UK Motorcycle sales down 50% in May but market shows signs of recovery

Motorcycle sales in the United Kingdom for May 2020 drop by more than 50% but it is hoped June will mark the beginning of a recovery

Sales of powered two-wheelers (PTW) fell by just over 50% year-on-year in May 2020 as the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to make its presence felt for a second straight month.

However despite the slide, the impact wasn’t nearly as forceful as April 2020 when sales fell by 83% compared to the same month twelve months earlier.

The new figures from the MCIA come as motorcycle dealerships began re-opening on June 1st which is hoped will lead to a spike in sales as bikers get back out on the road for the summer.

This period of the year should normally see bumper sales to coincide with European summer, but while 10,871 units were shifted in May 2019, only 5,394 were registered in May 2020. Still this is comfortably up on the 1,623 sales that occurred in April 2020.

Having become a tool in the fight against the coronavirus for key workers getting around or conducting deliveries, the moped/scooter segment saw a relatively modest 23.7% slide year-on-year.

However, sales of motorcycles dropped by 51.9%, leading to the overall decline in 50.4% across the board.

Year to date, sales of motorcycles in the UK after five months stands at 30,845 units, down 35.5% year-on-year with the 47,822 models sold at this stage in 2019.

As well as the reopening of dealerships, the MCIA has launched a major multi-media campaign titled Unlock Your Freedom to promote the benefits of taking up riding as a safer alternative to using public transport at this time. 

What were the UK’s best-selling motorcycles in May 2020?

For the second month in a row it was the Yamaha NMAX 125 that topped the sales charts, accounting for more than half of Yamaha’s entire monthly units.

However, Honda remained the best-performing brand overall after selling 844 units, compared with Yamaha’s 692 units.

With scooters and mopeds seeing less of a decline during the lockdown period compared with their larger engined counterparts, Lexmoto emerged in a close third position with 634 sales.

Triumph and KTM rounded out the top five, ahead of Kawasaki, BMW, Suzuki, Royal Enfield and Piaggio.

CATEGORYHIGHEST SELLING NEW REGISTRATIONSMay 2020
SCOOTER (MOPED)Lexmoto ECHO 5039
OTHER (MOPED)Surron Light Bee32
SCOOTERYamaha NMAX 125379
ADVENTURE SPORTBMW R 1250 GS Adventure62
CUSTOMKeeway Superlight38
NAKEDRoyal Enfield Interceptor INT 65091
SPORT/TOURKawasaki Ninja 1000 SX48
SUPERSPORTLexmoto LXR 125 SY 125-10109
TOURINGBMW R 1250 RT28
TRAIL/ENDUROHonda CRF 250 LA30
RANKMAJOR BRANDSMay 2020
1Honda844
2Yamaha692
3Lexmoto634
4Triumph365
5KTM346
6Kawasaki316
7BMW254
8Suzuki196
9Royal Enfield183
10Piaggio159

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