By Iñigo Roces
Navigating the city’s congested streets can be tricky business, particularly during rush hour. The gridlock can be tight, even for some motorcycles at times.
For those looking to find work as couriers or riders for online-based services, the choices of motorcycles can be particularly daunting. The Motorcycle Development
Program Participants Association (MDPPA), an organization composed of the country’s leading motorcycle brands, classifies the motorcycles available in the market into four categories: Automatic (AT) scooter; Moped (MP); Business unit (BU); and Street (ST).
The automatic scooters (AT) segment is the newest and fastest growing segment of them all. Scooters in this class are easy to use, thanks to the standard automatic transmission fitted, and are typically light and fuel efficient. They can easily be distinguished by the step-through design of the body. They come in engine displacements as low as 110cc up to 150cc. Typical examples are the Honda BeAT and Click, Yamaha Mio, Suzuki Address, and Kymco Like.
The moped segment (MP) is one of the largest in the country, and typically the most familiar to most. Unlike automatic scooters, mopeds (sometimes called underbones) are offered with manual or semi-automatic transmissions. Thus,potential riders must know how to shift gears. Nonetheless, they are still fairly lightweight and easy to use. These are among the most fuel efficient of the classes, and also the most flexible when it comes to business requirements.
They can range from 110cc up to 150cc. Typical examples are the Honda XRM and RS150, Suzuki Raider, Yamaha Sight, Kawasaki Fury, and Kymco Super 8.
Business units (BU) are what typically come to mind when one mentions motorcycles. They are sometimes called standard motorcycles because of the conventional design that features a tank up front and the engine directly underneath it. These models are only offered in manual transmission. Nonetheless, their rugged construction and simple mechanics
have made them a favorite for use as tricycles and delivery vehicles. They can range from 100cc all the way up to 175cc. Typical examples are the Honda TMX, Yamaha RS 110, Kawasaki Bajaj CT110, and KymcoKargador.
Street units are similar to business units but offer more amenities for the rider. They feature a similar design, but offer more power, more instrument readouts, and convenience features. Of course, it also comes at a higher price, and their higher horsepower and less torque make them less ideal for tricycle and delivery use. Nonetheless, they’re among the fastest motorcycles on offer.
These are best for veteran riders because of the higher power output and manual transmissions. Typical examples are the Honda CBR150R, Suzuki Gixxer, Kawasaki Rouser, and Yamaha TFX.
MDPPA President, Armando B. Reyes, recommend that riders consider some key attributes before making their purchase.
“Bikes for these businesses need to be light for the rider and small enough to squeeze through traffic. It would help if they were automatic so the rider doesn’t get tired of shifting all day.
A displacement between 110cc to 125cc should be good enough to keep fuel efficiency high. The most suited category for this is the AT scooter,” he said.
If a purchase has already been made, there’s no need to worry. Executives from online services like Angkas say the type of motorcycle is immaterial. What matters is the rider’s ability to handle his motorcycle safely and efficiently. Many of these services have tryouts where riders go through an obstacle course. While it may be advantageous to smaller types of motorcycles like the AT and MP, larger types have also been known to pass.
By contrast, services like Lalamove offer promotions for their partner riders to purchase new motorcycles through partner dealers like Ropali. Lalamove riders can get new motorcycles at more agreeable terms and packages.
With the many financial services, promos, and packages available, getting a new motorcycle, or recruiting your current into online service is easier than ever.easier than ever.