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Category: Motorcycle Industry Association

  1. More ‘commuter’ motorcycles sold during 2015 than for the past 30 years

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    Figures to be released today will show that more ‘commuter sized’ motorcycles and scooters were sold during 2015 than for any other year since comparative records began in 1983.

    More commuter motorcycles sold during 2015 than for the past 30 yearsThe Motorcycle Industry Association, which collates new registration data for the industry, will also report that total registrations for bikes of all sizes were more than 12% up on 2014.

    During 2015 more than 43,700 new motorcycles (including scooters) between 101-125cc were sold. Exact figures will be adjusted later today (Friday 8th January). This sized motorcycle is very popular for commuting and also includes the scooter style.

    Total registrations for 2015 for all sized motorcycles and mopeds will exceed 114,000, which is the highest annual total since 2008.

    Steve Kenward, CEO of the MCIA, says news about sales of new motorcycles between 101-125cc is consistent with anecdotal evidence that commuting via motorcycle is becoming more popular:

    “We’re seeing an increase in sales of new motorcycles of all sizes, but our records show that we’ve never seen as many bikes of this size sold before. We think it is likely that they are being used for commuting, as they are economical to run and easy to park. Motorcycle dealers have been reporting an increase in families swapping a second car for a motorcycle, to beat the misery of sitting in traffic during rush hour. Motorcycles and scooters can filter through slow moving traffic and are tremendous fun, with riders tending to rate their commute more enjoyable than other transport users”.*


    Sales of new motorcycles of all sizes fell dramatically during the recession, but recovery began during 2011, when the sale of small motorcycles began to rise along with petrol prices.

    The rise for new sales in 2015 builds on an increase of 10% for 2014.

    Steve Kenward predicts total sales will continue to increase: “We anticipate 2016 will see further growth on 2015 numbers and predict sales of around 124,000, which we will refine further during the year.”

    * The Office for National Statistics conducted a one-off survey examining the impact of commuting patterns on people’s levels of anxiety, happiness and satisfaction. This showed that for journeys up to 30 minutes there was no effect on levels of happiness or anxiety for those who rode a motorcycle, moped or scooters to work. In contrast – for journeys between 15 and 30 minutes - those who walk, cycle, drive a car or take the bus – all experience an adverse increase in some or all of the factors measured.

  2. Affordable transport for workers must be covered in spending review

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    The Association which represents Wheels to Work transport schemes is urging the Chancellor to continue to help unemployed people with transport costs, in his November spending review.

    Wheels to Work schemes (W2W) provide a temporary loan of a moped, scooter, bicycle or motorcycle to individuals who are unable to start work or take up training for work, due to a lack of public or private transport. Clients are usually young people, aged between 16 and 25, although in recent years older people have needed transport loans after periods of unemployment. Schemes generate income through charging for the loans but many need to access matched funding to meet costs.

    Funding could soon become a problem for Wheels to Work schemes, as the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) will not be available from next year. Many schemes have benefited from LSTF, which was a pot of money made available to local authorities by the Coalition Government, to support growth and cut carbon.

    There are currently 45 W2W schemes across the UK, nearly double the number there were in 2013, with others in the pipeline. The Wheels to Work Association is concerned that these schemes will close or reduce numbers, if the Chancellor fails to earmark funding for transport to work and new schemes will not be able to access start-up funding.

    The Association’s Chairman, Nigel Dotchin, has written directly to George Osbourne to highlight the practical value of W2W, which helps young people such as apprentices get to and from work, without which they would be unemployed. A loss of W2W would be particularly critical in rural areas, where public transport has been reduced or phased out.

    The Association has also offered public backing to the Campaign for Better Transport, which is calling for government to create a new ‘transport into work’ programme. This would encourage targeted initiatives, including W2W, which would help people into work, where transport was a barrier.

    In his letter to the Chancellor, Nigel Dotchin pointed out how W2W helps meet Government targets for growth:

    “The schemes are helping to deliver not only the Government’s accessibility agenda, but also contribute to wider policy ambitions such as the apprenticeships initiative, and road safety for those on two wheels.

    “It would be a great shame if the Government allowed these schemes to flounder, which would further compound the inequality in employment opportunities for those living in rural areas.” 

