It is a known fact that the road tax for vehicles in Malaysia does not actually bear any real relation to the amount of road use, or damage to the public road infrastructure. Based on engine capacity, the current tax structure is biased heavily towards large capacity engines in cars, and the same holds true for motorcycles.

The motorcycle road tax structure is based on engine capacity, and falls into six categories. These are 0 to 150 cc – RM2, 151 cc to 200 cc – RM30, 201 cc to 250 cc – RM50, 251 cc to 500 cc – RM100, 501 cc to 800 cc – RM250 and 801 cc and above – RM350.

This might seem cheap, and for the below 250 cc class, it is, indeed, practically non-existant, but on a comparative basis, motorcycles at the top end pay about the same per cc as a 2-litre car. There is of course, the argument that motorcycles do not pay tolls, with the government citing hardship to low income earners riding small motorcycles.

On the insurance side of things, though, motorcycles pay more than cars, somewhat. Based on the sum insured, with no consideration taken into account for variables such as rider age, experience or riding record but including exact engine capacity, a motorcycle insured for RM50,000 will cost RM1,715 per year in comprehensive all-rider insurance, while a Honda EX5, insured for RM4,400 in value, will pay RM292.38 as premium.

This compares against a comprehensive insurance premium of RM1,547 for a 1.4-litre car, based on the insurance calculator. For superbikes, at the RM125,000 sum insured level, the gap remains the same – RM3,563 for a 2.2-litre car versus RM3,742 for a 1,000 cc superbike.

There cannot be a direct comparison between the road tax for cars and motorcycles of course. On a performance basis, motorcycles are right up there with performance sports cars, even the middle-weight basic machines. On the other hand, at the bottom end of the scale, kapchais and scooters are designed for cheap, personal transport and as such, taxed and insured accordingly.

So, what do you think? Is the road tax and insurance tariff for motorycles equitable? Leave a comment with your thoughts and opinions below.