Motorcycle sales continue to fall

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New motorcycle registrations fell by 12.8% in July compared to the same month last year, marking a decline in sales in the UK for the seventh month in a row according to figures released by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA).

There were 8,992 new motorcycle registrations in July 2017, compared to 10,261 in July 2016.

By this time last year, a total of 71,623 new motorcycles had been registered, but so far in 2017 only 62,129 have been registered. A decrease of 13.3%. Moped sales (bikes with a maximum speed of 30mph and engine capacity of 50cc) fell to 667 down from 717 in July 2016.


Total sales, including mopeds, motorcycles and trikes stand at 66,423 for the year to date, down 13.8% compared to 2016. While still in decline the figures do show a slight improvement – total sales in June 2017 for the year to date were down 14.1%.

The biggest seller in July was the popular Honda PCX125 with 203 registrations. The Yamaha Tracer 700 just edged out the Honda CB125F for second place with 180 sales compared to 179 for the learner-friendly Honda.

CEO of the MCIA, Steve Kenward said: “We are still witnessing the transition between Euro 3 and Euro 4 stock.  You can see this when you break the figures down.   Smaller capacity machines, particularly 125cc bikes are down because it is likely dealers are still selling the large amount of Euro 3 stock which was registered at the end of 2016.

“In contrast, larger machines, which have been making the transition to Euro 4 over a longer period, are now showing a growth compared to the same time last year.  From a rider’s perspective that means there have been some good bargains available and government licensing tables show that January, February and March of this year saw the largest number of mopeds and motorcycles licensed on the road since 2010, when compared to the same time of year.”

Earlier this year we got in touch with the Head of the Motorcycle Division at the National Motorcycle Dealers Association, Stephen Latham: “The biggest single decline has been in what was the biggest market, for about two years, which was the 125cc market,” he commented. “That market has been overinflated and has been very strong for a couple of years. 

“With the knowledge that many of those bikes are produced in countries where the thought of moving to Euro4 has just been seen as a burden. It meant that in the final quarter of last year manufactures and dealers were pre-registering bikes and inflating the marketplace towards the end of the year. So, by the time we got to December 2016, there was already an oversupply of pre-registered motorbikes.” 

We also asked Stephen what exactly, if anything, Brexit means for motorcycling in the UK.

BMW set new sales record

Despite the apparent doom and gloom in the UK, BMW have had an excellent start to 2017, selling 88,389 bikes over the first half of 2017. A 9.5% increase over the first half of 2016. It marks the fifth year in a row BMW have increased their sales at a record level.

“For all of us at BMW Motorrad it is a great pleasure and a confirmation of all our efforts that our customers continue to show us that we are on the right track with our model initiative,” said Stephan Schaller, General Director of BMW Motorrad.

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Liam Marsden

By Liam Marsden

Former MCN Web Producer