Tuesday, April 23, 2024


Forlorn hopes that somehow a consistently declining market would revive magically as we hit the halfway point of 2017 have proved false, reports BDN financial editor Roger Willis.

MCIA registrations data for June has flagged a 14.1% overall fall to 12,140 units. Motorcycles were 9.3% down to 9509, scooters dropped by 28.3% to 1941 and mopeds sank by 28% to 609.

However, abject retreat is now confined to the small and middleweight capacity classes, where the practical mobility solutions and new leisure rider seduction they represent is clearly still fading fast. Ignoring tiny numbers in the 0-50cc slot, 51-125cc kit plummeted by 34.5% and 126-650cc machines were 17.5% down.

However, bigger bikes did considerably better. In the 651-1000cc engine band, monthly 5.5% growth contrasted with a marginal 0.8% drop in the sector during June 2016. Over-1000cc machines put on 3.5% – less impressive than a 4.5% rise for the same month last year but good business nevertheless.

Adventure Sport was the only cheerfully positive high-volume style category, 8.7% up, while the rest were losers. In that context, BMW’s dominant R1200GS ruled the slot while Honda’s CRF1000 Africa Twin topped 651-1000cc registrations.

As for top-10 brand rankings, there were some illuminating winners. Honda was way ahead of the entire field with a 12% rise. BMW Motorrad took fourth place, posting a 13% improvement. And Ducati in eighth spot stacked on 15.1%.

But the losers were telling a different story. Although Yamaha hung onto second place, it suffered a 16.3% plunge. And Suzuki in fifth plummeted by 24.6%. Given both are now supposed to have overcome pronounced early-season inventory shortages and the latter boasts a radically rejuvenated range, their shrivelled figures suggest that potential customers weren’t prepared to wait and have moved on elsewhere.

Triumph retained third step on the podium, just ahead of arch-rival BMW in volume, but lost 3.6% – despite its new Bonneville Bobber claiming monthly over-1000cc laurels. Kawasaki in sixth was 4.9% down. Harley-Davidson was almost dead flat. Most severe kicking was reserved for ninth-placed Piaggio, the registrations of which sank by a painful 35.7%. Chinese challenger Lexmoto, having claimed sixth last June with 1061 units, dropped out of ranked contention altogether, meaning it was at least 66% in arrears.

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