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UK

08/02/2019

The devil is in the detail of fancifully optimistic MCIA statistics for January. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Total numbers posted apparently strong 8.7% growth to 5935 units, but they included an unfeasibly muscular 37.8% increase for the over-50cc scooter market to 1433. Motorcycles, on the other hand, managed a mere 3.7% improvement to 4113, just 148 additional machines; 651cc-plus bikes put on an even more feeble 1.2% rise to 1896, and within that, over-1000cc stuff was 3.4% down at 924. Mopeds fell by 12.5% to 364.

Such confusing behaviour suggests a frenzy of discounting and incentivised preregistration to assist disposal of extraneous stock, and possibly some one-off delivery fleet sales in the scooter firmament.

How was Husqvarna’s two-stroke TE300 enduro iron suddenly elevated to top of the Trail/Enduro style category and top of the entire 126-650cc engine band? And why did the Husqvarna brand make a magical first-ever appearance in the top-10 major brands, claiming seventh place. One might also query the amazing 205.2% registrations surge that catapulted Husky parental associate KTM to a remarkable runner-up spot behind perennial leader Honda in the same chart.

Honda’s unseasonal 41.9% gain looked a bit queer too, as did other funny figures. Could Lexmoto in fifth really achieve a 171.8% hike by usual means? And while BMW in fourth had the benefit of an early new-model supply, climbing by 53.2% seems a tad exaggerated without some of the aforementioned tactics.

All the rest smacked of honesty. Yamaha clung onto third podium step with a 5.3% decline. Triumph in sixth plunged by 21.2%. Kawasaki in eighth was 3.1% up. Harley-Davidson in ninth lost 5.1% and tail-ender Piaggio sank by 12.8%.