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MAY REGISTRATIONS DOWN BUT NOT OUT

After April’s horrendous negativity, we expected something similar during the second month of compulsory showroom lockdowns. But many dealers clearly decided to spend less time on the golf course and dedicate more effort to drumming up some business — as MCIA registrations data for May has now revealed. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Despite those officially shuttered dealerships, total registrations only halved, 50.4% down to 5394 units. Scooters and mopeds did much better, both falling by a relatively modest 23.7%, with respective tallies of 1483 and 371. Motorcycles sank by 58.4% to 3482, though.

Disregarding tiny quantities of mopeds, best news was to be found in the 51-125cc sector, just 26.6% in arrears at 2403 scooters and small motorcycles. Considering the difficulties of finding a supplier, this suggested demand for a self-isolating commuter solution as an alternative to disease-riddled public transport had begun to grow. Let us hope the MCIA-led industry campaign to promote that notion, launched on 3 June as showrooms reopened, will accelerate such growth.

And Chinese flag carrier Lexmoto, a specialist in cheap commuter solutions, was undoubtedly heroic trend-bucking brand of the month — actually increasing its year-on-year monthly registrations by 6.4%. Lexmoto finished in third spot on the top-ten brand rankings chart, behind perennial leader Honda and runner-up Yamaha. They suffered respective 59.8% and 42.4% losses. However, it’s worth noting slightly more than half of Yamaha’s entire sales were NMax 125cc scooters.

A list of varying declines followed. Whether these reflected dealers’ propensity for golf or gardening versus work ethic is open for debate. Triumph in fourth place plunged by 63.9% and KTM completed the top five on a 44.2% reversal. In sixth, Kawasaki sank by 59.9%. BMW Motorrad apparently had the highest golfer quotient and took the hardest knock in seventh place, a 67.1% dive. Suzuki in eighth wasn’t far behind, losing 64%.

Royal Enfield and Piaggio crept into the final slots. Comparisons were unavailable, because they had usurped Harley-Davidson and Ducati from last year’s beauty parade. All the same, the former is due an honourable mention because its Interceptor 650 twin claimed May’s best-selling bigger bike title — beating both the BMW 1250GS Adventure and KTM 790 Duke. And the latter stepped up thanks to status as a vendor of now increasingly popular commuting devices.

For the year to date, total registrations have fallen by 35.5% to 30,845. Motorcycles were 38.7% lower at 22,404. Scooters dropped by 24.9% to 6477 and mopeds by 26.1% to 1731.

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