2 Jan 2015

Bikers urged to refresh skills

9:51 am on 2 January 2015

Older men flush with cash and rediscovering their passion for motorbikes should refresh their skills, an advocate for recreational motorcylists says.

The latest road toll figures show 43 motorcyclists were killed last year, up 17 percent on the year before, and police say the number of older men buying powerful bikes is adding to the trend.

Federation of International Motorcycling Oceania president Jim Tuckerman believed disposable incomes were behind the trend to older men returning to motorcycling.

"We had a lot of us that rode motorcycles when we were younger and are choosing to buy motorcycles as a recreational tool in our later years."

However, motorcycles today were "quite considerably different" and more powerful: today's 250cc was equivalent to a 650-750cc of the early 1970s, he said.

ACC supported a number of motorcycle training programmes nationwide and Mr Tuckerman said people should participate.

"My recommendation would be anybody getting back on a motorcycle after a number of years puts themselves through a training course to upskill themselves."

Mr Tuckerman also called for road statistics to more accurately reflect who was to blame in fatal accidents involving motorbikes, and said the increasing number of deaths involving motorcyclists did not necessarily mean they were causing them.

"Motorcycling statistics are if there is a motorcycle involved, whether the car driver is at fault or not.

"(That) does tend to point the finger at motorcyclists when in a lot of cases the motorcyclist is not at fault."