scooters may be cheap to run and slash journey times on the road, but the initial outlay can be costly.
at the bottom end of the scale are mopeds, which are categorised as two-stroke engine bikes up to 50 cc. with a top speed of between 35-40 m.p.h., they range in price from £1,600 to £2,200.
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prices increase with 125 cc four-stroke engine bikes, as do top speeds – to between 65-70 m.p.h. among the most popular models are the suzuki an 125 at £2,775 and the piaggio hexagon at £3,195.
within the 250 cc category, a number of manufacturers have introduced moped-style scooters specifically for the executive market. honda has the foresight, suzuki the bergman and yamaha the majesty, all retailing for between £4,000 to £4,500.
insurance costs vary significantly depending on the rider’s age, place of residence and vehicle. premiums with norwich union for a 25-year-old provisional licence holder in dublin range from £140.80 with a moped, to £260.80 with a 100 cc bike, to £383.20 with a 200 cc bike. in contrast, premiums for a 40-year-old provisional licence holder in cork range from £72.50 with a moped, to £121.60 with a 100 cc bike, to £143.90 with a 200 cc bike.
the british company, carole nash, is the only other in the irish motorcycle insurance market. however, it only covers riders over 25 years of age with vehicles of 250 cc upwards.
driving licence regulations vary depending on one’s age. riders aged under 25 must have a full licence for two years under category a1, covering bikes of 125 cc or less, before they can progress to category a, covering all other motorcycles. riders aged over 25 can apply immediately for a provisional licence covering categories a1 and a. such a licence costs £12, although validation for the extra category can be added to an existing licence free of charge.
the cost of the motorcycle driving test is the same as for a car: £30. however, road tax is cheaper, at only £21 a year.
another necessary purchase is a crash-helmet, which costs between £55 and £500. cheaper helmets, however, will almost certainly mean you will be getting less protection.
jackets also vary dramatically in price, from £70 to £400. for about £200 you can purchase one which is both waterproof and offers good protection. other necessities are gloves, which range in price from £20 to £100, leggings (£30-£100) and locks (£20-£140). boots are optional at between £100-£200.