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Hidden cost to motorcycle boom

Motorcycle enthusiasts who are taking to the road, pushing registrations for January 2001 up 41% year-on-year, from 6,692 units in January 2000 to 9,438 in the same month of 2001, are being warned of the 'sting' from insurance companies.

Glass's Guide - an industry source of used motorcycle values – says that despite this good news the motorcycle market faces a serious problem from the insurance sector.

“The difficulty which potential customers encounter in obtaining insurance represents a major problem,” said Glass's motorcycle editor Randal Thomas.

“Inability to obtain insurance cover for large capacity sports machines has taken over from finance rejection as the most common cause of failed transactions."

This has, in turn, precipitated a fall in residual values on what were previously some of the most popular models in the country: “The 600cc class has increasingly become the sanctuary for speed freaks on an insurance imposed diet,” said Mr Thomas.

“Supersport 600cc machines might in the not to distant future find themselves in the same leaky boat as their bigger and more powerful relatives. With the UK market having been dominated for so many years by the high value supersports category, the prospect that the last refuge of the sporting enthusiast could become equally difficult to insure is a serious worry," he concluded.

Across the whole motorcycle market moped sales climbed sharply during January 2001, from 1,939 machines in 2000 to 2,943 units this year, up almost 52%, scooters over 50cc also grew strongly, from 1,173 machines in 2000 to 1,616 in January 2001, an increase of nearly 38%. With the exception of touring machines, all other motorcycle sectors also showed significant increases.

Overall a total of 4,879 motorcycles (excluding scooters), were registered in January 2001 against 3,580 in 2000 - up 36.3%.

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