We ride longer than ever

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We’re riding 49 per cent more miles a year than we did 10 years ago – according to a new 41-page "Compendium of Motorcycle Statistics".

Compiled by the bike industry, pro-bike pressure groups and the Department for Transport some of the stats make interesting reading. Others seem so obvious you have to wonder how much time was frittered on the research.

Here are the highlights…

Ten useful findings:

There are currently around 1.52 million motorcycles in Great Britain

The area with the highest bikes-per-head ownership is the South West while Scotland languishes at the bottom of the table.

The UK has almost the lowest bike ownership rate in the EU with only Ireland coming out worse. Only 15 people in every 1000 own a bike in the UK compared with 214 per 1000 in sunny Greece and 170 per 1000 in Italy.

The number of motorcycle trips made each week in the UK has dropped since 1985, but the amount of time we spend on our bikes and the distance we cover has increased. We now ride 49 percent further than we did 10 years ago. That’s a total of about 5.6 billion vehicle kilometres last year.

The average speed of all bikes combined is never more than 2mph different from the average speed for cars - with cars averaging 71mph on motorways and bikes averaging 72mph. So much for two-wheeled targeting!

161,000 bikes were registered for the first time in 2003.

Faulty lights are the most common cause of MOT failure.

The pass rate for the motorcycle test is better than the pass rate for the car test

In 2000, 25 bikes in every 1000 were stolen.

In the last 10 years the casualty rate for motorcyclists has fallen by 22 per cent.

Five of the most obvious...

Older bikes have generally had more previous owners than newer bikes.

Motorcycle traffic is highest in the summer months and lowest in the winter

Motorcyclists make most journeys during the week (considering there are three more days during the week than there are at the weekend)

Large motorcycles travel further than small motorcycles

Scooters and sports bikes are the most popular new bikes

Five equally obvious facts they could have included (but thankfully didn't...):

Motorcycles generally have less than four wheels

Most motorcyclists ride their machines facing forward

Diesel is the least common fuel used in motorcycles

The majority of motorcyclists are over 16 years old

Motorcyclists often get wet when it rains

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff