By Simon Rawlings
Simon Rawlings, 2WL resident blogger (and long time scooter rider), takes a look at the behaviours and attitude of London's riders.
Over the past 12 months or so, the 2WL team have run a series of surveys to gain an insight into the behaviours and attitudes of London's riders.
Around 600 people have participated in the three surveys, so while this is only a small percentage of people who ride in and around the Capital it does provide us with an insight into riding behaviour.
The surveys were promoted via the 2WL Facebook page - admittedly this is not the best time to be running surveys and competitions on social media - but still the responses were encouraging, and we have given away some superb prizes to entrants chosen at random!
Part 1 - Safety tips
67% of the entrants chose ‘wear protective clothing in all weather’, followed by ‘look twice when approaching a junction – for vehicles pulling out’ (22%) and ‘keep your distance from the vehicle in front to leave enough space to stop’ (11%).
Riders were also invited to share their own safety tips, and among the most popular answers were:
• Perform the lifesaver look when turning right
• Wear a brightly coloured helmet
• Be aware of your surroundings
• Don’t ride up the inside of vehicles
Part 2 - Rider habits
The survey collected details of what machines people are riding – with 70% saying a bike in excess of 300cc. 125cc scooters/bikes were the second most popular (20%), followed by 150-300cc scooter/bike (8%) and 50cc moped/scooter (2%).
We also asked what purpose you ride a bike or scooter for - 75% of riders who responded said they use their machine for both commuting and pleasure.
21% of respondents ride solely for pleasure, while only 4% ride purely for commuting.
Respondents were also asked what bike or scooter they owned, as you can see from the word cloud below Honda proved to be the most popular make, closely followed by Yamaha.
Part 3 - Young riders
This proved to be the most challenging audience to date to engage with, we even started a 2WL Instagram account as we are told by young people Facebook is for the living dead!
In terms of riding experience - 27% of respondents said they have been riding for less than a year – while 21% have been riding for between one and two years.
The largest percentage (41%) have been riding for more than five years – with 11% riding for between five and 10 years.
Respondents were also asked about their future riding plans – with 43% already possessing a full bike licence.
Of those who haven’t, 32% plan to take their full test, 17% to buy a car and 7% to re-take their CBT and continue riding a 125cc bike.
So this snapshot of London's rider tells us that the majority appear to be committed long-term riders who have a full licence and are riding bikes over 300cc - and who ride for both commuting and pleasure. It may be that this demographic is more likely to respond to surveys and the behaviours of the younger scooter rider remains an enigma.
We will however be continuing this research into rider behaviour to try and build an even bigger picture of the Capital's riders!