  3. Off-road sport boosts local economies: case study Skegness Annual Beach Race

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    The Skegness Annual Beach Race, which takes place 7th and 8th November, is helping to extend the tourist season, according to a report by East Lindsey District Council.

    Early Clubman action with Mitchell MeadowsLast year’s race attracted a record number of entrants (313) and over 20,000 spectators – the largest number to date. The event is popular with both out of town visitors and local residents, injecting nearly three quarters of a million pounds into the local economy. The race is organised by the Amateur Motorcycle Association (AMCA), a not for profit membership organisation which exists to promote grass roots participation in off-road motorcycle sport, particularly motocross.

    The report includes testimonials from the Town Manager, local Chamber of Commerce, retailers and hoteliers, who all support the race.

    Councillor Adam Grist, now Portfolio Holder for Market Towns and Rural Economy says: “The event is a very important one in East Lindsey’s sporting and cultural calendar and helps to extend the visitor season beyond the summer months. Since the race first came to Skegness in 2010, AMCA has helped to provide a huge boost to the town at a traditionally quieter time of year – last year with upwards of 20,000 people attending the two day event. This provides an increased footfall in the town which supports local businesses, amenities and attractions with people staying, eating and shopping locally. We look forward to working with AMCA in the future to ensure this popular event continues to take place in Skegness.”

    Town Manager Lisa Collins explained it was particularly helpful to seaside traders: “(The Race) is helping Skegness extend its traditional visitor season: it allows traders to remain open for an extra weekend, in particular the traditional seaside traders on the seafront. Not only is this a popular and important event for visitors to Skegness, but it is well supported by local families, who enjoy seeing the beach used for events such as this. It is key to the town’s future that we retain such events to actively promote Skegness as an all year round visitor destination.”

    Visitors to the race also increased footfall in Hildren’s Shopping Centre, according to centre manager Steve Andrews: “The event definitely brought people into the town, not just the seafront. Indications from my tenants are that we were around 6% up on sales over the weekend across the centre.”

    Nigel Tett, who represents local hotels and bed and breakfast providers through the Skegness East Coast and Wolds Hospitality Association, says the influx of visitors extends well beyond the town: “The AMCA beach race is the biggest event that takes place in late autumn in this part of the world. The input to this part of East Lincolnshire is enjoyed by all companies across the business spectrum ranging from Skegness right through to the other side of Louth and all along the Coast.”


    This is the sixth year the race has been staged and the event is now making a small profit for the AMCA.

    “To begin with it was a loss making event” explained AMCA General Manager Suzanne Potts, “we can’t generally afford to operate at a loss over the long term and we could have pulled the plug on the event, but we had such a great working relationship with the local council and events team that we really wanted to make it work. We knew it would take a few years to establish the event properly and thanks to the ‘can do’ attitude of staff at East Lindsey District Council, we persevered and shaped the event to maximise its impact.”


    · The first event was held in December 2010. This was bought forward to November for 2011, in order to incorporate an extension of the town’s illuminations.

    · This boosted rider and spectator numbers but still fell short of financial breakeven for the AMCA.

    · In 2013 £5k worth of funding was secured from the council to help the AMCA continue to stage the event.

    · 2014 saw a small profit being generated, which is hoped will be sustained for 2015.

    · This year’s race will take place 7th and 8th November, with races for solos, quads and sidecars.

    Beyond economic benefit

    The report also acknowledges additional benefits to staging motorsport events. Admission is free and many locals volunteer as marshals, which generates a ‘feel good factor’ within the town.

    This echoes government research which informed last year’s decision to pass legislation making it easier for local authorities to stage their own motorsport events.

    The Government press release which announced the introduction of new legislation included this statement from Roads Minister Robert Goodwill:

    “Motor sport events are great fun, extremely popular and make a valuable contribution to the economy. Allowing local authorities to organise carefully managed motor sports events is great news for the industry and will potentially benefit local communities around Great Britain.”

    Tourism and motorcycling across the UK

    A study of the economic impact of the motorcycle industry on the UK economy has found motorcycle-related tourism spending in the UK totals £562 million annually and supports 13,200 tourism jobs. In addition, motorcycling tourists from overseas spend £28 million on trips to the UK, supporting approximately 650 tourism jobs.

