Pulled from the most up to date Department for Transport data* there were 3.6 million licensed motorcyclists in the UK in 2021. Breaking it down by region, per 100,000 people, Britain’s biker hot spots are:
- The North East. Home to 2.6 million people, the North East claimed the title of having the most motorcyclists, with 11,616 riders per 100,000 people.
- Scotland. Home to 5.4 million people, Scotland took second place with 10,249 riders per 100,000 people.
- Wales. Home to 3.1 million people, Wales also had a high number of bikers, with 9,514 riders per 100,000 people.
Wales also tops the list when it comes to the greatest number of urban bikers, with both Swansea (141,781 actual riders) and Llandudno (77,803 actual riders) making the top ten town and city hot spots list with 6% of all urban riders living in these locations. Wales also had 5% of the 38.6k newly registered motorcyclists in 2021, boasting 114% growth since 2020.
Bikesure asked bikers in the UK’s hot spots what they felt their region offered to riders. They said:
- The North East offers great rural riding experiences, as voted by 72% of bikers in this region.
- Scottish riders feel a sense of camaraderie with 71% of riders rating the friendliness of other motorcyclists highly.
- Welsh riders were happiest with the accessibility of garages to upkeep and maintain their motorcycles, as voted by 81% of bikers.
Looking at newly licensed riders, although there was a decline in 2020, presumably due to Covid, 2021 was a bumper year with 38.6k new bikers. Looking at demographics, 3.6k newly qualified motorcyclists were aged 20-29 years old, but 2021 also saw the highest number of riders aged 60-69 get their licence, with 911 registering in the first three quarters.
Most of these new bikers can be found in the South East, with Reading and Guilford revealed as the region’s most popular biker towns. There were 7.1k newly qualified motorcyclists in the South East region – a year-on-year increase of 86%.
Large jumps in the number of new riders were also seen in Greater London, the East Midlands and in Yorkshire and the Humber.
The East Midlands is in fact home to 30% of the top 10 cities for newly registered motorcyclists. Nottingham, Derby and Leicester in the East Midlands saw 2.5k new bikers licensed in 2021. As a region, it saw an 106% increase in riders, meaning it was also among the top three fastest growing regions year-on-year along with Wales, and Yorkshire and the Humber.