February 11 2008.

Motorcycle, moped and scooter registrations were down 5.2 percent last month compared with January last year, according to the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCIA). This is very much inline with industry predictions for the month after a record increase in registrations in 2007, and with the UK car market which showed a fall of just over two percent.

Registrations of all powered two wheelers (PTW) totalled 6,594 in January - only 361 behind the same month in 2007.

Craig Carey-Clinch, director of public affairs for the MCIA said: "January is always a low sales month for PTWs, and this year we are probably seeing the effects of economic concerns and very poor weather, so a slight downturn was expected. This week's small cut in interest rates is welcome and should help to stimulate the market a little."

Moped and scooter registrations were down 1.7 percent and eight percent respectively, but some types of motorcycle showed good gains. Adventure sport bikes led by BMW's R1200 GS were up by nearly 23 percent and custom bikes - typified by the Harley-Davidson Dyna - were up 7.4 percent. The BMW R1200 RT topped the touring sector which increased by almost 76 percent.

The top selling make was Honda with 920 registrations.

Consumers are recognising that motorcycling makes increasing transport and economic sense and that they provide low cost, congestion-beating alternatives to cars and public transport.

PTW ownership costs are relatively low and they are part of the solution to environmental pressures. They help to ease congestion and parking problems; journey times are shorter and predictable; fuel consumption and carbon footprints are lower; and they represent freedom and can be great fun. PTWs are reliable, practical and very efficient forms of transport and the growth in smaller-engined and commuter bikes seems to reflect this.

According to the Department for Transport, there were 1.6 million motorcycles in use in 2006 with 51,000 people passing their test that year. The DfT also estimates that motorcycles travelled 3.2 million miles in 2006.