“Following September’s modest growth, it was disappointing to see the new motorcycle market decline by -2% in October. Positively, the market is still above 2017’s levels on a year to date basis”, said Stephen Latham, Head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) which represents motorcycle retailers across the UK.
The growth of 1.7% over the first ten months of the year means that 94,523 motorcycles have hit the road in 2018 compared to 92,912 units last year.
The moped market (sub 50cc) continued to decline in October, down -27.2% during the month and -21.9% year to date. Scooters experienced the biggest decline in this sector affected by the negative publicity surrounding moped violence and crimes. However, this has not had an effect on larger powered scooters that saw growth of 7.2% in the month and are up 4.5% year to date. Encouragingly, it does seem moped crime has been reducing since the police were given new powers to chase moped criminals irrespective of whether they wear helmets or not.
Looking at motorcycles styles, the ‘naked bikes’ range, indicating the class of motorcycles without fairings, has performed well over the last few years and, in volume terms, this is now the biggest single sector recording 10.9% growth in October. This segment of the market is running at a 10.2% yearly growth rate making it the largest single style of machine purchased, equating to 33.8% of all motorcycles sold so far in 2018.
Popularity of engine size has moved down this year with the biggest growth coming from the 126 – 650cc power range. This is a clear indication that younger and new riders are entering the market following the change in licencing regulations introduced a few years ago.
Overall, 125cc machines continue to dominate the market representing nearly a third of all power-two-wheelers sold. The best seller throughout this year has been the Honda PCX 125, closely followed by the Yamaha NMAX 125.
Latham continued, “While there are not huge margins to be earned from the sales of 125cc machines, it is important to remember that they are generally purchased by new customers joining the biking community. They often represent the future riders and buyers of bigger powered machines that make our retail bike shops profitable”.
Results taken from the Motor Cycle Industry Association Press Statistics October 2018 – New Motorcycle registrations.
About the RMI
The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.