Biking in the UK could be set for a boom, with a huge leap in inquiries about motorbikes, scooters and moped.
The surge, which comes after the Government made wearing face coverings mandatory on all public transport, saw moped inquiries increase by 219% over the same week last year, and scooter inquiries by 180%.
Boris Johnson has urged anyone who can’t work from home to avoid public transport as much as possible, leading to Brits seeking out different ways of getting around, particularly for commuting.
The increase in searches on Auto Trader comes after I wrote in this column how MCIA, the UK’s Motorcycle Industry Association, was furious with Transport Minister Grant Shapps for pledging £2billion for cyclist and walkers, but not even mentioning motorcycles and scooters in his vision for the future of commuting until a magic bullet is found for Coronavirus.
Responding to the Auto Trader news, MCIA’s Nick Broomhall said: “The feedback from the trade supports this, with almost all dealerships and service centres reporting a sharp hike in business, while the daily registration report is also positive.
“Hopefully the industry-backed #unlockyourfreedom campaign is sparking interest, especially the radio campaign. Let’s hope that it’s the start of a trend.”
Although the biggest leap was in those looking at scooter and moped advertisements on Auto Trader, there was also a healthy rise of 32% in motorbike inquiries.
And not only are Brits researching these alternatives to public transport, they’re getting serious about using them soon – RideTo, the UK’s number one platform for motorcycle training, has seen Compulsory Basic Training course demand increase by 100% from this time last year.
For those looking to use motorbikes and mopeds specifically for commuting, RideTo has seen the number of riders using the course double since January.
The most searched for motorbikes, mopeds and scooters on Auto Trader are:
Mopeds and scooters
1 Yamaha XMax
2 Vespa GTS
3 Honda PCX125
4 Honda Vision
5 Vespa LX
6 Suzuki UH
7 Yamaha TMax
8 Peugeuot Kisbee
9 Vespa Primavera
10 Yamaha Delight
1 Harley-Davidson Sportster
2 Harley-Davidson Softail
3 Yamaha R1 CBR1000RR
4 Honda Fireblade
5 Yamaha R6
6 BMW S1000RR
7 Kawasaki ZX-6R
8 BMW R1200GS
9 Honda CBR600F
10 Honda CBR600RR
Noticeable exceptions I’d recommend are the sporty BMW C 650 and the Piaggio MP3 which is incredibly popular in European cities such as Paris, not least because it can be ridden on a car licence.
Auto Trader’s Rory Reid said: “It’s no coincidence that this has followed Boris Johnson urging the public not to go on buses, trams and trains wherever they can avoid it.
“It seems to be part and parcel of getting into a ‘new normal’. They’re relatively cheaper options for commuting, they can help you get around easily in congested urban areas, and they’re easier to park in tight spots.
“They can also be a much more viable option than walking or cycling for the majority of people whose commute is longer than five miles.”
Auto Trader is the UK’s largest online marketplace for new and used cars and bikes: autotrader.co.uk/bikes