Yorkshire’s Via Moto capitalises on transport fashionistas
A Sheffield based Italian motorbike and moped business has relocated to larger premises close to the city centre following a surge in demand for the fashionable European mode of transport.
Specialising in chic mopeds and stylish motorcycles, Via Moto has seen a steady increase in interest for bikes across the region since it was established in 2012, but a surge in sales over the past year has forced the business to move premises, taking on a new 2000sqft showroom in S3.
Despite being common place in European cities such as Milan and Paris – with bikes renowned for easy manoeuvring and limited parking restrictions – the UK has been slow to commit to two wheels. But according to Via Moto owner Matthew Gilder times are changing.
“Mopeds and motorbikes are stylish, convenient and incredibly cost effective,” he said. “We only stock top of the range Italian brands such as Vespa and Moto Guzzi, and the people who buy from us are buying into a lifestyle, as well as a investing in a mode of transport.”
According to the latest figures revealed by The Motorcycle Industry Association, the number of scooters, mopeds and motorcycles registered in the UK increased 11% from July 2013 to July 2014.
And though sales are mostly London based, Matthew, who rides a motorbike himself, says the use of a two wheeled moped to nip through the busy streets of the capital has got the UK thinking – with sales for 2014 to date up over half a year at an increase of 33%.
Matthew said: “We sell Italian mopeds, motorbikes and quality accessories including brands such as Vespa, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Piaggio. People love the look, and they love having a choice on what mode of transport they commit to.”
Despite also boasting a maintenance and service area at the back of the new showroom, owners Matthew said he is determined to ‘keep it clean’. “This is a friendly, clean showroom where people can come and ask one of our expert advisors anything about owning and maintaining a bike, as well as purchasing all the safety equipment – from helmets to leathers. You can even have a cup of Italian coffee while you talk!
“Scooters offer a great alternative to commuters, but we also get a lot of people exploring the countryside on our bikes. With the Peak District surrounding us, exploring the stunning countryside on two wheels is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
“We are very excited to be able to bring an even bigger range of bikes, mopeds, scooters, and Italian clothes and accessories to the region. Our workshop facility has also doubled, meaning we can keep much loved bikes looking as chic as they can be. We warmly welcome bike enthusiasts and novices alike and hope people will enjoy our little Italy in Sheffield!”