Monday, July 22, 2024


Surely it’s time for the usual litany of excuses to stop and accept that our move to Euro 4 regulatory compliance and parallel economic pressures have caused a longer-term fracture in the UK powered two-wheeler market, writes BDN financial editor Roger Willis.

April heralded a fourth consecutive dose of double-digit decline. MCIA data showed total registrations had fallen by 16% to 10,365 units. Without benefit of plate-change impetus in March, overall figures were 28.7% lower than the previous month. 

Some 1505 scooters represented the biggest blow, 30.5% down. A 25.8% fall to 540 mopeds followed, while motorcycles shrank by 11.8% to 8238 machines. Every specified style category lost ground, six of them by double-digit percentages. Among engine capacity bands, only one achieved positivity — an 8.7% rise for the 651-1000cc slot.

The impact on major brands varied wildly. Market leader Honda actually enjoyed a very good month, improving by 10.7%. But runner-up Yamaha suffered an 18.4% plunge. Triumph took final podium step with a modest 3.7% gain. BMW Motorrad and Kawasaki completed the top five, both positive thanks to respective 11.8% and 1.9% rises.

After that, where calculations can be made from year-on-year rankings comparison, unremitting gloom was flavour of the month. Worst performers were Piaggio and Harley-Davidson, respectively plummeting by 34.6% and 22.2%. Suzuki dropped by 17.8%. KTM was 12.4% down. Last year’s Chinese champion Lexmoto didn’t make the charts but at least 70% of its business vanished.

One third of 2017 is gone and, year to date, registrations have fallen by 15.2% to 33,678 units — 6060 fewer PTWs.

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