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I read with interest the piece from John Richards of Chelsea Scooters in last months Dealer News about Moped theft and crime and wanted to comment.
There are two aspects to crime. One is the crime enabled by mopeds which according to the recent figures, in London at least has come down significantly in the last year thanks to some clever tactics employed by the Police themselves. While the national figure is over 400 per week, London has seen its share fall to under 300. Tactics include, more nimble scooters rather than the big heavyweight BMWs to enable them to follow where the thieves go, remote controlled spikes and florescent “DNA” spray enabling them to catch the thieves later.
The other aspect however is theft of the moped itself. According to the Met, over 14000 mopeds were stolen just in London last year. Some of these are then to be used by the moped thieves for their own crime but of course some are for re-sale, export etc. With these figures in mind, its no surprise Insurance rates are becoming challenging for riders.
While Richards comment is true that crime is a bigger problem than emissions, we would suggest there is a solution to both and that comes in the form of adopting electric motorcycles or mopeds.
While its obvious that electric can deal with the emission challenge, what it can also deal with is the theft problem. The reason being that the majority of electric mopeds and some of the lower end motorcycles come with removable batteries. Imagine if you were able to take out your 4 stroke OHC from your Honda Vision 110 when you left it (locked up) at night outside your house. That’s effectively exactly what youre doing with an electric motorcycle. Take out the batteries and it becomes useless to thieves. No hot-wiring possible, no taking it to a petrol station and riding off without paying before you go and steal someones mobile phone. Totally useless and to help in that, we provide stickers to all our customer that warn potential thieves that they are wasting their time and move on which is essentially what all deterrents are…..pick on the next guy not me.
If the bike was still stolen, would a thief want to pay the price of a new battery at about £700? I seriously doubt it in the same way would they want to pay for a petrol engine at not much less than that in a stolen moped if they needed one for it? So yes, by all means, lock it up, cover it up but removing the power source is a far better alternative in our opinion. Batteries weigh about 8KG so taking them short distances to your home or office shouldn’t be too onerous and all but one of our 7 ranges provide them.
With regards to Insurance being a challenge for would-be riders. Insurers should actually be encouraging the take-up off electric mopeds for exactly this reason too and make “taking out batteries” a condition of providing lower insurance for them over petrol. This saving would then go towards to diminishing overhead electric purchases currently pay over their petrol equivalents to buy one.
Either through Government policy or choice, the days of electric mopeds and motorcycles are coming and this is just another advantage they carry over their noiser, dirtier and more expensive to run alternatives.