November 10 2008.

Registrations of powered two wheelers (PTW) last month were 4 per cent up on the same month last year, in stark contrast to a 23 per cent decline in car sales announced last Thursday and other economic indicators.

According to the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI), 11,408 mopeds, scooters and motorcycles were registered in October, against 10,972 in the same month last year.

Total registrations for the first 10 months of the year now stand at 125,494 - just 1.5 per cent down on 2007. UK passenger car registrations are down 8.8 per cent over the same period.

"The motorcycle industry is not immune to the economic downturn, but the resilience of the market this year reinforces the fact that PTWs are more relevant than ever," said MCI acting chief executive Steve Kenward. "As people look for ways to reduce the costs and hassles of travel, they are realising that motorcycles are an efficient, low cost option, and enable you to arrive with a smile on your face."

Nearly all categories of motorcycles and scooters showed gains last month, with the exceptions of custom, naked and trail/enduro motorcycles. The biggest jump was in the touring class with a 50.5 per cent improvement on October last year. Adventure sport motorcycles were up by more than 43 per cent in the month and there were increases across most engine capacities.

Steve Kenward added: "Last week's big interest rate cut will go some way to restoring consumer confidence and will help retailers in running their businesses, but we still expect volatility in the PTW market and the government must continue to concentrate on ensuring that their drive to kick-start the economy filters through to retail markets.

"Manufacturers and retailers are working very hard to win business, and there's never been a better time to buy a motorcycle. There are some great deals out there and using a motorcycle - especially for the everyday commute - makes more sense than ever."

The Suzuki GSXR 1000 recorded the highest number of registrations in the month with 181, closely followed by the 125cc Yamaha YBR 125 with 177 sales. Yamaha was also the biggest-selling make with 1,632 units. Honda was next with 1,383 followed by Suzuki with 1,125.

The Carole Nash International Motorcycle and Scooter Show is at the NEC from November 28 - December 7.