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Bike sales booming as fuel prices rise

Road users switch from four wheels to two

A person riding on a scooter.

Bike sales are booming as road users fight high fuel prices by switching from four wheels to two, it was revealed today.

Motorcycle sales soared 22% last month to 14,306, the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI) said.

Total sales of powered two-wheelers – including mopeds and scooters – have risen 1% for the first seven months of this year compared with the January-July 2007 period.

This compares with a 3% dip in new car sales in the first seven months of 2008 and a 13% dip in car sales last month compared with July 2007.

Cheaper commute

The MCI’s Craig Carey-Clinch said: ‘Against the backdrop of the credit crunch, inflation and economic uncertainty, this has been an up and down year for the market. But there are signs that people are switching to two wheels in order to make daily travel and commuting easier and cheaper.

‘Dealers report very high interest from new customers in practical commuter-type bikes, and test centres are booked solid with people wanting to take bike tests ahead of the test changes due to take effect in October. The July figures are good and the industry is cautiously optimistic that people are looking seriously at two-wheeled alternatives to cars and public transport.’

The biggest selling bikes in July were two Yamaha 125cc models – the YZF R125 and the YBR 125 – reflecting an increasing demand for smaller-engined machines.

Honda and Yamaha

Registrations of bikes of up to 50cc increased by more than 35% and engines from 51cc to 125cc increased by almost 31%. Bikes with engines from 651cc to 1,000cc increased by 40%.

The biggest-selling make in July was Honda with 2,011 registrations followed by Yamaha (1,860) and Suzuki (1,486).

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