Research carried out by the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI)
revealed that the majority of the public, both riders and non-riders,
agree that young people should have special places where they can
participate in off-road motor sport activities.
Young people enjoy many benefits from participating in these activities.
It provides an excellent hobby, can help to keep children fit and
actively involved in sport, develop co-ordination and balance, encourage
concentration and instils transport awareness that will help them as
they get older.
Annually, 7,000 new bikes are sold which are designed for children and
young-people to use away from the road in appropriate supervised places.
These are high quality machines sold with proper advice and back-up from
However, the MCI is aware that there has been a significant increase in
the import of poor-quality copies of these very small 2-wheelers - from
around 10,000 in 2002 to 70,000 in 2003. Such machines are often sold
at very low prices via mail-order or internet outlets with no local
presence or specialist training, or by local outlets that are not
motorcycle specialists with inadequate advice about safe and responsible
use or maintenance. Many of these machines are of lower quality,
produced by unregulated factories in less-developed countries and
generally do not meet European standards for safety, reliability, noise
Organisations such as the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI), and
its equivalent retail and sport organisations, do not have any control
over irresponsible importers and traders, or the abuse of public roads
and spaces that sometimes follows. However, the industry is committed to
ensuring that the many people who are participating in constructive,
legitimate and legal motorcycle activity are not penalised because of a
There is a nationwide network of clubs and local organisations that
operate to provide fully-supervised recreational and competitive use of
motorcycles and other vehicles by children and young people, which can
be contacted via the ACU, AMCA and BSMA. These are legitimate and
responsible groups of parents and others who recognise the educational
and developmental benefits to children and young people understanding
the responsible use of motorised sport and recreation vehicles and who
have an interest in the future of UK motorsports.
Craig Carey-Clinch MCI's Director of Public Affairs said "The vast
majority of young people act legally and responsibly. However, the MCI
recognises there is a problem with some illegal use of these bikes. It
would be a huge mistake to tar these youngster, parents and other adults
in a position of responsibility, with the same brush, as those who
through negligence or encouragement, allow their youngsters to abuse the
street and other public places with illegal use of vehicles or through
"Providing more, safe specialist areas for young people to participate
in these activities is one important step that can help to reduce the
problem that is creating a negative image for the industry."