New bike sales still dropping

February's figures: grey as the winter sky...

Posted: 8 March 2013
by Visordown News

Honda CBF125, in all its Naked glory

NEW motorcycle registrations in the UK continued their downward trajectory last month, with a 4.6% drop in bike sales year-on-year (compared to February 2012). A total of 3,660 bikes were registered in the month, compared to 3,835 during the same period a year ago.

Good performances from the Naked (+7.3%, to 591 units), Trail/Enduro (+35.2%, to 307) and Touring (+53.4%, to 89) segments were countered by the Sport/Tour (-46.4%, to 96 units), Adventure Sport (-15.9%, to 318) and Supersport (-16.2%, to 351) segments. Scooter and Custom registrations also took small hits.

In terms of engine capacity, only the 126-650cc band saw positive activity, with a 11.3% rise in sales. While the fall in sales of bigger bikes is not surprising, the usually strong 51-125cc band also suffered a small dip of 3%, shifting 1,685 units compared to 1,738 in February 2012. 

The best-selling models in many segments were Hondas: CBF125 (Naked & 51-125cc), PCX125 (Scooter), CRF250X (Trail/Enduro) and NC700X (651-1000cc). Predictably, Honda stayed at the top of the sales charts with 600 units, accounting for nearly a fifth of all UK two-wheeler sales, followed by Yamaha (455), Piaggo (247) and Triumph (182).

February's ranking of top ten manufacturers includes three Chinese-bike brands - Lexmoto, Direct Bikes and Pulse, at No. 6, 7 and 9 respectively, together accounting for 406 sales. Pulse's Scout 50 was the month's best-selling scooter, while its Adrenaline 125 led in the Adventure Sport segment. 


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*cough* No Suzuki again *cough*.

Not tempted to pick up the phone, give Suzuki UK a call and ask them straight out when they'll be as bankrupt as the US outfit?

Litre+ sales are down, I imagine all the Ewan-and-Charlies were waiting for the new R1200GS.

Posted: 08/03/2013 at 13:56

Government plans are on target then. We're an endangered species chaps..

Posted: 08/03/2013 at 16:34

there is definately a mistake here as the honda crf 250x is not the best selling trail , its the crf 250l which is a completely different machine as its a trail bike and the 250x is a proper full on enduro.

Posted: 08/03/2013 at 17:44

Stupid question.
Although new bike sales are apparently down, does that automatically mean that their profits are down?

Posted: 08/03/2013 at 18:01

Likely yes, since proportionately more of them are 125s and scooters than they were 5 years ago.

Triumph are doing fine through: decent sales, all bigger bikes, the non-retro models are regularly updated, and they're suffering less of an impact from the plummeting pound. Pip pip, rule Britannia!

Posted: 08/03/2013 at 19:02

Triumph seem to be bucking the trend here, talking to local dealer they are doing well, new street triple and tiger 800 selling well.
Don't think the new BM will effect Explorer sales either. BM's build quality & reliablity has taken a big hit recently

Posted: 08/03/2013 at 20:28

Bottom ine is new bikes are ridiculously over priced ,, cars are now cheaper , also many peoples disposable income is stolen by taxes and high cost of living ,

I own 3 ducatis all reliable and great bikes and the youngest is 12 years old , I have the spare cah to buy any new bike I want but why bother , in 3 years time I can pick them up half price and almost new condition .

Posted: 09/03/2013 at 13:31

The EU will be happy.

Posted: 09/03/2013 at 21:44

The numbers suggest people are wanting smaller more economical bikes to travel back and forth. I know that's what i wanted when I bought my
er6-n last year.
I would love a Ducati or an MV but they are expensive to buy and look to be expensive to run.
I understand not everyone buys a bike to be practical and often people just want some weekend fun but the industry does itself no favours for those people wanting to know. My local Ducati dealer laughed at such a question and gave no real answer when I asked him.
If I'm buying a bike to commute to work isn't a reasonable question?

Posted: 10/03/2013 at 00:20

Well, that's bike dealers for you. My experience of the Local Bike Shops is that they're all filled with Royston Vasey sorts who resented me coveting the Precious Bikes of the Shop. So I bought used, and privately, and my friendly local spanner monkey will continue to get my repair and MOT business.

The contrast with buying a nearly new car last year couldn't be sharper: every dealer treated me as a serious customer (even when I rocked up on a bike), and were friendly, helpful and courteous. It's almost as though they were in the business of accepting money in exchange for goods and services. Weird, eh?

Posted: 10/03/2013 at 13:30

Dealers attitudes are not much different on used. I'll only spend money with dealers that come across as friendly and professional, and it says a lot that I had to go through 4 before I found one I like for my last bike (one an apparent dealer of the year award winner from mcn and one of their marques). Most of them are a disgrace when it comes to customer service. I'll stick with my local shop for as much as possible. As Rogerborg says the service offered to my misses when she bough a car last year was exceptional.

Posted: 10/03/2013 at 14:54

Bottom line...When everyfucker is drivin like their own version of Mario Cart, we are just one of 100,000 extinct species to go this year,


Posted: 10/03/2013 at 17:15

I agree with a lot of what you guys are saying!!!!!!!

