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Motorcycle registrations dip 16% in November

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Following a solid October when motorcycle registrations were up by 4 per cent on the same month last year, registrations were 16 per cent down last month, according to figures from the Motor Cycle Industry Association (MCI).

A total of 7,517 mopeds, scooters and motorcycles were registered in November, compared with 8,947 in the same month last year. Over the first 11 months of the year, registrations are just 2.4 per cent down, with 133,009 new powered two-wheelers (PTWs) registered.

While obviously not immune to the economic downturn, this still compares favourably with the UK car industry which last week announced that new car registrations fell 36.8 per cent in November, and 10.7 per cent year to date.

Most categories suffered declines with the Yamaha XC 125 scooter as the month’s biggest seller. The market-leading manufacturer in November was Yamaha with 1,079 registrations, followed by Honda (858) and Suzuki (670).

MCI chief executive Steve Kenward said: “This is a disappointing although not unexpected result, and we are renewing the call on government and local authorities, to support the industry’s ability to provide affordable and practical transport solutions in these difficult economic times.

“Dealers, suppliers and manufacturers are braced for a volatile and challenging 2009, but PTW use is more relevant than ever and must be viewed as a serious and pratical alternative to the use of cars and public transport. PTWs are part of the solution to the problems of congestion and pollution and should not be ignored or treated as an afterthought. “

Kenward added: “The motorcycle industry is still holding up very well, and I am encouraged by the upbeat mood of the International Motorcycle Show at the NEC last week.”

The Carole Nash International Scooter and Motorcycle Show ended yesterday, with attendance similar to last year.

The increasing interest in motorcycling was also highlighted in the Department for Transport Compendium of Motorcycling Statistics, released last week. The report says that the number of people taking the motorcycling test increased to 88,000 in 2007/08, the highest number since 2000/01. According to the DfT, there are approximately 1.26 million licensed motorcycles in Britain traveling around 5.6 billion vehicle kilometers in 2006. In 2007, 45 per cent of the 146,000 machines registered for the first time, had engine capacities of up to 150cc.

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