Sunday, April 21, 2024


The UK bike market’s backward step has become more firmly entrenched, writes BDN financial editor Roger Willis. According to latest MCIA data, registrations for the five months of 2017 to date were 14.1% lower than last year at 44,537 units and 6.9% down on the same period in 2015. Economic issues, rather than Euro 3 legacy or stock-shortage excuses, are now evidently in play.

Total figures for May fell by 10.5% to 10,859 units. Some 8339 motorcycles represented an 8.6% decline. Scooters were 14% down to 1925 and mopeds dropped by 24.2% to 528. Small-capacity machines bore the brunt, with up-to-125cc products including mopeds retreating by 29.7%. The 126-650cc middleweight slot was also negative by 6.6%.

There’s better news for big bikes, though. The 651-1000cc engine band stacked on 11.6% and over-1000cc tackle held station on a marginal 0.5% drop. Triumph took the best-seller honours in both. Its new 121bhp Street Triple RS featuring a larger 765cc motor led the former and the retro Bonneville Bobber topped the latter. They also dominated their respective Naked and Custom style categories. However, among all style categories, only Adventure Sport was positive by just 1.4%.

Among major brands, year-on-year monthly performances veered between winners and losers. Market leader Honda was 9.5% up. But Yamaha in second place plunged sharply by 11.9%. Triumph completed the podium with a 4.4% rise. BMW in fourth put on 6% while Kawasaki rounded out the top five with a slight 0.6% fall. Further down the running order, Piaggio, Suzuki and Ducati were positive, posting respective 13.6%, 1% and 2.3% increases. However, Harley-Davidson dropped by 7.8%.  

The predicament of Chinese specialist Lexmoto was striking. In May 2016 this brand had been in fourth spot thanks to four-digit registrations. But it has now entirely vanished from top-ten rankings, at least 60% in arrears.

Full May registration figures here



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