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Bikers 'exceeding speed limits'

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Thousands of motorcyclists are risking a hike in their bike insurance premiums by speeding, official research has revealed

Last year, nearly 50% of bikers exceeded speed limits on motorways, dual carriageways and 30mph-limit roads in the UK, according to figures released by the Department for Transport.

This was recorded despite a fall in new bike registrations in 2009. In total, 114,900 new motorcycles were sold last year - the lowest annual figure since 2001.

The number of licensed bikes over 500cc in engine size shot up to 75% last year, although the proportion of motorcycles of 50cc or less dropped to 11%. These compare with figures from 1999.

By the end of 2009, Britain had 1.3 million licensed motorcycles in total.

Motorcyclists drove about 3.2 billion miles on Britain's roads last year - about 400 million miles more than 10 years ago, but well down on the 6.2 billion mile figure when biking was at its peak in 1960.

© Press Association 2010