February 26 2004. Emap Automotive's flagship monthly BIKE magazine has broken the 100,000 sales barrier, and is now selling more copies than any UK motorcycle monthly for more than 20 years. Its average monthly ABC circulation of 100,093 Jan-Dec03, up a record 10% year-on-year, reflects its position as the most prestigious and essential motorcycle monthly on the market.

The magazine has created a winning formula that meets the needs of the "new generation" of older (average age 37), more affluent motorcyclists, 60% of whom are ABC1 (info from TGI). The magazine now reaches more ABC1 readers than Esquire and Country Life (NRS, Oct 02-Sept 03) - with readers who have a higher mean income than those of the Telegraph or Golf Monthly.

Gareth Ashman, Advertisement Director said, "It is really exciting for us to see the number one monthly motorcycling magazine break through the 100,000 copy sales barrier, this shows a real growth in the mainstream motorcycling marketplace. The success of Bike shows that the discerning consumer appreciates good quality editorial, photography and acknowledges the insight it has on the real biker."

Motor Cycle News (MCN), remains the clear market leader, now selling more than 7.5 million copies a year to committed bikers, and posting a 3.5% year-on-year ABC increase to 146,915 (Jan-Dec03) average weekly circulation. Delivering the best news, sport and insider information every week, MCN is also the media marketplace to buy or sell a motorcycle. Further to this success, 2004 sees a one million pound investment in to MCN growing it further as the place to buy and sell.

Commenting on MCN Gareth Ashman said, "By relentlessly delivering more customers for our advertisers year on year, I am delighted we are even better value for those who make their living from buying and selling motorcycles and products. The increased investment will ensure that MCN continues to bring the trade more customers on a weekly basis through its strong copy sales. Many thanks to customers who continue to choose MCN to promote their businesses."

Group managing director Phillip Thomas comments:"Despite intense competition from smaller publishers, emap's editors have proved yet again that they understand exactly what bikers need in a magazine, and with Bike and MCN we have easily the most influential and respected brands in the market."

Elsewhere across the portfolio Classic Bike is still the only classic motorcycle title with an independently audited figure for the average amount of copies sold per month. They have recently gone through some change with the new editor, Hugo Wilson arriving from Bike where he was editor.

Ride and Performance Bikes have fared less well in their niche market areas and both have had a tough year but are looking to change and develop in 2004. Ride has already strengthened its position by appointing a new editor Stefan Bartlett. Stefan has joined Ride after spending 10 years at MCN the latter part successfully working as news editor. He has planned a whole raft of changes to the magazine, some of which are already in place. With such instrumental changes the whole team is very confident about the year ahead.

Commenting on the overall picture, Phillip Thomas said, "Despite intense competitive activity in all the automotive markets this year, emap has continued to lead and innovate in Motorcycling. Combined with our market-leading shows, events and websites, emap will continue to innovate and lead in the automotive market."