Motorbikes surge for frugal commuters
Motorcycle salesman Jason Gellatly. Picture: Mogens Johansen/The West Australian

Rising petrol prices and worsening traffic congestion have forced more people than ever to get around on motorcycles.

Figures show the number of registered motorcycles in WA topped 120,000 for the first time last year, having risen 60 per cent since 2007.

The biggest increase was in smaller, more fuel-efficient motorcycles. The number of licensed bikes with an engine size up to 250cc nearly doubled between 2007 and last year, including an 18 per cent increase from 2011.

Motorcycle Riders Association vice-president Dave Wright said he expected the trend to continue.

"More people are beginning to see motorcycles as a cheaper and quicker way to get to work," he said. "And the parking is cheaper when they arrive and it's better for the environment."

Mr Wright said it made sense to provide more facilities and infrastructure for motorcyclists.

He said a committee established by Transport Minister Troy Buswell last year was looking at strategies to encourage people to leave cars at home and use motorcycles.

Salesman Jason Gellatly, from the Honda Shop Megastore in Midland, said the affordability of smaller motorcycles had increased dramatically in recent years, with a model now available for $2500.

"We can't get enough of them," Mr Gellatly said.

"When we do, they don't stay on the shop floor for very long."

The West Australian

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