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Registrations fall, but electric sector sees modest gains

March, a month typically marked by a surge in registrations due to the plate change, saw a notable 3.7% decrease in new powered two-wheeler (PTW) registrations compared to the same period last year. Despite this, the PTW market remained robust, with a total of 16,803 registrations.

In March, total registrations went down by 3.7% from the previous year’s 17,443 units. Year-to-date total registrations also experienced a slight decline of 0.2%, dropping from 28,022 units for the first quarter 2023 to 27,952 units this quarter.

Small-capacity machinery suffered the worst, with total moped and motorcycle sales decreasing by 4.4% and 3.6%, respectively.

While most of the motorcycle style categories experienced a decline in registrations, the adventure, road sport and “unspecified” categories bucked the trend with 5.2%, 17.8% and 54.5% increases respectively. Looking at the year-to-date figures, several motorcycle categories showed growth, but others also saw a decrease. Naked models have decreased over the three-month period by 9.3%, from 5883 units to 5336 units, while in contrast road sport models grew by 18.5%, climbing from 2162 to 2561 units.

In terms of capacity, the year-to-date figures reveal an increase in 126-500cc motorbikes from 4425 units to 5334 units, with the Triumph Scrambler 400X the leading model in the category.

Honda remained the top-selling brand in the market, with 3079 units sold in March. Triumph came in second with 1968 units. And BMW completed the top three with 1906 units. Lexmoto propped up the top 10 with 466 units.

In the current market landscape, internal combustion engine (ICE) motorbikes continue to hold sway over their electric counterparts. Electric registrations for the year-to-date stand at 774, marking a 4.6% increase from the previous year. For the month of March, electric registrations saw a healthy 16.0% uptick, from 319 units to 370 units.

Symon Cook, head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA), concluded: “As we enter spring and the peak months of the market, we should start to see new PTW registrations pick up in the next quarter. Whilst the electric sector has seen slight growth, ICE still dominates in terms of market share. Following a disappointing Spring Budget for the sector, we urge the government to do more to ensure PTWs are not left behind in the government’s Net Zero plans.”

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