Figures released by the Motor Cycle Industry Association today show that all styles, except Adventure Sport, saw an increase in registrations in July 2006 of 2.5% compared to July 2005.
The 'Ewan and Charley' effect caused by their 'Long Way Round' adventure was noticeable throughout 2005 as the adventure sport sector grew. Although Adventure Sport registrations in 2006 look weak by comparison they are still higher than in 2004 and the BMW 1200GS is still the best-selling bike over 1,000cc.
The Moped sector is still shrinking and saw a decrease of registrations by 7.2% for July 2006 compared to July 05. However, the need for basic transport and learner- legal models has seen a reasonable growth in the 50cc- 125cc sector of 18% for July 06 and 11% for the year to date.
Motorcycling's popularity is also reflected in the number if people taking their test with July being the most popular month for taking it. Last year, April 2005-Mar 2006, 51,126 riders passed the DSA test to gain a full-licence to ride which was slightly up on 50,293 in 2004/05). June to September are the peak months with around 8,500 tests taken per month.
Craig Carey-Clinch MCI's Director of Public Affairs said, "Overall registrations in 2006 look like being at least as successful as 2005, and as the figures stand 125cc models are showing sound sales. However, it must be borne in mind that market figures are to an extent being held up by newer far eastern players in the market place. Traditional industry players are still facing a challenging market place.
"In addition, the rise in interest rates announced last week may cause problems next month, for the whole of the automotive industry, as riders wanting to change bikes face higher mortgage and credit bills and might consider waiting for their new bike or alternatively venturing into the second hand market."