UK: Motorcycle Commuting Trends Up

UK Motorcycle Market

Motorcycle registration statistics released by the Motor Cycle Industry Association in the United Kingdom (MCI) for the end of 2010 show that despite battling against the economic recession and bad weather the figures aren’t all bad news.

Throughout the year there has been some important motorcycle growth. The beginning of 2010 started with a 41% drop in total registrations, however over the year the industry has seen a gradual slowing down of the decline in new powered motorcycle sales, with the total number of registrations ending 14% down compared to 2009.

Although the statistics show a drop in new motorcycle sales the situation is more complex than the headline figures suggest and there are some important trends developing in motorcycling.

There is a growing interest in the use of street bikes for commuting and as the industry’s Get On campaign is taking effect there is an upwards trend in smaller machines with lower capacity bikes (up to 125cc) gaining a 10.4% increase in their market share. "Scooters" also had a 9.3% increase in their market share.

Overall interest in motorcycling remains strong and the most recent Government statistics show that there were 1.3 million motorcycles licensed for use on the road, a significant increase of 77% since 1995.

Steve Kenward (MCI CEO) says: " Although the motorcycle industry has been battling the problems associated with a poor economy and the exceptionally bad weather, the industry as a whole is not in decline. It currently employs 65,000 people and generates annual turnover of more than £2 billion to the UK economy.

"The industry’s Get On campaign is helping more new riders start to enjoy the practical and financial benefits of riding on two wheels. Since the campaign started 21,000 people have booked a free one-hour ride with a local trainer."

Ultimately, Get On is helping to grow the customer base of new riders, over time they are likely to buy a new motorcycles which will bring a gradual upturn in registrations.