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How to choose the right delivery motorbike


This is a question that I've been asked in the field so I wanted to share it with everyone on KnowledgePoint

I am thinking of buying a couple of motorcycles for our office fleet since the traffic is so bad in the city that it ties up a car and driver for hours just to deliver procurement documents and the like. What is the difference between the different types (e.g. four-stroke, two-stroke)? I am very confused by the terminology and am getting conflicting advice on the pros and cons of each.

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Using motorcycles in this way can be a very good idea, but please be sure that your drivers are properly trained and have the correct licence. Provide them with helmets and ensure that they use them. Motorcycling is the most dangerous form of transport in terms of injury and fatalities.

There may be a wide range of motorcycles in terms of quality and price available in your local market, and even more so if you are looking to buy internationally. Japanese motorcycles are widely available and are good quality. At the other extreme, there are many Indian and Chinese models at (what seem to be) economic prices but are generally not as robust and reliable.

You will need to decide whether to go for cheaper and less robust/reliable motorcycles or a more expensive, better made and longer lasting models, depending on how long you think you will need to use them for, the state of your local roads and the availability of spare parts. Your benchmark should be good quality and the availability of reliable spare parts. Buy the best quality you can afford if you expect them to last a few years.

You should also ask other agencies in your area what they are using and what are their experiences.

Will your drivers be able to maintain the motorcycles themselves? If not, consider the local commercial garages and which makes/models they can deal with.

If you are likely to be using the motorcycles on unpaved roads, you will need an off-road design with the appropriate tyres.

Also in terms of design, think whether you will need to carry a pillion passenger (and provide helmets for them). It is possible that your drivers will do so on occasion even if there is no proper seat, so it may be better to bow to the inevitable and buy motorcycles with a pillion seat.

Then you have the choice of a two-stroke or four-stroke engined motocycle. The former ranges from 50cc mopeds up to 125cc. Once you start on motorcycles with four-stroke engines, they start around 175cc and can be very much larger. The bigger the engine, the more powerful and expensive, also the heavier and more difficult to manage the motorcycle becomes.

Here are the pros and cons:

Two-stroke engines:

• are simpler and cheaper to manufacture compared to four-stroke engines because of their simpler design,

• can produce twice the amount of power as a four-stroke engine of the same size, They also have a higher weight-to-power ratio because they are much lighter, thus they have greater acceleration,

• have spark plugs that last longer than those in a four-stroke engine, but

• make twice as much noise as a comparable four-stroke,

• are responsible for much more pollution (due to the combustion of oil) and create an unpleasant smell.

Because of environmental concerns, two-stroke engines are banned from further sales, or even from use on the road, in many countries (they may no longer be sold in the EU, for example), and ... (more)

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