Motorcycle Insurance

Beating the traffic on a motorcycle taxi

Back in 2005 motorcycle taxis were thought to be facing a ban. They had been in operation for some 25 years getting customers rapidly from A to Z, but there was a debate within the EU as to whether a vehicle with two wheels could be classed as a taxi. Luckily this was resolved and motorcycle taxis are now a much needed part of life in London and other big cities throughout the world.

Recently, in the UK, motorcycle taxis received a boost when Transport for London announced that following trials motorcycles will be able to drive in bus lanes in London on a permanent basis. There are now an estimated 50,000 journeys a day being made by motorcyclists in the London bus lanes.

Motorcycle taxis not only offer a fast way of getting though the traffic but they also offer firms a way of offsetting their carbon footprint. Here Bikesure, the freethinking motorcycle insurance broker, takes a look at the motorcycle taxi business.

There’s no need to worry about clothing and safety equipment as most motorcycle taxi firms supply everything you’ll need to keep warm and dry, such as helmets, jackets, gloves and over-trousers. Some even supply a waterproof blanket which covers you from the waist down (useful it you’re wearing a skirt) and a neck warmer.

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Passenger Bikes operate thoughout greater London and will do trips out to Heathrow and Gatwick Airoprts. It claims to be the world’s first 100% carbon negative transportation company.

Richard Branson set up Virgin Limobike in November 1995 to speed the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class passengers to and from the airport. It uses Yamaha FJR1300′s (with ABS) which have been fitted with a comfortable rear seat back.

Chauffeur Bikes is another London-based taxi company. As well as the regular taxi service it offers sightseeing tours in London and the surrounding countryside.

In Paris, in 2009, regular taxi drivers protested about what they saw as the encroachment of motorcycle taxis on their business, but now, as in other big cities, Parisians rely on motorcycle taxis to get them around without holdups. The Paris Green Car firm boasts its environmental credentials, while using Suzuki Burgman 650cc Maxi Scooters or Honda Goldwing 1800cc giants to transport customers with the desired fashionable chic.

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Further afield other countries are finding motorcycle taxies are the way to beat the jams. Although this crazy journey through the streets of Bangkok, is not for the faint-hearted. When your driver says keep your knees in it might be time to question the wisdom of your choice of transport!

In Goa, India, motorcycle taxis are called pilots – perhaps an indication of the speed you might be travelling.  Passengers are advised to settle the fare in advance to avoid any confusion and arguments – not bad advice when using any taxi service for the first time.

On the road: Protect your child from head to toe

Children can ride pillion on a motorcycle, providing certain legal requirements are met. One of these is that the child must wear a suitable, well-fitting helmet and other protective gear. Children grow quickly, but having the correct fit of protective gear is essential – you can’t put a price on safety.  Bikesure, the freethinking motorcycle insurance broker, has compiled a list of some gear to look out for to keep your little one safe on your bike.

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  • Back protectors and body armour offer children much needed protection in case of an accident. Knox has an Aegis back protector available in children’s size. Knox says the Aegis’ low profile cut, flexibility and lightweight, breathable design allows it to sit perfectly, comfortably and closely around the contours of the child’s back.
  • Children’s motorcycle boots are widely available is a variety of different patterns, materials and designs, such as the range from motorcyclefootwear.co.uk. Remember to check the fit as kids’ feet grow so quickly. With that in mind, sites such as preloved.co.uk offer second hand items.
  • Jackets offer protection, both from the elements and if you have an accident. There are a wide range on offer from websites such as Dobbs Leathers. If it’s leather jackets you’re looking at, Motorcycle News has a guide to what to look out for.
  • Motorcycle gloves are a must for safety and it is important that the ones you choose for your child enables them be able to grip well. Make sure you measure or try them on to get the right fit and feel for your child. Visordown.com has an article detailing the importance of wearing motorcycle gloves and it is definitely worth a read. Websites such as babybiker.co.uk offer a range of leather and textile gloves, including waterproof ones and gloves with extra padding, in just about every colour imaginable.
  • Children will need to have their own helmet. Having the right fit is key and a helmet should always be purchased brand new to ensure its protection isn’t compromised. Get Geared stocks a full-face ProBiker child’s helmetwhich has all the same features and safety ratings as adult equivalents, and a scratch resistant visor. The helmet comes in a range of sizes, from extra, extra small to large. Having a full-face helmet is ideal for children as they offer maximum protection and protect the child’s eyes from dust and debris.
  • All-in-ones, trousers/jacket, waterproof, hi-vis, thermal-lined… the options are endless. Since kids that grow out of things quickly having lots of separate items for each eventuality can end up very costly. To save the dosh, look around for options that tick multiple boxes. Spada’s Duo Tech trousers are 100% waterproof and breathable, with the option of easily removing the quilted thermal lining when the weather gets warmer. The trousers are made from heavy duty Maxtex Nylon, with CE approved armour in the knees and a double-layered seat for increased protection and wear resistance. The trousers can also be teamed up with the Duo Tech jacket and zipped together as an all-in-one, offering a more secure and weather-tight fit. Both items also have fluorescent strips for added visibility.

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Not strictly children’s clothing but to offer little pillion riders extra security, there are a number of different pillion grip options available. Bike-It supply pillion grippers or this pillion buddy, ideal if little arms can’t reach around the rider or securely hold on to the grab rail.

 

Convicted Rider Insurance

If you’ve got points and bans, it pays to shop around for insurance

 

Once you’ve received a driving conviction, getting insurance can become more difficult and expensive. With the plethora of speeding cameras dotted around the country it is all too easy to be clocked exceeding the limit, especially as modern bikes have such great acceleration.

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The problem is you might have racked up some points for speeding convictions resulting in a year’s ban from driving and now, a few years later, you find insurance companies are still giving you higher quotes. Often, this doesn’t seem fair, as it could have been a one off error of judgement and for most people it’s a case of ‘once bitten, twice shy’.

 

Or maybe you’ve got a conviction for something other than a motoring offence and find you are being penalised with high premiums when it comes to getting motorcycle insurance, even if you’re a good rider.

 

In these sorts of cases, if you investigate online insurance quotes your premium may end up sky high. Most sites add on fixed percentages for each conviction or ban, regardless of your individual circumstances with heavy loading for more serious convictions.

 

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that’s the norm and you’ll have stump up the money, or else not ride your bike. A phone call to a specialist insurance broker who can discuss your details will probably produce a more favourable premium.

 

We Can Help

We Can Help

Bikesure, the free-thinking motorcycle insurance broker, understands that on the whole riders with convictions are not any different from riders without convictions. And, in fact, those who have points on their licenses may actually be more careful than those without – as they are worried about facing a ban.

 

One of the most common convictions in the UK is driving without insurance. This is a serious offence. First time offenders may receive six points and a fine, but the penalty could be more severe, including a ban, depending on the incident. Ironically, getting insurance after this conviction, labelled an IN10, can be really difficult.

 

At Bikesure, the experienced staff will do the leg work for you and ring around to find cover at a reasonable price. For example for a 23 year old male, living in the LN3 postcode who has an IN10 conviction and a subsequent 12 month ban will only pay £170 for third party, fire and theft cover on his Suzuki GS600F if he agrees to a £400 excess, once he is clear to ride again. This assumes he also had a recent 1 year NCB before he let his insurance lapse.

 

bikesure.co.uk | Specialist Motorcycle Insurance

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