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Should solo bikes have cheaper rego?

Harley-Davidson Dyna Low Rider S Sons of Anarchy solo
Low Rider S

Solo-seat motorcycles, or bikes that have been modified to seat only the rider, should attract a cheaper registration as they do in Queensland.

Actually, it’s the compulsory third party insurance component which makes solo motorbikes about $200 cheaper to register in the Sunshine State.

It’s not widely known in other states and even Indian Motorcycle didn’t realise it when they sold solo-seated Indian Scouts in Queensland with more expensive dual-seat rego!

Indian Scout Sixty solo
Scout Sixty

A friend of mine who bought a Scout Sixty only realised they had overpaid for a dual seat when the annual rego notice arrived.

Solo seat rego is a great idea. After all, how many riders ever carry a pillion? Plus there are many models released only in solo-seat versions.

There are also many sports bikes where the pillion seat is so ridiculously small, it is never used.

MV Agusta Brutale 800 America USA solo
MV Agusta Brutale 800 America


Fight for solo rego

South Australia’s Ride to Review spokesman Tim Kelly says “it’s something on our list to tackle” and Motorcycle Council of NSW treasurer Steve Pearce says it’s “a good concept; one we should take up to RMS” (Roads and Maritime Services).

“When it comes to CTP, my view is it should attach to the driver/rider not the vehicle,” Steve says.

“We can only drive or ride one vehicle at a time. And once a vehicle is sold, there are a different set of risk factors attaching to a new driver/rider.”

Victorian rider groups are more focussed on having their discriminatory Motorcycle Safety Levy scrapped rather than fighting for registration discounts.

Yamaha Bolt solo
Yamaha Bolt

Solo seat rego

In Queensland, the solo-seat registration applies to bikes with no rear footpegs and only 500mm of useable seat area.

If a rider modified their bike to a solo seat, they had to have it inspected by a Transport and Main Roads official.

In 2014, it was changed to a self-certification system which basically means you sign a statutory declaration that the bike complies and you won’t ride with a pillion.

The change to self-certification seems to have led to many riders just opting to never carry a pillion and either not make any bike modifications or simply removing the rear pegs or adding a pillion cowl.

There are currently 77,679 single-seated motorcycles and 119,966 dual-seated motorcycles recorded on the Queensland vehicle register. Yet Main Roads Department says they can’t confirm if any rider has ever been fined for a breach.

mechanical sympath soloy historic motorcycle
MBW’s Honda CX500 had solo rego

A simpler system

Rider Nick Hellken believes the system could be simplified even further by a declaration to never carry a pillion, without the need to make expensive modifications to their bikes.

He says the system could be policed with digitally scanning equipment to monitor vehicle number plates.

Police and TMR officers use the equipment to check for current registration since the old rego stickers were scrapped a few years ago.

Nick says they could also scan to see if the motorcycle is registered for solo use.

It makes good sense. Which is why it probably won’t ever happen!

  1. I have two bikes registered in NSW and even though both could carry a pillion I never use my older bike with a pillion, however I am not willing to modify the seat because it would destroy it’s look. A certification (or promise) to never carry a pillion would suit me better but as it is now old enough I will probably go with historical rego next year, that will save me a few dollars.

  2. I’m in NSW and my bike only has a single seat, rear foot pegs removed and a rack put where the second seat used to be. I’ve spoken to the RMS and my CTP insurer and neither cared. It makes sense that it should be cheaper but you would the govt etc do themselves out of more $$. Common sense never comes before $!

  3. No bikes should have to pay rego. Bikes unclog roads, are environmentally sound & fix the horrendous parking problems everywhere.

    1. Rego is to keep dangerous piles of crap off the road, supposedly !
      It obviously doesn’t seem to work on the latest Fords Jeeps and anything with faulty airbag.

