When the new registrations come out at the start of each month there are usually some positives that outweigh the doom and gloom but five months into this year it still looks like something is holding back market demand, writes Steve Latham, head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association. May saw a reduction in registrations of 10.5% and year to date the total is down 7335 motorcycles, a reduction of 14.1%.
“We all blamed the vast number of pre-registration Euro 3 machines that were registered in December 2016 and the 125cc market is still the most depressed, down 30.6% in May and a staggering 32.2% behind for the first five months of this year. That equates to 5824 fewer 51-125cc machines on the road this year. The 126-650cc range is also suffering, albeit less so with a 6.6% reduction in May and a 10.6% shrinking of the market for the first five months of this year.
“The only positive news to come from May’s figures is a modest rise in 651-1000cc units from 2891 machines in 2016 to 3226 motorcycles registered this month. As usual the heavy over-1000cc motorcycle almost came in with the same registrations as last May, with 2403 new bikes going on the road. Year to date, this sector is holding its own with a modest 1.3% growth for the year.
“May and June are usually very buoyant months for the industry as the better weather attracts bikers out on to the road but with the uncertainty of the General Election and the concerns over Brexit, motorcycle sales looks set to be depressed for a month or two yet.”