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Motorbike sales hit by recession

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Figures show that motorcycle sales fell by 6.5% in April, which will have had a negative impact on the number of bike insurance policies taken out for new models.

According to the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCI), manufacturers continued to feel the pinch of the economic downturn during the month with combined bike and scooter sales dropping by 12.4% compared with April last year.

The figures show that 43% fewer mopeds were registered last month compared with April 2008, indicating that the bike market is continuing to struggle despite some industries reporting sings of economic recovery.

However, the MCI points out that despite the poor sales figures, the car industry is faring worse and saw sales slump by 24% last month.

Larger capacity bikes between 651cc and 1000cc recorded increased registrations and naked machines showed a gain of 33%.

MCI spokeswoman Sheila Rainger said: "The double whammy of a 2p rise in fuel duty in September, coupled with the reintroduction of the fuel duty escalator from next Spring will make bike use even more attractive as an economic alternative to a wallet-draining commute by four wheels or by public transport.

"There's probably never been a stronger reason to switch to two wheels."

© Press Association 2009