Powerful motorcycles increasingly popular

17/09/2001 10:00

The total number of motorcycles in the Netherlands increased to 438 thousand in 2001. There is a noticeable shift to models with a cylinder capacity of more than 1000 cc. In terms of cylinder capacity and price range, motorcycles are increasingly coming to resemble cars. This can be concluded from the steady increase in the number of heavy machines, the 1000 cc plus class.

Cylinder capacity of motorcycles, 1 January

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Larger cylinder capacity, more powerful bikes

In 1986 the category of motorbikes with a cylinder capacity up to 250 cc still accounted for 13.4% of the total Dutch fleet. At the beginning of this year this proportion had shrunk to 7.3%, whereas the share of bikes with a cylinder capacity of more than 1000 cc rose from 5.8% to 17.2% in the same period. In 1996 the number of heavy motorbikes was one in seven, now it is nearly one in six. More than three-quarters of motorcyclists ride a machine with a cylinder capacity of more than 500 cc. Nearly 190 thousand motorcycles – 43% of all machines in the Netherlands - have a capacity of between 500 and 750 cc.

In the next most powerful category, cylinders of 751 cc to one litre, there are just over 71  thousand bikes. The pick of the motorcycles are those in the class of more than 1000 cc. Around 75 thousand enthusiasts own such machines, some costing nearly thirty thousand euro. This shift towards more powerful motorbikes has changed the face of the Dutch motorcycle fleet drastically in the space of fifteen years.

Most motorbikes in South Holland

There have also been substantial changes in the provincial distribution of motorcycles in the last fifteen years. Most are still registered in the province of South Holland: nearly 25 thousand in 1986 and nearly 72 thousand today. North Brabant also has 72 thousand today, up from under 20 thousand in 1986. There has been a noticeable rise in the number in Flevoland: in 1986 there were nearly 60 thousand cars and only 1,200 motorbikes in this province; this year the number of cars is more than double the 1986 figure (129 thousand), while the number of motorcycles has increased more than sevenfold, to 8.5 thousand.

Ed. van Gelder