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Demand for motorcycles continued its downward trend in November, marking 11 consecutive months of decline. Registrations in November fell by -17.7% compared to the same period last year, and the year-to-date decline currently stands at -15.7%. In total, 6,288 bikes were registered in the month.

The change from Euro 3 to Euro 4 forced the market to pre-register machines in the final quarter of 2016, and this is borne out by the huge slump in sales and registrations of small 51-125cc motorcycles which are down -28.5% in November and -32.8% for the year. In order to absorb these pre-registration low powered bikes into the market, it has ultimately suppressed the sales of new machines this year.

With the country in a period of uncertainty about the progress made towards Brexit, our currency is devaluing, in return making imported goods more expensive. In addition, consumers are holding back on buying big-ticket items – which is the same case with the decline in car and van registrations this year. So even with the Euro3 issue out of the way, it is unlikely the market in 2018 will return to the rampant motorcycle registrations achieved in 2016.

The top selling brands in November were Honda and Yamaha both in first and second position, followed in third position by KTM who registered 432 registrations. Brands such as Triumph, Suzuki and Lexmoto all registered between 350 to 400 units in the month.

Despite all of this, it is encouraging to see that sales of more expensive larger bikes above 126cc remain stable. Year to date this particular range of bikes are only down by 2,265 registrations compared to last year, clearly showing that the market distortion is only down to the pre-registration of bikes up to 125cc. This paired up with the uncertainty in the economy has certainly made 2017 a very challenging year for motorcycle dealers throughout the UK.

Results taken from the Motor Cycle Industry Association Press Statistics November – New Motorcycle registrations.

Posted by Sue Robinson on 15/12/2017