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Growth in Two Wheeled Popularity

Posted 14.09.16 | By Dan Smith

For us here at Vélo Law, two wheels have always been better than four, and it seems like the rest of the world are now getting wise to this fact. We are now well beyond the halfway point in 2016, and reports have been of an incredible year for motorcycle sales. So why the great increase, and where is the most popular place in the world to purchase a bike?

With their latest update, the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) have continued to document the popularity of 2016, with 85,413 bikes registered by August 31, ahead of the new 66-plate, at a rise of 5.6% so far on last year’s statistics.

Leading the way

The big brands are leading the way with this boom, as part of August’s statistics, Honda top the list for sales, followed closely by Yamaha and Lexmoto. Meanwhile, in June, BMW announced reports that it had again made worldwide record sales for the first half of the year, with the number of new bikes purchased in Spain up 22.6% from 2015. This marked the first occasion that the German brand have sold more than 80,000 vehicles in the first six-month period of a year, including an increase by 74.3% for sales in China.

According to analysis by, the most popular country to own a motorcycle in is Italy, with more than 1 in 10 Italians owning a motorcycle at the end of 2014. Their popularity is followed up by Australia, France and the United States, with Britain lagging behind despite its increase in riders.

Why So Popular?

We conducted a poll to examine why the public believe that there has been this rise in motorcycle popularity. 29% of the electorate suggested that they feel that this growth has been caused as a result of motorcycles being best for commuting. 18%, however, decided that it was due to bikes being on trend, and being certain high profile celebrities’ choice of transport. Following a short way behind were the 16% who felt that it was all down to the affordability of motorcycles in relation to cars, while only 8% decided that it was more enjoyable to travel on two wheels rather than four. 29% of those polled, believed that it wasn’t down to any of those reasons, and that organic growth, instead, was the catalyst.


Whatever the direct reasoning behind this growth, it’s certainly a good thing for the world of motorcycling, and nice to know that the world is continuing to welcome new riders into the saddle at a speedy rate – long may it continue!

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