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Cheap fuel, easy parking? Ride on!

Kuluin’s Leea Gilmour loves her 50cc scooter, which she says is as cheap as chips to run.
Kuluin’s Leea Gilmour loves her 50cc scooter, which she says is as cheap as chips to run. Brett Wortman

IT costs less than the price of a hamburger to fill an entire tank. Parking at Sunshine Plaza on a rainy day in the school holidays is a dream and all you need is a car licence to be able to drive one.

It’s the 50cc moped and more and more Sunshine Coast residents are waking up to its benefits.

Kuluin’s Leea Gilmour has been riding a moped for nearly three years and, while she can’t travel more than 50kmh on the open road, she loves it.

But are they safe? And should legislation be changed to make it compulsory to obtain a motorbike licence when your bike has very little vroom?

QRide Noosa instructor Michael Hancks believed it was “absolutely necessary” for all motorbike drivers to obtain some training before they ventured on to the road.

“Just because you can drive a car doesn’t mean you are capable to drive a scooter,” Mr Hancks said.

“You can have your P-Plate and you can get on one of them.”

Police were unable to provide statistics on the number of accidents involving scooters yesterday, but suggested that the number of serious accidents was low.

“Most people who fall off get up and carry on riding,” Mr Hancks said.

Noosa Scooter Style owner Scott Macken agreed all forms of training were advantageous but car drivers should also learn to watch out for scooter drivers on the road too.

“The statistics of scooter riders (in accidents) don’t figure massively,” Mr Macken said.

“But (given there are more on the road) other roads users should learn to be more accepting.”

Mr Macken was the largest seller of scooters in Queensland and while his shop normally sold “about five a week”, since the petrol price hikes over the past month he was fielding more inquiries than usual.

While he sold many 50cc scooters, it was his 125cc to 150cc scooters that were the biggest sellers.

“They give bigger usage options,” he said.

He said scooter and moped riders were usually less prone to accidents than motorbike riders because of their “attitude”.

“Our main clients would be between 45 and 60, male and female evenly split,” he said.

While Miss Gilmour didn’t fit that age bracket, she was one of many customers taking pleasure when it came to filling up at the bowser.

“It costs me $5 to fill my tank,” she said.

“It’s also really good when you go to the Plaza and you’re looking for parking. There is always parking available.”

MOPED FACTS:

Average cost: $2000

Registration: $430

Fuel: About 46 to fill a tank and travel between 140 to 180 kms

Service cost: Between $70 and $80 every 3000kms or six months


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