Will pricey COEs leave new riders with less experience?
Why should a new rider, who has just attained his or her Class 2B licence, buy a small motorcycle now instead of waiting till he gets a higher class licence?
A typical Class 2B motorcycle like the Yamaha Jupiter 135 costs almost $10,000. A Class 2A motorbike like the KTM 390 Duke costs roughly $18,000.
And a Class 2 motorcycle like the KTM 1290 Super Duke R has a current price tag of about $39,500.
While the Yamaha has a machine price of about $4,000, the bike's Certificate of Entitlement (COE) is now $5,504.
There are several problems with this situation.
For many who ride smaller bikes, the motorcycle is a cheaper alternative to owning a car, which is already beyond the reach of many Singaporeans.
When COEs were first introduced in 1990, whether motorcycles should be exempted from COEs was highly debated.
As COE prices climbed over the years, others called for a tiered system, much like the one for cars. Basic motorcycles in one category and all others in the more expensive category.
That hasn't happened.
If a new rider puts off buying a motorcycle until he gets his Class 2A or Class 2, will it deprive him of road experience? If so, this may lead to them being less safe on roads, which is worrying.
Tiered classification was introduced in 1980 because the experience then was that younger riders were saving up and using the biggest capacity motorcycle they could afford.
But big bikes are hard to control and the number of accidents that involve them showed that to be true.
So now to qualify for a Class 2A motorcycle licence, which allows people to ride a bike up to 400cc, a biker would need to hold his Class 2B for a year.
To go up to Class 2, he would also need to hold his Class 2A for a year.
The president of Singapore Motor Cycle Traders Association, Mr Tony Yeo, says he is concerned too.
He says younger riders can't afford owning a bike as "currently, there is a real shortage of bike COEs," and even second-hand bikes have gone up in price because demand is outstripping supply.
Singapore Safety Driving Centre's Aman Aljunied says new bikers may be more vulnerable when they finally hop onto bigger machines.
"There is a concern that some returning students may not have any road experience," says Mr Aman, an assistant manager at the centre.
"We hope they have the maturity to stay safe on the road and remember the lessons learnt at the driving schools."
Other instructors recommend that Class 2B riders clock at least a year's experience before signing up for Class 2A courses.
In 2014, the number of bikers and their pillions injured in road accidents rose to 4,631 from 4,383 in 2013.
Biker and pillion deaths were 74 last year - one more than 2013.
Some attribute the increase in biker injuries to the rise in the number of motorbikes on the road.
Land Transport Authority figures show that the motorcycle population grew from 136,122 in 2004 to 144,404 in 2014 while cars and station wagons alone jumped from 417,103 to 616,609 in the same period.
Tiered COEs for motorcycles that factor in the difference between a 200cc Yamaha and a 1,000 Ducati will be a more equitable system.
It will also help reduce a situation where riders with limited experience risk their lives riding overly powerful machines.