January 12 2010.

Statistics released by the Motor Cycle Industry Association for the end of 2009 show an overall reduction in sales of 20%. The figures for the end of year show that in total 111,513 bikes, scooters and mopeds were sold.

Notably, half of the reduction in the number of new registrations can be attributed to the lower capacity bikes up to 50cc. Of these 10,000 machines, a significant proportion ( circa 60%) were from the inexpensive unsupported, online brands, mainly from China and Asia, and are unsustainable in the current economic environment, In light of this, the overall market has faired well.

The market experienced mixed fortunes throughout the year, although certain sectors tended to fair better than others. Naked bikes have been one style that has ridden the economic storm most successfully. In September, Naked bikes experienced a surge of sales, achieving a 25.4% increase in market share. As the year ended, sales of naked bikes were at the same level as they were in December 2008 with a total number of bikes sold reaching 21,266 - the highest for any sector.

Although all sectors have experienced declining sales there are sectors that continue to be popular. Supersport bikes continue to feature, as the second highest sellers of the year (18,930), with a 20% market share. The third top sellers are Scooters (16,943), with nearly 18% of market share in the over 50cc class, pushing the still fashionable Adventure Sport into fourth place overall (10,416), though the share of the market for this class has remained stable during 2009.

There is still evidence of continued public interest in biking, in particular the key role that motorcycling plays in practical transportation. There are 1.5 million active riders and the Government's Statistics reveals that over half (52%) of all motorcycle trips in 2008 were made for the purpose of commuting, compared to just one-third (34%) of bicycle journeys and one-fifth (22 %) of car journeys. The National Travel Survey also found that the average motorcyclist uses their bike as their main mode of transport for over one-third of all trips, making 8 motorcycle trips a week, and travelling an average of 80 miles.

The industry is keen to halt the trend of declining sales and has called on the Government to consider a scrappage scheme for the motorcycle sector. Key industry figures are to meet the Business and Enterprise Minister to discuss this and related issues early in February.
The MCI is also committed to the industry's 'Get On' campaign, which is bringing new people into the market and growing the pool of customers. People who haven't got a bike and want to get started can enjoy a free one hour taster session with a local trainer and so far it has proven popular and successful with 80% of people who try a bike booking Compulsory Basic Training and starting their journey to a full licence. (

Steve Kenward ,Chief Executive of MCI said; " The MCI is extremely optimistic about the future. Motorcycling can clearly play a greater role in mainstream transport in 2010 and beyond. There are issues to manage, including appropriate implementation of yet more new European motorcycle licensing rules, but with the right Government support, we are confident we can rise to meet these challenges.

"The motorcycle industry also wants to see government, legislators, local authorities and transport planners viewing motorcycling as a key alternative to the use of cars and public transport. Bikes and scooters can be part of the solution to reduce congestion as well as providing a cost-effective and flexible form of transport that offers the individual freedom on the roads."