  4. Insurance on bikes has always been a bit or a scam in all states.
    You pay much less for a 50cc hood ornament than for a 900 or 1200 cc cruiser or other non sport bike based on the assumption that larger capacity bikes are more likely to crash yet if you exclude pure sports bikes from the stats you’d probably find large bikes crash a lot less than small bikes especially low capacity scooters and suchlike.
    One thing I’d like to see happen is movable CTP for multiple vehicle owners. This would see part of the ctp being placed against the drivers license instead of the vehicle and a nominal amount on the vehicle or vehicles with the one used most having the lions share against it. I have a car for all you need a car for a a large sport touring bike for fun and commuting and a classic mostly gathering dust.
    Paying full rego and insurance on each of them when only one really get any use is a bit of a burden that is unnecessary. This scenario probably results in more uninsured vehicles on the road than would otherwise be the case and is probably costing insurance companies more in lost revenue and expenses.
    Not to mention the fact that CTP is not applicable to cyclists and other rego exempt vehicles so having ctp on your license would cover those situations and the occasional unregistered vehicle you might accidentally drive without knowing.

    1. An explanation of Movable CTP for all those who don’t understand what the term CTP means . Compolsorary Third Party Insurance.
      This insurance is to cover others you or your vehicle may harm even if not driven by a licensed driver. But not for vehicle related accidents when not moving and it only covers people not property.
      Examples, a vehicle decides to drive itself down a hill and plow through a daycare centre, CTP will cover the injuries to all the children the vehicle runs down but not any building or other property damage.
      CTP does not cover you falling out the door unless the vehicle runs over you afterwards but the insurance company may argue that you ran yourself over and thus aren’t covered. Nor does it cover someone working on the vehicle unless someone jumps in and drives off.
      Some insurers offer driver cover with their CTP but it’s probably hard to claim.
      Movable CTP would work as part of the cost of CTP is risk related.
      A vehicle locked in a garage not being used is much less risk than one traveling down a public road full of passengers. Movable CTP is not meant for heavy and commercial vehicles that carry their own set of risks. But CTP is also meant to cover driver negligence, if you move an unregistered vehicle on private property that doesn’t belong to you (say you had to move a car on a deseased estate) , you park it at the top of a hill and not set the brake properly or put in gear or chock the wheels later on the vehicle rolls down the hill and hits a daycare centre.
      The vehicle is uninsured and the owner is dead and the estate has just been auctioned not including the car who gets sued? You do who pays the lot you do as CTP is only on vehicles not licenses !
      There is a thing in some states maybe all called the Nominal Defendant. This is where you can sue for compensation when the driver has fled and can’t be identified, I don’t know how it would go in the above scenario though as you would be identified.
      Movable CTP would reduce premiums as not all drivers drive or own a vehicle many people get a license and never drive except on holidays or they ride push bikes and are thus uninsured. Having CTP movable means that any vehicle you drive or ride is insured against injuring people, having a nominal amount on the vehicle itself covers it in case it’s stolen and injures people while not driven by you , so you’d have say $95 cover on your license $60 on your single seat daily rider $120 on your seven seat four by four and $15 on the collectors item you only ride on show and shine days. That would be a lot cheaper than $800 or more on each vehicle regardless of use.

  5. Could you collect the rego at the petrol pump? Just take a tax on petrol and scrap rego? Oh yeh, electric cars……

  6. I have 3 bikes. I can only ride one at a time, and one is a single seater. Whenever you have a government-mandated scheme that forces people to utilise the private sector, you have price collusion and a scam. Green slips are one such scam. In NSW we had the NRMA once: a mutual organisation that was not permitted to make a profit. It kept a lid on insurance prices. Once the thing was de-mutualised and the fools allowed themselves to be bought off with a few shares in the new private “for profit” company, that lid was removed.

  7. Movable CTP as suggested by some will never work for various reasons. However, movable registration might, for a “Class” of vehicles, such as ” Private Use ” for your own cars and motorcycles – but dont expect it to cover your Mack truck, or company or commercial vehicles !! Many people appear to Not realise that CTP ( Compulsory Third Party ) Insurance is Not to cover the driver, but rather , Claims AGAINST the Driver, from passenegers, and others, such as Pedestrians, who may suffer Personal Injuries. Therefore it makes a difference whether you are riding a single seat motorcycle, ot driving a 7 seater wagon. The Solo Seat registration for motorcycles is a Great Idea, which was introduced in Queensland following submissions made by the QMID branch of the MTAQ., to the Queensland Transport Dept. and Government.

  8. Mobile CTP is the only way to go. You pay it once, when you renew your licence.
    Rego is just a scam, taxation by stealth.

    Taxation is like plucking a goose; you try to extract the maximum number of feathers with the minimum amount of hiss.

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