2015 Motorcycle Handling Award
Posted by Canstar Blue September 26th 2016
The way a motorbike handles is one of the key differences to driving a car. There’s a joy to be had from riding a motorcycle that responds deftly to your every thought/movement, which makes the rider feel much more enamoured with the overall driving experience.
This hobby can be exhilarating pursuit, but it’s also one fraught with potential risks at every turn. Some of those dangers are inherent ones that come with the territory – like not being seen by another vehicle on the road, or relative vulnerability to surface conditions and obstacles – but others are firmly in a rider’s hands. That means riding sensibility, taking corners with care, sticking to the rules of the road and steering clear of any risky manoeuvres.
Some of the potential hazards faced by riders can be exacerbated if they’re also battling with handling problems. Motorcycles can be a lethal weapon at high speeds, so it’s vital that a rider maintains firm control of their bike and has confidence in its handling ability, particularly if presented with a potential danger that requires quick reactions.
From Canstar Blue’s survey of more than 700 motorcycle owners, those who own a Ducati reported the highest levels of satisfaction with their bike’s handling ability. With a five-star rating for handling, Ducati outperformed seven other brands in this crucial area.
Common handling problems
Handling should be a crucial purchase consideration for any bike enthusiast. Common handling and suspension problems that a rider may experience often come with unusual names that, by themselves, won’t mean an awful lot to a rider – it’s only when they begin to experience some difficulties that those names will start to ring true and make sense. Some common handling issues include:
- Harsh ride
- Pogo stick effect
For the majority of street riders, the handling of their motorcycle will rarely come into question, unless something is worn or broken. But it’s important to be armed with some basic knowledge in the event that something starts to feel wrong.
The age of a bike is relevant to its handling ability and how likely the rider is to encounter problems. Most bikes older than 25 years old would not have been fitted with the sophisticated fully adjustable suspension that is commonplace on modern motorcycles today. Adjustable suspension will help maximize the handling and grip a rider experiences. Depending on the cause, correcting a handling problem on a motorcycle can be a complex matter. The issue is likely to be caused by one of three things:
- A worn component
- A broken or damaged component
- An adjustable component out of specification
No matter what the problem, or what’s causing it, riders should make sure they take their bike to a professional mechanic if they have any doubts or concerns about it. The latest Government statistics show there were 1,178 deaths on Australian roads in the year to June 2015, including 201 motorcyclists. So to avoid becoming another statistic, make sure you do everything in your power to ride safely – and that includes quickly addressing any handling problems.
Read our motorcycle customer satisfaction ratings for more.
Frequently asked questions
Canstar Blue commissioned I-view to survey 882 Australian motorcycle riders in order to measure and track customer satisfaction. The outcomes reported are the results from customers within the survey group who currently own and have ridden a motorcycle in the last 3 years (excluding scooters and mopeds) – in this case, 733 Australians.
Brands must have received at least 30 responses to be included. Results are comparative and it should be noted that brands receiving three stars have still achieved a satisfaction measure of at least six out of 10. Not all brands available in the market have been compared in this survey. The ratings table is first sorted by star ratings and then alphabetically. A rated brand may receive a ‘N/A’ (Not Applicable) rating if it does not receive the minimum number of responses for that criteria.