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AUTUMNAL GLOW FOR OCTOBER REGISTRATIONS

A return to full lockdown in England through November, shutting the majority of UK dealer showrooms, will obviously hinder continuing sales recovery. But October’s registration figures were generally sound. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

According to MCIA data, overall monthly progress delivered an impressive 24.3% rise to 8856 machines. Motorcycles were 20.2% up to 5756. Scooters grew by 25.7% to 2126. Mopeds stacked on 49.6% to 869 and trikes added 64.1% to 105.

Up-to-125cc commuter products led the charge and accounted for more than half of October’s market — climbing by 45.7% to 4827 small scooters, motorcycles and mopeds. For the year to date, this “self-isolation” sector has now achieved a Covid-busting 10.9% increase to 39,650. However, the 126cc-plus spread was considerably weaker. Numbers were just 5.6% higher at 4029 on a monthly basis. And the YTD tally has fallen by 15.8% to 51,082.

During October, over-1000cc bikes copped a 6.4% decline. But that may be associated with an inventory famine. Best-selling BMW R1200GS variants disappeared from view and the brand slid to seventh in manufacturer rankings, its monthly registrations 10.7% down.

At the top of those rankings, Honda leadership was maintained by almost a third of its 1271 registrations consisting of PCX125 scooter and CB125F motorcycle models, a combined volume of 384. But that paled into insignificance against the enormity of Lexmoto’s domination of the up-to-125cc firmament. In hot pursuit, the Chinese flag-carrier had shifted 1100 bikes, a massive 64.7% hike.

Yamaha, relegated to final podium step, retreated by 1.3% to 809. But at least shame was ameliorated by the satisfaction of seeing its Ténéré 700 usurp BMW from otherwise regular Adventure Sport plaudits.

A trio of high achievers followed. KTM in fourth enjoyed a 39.4% lift and fifth-placed Triumph was 17.8% up. But some of the 476 bikes it plated were rumoured to be unhomologated specification stock originally destined for Far Eastern consumption, therefore subject to SVAs and preregistration. Kawasaki took sixth spot, flaunting 46.9% growth, with the keenly-priced and efficacious Ninja 1000SX earning both Sport/Tour and over-1000cc accolades.

MotoGB’s Chinese Keeway and Taiwanese SYM brands then made rare guest appearances. Along with Piaggio in tenth, 9.1% down on the previous October, they evicted Harley-Davidson, Suzuki and Royal Enfield from chart contention — although 83 examples of the latter’s Interceptor 650 twin held onto status as star of the 126-650cc show for a sixth consecutive month.

Total YTD volume stood at 90,732, a mere 5.9% in arrears after ten months of 2020 but 16,676 bikes short of break-even versus the full-year figure for 2019. Given November’s lockdown and a headwind from widespread stock shortages, complete recovery will almost certainly now be impossible. And an illusory advance due to any last-minute rush to preregister underogated Euro 4 machinery will only serve to queer the pitch.

 

   

 

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