Define motorcycle

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INTRODUCTION

It is difficult to define exactly what a motorcycle is, because in its many forms it has come to represent many things to many people. From mode of transport, to leisure-pursuit enjoyed by many at the weekend, through to work of art, a consequence of designs expressing automotive elegance and beauty deemed by many to be worthy of a place in galleries worldwide.

With its beginnings firmly footed in the latter half of the 19th Century, it is estimated that there are now in the region of 200 million motorcycles globally (Adachi, Shuhei, Yamaha Motor Company Ltd., 2006). In September 2009, there were 34.4 million vehicles licensed for use in Great Britain on the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency register, with motorcycles and scooters accounting for 1.35 million or 3.9%, of this licensed traffic (Department for Transport, 2009).

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Motorcycle ownership in the UK has risen steadily since the mid 1990’s (Department for Transport, 2009). Although figures suggest that motorcycles are a minority in terms of the overall composition of traffic on UK roads, there is reason to give powered two-wheelers appropriate consideration within transport schemes as a functional and affordable mode of transport.

This point has not been lost on the UK Government, who identified the potential of motorcycling in terms of transport mode and congestion reduction capabilities. The Governments’ White Paper for Transport, PPG13 (Department for Communities and Local Government, 2001), highlighted improvements to Park and Ride sites and areas of parking to facilitate greater use of motorcycles, and discussed the potential benefits of motorcycle use in rural areas.

This increase of interest in the use of two wheelers led to the creation of a specific document, the Governments’ Motorcycling Strategy (Department for Transport, 2005) that outlined a plan of action to make motorcycling safer and encourage greater use as a mode of transport. The strategy has subsequently been updated following a review by the National Motorcycle Council to reflect changes to the original plan and to include new actions that have been agreed by the parties involved (Department for Transport, 2008).

However, not all bodies believe that adequate progress has been made in recent years. In a study on commuting trends, the RAC Foundation identified that 65% of two-wheel journeys in the UK are for work or education. This has prompted the Foundation to suggest that transport policy should place greater emphasis on encouraging the use of motorcycles as a means of reducing congestion, and gaining recognition for the role they play as a commuting workhorse (RAC Foundation, 2007). Why don’t they think adequate progress has been made? The second sentence isn’t a sentence

According to the Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA), the number of people in Europe turning to motorcycling is continuing to increase,

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