Go on theLAMS
Moves are afoot to increase engine capacity for learners
MOTORCYCLE sales continue to struggle, but learner bike sales are booming with even performance marque Ducati producing a special model for Australia.
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries motorcycles manager Rhys Griffiths said Learner Approved Motorcycles (LAMS) were now so popular they needed their own category.
‘‘ In the current review of the industry figures, we have strong indication from all participating manufacturers that they would like to see LAMS as a defined category so we can get an indication of overall numbers,’’ Griffiths said. The LAMS bikes are administered by the RTA of NSWfor all Australian states and territories except WAand the ACT.
The category comprises all electric scooters plus bikes under 660cc with a cut-off power-to-weight ratio.
Griffiths said onlyWAwas not implementing LAMS although it was reviewing its licensing system and LAMS seems to be on the agenda.
The ACT does not have an engine capacity ceiling.
BothWAand Queensland allow drivers on a full licence to ride 50cc mopeds. But change is in the air.
‘‘ I would like to see the case for upping the cc limit ,’’ Griffiths told Carsguide. ‘‘ The consideration of weight [will be] a factor in going higher.’’
Some companies have suitable bikes just outside the cc limit that have sophisticated suspension and ABS brakes, which are considered important for novice riders.
Others have had models with sub-660cc engines that have been upgraded with larger engines and no longer qualify as LAMS bikes. They say Australia’s market is too small for manufacturers to make specific models to suit our LAMS laws.
Ducati’s popular entry level Monster bike is one of those that has grown in capacity to 696cc, taking it outside the LAMS limits. However, it now has a Monster 659cc available from $12,990, with an ABS model arriving in late July costing from $13,990.
Alison Fraser, from Ducati importers NF Imports, said the new Monster was based on the 696cc but engine capacity and power output were changed to suit Australia’s rules. She added: ‘‘ It will have a two-year unlimited kilometre warranty and 24-hour roadside and emergency assist— so learner riders who are wanting to ride a Ducati won’t have to buy an older model.’’
Many rider groups now consider the small-frame 250cc restriction impractical— and unsafe for tall or heavy riders.
Wolf in LAMS clothing: Ducati’s Monster 659