Electric motorcycle sales tanked at the end of last year

The Motorcycle Industry Association has published figures for December 2023, showing a decline overall compared to 2022

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Figures for the UK motorcycle market in December 2023 have been published by the Motorcycle Industry Association, showing decline compared to 2022.

5,236 powered two-wheelers were registered in December 2023, which indicated a decrease compared to December 2022 (5,926) of 11.6 per cent. For combustion bikes, December 2023’s 4,980 registrations meant a decrease of 9.9 per cent compared to December 2022, while electric bikes saw their registrations reduced by 35.7 per cent, from 398 in December 2022 to 256 in the final month of 2023.

December being the last month of the year, it also revealed the final registration figures for the year of 2023. While both combustion and electric two-wheelers sold in greater numbers in 2022 compared to 2023, the drop-off last year was greater for electrics. Falling from 6,526 registrations in 2022 to 4,062 in 2023 represents a 37.8 per cent reduction. For combustion bikes, their 109,527 in 2023 compares to 110,008 in 2022, a drop of 0.4 per cent.

The majority of the heavy lifting for combustion bikes was done in the 751cc-1,000cc category, which registered almost 20,000 bikes (19,665) in 2023 as a whole, marking a 24.3 per cent increase over 2022. Along with this category, only the 501cc-750cc class actually grew in 2023 over 2022, by 3.9 per cent with 13,198 registrations in total for the year.

It was also a good December, in itself, for the 751-1000 category, with 765 registrations marking a 17.9 per cent increase over the same month in 2022. 1,000cc+ was the only other category to have a better December 2023 than December 2022, with 934 registrations comparing to 868 the year before (+7.6 per cent).

In terms of manufacturers, the month was dominated by Honda, whose 864 registrations put it over 200 ahead of second-place Yamaha (651). It wasn’t all bad news for Yamaha, though, with its NMAX 125 proving the most-registered powered two-wheeler in December with 264 registrations.

BMW also had a strong December, with 604 registrations putting it in third place overall, as it felt some immediate impact of the new R 1300 GS, which was the most-registered adventure bike of December with 181 registrations. 

With 1,119 total registrations in December, the adventure category was comfortably the largest segment of the motorcycle market last month, highlighting the importance to BMW of the early success of its newest GS. Although scooters registered more at 1,333, the only motorcycle category to be close to adventure was the naked class, registering 947 bikes - everything else was below 400 registrations.

That said, naked won out in the year as a whole, even beating scooter registrations (24,577), with its 24,951 registrations in total also marking a 5.5 per cent increase over 2022. Adventure’s 21,216 registrations meant a 1.9 per cent increase over 2022, while the only other category above 10,000 registrations was modern classic, whose 10,938 in 2023 represented a 9.7 per cent decline over the previous year.

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