New motorcycle sales still falling

Europe-wide figures look dismal

NEW motorcycle sales figures from across Europe show that there's little sign of recovery in the bike market over here despite a recent upturn in sales in America.

The stats from ACEM (the European motorcycle industry association) reveal that overall sales of powered two wheelers are down 18.5% in January 2013 compared to the same period in 2012, itself one of the worst years in recent memory.

The figures break down to show that motorcycle sales are down 17.3% while mopeds have faired even worse, dropping 20.8%.

The UK's numbers, while poor, are actually better than the European average, with overall sales down 14% in January. Of those, the moped numbers are again worse, down 17.1% compared to a drop of 13.4% for motorcycles. Italy has faired worst of all, with sales down more than a quarter compared to January 2012.

Germany's losses are among the lowest at -4.5%, thanks to a stronger economy than many of its neighbours and a growth in moped sales. Sweden has shown a large, 20.4% growth in bike sales, but despite being a large country its bike market is tiny, making the statistic effectively meaningless.

Despite appalling new bike sales, the actual activity of riding isn't diminishing. Further stats from ACEM show that the number of motorcycles in use in Europe is higher than it was before the Euro-zone crisis began. So while bike manufacturers and dealers are feeling the pain the hobby itself is as strong as ever; it seems we're all just holding on to our old bikes or buying secondhand.

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