Love the ride – Moto-Riding Eco Warrior
Bernard Lakey grew up on a farm some 60 kilometers from Melbourne in Victoria. It was a real rural environment until the late 70’s when housing estates began to alter the area. In the 60s there were only working horses and dogs, but as the 70s progressed motorcycles came into the picture – first as wrecks that were restored to fight around the farm, then real road bikes. Bernard loved the ride.
“The horses are great for stock work, but the bikes could be jumped over anything and we could play while the sheep drifted in the right direction. I lost the crowd a few times by playing a little too long in the ravines and then finding them again,” recalls Bernard.
He was hooked, his road bikes started with the British: ’69 Norton 750 Fastback, ’68 Triumph Trophy, ’69 BSA Rocket 3. The mid 70’s saw heavy Japanese bikes from Kawasaki and Honda to match him with the Moto Guzzi 850T, among many others in the family. Over 40 years of cycling, in 2018 he bought the Suzuki GS 500, continuing to commute for weeks.
Bernard joined the Queensland Greens political party in 2016 to fight the Adani coal mine project and is now the local branch leader in Wynnum, Queensland.
In 2019, he launched the Queensland Branch of Certified Public Accountants Australia’s Sustainability – Accounting for Climate Change discussion group, as sustainability impacts every organization and business. The group examines how accounting standards are evolving to incorporate ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) reporting, initially on a voluntary basis, but gradually moving to mandatory reporting under International Financial Reporting Standards.
So, with this experience, he started looking for what he could do to reduce his carbon footprint.
An e-bike was the logical answer, but there weren’t many on the market as Zero pulled out. In November 2020 he made an offer with Evoke Motorcycles for delivery in February 2021, but was finally successful in July 2021. Then it was on the Evoke and the sale of the Suzuki. The Evoke is a great commuter bike with around 100 miles of city range and around 70 miles on the highway.
No clutch, no gears, so simple to drive. Silence is the most noticeable thing, second is the absence of vibrations, third is the smoothness when the bike takes off. It will ensure that once a commuter gets on an e-bike, they won’t go back on a gas-powered bike. He likes the ride. The charge is 6 hours flat for the 9.5 kWh battery. The bike handles very well, holds the road with confidence, holds the line in corners, generally gives good feedback to the rider, has plenty of grunt for passing trucks and hits 120 km/h fairly quickly.
At AUD15,000 to buy the bike, that’s close to the cost of a conventional 400cc without any of the maintenance costs. The hub motor means there are also no belt drives, sprockets or sprockets to maintain.
Driving the Evoke Bernard saved approximately 12 L of fuel each week (34 weeks) for nearly 408 liters over the period. At an average price of $1.50 per L, this represents a savings of $612. The Evoke has a 9.5kWh battery, so charging it to 80% at 40c per kWh costs $3.04 per charge. It charges for free on weekends with its rooftop solar system, so its estimated running cost is $105 for the same 34 weeks, giving a net savings of $519 in fuel alone. The Suzuki should also be serviced at a cost of $100 (oil being the main cost), whereas on the Evoke all you have to do is kick the tires – check they’re properly inflated. “It’s a task, I know! I also have to put grease in both swingarm nipples from time to time. He sighs.
Now he represents the Greens in the seat of Bonner. Climate change is here and needs an immediate response, not the do-nothing foolishness of Angus Taylor or Scott Morrison or the half-hearted response of the Australian Labor Party. Bernard also brings a wealth of financial accounting experience and detailed business knowledge to his application. The solutions we need are here now, he says. The government must make the right choices, and not rewrite the past on tinsel paper, pretending that it is change. The future belongs to our children, and it is our responsibility to pass on a prosperous and sustainable world, not a burning and flooded world.
For more information, see: Bernard Lakey — Greens for Bonner | Facebook
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