Figures released today by the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI) show a 6% increase in the total number of bike, scooter and moped registrations.
Moped registrations increased by 4%, scooters increased 11% and motorcycles rose by 6%. January car registrations were also up 5% suggesting a buoyant start to the year for the automotive industry.
The big winners, who experienced the most growth are the three sectors; Adventure Sport (46%), Scooter (22%) and Supersport (18%) - the latter two sectors maintaining the largest shares of the market.
The Japanese brands continue to dominate the 'Top Ten Powered-Two Wheelers' list although the number three slot has been taken by the Chinese brand, Baotian.
The coming year is an interesting one for the motorcycle industry, which is simultaneously faced with threats and opportunities from legislation, environmentalists, economics and societal attitudes.
The ongoing Transport Select Committee hearing has been the first challenge of the year. The industry has already had the opportunity to present its case to protect motorcycling as a mainstream mode of transport. The evidence suggests other organisations, such as SUSTRANS appear to still be demonstrating the negative stereotyping that motorcycling faces and as the mini-moto issue continues to attract negative attention to the industry as a whole these problems will need to be faced and dealt with.
European legislation poses more challenges as changes to training and testing are due to be introduced in 2008, which will make it more costly and timely to get a licence, potentially reducing the number of new people getting onto two wheels.
Craig Carey-Clinch, MCI's Director of Public Affairs said, "Now is a time of change for the motorcycle industry and the MCI will be focussing on reducing the negative effects of legislation and at the same time working in partnership to attract new blood into the world of motorcycling.
"The registration figures indicate a positive start to the year, but there is no room for complacency and all of the industry will have to look closely at how they can fight of pending external threats."