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New registration numbers dropping | Are motorcycle events the answer?

New motorcycle and scooter sales fall in January, according to MCIA data - do motorcycle events hold the key? Plus we list the top-selling motorcycles and scooters across the capacity ranges for January.

motorcycle live

MCIA data has shown an overall drop of 37.6% for new registrations in January, across all categories - and with lockdown continuing through to this month, it’s unlikely the first 3 months of motorcycle-sales data will show anything different. Will motorcycle shows hold the answer to more sales?

We covered the drop in sales last month, and don't forget that the weather across the country was fairly awful over January and February - not exactly riding weather. Spring and beyond is often where sales traditionally pick up, and considering COVID limitations, it's not as bad as it may seem.

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It can all be easily explained away due to the country being placed into a third nationwide lockdown on January the 3rd, but the question is now whether an easing of lockdown restrictions, and getting motorcycle shows back on the calendar, will see sales numbers bouncing back with dealers opening their doors. 

Motorcycle Sales Figures for January 2021

Data from February is usually available a week or so into the following month (around 8th March), but until then we have the top-selling models per capacity, from the British Dealer News website:

Power BandTop selling Model
0-50ccSuper Soco CPX
51-125ccHonda SH125
126-600ccKTM 300 EXC TPI
651-1000ccYamaha Tenere 700
Over 1000ccBMW R1250GS Adventure

Fairly expected reading, a BMW adventure bike at the top, scooters at the bottom. What is interesting is the KTM 300 EXC TPI in the mid-range sector, selling 43 units over the month; apparently, a load of people are having great fun off-road, fair play!

The Touring sector was hit the hardest, with 65.7% fewer new bikes sold and registered - although it’s a sector that doesn’t see huge numbers registered per month in any case. The popular Naked and Adventure Sports categories noted 50.5% and 44.9% drops respectively, whilst Trail/Enduro bikes noted the smallest drop at 9.4%.

This is not to say all new models are struggling, however. The Suzuki V-Strom 650, Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, and Triumph Tigers are noted as being particularly in demand. Commuter machines and scooters, as ever, lead the way in sales, and may not be the impulse buys that a motorcycle show would really impact.

Will motorcycle events hold the answer to more sales?

National lockdowns have shut down a number of shows and expos across the country, both large scale and local, particularly with the huge Motorcycle Live event towards the tail end of the year being cancelled in 2020, but returning in 2021 between the 4th and 12th of December.

Motorcycle Live is the biggest motorcycle show in the UK, and gives riders the chance to see all of the new model year models in person before placing their orders. It’s speculated that riders not being able to physically inspect both new (and older) models is hampering the market somewhat. At the same time, opening shows will be timed with 'opening the roads' - sales may naturally pick up when there is less economic uncertainty overall.

Smaller, more 'localised' shows are common, with other large shows including the London Motorcycle show and Manchester show, plus your local dealer-attended events, where you can speak to specific manufacturers with your questions - dealers will have been practising their sales patter for months, so be ready.

Another question is the success of operating future large-scale events, where Covid regulations may be restrictive in terms of physically touching, getting on and trying out various motorcycles - but that's a very speculative question at this stage, it may just be a case of masks on & hand sanitser all over the place.

We can only hope shows return, and things get back to a 'new normal' as soon as possible, whenever that may be. The signs are already promising for everything to get back on track this year, we can only hope that stays true.