New bikes ARE overpriced but in the main Triumph seem to have a much keener price structure. And I definately agree about the car dealers, they have realised it's us that keep them in a job! and will bend over backwards to try to do a deal.

Don't think we will ever be extinct though, not while I have some cash in my sky rocket anyway!!


Posted: 10/03/2013 at 18:37

I Agree about so many dealers being unfreindly almost to the point of being very rude and obnoxious, i really think there is a lot to learn regarding customer service from bike dealers on the whole, there are probably 4 bad to every good one, i think a lot of it is apathy and the tight margins they are being forced to work too.

Posted: 10/03/2013 at 19:09

New bikes cost too much! Most people I know use bikes for fun at weekends and so biking is a hobby. As hobbies go it is a pretty expensive one, once you have paid insurance, tax, bought proper bike gear, tyres every 5k, chains... the list is long. Then you have the bike, which seems to half in value every year hence why I love buying old bikes, got an Aprilia Mille for £2k with a full dealer service history and only 19,000 miles on the clock.

If the manufactures want sells to pick up, price bikes accordingly. I know R&D costs, but stop making bikes with un-usable power on the roads and make genuine fun and easy to maintain bikes. The old GS or the first generation R1 are far more fun and cheap to run than the latest tech laiden versions. I won't buy new as I like to reapir the bikes myself and not need specialist diagnostic computers. Bring back simplicity and the old saying 'cheap motoring' will apply again to bikes.

Posted: 11/03/2013 at 10:16

I agree with some of the sentiment about dealers, manufacturers and the like, but it is the government and the EU legislation making it harder and harder for younger riders to even get a licence. Until the government are convinced that bikes are viable forms of transport (reduction in congestion,emissions etc) and the PC soldiers grow up and leave individuals to make up their own minds as to what is or isn't dangerous, the situation with dropping bike sales will continue to drop.

Posted: 11/03/2013 at 12:20

I would love a new bike, I use mine every day for work and while it has its problems, it still runs and much as I would love to walk in to the dealers and order a new Suzuki V-Strom, Triumph Tiger or another adventure style bike(for the ever degrading road network) I just don't have the cash.
Instead I have a 10 year old SV650S.
I do wonder, if the government actually wanted bikes on the road, a scrapage scheme might shift more bikes, or moving to emission based VED(Road Tax) like newer cars.

Scrap a car towards a new bike would be another idea.

Posted: 11/03/2013 at 15:01

They will keep falling when the prices keep rising,The trade mouthpiece can keep talking about prices IN REAL TERMS being lower but the buyers are staying out of the showrooms.another factor in my opinion is that the bikes are too samey and lack flair.lets have some turbos and 2 strokes ,sporty 6 cyclinder bikes etc.any ideas for a bike to ignite sales ?

Posted: 11/03/2013 at 20:23

£10,000 for a sports 600 might have something to do with it, sports bikes and others of course are just to bloody expensive, and are no better than a 10 year old version for a fraction of the price, I've got a 2004 ZX10R 180 mph missile with 8000 miles and it cost me £3k what's the point of buying a new one for £12-13K...
At least I can use it on track sometimes with less worry :)

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 20:47

The Bike Industry needs a kick up the arse,sadly Deadly's experience with his dealer was pretty typical.More than once I've been blanked by Salesmen as I've walked around their showroom in my tatty bike gear while they all but lick the boots of people who have turned up in cars but look more affluent.That cost Bridge Motorcycles in Exeter the sale of a brand new Fazer 600 a few years back,just so you know chaps,manners cost nothing and all that and I bought one elsewhere the next day.
No need to buy a new bike when there are so many good used bikes out there that dealers are having trouble shifting,I've just bought a mint low mileage 04 600 Bandit.Not everyone's dream bike but I paid 2 grand for it with a 3 month warranty,fully taxed,serviced and a year's MOT.It does what a new Bandit or CBF600 will do and it didn't cost me 6 grand.Whatever kind of bike you want it's very much a buyer's market and if dealers won't haggle move on until you find one that will.
The Dealer's real nightmare must be that Biking's current fashionable status will change,a lot of bikes these days are owned by those quite happy to keep an expensive bike wrapped up through Winter ready for a few hundred miles posing in Summer.Times are hard and that kind of hobby is fast becoming unsustainable for a lot of people.Honda seem to have seen the light with their new 500 and 700 range along with the 250s.All are "everyday" bikes for those who want a bike as a relatively cheap form of transport.That's where the market is fast heading.

Posted: 12/03/2013 at 22:47

Didn't know where else to put this or how to start a thread etc. but worth a click on the mouse. Someones' started a petition on the Government e-petitions calling for an end to road tax for motorcycles. Don't know if there's much chance of this happening but worth a try anyway.

Posted: 13/03/2013 at 20:14

"an e-petion calling for an end to road tax for motorcycles"

Yeah - good luck with that one, does anybody think the thieving b******s are going to give up their annual smash and grab on your wallet just because you ride a horrible,noisy oily,smelly,motorbike? Think again.

Posted: 17/04/2013 at 23:25

Talkback: New bike sales still dropping



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