A study carried out by Oxford Economics (OE) tells the world just how important the powered two-wheeler market is to the UK and European economy.
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An estimated 389,000 jobs are supported by the motorcycle industry in the UK and Europe, with production and manufacturing of the bikes, parts, clothing and equipment taking the lion’s share of those jobs. These jobs and the consumers they supply helped to inject an estimated £18 billion of GDP across Europe in 2019. The research also found that the motorcycle sector and its related activities helped to generate around £13 billion making the entire industry a vital contributor in large markets such as the UK.
Financial benefits aside, the environmental impact of riding a motorcycle is easy to see, with the study finding that on average, the cost of commuting by motorcycle (£465) was nearly one-third of what it would cost to use a car (£1226). Part of this reduction in cost to the consumer is that motorcycles use less fuel than their four-wheeled counterparts. Less fuel into the engine means fewer fumes out, and OE found that the average powered-two wheeler will emit about 99 g CO2/km, much less than the 210 g CO2/km emitted by the average car (petrol and diesel). Interestingly, motorcycles up to 250 cc were found to emit on average 62 g CO2/km – around 62% of Europe’s two-wheelers fall into this category.
Motorcyclists tend to be fans of going to motorcycle events, be that international or national racing, motorcycle shows and expos and so on. Taking this activity into account, OE found that these activities contributed about € 2.1 billion to Europe’s GDP and supported about 38,400 jobs and € 1.2 billion in tax payments.
The study found that about 5 million spectators attended major motorcycle sporting events in 2019, with MotoGP attracting about 1.8 million spectators to its 12 European races in that season. Furthermore, about 2.5 million people attended motorcycle trade fairs and manufacturers’ promotional events the same year.
One area that the study doesn’t touch on is the area of mental health and wellbeing. We’ve been saying for a long time that motorcycles are good for mind, body, and soul. A recent study found some surprising results when testing motorcycle riders against their car driving counterparts. It found that stress levels measured found that motorcyclists were more relaxed, content, and focused than car drivers.