There is no getting around it. In an effort to ‘flatten the curve‘ governments and companies all over the world are taking measures, impacting our lives, including our motorcycle rides.
The motorcycle industry has been affected, especially in the countries heavily hit by COVID-19. Manufacturers have halted production, events have been cancelled and some countries even instated a curfew, stopping you from going for a ride all together.
Covid-19 Motorcycle Industry Impact
The industry is impacted for sure. Here are just some examples of recent press releases:
- KTM, Husqvarna and GasGas are interrupting operation & production
- Ducati closes production lines
- Yamaha is suspending production in Italy and France
There are many similar actions taken by motorcycle manufacturers all over the world. And not only by motorcycle manufacturers, but the entire supply chain. E.g. Brembo brakes has suspended their Italian operations for the time being.
Covid-19 Motorcycle Events Impact
Like the manufacturing industry, the event industry has been struck hard, if not harder, by the Coronavirus. While manufacturers can suspend their production temporarily, the event industry typically is based around 1 event per year. And a lot of these events are also concentrated around this time of year: the start of the motorcycle season in the northern hemisphere. Take below as an example:
For now, Sturgis is still on, but that can change as the corona pandemic develops over time.
Covid-19 Motorcycle Riding Impact
While Motorcycle Riding itself is pretty safe from Coronavirus perspective, in that you are not in contact with others, the hobby as a whole is still quite social (getting gas, stopping for a coffee, meeting at route start points, etc.) and as such it is ‘unsafe’ in this context. In some countries riding will even go against temporarily instated laws.
Take a look at Italy and Spain for example. These countries have instated a curfew of sorts, where travel is only permitted for work- and basic-necessity-grocery shopping purposes. Fines run up to hundreds of Euro and in extreme cases even a few weeks in prison.
While this is all very unfortunate of course, please remember that it’s all for the greater good. Governments don’t take these decisions lightly. They do it with public health in mind, hoping to spread severe cases over time, reducing pressure on hospitals and medical staff, preventing them from having to make difficult decisions like refusing older people and terminal cases from treatment.
This is one of the few times where we as individual persons have impact on life or death situations. Maybe not for you, but it might be for the people you infect unconsciously (did you know some infected people don’t show/feel symptoms). So, please take this seriously and help flatten the curve.
For RELIABLE information please refer to the world health organization: who.int