Moped breaks costly fuel cycle
LESS than $5 a month to fill up your fuel tank?
That's what John Harding of Tweed Heads pays to run his 49cc Honda Dio moped motor bike, just about the ultimate petrol miser.
With petrol prices above $1 a litre, John is very pleased with his decision to buy the little moped five years ago for $1800.
It was only one year old at the time and has cost John no more than $300 a year to run.
The total running cost includes annual registration of $83, fuel and servicing.
The moped is so cheap to keep on the road that John uses high-grade fuel to maximise engine performance and minimise wear, even though he pays more than $1.10 a litre.
Top speed is 60kph. John rides mostly at 55kph.
His wife uses the family car most days, so John rides the moped to and from work, a round trip of about 12km.
"This is certainly a cheap way to travel," John said.
"It's got no gears and it's just so reliable, it starts every time," he said.
"And it fits right alongside the car parked in the garage."
Murwillumbah motorcycle dealer and repairer Paul O'Brien said the popularity of mopedtype bikes did indeed rise and fall with extremes in petrol prices.
"We do see waves of interest when petrol prices go right up," Mr O'Brien said.
He said mopeds travelled about 25km for every litre of fuel, compared to around 14km per litre for most four cylinder cars.
Mr O'Brien said it was important to realise that NSW motorcycle licensing required all riders, including moped riders, to undergo extensive rider-training courses.
This meant bike riders often dealt better with tricky road conditions than car drivers.