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REGISTRATION SLIDE CONTINUES

October gloom included yet another reduction in new bike numbers, according to monthly MCIA data, with the chances of overall annualised retreat growing incrementally. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Against a background of generalised weakening consumer demand and the cost-of-living crisis, total registrations fell by 6% to 8003. Motorcycles were 8.1%  down to 5313. Scooters added 1.2% to 2038. Mopeds dropped by 10.9% to 590. Trikes increased by 8.8% to 62.

Up-to-125cc machines targeting the entry-level, mobility and fleet delivery markets declined by 3.9% to 4118 units. The 126-650cc middleweight sector was hit hardest, with a 15.3% loss at 1477. 651cc-plus bikes retreated by 3.2% to 2408.

Not only was Honda hegemony unassailed, the leading brand also managed to increase its October headcount by 7.6% to 1540. However, almost a third of that was attributable to 480 samples of Honda’s PCX 125 scooter, which probably had “fleet sales” written all over them. Yamaha followed, 3.2% down to 868. At least, bucking the seasonal trend, it topped the 651-1000cc slot thanks to shifting 55 YZF-R7 sporting twin models. Fulfilling delayed orders?

Triumph in third spot incurred a 2.6% retreat to 493, soundly beating BMW Motorrad, which sank by 8.9% to 422. However, premium-priced R1250GS Adventure and R1250RT models respectively accounted for 20.9% and 11.6% of BMW’s monthly registrations, suggesting more profitable volume.

A trio of troubled losers were next in line. Chinese flag carrier Lexmoto plunged by 39.1% to just 348 plated bikes. KTM took a 31.8% dive to 332. And surprisingly, given its recent string of successes, Royal Enfield was 24.8% in arrears on 328. Inventory issues may have been a factor. Although 93 samples of the brand’s Classic 350 model took 126-650cc sector honours, registrations of the similarly attractive Meteor 350 plummeted year-on-year, from 226 in October 2021 to just 59 this time around.

Tail-enders enjoyed better news. Piaggio put on 1.4% to 280. And Kawasaki must have had some of its supply-chain bottleneck prayers answered, rising by 21.3% to 273. Ducati also made a rare appearance this late in the season, plating 206 bikes.

For the ten months of 2022 to date, overall registrations are only 2.8% up to 103,961. To equal the 2021 full-year tally, dealers will have to plate 10,410 bikes during November and December. The clock is ticking.     

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