The latest figures from the MCI (Motorcycle Industry) show there was a further rise in the number of new registrations of small motorcycles and scooters for 2012 – for the second year running – with the top five best sellers for the year all 125cc or just under. This is a popular size for commuting and is easily accessible to anyone over the age of 17 (16 for mopeds).
New registrations for bikes between 51-125cc saw a growth of 8.5% during 2012. Increased sales of small motorcycles have been consistent since petrol prices rose at the beginning of 2011. There is also a strong second hand market for smaller motorcycles between 101-125cc as the total parc for this engine band has risen steadily for the past ten years, rising from 154,000 in 2002 to 261,000 for the end of 2011. Figures for 2012 will be issued mid 2013.
Commuting on a motorcycle, moped or scooter has huge benefits for all road users. A study published earlier this year by ACEM (The Motorcycle Industry in Europe) considered the impact of a relatively small shift from cars to motorcycles for a congested urban area in Belgium. When just 10% of drivers swapped their cars for motorcycles – time spent in traffic decreased by 40%. When 25% of car drivers switched – congestion was eliminated entirely.
Steve Kenward, Acting CEO of the MCI explained, “The growth of smaller motorcycles and scooters would suggest that more people than ever are commuting on powered two wheelers. This is an exciting trend and something the MCI has been talking to government about – in helping to solve congestion problems”.
The MCI has met with Transport Ministers recently to talk about recognising the contribution motorcycles can make in overcoming urban transport congestion.
Small motorcycles and scooters are more fuel efficient than most cars, with some doing up to 146mpg. Parking is often free, road tax is lower and there are no congestion charges or work place parking levies for motorcyclists. There is also an increasing range of electric motorcycles available. Steve Kenward is optimistic that the market will continue to be strong for 2013, “We are looking forward with confidence to another year of growth in the urban sector and are expecting an increase in sales of larger capacity machines as well, as confidence returns to the economy”.
For those who want to see if motorcycling is for them – the industry sponsors a programme called Get On which allows anyone over the age of 16 to try it for free, visit www.geton.co.uk and make 2013 the year you take to two wheels.