Despite rocketing demand for bikes because of London congestion charging, more education and a willingness by fleets to experiment with bikes is needed nationwide, according to dealership Chiswick Honda.
Richard Siney, operations manager, said: 'There is a lack of awareness about motorcycle fleets. People are not considering them as it is too easy to get into a car. There is a preconception that bikes are dangerous. They can be if handled incorrectly but not with the correct training. The industry needs to educate people. Once it becomes more of an agenda other fleets will follow.
'Look at the AA, the police and paramedics, who are the largest bike fleet users. If it can work for them it can for other fleets.'
Two types of groups use motorbikes according to Siney – office staff who want the convenience of travelling into the city and businesses such as telephone or software engineers who use bikes as a work aid. However, until the advantages of using a motorcycle fleet have been further proved, Siney believes managers will continue to stick with cars. He said: 'A lot of fleets are sitting on the fence waiting to prove residual values and safety measures. Once proved a success, others will follow.'
Last year, the Honda dealership ran a series of seminars for fleet managers on the business implications of running bikes on a fleet, as well as covering topics regarding safety, clothing, training and choice of bike.
Although there are no official fleet sales figures for motorcycles, there is growing corporate demand.
Securicor Omega Sameday announced in 2001 that nearly a quarter of its expanded delivery fleet in the Yorkshire area would be motorcycles.
Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has backed the use of motorbikes in his Virgin Limobike service, which provides fast transport to and from Heathrow airport.
Despite many women opting for sports bikes over the more conventional moped, Virgin says many feel intimidated by bike showrooms, voicing concerns at finding reliable dealers and fair prices.
Bikes fact file