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First quarter of 2019 sees motorcycle market off to a racing start

NMDA 17/04/2019

“It is encouraging to see that traditional motorcyclists took advantage of the March 19-plate-change to purchase their new bikes. Bike sales were up 9.7% with 16,682 units registered,” said Stephen Latham, Head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) which represents motorcycle retailers across the UK.

In March an additional 1,474 new bikes were put on the road, compared to 14,734 units registered in the same month last year, with all power ranges showing encouraging signs of growth.

Consumers tend to opt for the high-end machines in the plate-change month and many of these motorcycles are ordered specifically for their buyers. In terms of dealer profitability, March is always an important month as many of the part exchanges that arrive into showrooms are appealing to the new and younger buyers. 

The 50cc moped market was up 13.4% year to date and up a massive 42% in March. This is encouraging to see as it reflects new riders and commuters entering the market. Sales of larger machines tend to do well in the plate change month and this one was no different. A total of 4,395 units were registered in the over 1000cc sector, over a quarter of the overall March market. The BMW R1250 GS was the top selling model in this sector with 582 units registered. 

Once again, this month, Royal Enfield were in the top 10 manufacturers, selling 262 units of the ‘Interceptor INT 650’ motorcycles making it the top seller in the 126-650cc range. Also, Lexmoto led sales of sub 50cc machines with a high number of registrations of its ‘Echo 50’ models, indicating that that new entrants in the market are looking for budget and value for money offerings. Overall the month was dominated by the big brands with Honda leading with 3,321 units, BMW selling 2,176 machines, followed by Yamaha who 1,661 motorcycles.

Latham continued, “Overall, dealers are cautiously optimistic that 2019 will be a more positive year for motorcycle sales. We look forward to seeing that the next quarter brings.”


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Results taken from the Motor Cycle Industry Association Press Statistics March 2019 – 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.