Tuesday, March 5, 2024


It might have been the hottest July for more than 40 years but the UK powered two-wheeler market caught a chill, according to latest MCIA data. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Total registrations fell by 2.5% to 9509 units. Every single sector was on the back foot. Motorcycles were 0.1% down to 7153. Scooters lost 0.9% at 1814. Mopeds plunged by 28.6% to 476 and tricycles were 27.6% in arrears on 63.

The only positive capacity class was the 51-125cc band, 5.2% up to 3384. Middleweight 126-650cc machines, which had previously provided good news during the first half of 2018, were 2.1% down to 1570. Bigger-ticket 651-1000cc and over-1000cc motorcycles were respectively lower by 2.3% to 2319 and 7.9% to 1719. Taken together, 651cc-plus products representing a 42.4% share of the monthly PTW market and probably three quarters of all monthly dealer turnover, posted a 5.2% decline to 4035.

Among higher-volume style categories, Naked put on 3.1% to 3277 while the more lucrative Adventure Sport slot dropped by 5.4% to 1378. Custom was stagnant, 0.5% up to 804 — adding just four more bikes — and Supersport was 18% down to 722.

As for top-10 brand rankings, Honda hung onto perennial market leadership, gaining a slight 1.4%. Runner-up Yamaha disgraced itself with a 25.9% slump while Kawasaki energetically grabbed third podium step, boasting an impressive 28.5% increase. Triumph came fourth but lost 5.2% and BMW Motorrad slunk into fifth spot, copping an 8.1% decline.

In sixth spot, KTM added a strong 23.1%, followed by Suzuki in seventh flaunting an even stronger 31% rise. Possibly suffering from sales pulled forward into previous months by the impending EU tariff threat, Harley-Davidson suffered a marginal 0.6% drop in eighth. Backmarkers were Chinese flag-carrier Lexmoto in ninth, sinking by 17.5%, and Piaggio in last place with a painful 42.5% dive.

In the seven months of 2018 to date, overall registrations are now a mere 1.3% up to 67,290. Motorcycles have the sunniest disposition, improving by 3.2% to 52,454. Scooters are positive too, by a narrow 1.6%. Mopeds, assailed by Euro 3 pregistration sell-through, are 22.8% down at 2920. Tricycles have fallen by 18.5% to 419.

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