Bike sales having a shocker

Down 14.1% year-on-year, fifth consecutive month of decline

WE'VE seen more new model launches so far this year than at any other time we can remember but it doesn't seem to be having the desired effect on sales.

Latest figures from the Motorcycle Industry Association show the number of new bikes registered between January and May this year was down 14.1% compared to the same period in 2016.

Mopeds (50cc machines limited to 30mph) in particular have taken a hammering, with a decline of 24.1%.

Motorcycles (including scooters over 50cc) are down 13.5%. 

Custom and sports bikes, two areas where manufacturers will have hoped for growth, with new models like the Honda Fireblade and a number of scramblers and cafe racers, also seem to have taken a battering, down 21.1% and 24.6% respectively. 

However, it's sub-650cc machines that appear to be behind the poor performance. Machines between 126cc and 650cc were down 10.6% while those between 51cc and 125cc dropped 32.2%. 

Bikes between 651cc and 1000cc, on the other hand, saw modest growth, of 0.3%, while those over 1000cc did slightly better, with a rise of 1.3%.

May was also the fifth consecutive month of decline.

A spokeswoman for the Motorcycle Industry Association suggested the Euro4 emmission limits which drove this year's rush of new model launches may also be behind the decline in registration figures.

The end of 2016 was the deadline to register machines not meeting the new limits, meaning some will have been pre-registered in December. As those machines have been sold this year, they will not have contributed to the latest registration figures, because they were counted in December.

The spokeswoman said: 'The registration deadline for Euro3 stock was December 31, so stock which was registered before the end of the year has and is being sold now, but won’t show up in the registration data again.'


How about spiraling insurance cost. Bike theft and poor security from manufacturers in addition to stagnated salaries and bikes prices rocketing. I know why I'm not thinking of getting one since original street triple.

Well said!

Chris Joyce's picture

I understand why pretty much all bikes below 650 are dropping sales. Bikes are normally thought of as a weekend toy for most, but when that toy is more expensive than the car you drive, most people cant justify it.
Why would anyone want to go out and start riding now! My daughters BF will have to retake all his tests to get to a 600CC. why would he want to spend so much money when he can wait until hes older and do it in one hit.
This legislation has priced people out, much in the same way it has in the HGV Industry.

They should stop making the ugliest nightmarish looking things they can, and actually make decent looking bikes instead of these origami, cyclops bird looking things and the like. And stop making bikes with glaring issues and omissions, and pigeonholing and over specializing them.

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