Objective: To describe the motorcycle fleet and rider characteristics on Victorian farms.
Design: Cross-sectional postal survey.
Setting: Victorian agricultural industries.
Participants: A total of 1382 randomly selected farmers in 2001.
Main outcome measures: Farm motorcycle characteristics, use and maintenance schedule; motorcycle rider characteristics, respondent demographics and property characteristics.
Results: A total of 70% of farms had motorcycles, with an average of 1.7 per property. A total of 49% were four-wheel, and 44% were two-wheel. The average engine size and age were 255 cc and 8.8 years, respectively. The milk cattle sector owned the largest share of the motorcycle fleet and cereal/grain farms the smallest share. Four-wheel motorcycles were often used across the entire spectrum of agricultural tasks. Two-wheel motorcycle use was concentrated more on mustering and transport. A total of 61% of farms performed motorcycle maintenance every 1–6 months. Fifteen per cent of riders were under 15 years of age, and the majority (71%) rode four-wheel motorcycles. A total of 29% of all riders had received some form of motorcycle training.
Conclusions: This study provides useful information on state-level patterns of farm motorcycle use, as well as the key safety behaviours of rider training and motorcycle maintenance. This information might serve as baseline data for future monitoring and surveillance, and might assist with planning of prevention programs.