UK motorcycle market continues to shrink as cost of living crisis worsens

Honda remains atop the motorcycle registration charts for July 2022, but overall registrations are down on last year, as well as June.

Triumph Street Triple S

The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) has released its registration figures for July 2022, which show Honda is still the leading manufacturer in the UK motorcycle market, and that the market overall continues to grow in 2022 compared to last year.

Honda registered 1,804 bikes in July 2022, and was the leading manufacturer in five two-wheeler categories. 

In the “Adventure” category, Honda was on top with the CRF 300 L; with the CBF 125 M in the “Naked” class; and with the NT 1100 in the “Touring” class. The PCX 125 also put Honda on top for sales in the “Scooter” class, as well as in the 51-125cc class. 

However, that figure of 1,804 is over 200 down on what Honda registered in July 2021, when it registered 2,021 bikes. 

Similarly, Yamaha - which was second to Honda in both July 2021 and July 2022 - was 600 bikes down on what it registered last year. In July 2021, Yamaha registered 1,642 bikes, whereas in the same month this year there were only 1,083 registrations from the Iwata marque.

Ducati, Kawasaki, KTM, Lexmoto, and Triumph were all also down in July 2022 compared to July 2021. On the positive side for KTM, their 300 EXC enduro was the top-selling competition bike of the month. 

One of the only brands to have a more successful July in 2022 compared to 2021 was Royal Enfield, who went from 477 registrations to 581. Additionally, Enfield’s Meteor 350 topped the “Custom” class, and their Classic 350 topped the “Modern Classic” category.

Unsurprisingly, the most popular engine category was the 51-125cc class. It is here that we find convenient and practical motorcycles. Perhaps not the ones which provide the most fun, but perhaps those that are the most practical and useful to own as a daily method of transport. 

In the electric categories, the numbers remain relatively small. The 1-4kW class remains the most popular, although even that was down on July 2021 in the same month for this year.

The biggest electric growth was in the 4-11kW class (259.1%), which went from 22 registrations in July 2021 to 79 in July 2022; while the biggest growth in the year-to-date is in the 11-15kW category which has registered 84 bikes so far in 2022, compared to six by the end of July 2021 (a growth of 1,300%). 

Overall, the registrations in July 2022 shrank by 11.9% compared to July 2021. That has had a knock-on effect to the overall growth of the 2022 market compared to 2021. This follows on from June, when there was a 15.6% decrease in overall motorcycle registrations compared to June 2021

In June’s 2022 year-to-date figures, the MCIA reported 10.1% growth compared to last year. This was down from 18.9% in May. In July, that has decreased to 6.2%. In just two months, the UK motorcycle market's year-to-date growth has shrunk by 12.7%.

It seems obvious to say that this is most likely a consequence of the growing cost of living crisis, as well as high fuel prices.

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