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US News Easier driving license and corona cause motorcycle boom

18:10  26 october  2020
18:10  26 october  2020 Source:   spiegel.de

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According to the motorcycle industry, new driving license regulations and the corona pandemic are reasons for a record increase in demand for smaller scooters and motorcycles.

Ein Motorradfahrer fährt mit einem Leichtkraftrad mit 125ccm über eine Landstraße im Westerwald. © Thomas Frey / dpa A motorcyclist drives a light motorcycle with 125ccm on a country road in the Westerwald.

At least since the beginning of the 1990s, the number of newly registered motorcycles in Germany has not increased as much as it does now, said Achim Marten from the Motorcycle Industry Association (IVM). The reason is not only that at the end of 2019 a regulation made it easier to access smaller machines. "From our point of view, there is a certain lockdown, Covid-19 effect." Riding a motorcycle or scooter is “the most pandemic-safe form of transportation alongside cycling”.

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The Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) recorded around 185,000 newly registered motorcycles between January and September - an increase of more than 20 percent compared to the same period in the previous year. Only during the far-reaching Corona restrictions in March and April were there fewer new registrations than in the respective months of the previous year.

For motorcycles with a displacement of up to 125 cubic centimeters, the number of new registrations rose by around 67 percent to almost 30,000, according to IVM. For scooters up to 125 cubic centimeters even by more than 90 percent to around 26,000.

Since the end of last year, owners of a car driving license have been able to drive machines with a displacement of up to 125 cubic centimeters and 15 hp without an additional driving test - under certain conditions and after a theoretical and practical training with at least nine units of 90 minutes. "A lot of people seem to have been waiting for it," said Marten. As the KBA announced on Monday, in the first half of the year (until June 30th) 26,898 drivers also obtained a license for 125 machines in accordance with the new rules.

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Federal Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer called the reform a success. «Practice shows: It has been proven! Over 26,000 people, especially between 45 and 60 years of age, prefer to use two wheels instead of four, ”said the CSU politician. "A switch that will benefit you, traffic and the environment." The federal government wants to "enable more mobility, especially electromobility, and at the same time respect traffic safety through clear guidelines," said Scheuer.

"Driving instructors report that the driving license reform is well received," said Felix Lindhorst from the Federal Association of Two-Wheeler Craftsmen. In addition, because of the pandemic, people took their motorcycles on holiday in their own country or switched from local public transport to motorcycles. The relatively cheap 125cc machines are particularly attractive.

Lindhorst gave two other reasons for the high numbers: On the one hand, manufacturers and dealers allowed machines to be re-registered as a precaution, before an upcoming tightening of the emissions standard made this difficult. Some manufacturers also wanted to improve the statistics with their own approvals.

According to IVM man Marten, there has already been a trend towards scooter and motorcycle riding in recent years. According to KBA, the number of new registrations of motorcycles rose by around 6 percent in 2019 and by 10 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year. About this year's increase, Marten said: "It can be assumed that this is a relatively short-term effect at this level." According to his statement, the dealers were able to meet the high demand: “As far as I know, there are no bottlenecks in the trade. That does not rule out that individual models are not available at the moment. "

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This is interesting!