Motorcycle dealers must educate buyers - Weekend

Motorcycle dealers must educate buyers

Jerome NeriAtty. Jerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

I JUST arrived from Bacolod, the City of smiles, with a big smile on my face. It was round 3 of Karera 2016 where I emerged as overall Quick 8 Forced Induction Champion driving a Subaru STI, which I built and tuned.

The car was running its full weight of 1,600 kilos and in full street trim. In the final, I was up against Miguel Arimas of Bacolod, also driving a Subaru STI. Admittedly he drove better than me and beat me off the start by around two tenths of a second. Lucky for me, I had enough horsepower to drive around him and cross the line two-car lengths in front.

A lot of the drag racers in Bacolod are upping their game. They are trying to localize their builds and lessen their dependence from tuners and builders outside Negros Island. Previously, a lot of racers get marquee name tuners and builders from Manila. They have realized that for the long term in the sport, hey will be better off learning and doing things themselves as it would be difficult to be dependent to others.

For the first half of 2016, motorcycle sales in the country reportedly reached around half a million units. (AP PHOTO)
For the first half of 2016, motorcycle sales in the country reportedly reached around half a million units. (AP PHOTO)

The same thing is happening in Davao. I was there a month ago and met people from different tuning shops over there. They also have a goal of localizing their builds and tunes. One shop in Davao has also bought a dyno; this shows how serious they are. I also met a team called K Racing where all of them had locally built cars, mostly turbo Hondas, and all of them ran really well.

Cebu is falling behind. The racers here should step up their game, learn to build, and tune engines themselves. This may be a longer route to get up to speed, but this is the only direction that can be taken for long-term competitiveness against our neighbors.

One big hindrance to developing on their own is the fear of under-performing. Drag racers are an impatient breed – they want to be the fastest right now and would spend their last cent just to be the fastest right now. Building a good performing car is all science; there is no sorcery involved. One just has to go throughout the learning curve to get it right. The feeling you get in winning with a car you built is a million times better compared to a car you bought.

MOTORCYCLE SALES. I recently read that motorcycle sales in the country for the first half of 2016 was in the vicinity of half a million units. This would have been close to half a million motorists who are reckless violators of traffic rules and regulations. I am saying this because every time I am on the road, a very big majority of motorcycle riders are violating the law and yet the traffic enforcers are completely oblivious or blind to it. The most common violation is counter flowing and occupying the pedestrian lane during a stop.

Government does not have the resources to educate motorcyclists on proper road etiquette and defensive riding. I also believe that a campaign for safer riding and riding within the traffic rules and regulations should not be the responsibility of Government. The dealers and distributors of motorcycles should become partners for change with Government. They are the ones making money from the huge number of motorcycle sales, thus, they owe it to the public to have a massive campaign on proper motorcycling.

They should not wait for Government to legislate such a measure placing that burden on them. It is their social responsibility to ensure that their motorcycles are sold to people who know how to ride within the traffic rules and regulations.

Everyday we see gruesome motorcycle accidents. With motorcycle sales on the rise, we too will be seeing a rise of gruesome accidents. It is only a matter of time when motorcycle accident-related deaths will outnumber drug-related deaths. Something has to be done and the dealers and distributors of motorcycles should step up to this responsibility.

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