  4. Economic significance of the UK motorcycle industry revealed in new study

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    The motorcycle industry contributes billions of pounds to the UK economy each year, according to a report published today. The Economic Benefits of the UK Motorcycle Industry 2014 calculates that:

    · £5.3billion is generated through net annual sales, with an added value of £2billion

    · The industry directly employs 58,500 people in 5,700 businesses, plus an additional 16,400 jobs through motorcycle businesses purchasing goods and services from other UK sectors

    · Pays over a £billion in tax

    · Exports equal around £450 million each year, up 12% in real terms since 2008

    · Tourism associated with motorcycling is estimated to support an additional 13,200 jobs

    The report breaks down the industry by five sectors, which include:

    · Manufacturing

    · Distribution and retail

    · Repair, servicing and maintenance

    · Sports and leisure

    · Support services, which include finance and insurance

    It shows that the £2billion ‘added value’ generated by the motorcycle industry is more than the following industries:

    · Retailers of automotive fuels, lubricants and cooling products (£1.2billion)

    · Call centres (£1.4billion)

    · Performing arts (£1.5billion)

    · PR and communications activities (£1.3billion)

    The number of jobs supported by the industry is more than:

    · Taxi driving (36,000)

    · Manufactures of pharmaceuticals (50,000)

    · Agriculture, forestry and fishing activities (46.000)

    · Manufacture of textiles (47,000)

    Social benefits:

    · Saves the NHS several million pounds a year through voluntary ‘blood biker’ services, couriering life saving products

    · Used by emergency services to cut through traffic

    · Addresses transport poverty through Wheels to Work schemes

    About the report

    The report was commissioned by the Motorcycle Industry Association as an update to a similar one published in 2010. It was produced by ICF Consulting Services Ltd and brings together some key data on the economic contribution made by the industry and identifies long term trends such as increased motorcycle use. It also assesses the impact of tourism expenditure and estimates the number of jobs supported as a result (see section 5) 

    The market

    The report states that the motorcycle industry has ‘demonstrated resilience’, despite difficult economic conditions. Motorcycle retail and distribution was hit in line with other retail sectors during the economic downturn. Sales declined during this period, exports actually increased slightly.

    After a period of bottoming out, new registrations have begun to climb. In 2014 they were up around 10%, with similar rates of growth in the first quarter of 2015.

    UK Manufacturing

    The report shows around 3000 people in the UK are employed in the manufacture of high quality motorcycles, components, clothing, accessories and fuel. Triumph plays a major part in contributing to these figures, but the report also highlights the contribution of a number of smaller high value high performance manufacturers including Norton, CCM and Métisse. There are also UK businesses involved in the development and manufacture of electrical and other low carbon motorcycles. These include Agility Global, which makes a high performance electric sports bike and Intelligent Energy, which is working with Suzuki to develop the first commercial fuel cell vehicle.

    CEO Steve Kenward says this document should be read by all those making policy decisions about transport: “There are now nearly twice as many motorcycles licensed (and license exempt) for the road than there were 20 years ago and the general trajectory for motorcycle use is upwards. Around a third of all new registrations are for smaller motorcycles, likely to be used for commuting, and we see this as an increasing trend with motorcycles helping to tackle congestion as part of a low carbon future.

    The report is available online

  5. Dates and venue announced for this Motorcycle Off-Road Experience 2015

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    This year’s Motorcycle Off-Road Experience (MORE) will be on for four days between Tuesday 7th July and Friday 10thJuly at Upavon in Wiltshire.

    Motorcycle Off-Road Experience - MCIAThis will be the fourth year a ‘try out’ festival has been held, which allows people to try off-road riding for the first time. The price, which is heavily subsidised by the group behind MORE, will be £30. This includes hire of all kit, bikes and top class instruction for either a morning or afternoon session.

    Places are allocated on a first come first served basis via the MORE website The ‘go live’ date is Saturday May 16th from 10am onwards via the website.

    The group behind MORE includes Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and Yamaha. Off-road sporting body AMCA run the practical side of the day and it is project managed by the MCIA to encourage new people to off-road riding and sport.

    Sandra Cole, who manages the event for the MCIA says it’s suitable for a wide variety of people:

    “You don’t need to be an experienced road rider or have a license. You just need to be interested in having a go off-road. Whether your long term goal is some gentle green laning, or becoming the next motocross star, you have to start somewhere and MORE gives you that first opportunity”.