Tuesday, April 23, 2024


With new bike registrations now firmly negative for a second successive month, the rate of attrition is also tracking an increasingly severe cost-of-living crisis and its deleterious effect on consumer demand. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

According to MCIA statistics for June, overall headcount suffered a 15.7% decline to 12,523. Motorcycles fell by 10.4% to 9434. Scooters were a more painful 31.4% down to 2367. Mopeds sank by 18.1% to 635 and trikes lost 18.7%  at just 87.

The up-to-125cc mobility sector was hardest hit by a 21% plunge to 4823 machines. Yamaha did best out of the scooter slump, mainly encapsulated within that sector. Some 255 samples of its delivery fleet-friendly NMax 125 claimed highest-registered status, both style and capacity-wise.

Middleweight 126-650cc products, crossing over from mobility to entry-level enthusiast appeal, almost broke even on a loss of only 1.1% to 2513 units. In an inevitably mixed bag, Honda’s CRF300L trail bike technically topped registrations on 194. But a combined tally of 286 value-for-money Royal Enfield Meteor and Classic 350 models actually led the field.

The 651-1000cc range was 13.7% down to 2781. Triumph’s 660 Trident bargain ruled that particular roost, thanks to 225 registrations.  Over-1000cc stuff dived by 19.6% to 2406 bikes plated. However, of these, 8.8% were premium-priced (and highest-registered) BMW R1250GS Adventure steeds, so at least the odd BMW Motorrad dealer must have been among gesturally happier bunnies.

Most major brands were on the back foot year-on-year, though, some of them to grievous degrees. Logistics issues and resultant inadequate model mixes could have been a contributory factor, besides increasing customer reluctance to open wallets.

The losers included BMW, which copped a 30.5% fall to 1018 units. Yamaha plummeted even further, 35.1% down to 1234. Ducati, which didn’t actually achieve a top-ten chart rating, was at least 32% in arrears to fewer than 350 bikes. Kawasaki took the most brutal spanking, 49.6% down to 439. Honda numbers deteriorated by 17.3% to 2200. Lexmoto lost a more modest 9.4% to 570. And KTM dropped by 17.5% to 487.

There were a few lucky winners too. June is the final month of Triumph’s financial year, and its dealers are exhorted to jump through hoops accordingly. They did, pushing registrations 18.5% up to 1514. Royal Enfield, harnessing crucial budget prices to attractive products, added 15% to 584. Suzuki managed a smaller grin with a 4.3% increase to 464. More than 30% of that tally comprised the brand’s new GSX-S1000T, presumably in plentiful supply at an acceptable price tag.

For the six months of 2022 to date, total registrations are now 10.1% up to 63,963. In May, YTD stood at a 19% advance. And in April, YTD was 32.4% ahead. A sliding scale is evident, and excuses for optimism lacking in the current economic climate.     



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