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REGISTRATIONS BONANZA IN JULY

Latent demand for bigger bikes united with an already surging appetite for small-capacity machines to give the trade a July summer treat, according to latest MCIA registrations data. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Total monthly registrations soared by 41.9% to 14,070. Motorcycles were 37% up at 10,214. Over-50cc scooters stacked on 62.8% to 2879. Mopeds rose by 38.1% to 852 and even trikes reached a three-digit tally, 64.5% up to 125.

Most welcome news was the revival for larger-capacity bikes. The 651-1000cc sector swung from a 9.3% decline in June to 15.3% up in July. And over-1000cc kit, which was 1.6% down in June, has risen by a stupendous 38.8% during the past month. In the 126-650cc arena, June’s improvement of 11% has translated into a boost of 38.5% this time around.

However, all three of the above segments were still substantially behind on a year-to-date basis. At the end of July, shortfalls were 20.8% for 126-650cc, 26.3% for 651-1000cc and 24.9% for over-1000cc.

The really hot story remained extraordinary progress by up-to-125cc products, as  self-isolating solutions for commuters increasingly eager to avoid risky mass transit on trams, trains and buses. In sheer volume, 51-125cc scooters and motorcycles dominated July’s statistics, climbing by 62.5% to 5371 machines.

And YTD, this game changer was now just 1.1% under the position in pre-coronavirus 2019 — which obviously didn’t suffer from two months of gestural sales when dealers were locked down. By the end of August, 51-125cc stuff should be boasting annualised growth. Over-50cc scooters are in the same YTD league, running just 1.7% down at the moment. And mopeds, currently trailing by 5%, could play catch-up too.

So which top-ten brands benefited the most, year-on-year against July 2019? Certainly not Harley-Davidson, suffering the ignominy of a 6.9% retreat, the solitary loser in eighth spot. Honda led the field, adding 34.2%, the top-registered PCX125 scooter claiming about one-fifth its total.

Yamaha, running an aggressive incentivised dealer test-ride promotion, made the biggest proportional advance of 77.4% in second place. Chinese flag carrier Lexmoto underlined ownership of the final podium step, 76.2% up. BMW Motorrad and Kawasaki completed the top-five group, respectively on 42.1% and 21.3% gains.

Triumph, known to be struggling with key stock availability, came sixth with a more modest 15.6% increase. KTM followed, rising by 28.1%. Suzuki in ninth put on a useful 37.9%, albeit from a very low base. Piaggio, lacking year-on-year comparison, crept into tenth.

For the market overall, YTD numbers amounted to 58,276, now only adrift by 16%. But although scooters and mopeds were in sight of full recovery, motorcycles languished 20.2% down at 42,513.       

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