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Which parts of Spain are motorcycles most popular? Big bikes or small scooters?
02 May 2021 @ 22:51

MOST of Spain enjoys the ideal climate for two-wheeled transport, either pedal-powered or with engines, and in fact, one of the reasons young adults do not tend to rush out to get driving lessons as soon as they hit 18 is because mopeds will get them comfortably from A to B. In the sweltering heat of summer, the breeze is very welcome, and in winter, riders do not get nearly as cold as they would in northern Europe – at least, not in the southern and eastern regions, the south-west or the islands.

Motorcycle ownership has soared in the last decade, especially in parts with mild winters and in urban areas (photo: MAPFRE insurance)

The number of motorbikes and mopeds or scooters in use increases every year, as they are much cheaper to run than a car, and being able to skirt around gridlocks means less traffic trouble.

Large cities and towns are where they are most likely to be found – areas where public transport is efficient and omnipresent, meaning little need for a car, but where a motorcycle gives that little bit of extra freedom for the times and places the buses and trains do not reach.

Clearly, some parts of Spain are more likely to see residents on motorcycles than others, and size differs according to geography; if motorway travel is a regular necessity, a 49cc moped will not be up to the job, but just getting around locally or between towns may not require a roaring 1000cc souped-up Harley.

Girona (Catalunya), Málaga and Granada (Andalucía) are the top three provinces where most motorcycles are found, according to the latest report by Estamos Seguros, commissioned from Anesdor.

In these, an average of one bike per 10 inhabitants is registered, although the types they opt for are very different – in Girona and Granada, scooters are more popular, whilst in Málaga, motorbikes are more common.

Barcelona is the province with the highest number of motorcycles overall – over half a million are registered there – a factor partly due to its large population, and partly because of its being home to Spain's second-largest metropolitan area, where motorcycles are more practical than cars.

Also, the climate is mild enough that they can be used in winter without extreme discomfort.

Madrid has the second-highest number, with exactly 301,324 bikes in circulation, followed by Valencia, with just under 190,000, the majority of which are in the provincial capital city, the third-biggest metropolitan area in the country.

Málaga has slightly more than 181,000 in the provincial capital alone, and again, its position near the top of the list is linked to the fact that it is a densely-populated province with mild winters and hot summers.

Scooters, or Vespa-type vehicles, are ideal for Spain, especially its warmer parts, and particularly its urban areas; in fact, ownership of these has risen by 50% in the past decade.

Mopeds, typically smaller, slower and less powerful, but still highly practical, have seen a decline in the past 10 years, despite being one of the cheapest ways of getting onto two wheels without having to pedal yourself; a 50cc which nips about at up to 30 or 40 kilometres per hour is often where teenagers and young adults learn their 'road sense' before starting to drive, are suitable for short commutes, town travel, and getting around faster and with less effort than on a bicycle or on foot.

But their presence has fallen by around 42% since the end of 2009, the research says.

Meanwhile, in that time, bikes of more than 125cc have increased their presence by 44%.

And of the 3.31 million two-wheeled vehicles circulating in Spain at the beginning of 2020, from when the study was carried out, a total of 1.92 million were motorbikes.

Read more at thinkSPAIN.com

 



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