Motorbikes are the next big thing in freight, says chief executive
Motorbikers are gaining ground on bikes that once dominated the bicycle market, as more than half of all bikes on the road are now powered by a motorcycle.
It is a phenomenon that is expected to continue, with sales of all kinds of bikes increasing as more people move away from cars and to bikes, said Peter Schmid, chief executive of the National Bicycling Conference (NBC).
“It’s a real shift in the market,” said Schmid.
“Bicycles are now the new vehicles.”
Bike sales grew 8.4% in 2016, according to the NBC.
Motorbike sales grew 18.3% in the same year, and were up 6.5% last year.
The growth is not slowing, with the number of bikes on roads in the US up 16.4%, to over 10.3 million, according the NBS.
In Australia, the number is more than double that, with more than 30 million bikes on Australia’s roads.
Motorbiking is booming, and a lot of people are doing it.
In the UK, there are more than 300,000 registered bikes on Britain’s roads, and there are 2.8 million registered motorcycle riders, according National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA).
And in Australia, motorcycle ridership rose 5.7% last fiscal year, up from 3.7%.
The rise in the number and the speed of the bikes has caused concerns, with some analysts worried about the effect it would have on the bike trade, as it could have a big impact on the price of new bikes.
“It has always been an aspirational brand,” said Mark Daley, chief financial officer at NBS’s National Bicycle Dealers.
“Motorbikes have always been aspirational, and people love them for that reason.”
While bike sales have increased in the UK and the US, it is not clear how much of a push they have to the UK to get there.
In addition to motorbikes, there is also a lot more cargo on the roads, according a recent report by the International Trade Centre (ITC).
About one-third of all freight is carried by bicycles, which accounted for 26.6% of all shipments in the first quarter of 2021, up 10.6%, according to figures from the ITC.
It was the first time since the early 1990s that the number was higher than cars.
But the ITB said that the trend was continuing, and that by 2021 the number would increase to 29%.
That could mean a huge rise in demand for bikes.
Motorcyclists have a reputation for being the biggest supporters of the bicycle industry.
The BMX community has been supportive, with a growing number of manufacturers supporting the sport, and the BMX is the number one sport in Australia.
“We are really excited about what we’re seeing coming from the bicycle community,” said Rob McLeod, president of the Bicycle Manufacturers Association of Australia (BMAA).
“We see the potential for bikes to play a huge part in the future of the bike business.”