July 20 2004. Research carried out on behalf of The Motor Cycle Industry Association has found positive attitudes and opinions about motorcycling among 1,000 non-bike riders from across the UK.

One factor may be personal experience of riding. One in three of the non-riders interviewed said they had ridden in the past. Nine out ten said they enjoyed the experience and two thirds would like to try it again.

The results show that even non-riders agree with the theme of this year's National Motorcycle Week and Ride to Work Day; 'Motorcycling Means Freedom and Fun'.

One in three members of the public cited freedom, fun and excitement as the words they associated with motorcycling.

Non-riders most likely to view riding a bike this way live in areas where biking is taken seriously: In Bristol, where riders enjoy secure bike-parking places and access to bus-lanes, 'freedom' and 'fun' were the most popular words associated with motorcycling for 36% of respondents.

The survey revealed that non-riders do have a positive image of bike riders and biking. In London, where motorcycles are exempt from congestion charging, motorcycle use has increased whilst casualties have reduced. For Londoners the most popular description of riders was 'young at heart' (29%) whilst only 6% chose 'dangerous'.

One in ten said they would consider buying a bike. Of these, 42% said freedom and fun was their first consideration but another 42% cited bikes as an attractive alternative to car use because of (quicker journey times, cheaper and easier to park).

Overall, most interviewees (44%) reported neutral attitudes about motorcycling and although only 13.7% admitted being 'very negative', it is clear that events such as Ride to Work day have a lot of ground to cover raising awareness and understanding of what motorcycling has to offer.

Craig Carey-Clinch, MCI Director of Public Affairs said, "The survey is good news for motorcycling. The findings show that motorcycling is viewed more positively than is often portrayed. Combined with steadily rising numbers of riders and mileage covered, there are clear indications that motorcycling is an important and increasingly well-accepted part of everyday life. Government and local authorities need to recognise this and ensure that they make full provision for motorcycling as they do for other modes of travel"