of any other individual state).  As a fairly recent Australian, I would expect Sydney to be in the forefront of new "fashions", just as we'd see the same in London before the rest of the UK.  And being far away in WA, we will take the longest to catch-up.  Its why we have the highest rate of Harley ownership in the world.

    There is a body that is supposed to promote scooter riding.  Its the Australian Scooter Federation. It is essentially a part of the FCAI (Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries) and represents some of the major scooter brands.  The smaller brands and many of the smaller importers don't/haven't signed up for this body.  The website for the ASF is www.scooterfederation.com.au   However we haven't really seen an awful lot of the necessary lobbying that might make a difference, and help us push the environmental/congestion etc messages to give this form of transport the leg-up that it properly deserves.  The govt gives money to Toyota to build hybrid cars in Aus.  They plan to give you money to get your clunker off the road.  Why not encourage people to get on a scoot?  Lower rego costs would be a good incentive.  Free parking.  Dedicated high occupancy lanes on the freeway for bikes, scooters, buses and cars with more than one occupant.  But no, because the car lobbies and the oil lobbies are just too powerful.   The ASF should be out there banging the drum, but I guess because they currently only represent the better known brands they aren't keen to promote such that the chinese importers get all the benefit but don't put their hands in their pockets.



    Ace Scooters - practitioners to the scooter addicted.

    www.acescooters.com.au
  • 09-16-2010 05:51 PM In reply to

    • wleung
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-22-2009
    • Western Sydney
    • Posts 518

    Re: How to scooterize Oz?

    csomole:
    I brought this thread over from http://scootercommunity.com.au/forums/p/13902/104597.aspx to highlight what is a big sleeper issue...

    I'll add to the list:

    - Every educated person I speak to thinks I won't survive past 30 since I ride a two wheeler. This is annoying as every 2nd girl probably won't go out with me for that reason (amongst others of course... :D).

    - The above statement affects even me as I will probably stop riding once I have children.

    - It can never replace the car if you have children, require the storage space for work, hate riding in the rain, don't have alternative modes of transport available -> scooter/bike becomes a 'want' and not a 'need'.

    - Train/Bus from the outer west suburbs of Sydney is still faster / less stressful than riding a scoot or bike into the Sydney CBD. You shouldn't read a book whilst riding. And with the new MyBus 3 tickets, it's actually cheaper and quicker for me to catch a bus (M2, Lane Cove Tunnel, Harbour Bridge).

    Woot! Still love riding though!

    Wilson

     

    Exs: CB250, GS500, DL650, Espresso 150, Triumph Street Triple, ZZR250, CB900F Hornet
    Current: CBR125R / Piaggio Fly 150 3V
  • 09-16-2010 06:54 PM In reply to

    • csomole
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-25-2008
    • Brisbane
    • Posts 65

    Re: How to scooterize Oz?

    wleung:

    - Every educated person I speak to thinks I won't survive past 30 since I ride a two wheeler. This is annoying as every 2nd girl probably won't go out with me for that reason (amongst others of course... :D).

    - The above statement affects even me as I will probably stop riding once I have children.

    - It can never replace the car if you have children, require the storage space for work, hate riding in the rain, don't have alternative modes of transport available -> scooter/bike becomes a 'want' and not a 'need'.

    - Train/Bus from the outer west suburbs of Sydney is still faster / less stressful than riding a scoot or bike into the Sydney CBD. You shouldn't read a book whilst riding. And with the new MyBus 3 tickets, it's actually cheaper and quicker for me to catch a bus (M2, Lane Cove Tunnel, Harbour Bridge).

    For sure, scooters are for before and after children, not for the kindy runs.  Once you can shove the sprogs on a bus, though, scoots are fine again. 

    The ideal commuting distance for a scoot is probably 30-40 minutes of bus/train.  I used to catch the bus to Brisbane city from Toowong, three suburbs out, 6 km.  With walking to/from the bus, my trips took 25-30 minutes, max 15 on the scoot.  Now I work 15 km outwards, same No. of minutes by private vehicle on the motorway.  When there is no rain I take the scoot, otherwise my car, public transport is not handy. 

    But there is a new demographic emerging in Oz cities, living in inner-suburbs apartments, many without a parking space, facing 24/7 congestion.  Scoots would be ideal for their mobility before/after kids, just like in Europe and Asia: buses rarely go to supermarkets and pushbikes are not good freighters.  These people need to be made aware of the scoot option, and once a pattern is established it becomes self-sustaining.

    George

     

     

  • 09-16-2010 07:44 PM In reply to

    • SteelMoon
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 05-04-2008
    • PERTH , WESTERN AUSTRALIA
    • Posts 420

    Re: How to scooterize Oz?

     No problem .  Big Smile  , State and Federal government will always put cars first before motorcycle / scooters  , unless that changes in the Future. Who knows ?????

    steve@ace:

    George - well done for setting this up as an excellent topic. 

    Mark - I don't think George is making any kind of "attack" on my posting - the question of perception is that its based on individual experience, and George's will certainly be different to ours.  Its clear from the sales figures that we see for Piaggio/Vespa that NSW/Sydney is leading the way in terms of sales of those models (more than twice of any other individual state).  As a fairly recent Australian, I would expect Sydney to be in the forefront of new "fashions", just as we'd see the same in London before the rest of the UK.  And being far away in WA, we will take the longest to catch-up.  Its why we have the highest rate of Harley ownership in the world.

