An upsurge in alternate forms of transport to offset the economic downturn felt worldwide. Two-wheels are better than four when it comes to fuel consumption. Workers still have to get to work in the h
Although the trend is not new, just re-vitalised. Importers of motor-cycles and scooters are hurrying to fill a demand for alternate, cheaper transport, especially in the city of Johannesburg. Factors such as fuel price, non-delivery of public transport in areas which need this service, and the credit-crunch have almost driven consumers toward two wheel transport. Although seen as a danger filled occupation in city traffic, scooters and small motor-cycles are making an appearance in greater numbers. Models range from the cheaper Korean, Chinese and Indian machines, to the more upmarket offerings from Italy, the re-surge of the Vespa® brand. Travel time from home to the work place has been cut in most cases to around 50% and typically at a 30km per Litre rate of fuel consumption. Weather conditions notwithstanding, Johannesburg is ideal for motor-cycling and "scootering" with mostly clear skys outside of the rainy season. Two wheel importers have reported a 45% increase in sales since November 2008 and this statistic is considered to be 'good' when compared to the new and second-hand vehicle market which has fallen by 38% in recent months. The two wheel market has spawned a fringe of accessory suppliers, offering helmets, leather riding gear, boots and 'riding tuition' to new bike owners. License requirements are simple enough to gain a learners, which can be used legally for 12 months before an official license is called for, and rider training is in demand covering subjects such as 'being street wise on two wheels' - a survival course motorcyclists venturing out in the dangerous traffic and streets of Johannesburg. Although not as huge as the motor cycling populations in Cambodia, Vietnam or Europe, South African two wheel riders and striders are fast becoming a force in the traffic, and have formed clubs and participate in out rides most week-ends and social gatherings at trendy cafes.