Thursday, April 25, 2024


With showrooms shuttered by government edict throughout April and most sales staff furloughed, a dramatic coronavirus-related collapse in registrations was inevitable. BDN financial editor Roger Willis surveys the worst month for UK dealers in living memory.

According to MCIA data, total numbers plunged by 83.5% to just 1623 units. Motorcycles were 87.2% down to 950. Scooters fell by 69.2% to 517. Mopeds lost 76.7% at 142 and trikes sank by 82.7%.

Motorcycle market leadership was owned by Lexmoto’s Chinese-made LXR125SY (pictured), which also dominated the Supersport style category with a 25.6% market share. But laurels for outright highest-registered machine belonged to the Yamaha NMax 125 scooter.

Large-capacity bikes took the brunt of decline, as 651-1000cc and over-1000cc engine bands dived respectively by 91.7% and 91.5%. Among normally higher-volume style slots, Adventure Sport took the most severe punishment, 93.3% down.

Top-ten chart positions were equally sobering. Honda maintained its traditional hegemony among leading brands but retreated in volume terms by 81.4%. Chinese flag carrier Lexmoto achieved the best performance as runner-up, though, posting a comparatively modest 68.4% fall. Yamaha in third was 83.9% in arrears. Kawasaki in fourth spot was slightly worse off, 85.2% lower. KTM completed the top five, losing 84.3%.

Piaggio led the also-rans in sixth, without any comparison available because it didn’t qualify for top-ten status in April last year. Triumph followed with a 90.7% loss. Eighth-placed Suzuki dropped by 87.3%. BMW Motorrad, relegated all the way down to ninth, took the hardest hit of the lot, its volume slashed by 95.1% to a mere 40 bikes plated. A second Chinese contender, Sinnis crept into tenth. 

Ducati, which usually features in springtime charts, along with Harley-Davidson, failed to put in an appearance. So both of them registered fewer than 30 machines.

In the four increasingly disease-riddled months of 2020 to date, overall registrations were 31.1% down to 25,451. Motorcycles fell by 32.9% to 18,922, scooters by 25.3% to 4994 and mopeds by 26.8% to 1360. 


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