    There is a body that is supposed to promote scooter riding.  Its the Australian Scooter Federation. It is essentially a part of the FCAI (Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries) and represents some of the major scooter brands.  The smaller brands and many of the smaller importers don't/haven't signed up for this body.  The website for the ASF is www.scooterfederation.com.au   However we haven't really seen an awful lot of the necessary lobbying that might make a difference, and help us push the environmental/congestion etc messages to give this form of transport the leg-up that it properly deserves.  The govt gives money to Toyota to build hybrid cars in Aus.  They plan to give you money to get your clunker off the road.  Why not encourage people to get on a scoot?  Lower rego costs would be a good incentive.  Free parking.  Dedicated high occupancy lanes on the freeway for bikes, scooters, buses and cars with more than one occupant.  But no, because the car lobbies and the oil lobbies are just too powerful.   The ASF should be out there banging the drum, but I guess because they currently only represent the better known brands they aren't keen to promote such that the chinese importers get all the benefit but don't put their hands in their pockets.

     

     

     --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Piaggio fly 150 and lovin it .

  • 09-17-2010 07:18 PM In reply to

    Re: How to scooterize Oz?

    Welcome George, csmole. A very good write up indeed.

    I just try and keep the inner peace. I had a great ride to the Football on Wednesday. Match start 7:30pm, and warnings all round of traffic chaos due to Metallica concert at Rod Laver arena as well. So me and my pillion took the Tollway,, free for two wheels and took the Punt Road turnoff expecting chaos.  Yeh it was Jammed. Stationary so we put putted between all those cars and got into the front of the outside left turning lane. The football punters crossing the road to the left of us let us edge through. Not so the cars. And to our surprise Olympic Bpulevard had a big break in the left lane. All car parks to the left were full. We were waved on by cops at the first ped crossing and stopped at the red light  at the next. Right in front of the brand spanking new AAMi stadium. Two cops were to our left. I indicated my intention to park on the footpath. They asked if thats what I wanted. I nodded and when the foot trafiic was clear, still against a red light, they waved me onto to the footpath for a park.

    BEAUTIFUL. I love Victoria. I love the Toll Roads. I love the Cops. But most of all I love my Honda SH300i. As does my Son. I also love the Victory  and the Saints.

     

     

  • 09-17-2010 08:53 PM In reply to

    Re: How to scooterize Oz?

    Angel Ban $12000 new cars otr complete with air-conditioning & CD player . Also allowing more than 2 people on a scooter could also help Stick out tongue 

    Si ‘Thi’ later
  • 09-18-2010 08:26 AM In reply to

    Re: How to scooterize Oz?

    Nikko:
    warnings all round of traffic chaos due to Metallica concert at Rod Laver arena as well. So me and my pillion took the Tollway,, free for two wheels and took the Punt Road turnoff expecting chaos.  Yeh it was Jammed. Stationary so we put putted between all those cars and got into the front of the outside left turning lane. The football punters crossing the road to the left of us let us edge through. Not so the cars. And to our surprise Olympic Bpulevard had a big break in the left lane. All car parks to the left were full. We were waved on by cops at the first ped crossing and stopped at the red light  at the next. Right in front of the brand spanking new AAMi stadium. Two cops were to our left. I indicated my intention to park on the footpath. They asked if thats what I wanted. I nodded and when the foot trafiic was clear, still against a red light, they waved me onto to the footpath for a park.

    Never in Sydney Nikko... Never.

    Yellow Peugeot - Speedfight II 2006 - sold
    White Piaggio - X7 300 2010
  • 06-14-2011 08:14 PM In reply to

    Re: How to scooterize Oz?

    How to scooterize Oz, and thread dig...

    Introduce the Japanese sha-ken or however you spell it system for cars. Rego increases exponentially based on the age of the car. This forces 20 year old Falcons and Commdores and Magnas off the road. What is the cash strapped first car buyer going to get - a new scooter for the same $4,000.

    Reduce the Motorcycle L's age to 17 and a half. Those 6 months are a major incentive to any kid to get out and on the road solo.

    More advertising from the Motorcycling industry - I see many, many advertisements per day for cars, and approximately zero for motorcycles and scooters. Especially since Bendigo Scoota pulled their own self-funded, local ads.

    4 years and 20,000 K's later, I'm still scootering, and you guys are stuck with me!
  • 06-14-2011 08:55 PM In reply to

    • wleung
    • Top 75 Contributor
    • Joined on 04-22-2009
    • Western Sydney
    • Posts 518

    Re: How to scooterize Oz?

    wombat:
    How to scooterize Oz, and thread dig...

    Erm.... Introduce a new $5000 tax that is only charged to people and families that do not own scooters. That would be 99% of the population.

    Done.

    Wilson 

    Exs: CB250, GS500, DL650, Espresso 150, Triumph Street Triple, ZZR250, CB900F Hornet
    Current: CBR125R / Piaggio Fly 150 3V
  • 06-15-2011 07:36 AM In reply to

    • Paul
    • Top 50 Contributor
    • Joined on 05-16-2008
    • Brisbane
    • Posts 652

    Re: How to scooterize Oz?

    back in my day, i could by buy a moped 50cc at 16 and ride it, thena t 17 progress to a larger cc bike pass test and then voila bike licecne.  Thsi meant i could be independant sooner and have a life sooner and FREEDOM.

    This was in the UK and it's alieelt different here as i don't think you can just get a bike license only.

    It also made me a better car driver as i already had road knowledge and an increrased level of awareness that comes with being on 2 wheels gives you

    Cheers,
    Paul

    Now Scarabeo 300 June 11 with Arrow pipe..oh yea!
    previously Scarabeo 200 (with gpr pipe) Oct 09 - June 11 (18,450km)
    previously Vmoto Monaco Apr 09 -Oct 09

    *lusting after a GTS, but a few good models for 2013*

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