MOTORCYCLE sales have shown their first sign of recovery since the introduction of new emission limits with a year-on-year rise in January.
The number of motorcycles registered in the UK in January 2018 was 4,435, 12.9% more than in the same month in 2017.
It’s the first year-on-year rise since December 2016, which was also the deadline for new motorcycles to meet the latest round of emission limits.
The registration figures are compiled by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) and are one of the best measures available of motorcycle sales trends.
The MCIA has previously pointed to the emission limit deadline as an explanation for last year’s decline. Existing stocks of motorcycles failing meet the new limits could still be sold after the deadline provided they had been registered beforehand.
That would have led dealers to register those machines by the end of 2016 to sell the following year. When sold later in 2017, the machines would not have contributed to the latest registration figures, skewing the data as a measure of sales.
The latest figures seems to support the MCIA’s position.
Neil Richardson, head of the motorcycle division at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said of the new data: “2017 was a difficult year for the motorcycle sector, but January’s figures show promising signs of improvement. We saw a cold and wet winter which tends to have a negative effect on purchase numbers, but the turn of the New Year and Christmas spending money have clearly made the difference.
“Moving into spring the weather should improve, and all eyes will be on the launch of new bike models. As the cost of running a car spirals and public transport prices steadily climb, motorcycles offer an affordable and efficient alternative. I’m looking forward to 2018, and optimistic that spring will bring a boost in consumer confidence and demand.”
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