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11/06/2019

After some promising early-season figures, a plunge into negative territory by MCIA data for May came as a shock. Hopefully, this isn’t the beginning of a trend, writes BDN financial editor Roger Willis.

Total registrations fell by 0.6% to 10,871. Within that, motorcycles were more firmly 4.1% down at 8370. A degree of respite came from scooters rising by 16.6% to 1943 and mopeds 7% up at 487.

Machines in the 51-125cc lightweight and 126-650cc middleweight categories were still relatively healthy, with respective rises of 7% to 3273 and 12.2% to 2092. However, bigger bikes took a hammering. The 651-1000cc range sank by 11.9% to 2743 and over-1000cc tackle lost 7% to 2248.

A particularly surprising element was decline for the Adventure Sport style category. While able to claim leading status on a year-to-date basis, thanks to 15.5% growth, its expansion suddenly ground to a halt. A brighter note could be elicited from Royal Enfield’s third consecutive month of topping both Naked style and 126-650cc slots with its retro Interceptor 650 twin.

If May was a troubled month, Honda certainly didn’t notice. Leader of the pack as usual, its registrations grew by 16.8%. Runner-up Yamaha’s fortunes, on the other hand, plummeted by 22.7%. The gritting of teeth among dealers could be heard, as the brand still awaits arrival of much-admired new XT700 Ténéré stock. Triumph’s turn to complete the podium in third spot featured a 0.4% volume reduction, neatly equating to four fewer bikes. Kawasaki in fourth place recovered well for the second month in a row, after losing ground over the first quarter, this time adding 12.9%. BMW Motorrad rounded out the top five, inexplicably losing 16.3%.

Best of the rest was KTM, strutting to sixth with a 12.7% improvement. But that was thrust into the shade by success for Chinese flag carrier Lexmoto in seventh — boasting a tremendous 45.7% surge. Suzuki was eighth and its registrations, which were 7.3% lower, have clearly yet to benefit from the recent Katana roll-out into dealerships. Harley-Davidson sat in ninth place, presumably crying over its painful 25% fall, while Ducati was tail-ender in tenth, putting on 7.5%.

For the five months of 2019 to date, overall registrations rose by 7% to 47,822. Scooters are 12.9% up to 8625, motorcycles have grown by 4.9% to 36,555, mopeds were 21.6% higher at 2344 and tricycles added 1.7% to 298.