UK motorcycle registrations have dropped again in March, usually a strong month as new number plates are released and the riding season begins in earnest. Stephen Latham, head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) said dealers had expected the market to be up, “however registrations were down -12.6 per cent – a huge drop of 2,103 machines compared with March last year.”
Latham continued, “The sectors taking the biggest hit in volume terms were scooters and supersport – the same sectors that dominated the Euro 3 pre-registrations in December. Sub 50cc mopeds were down -29.3 per cent on last March, however as well as the pre-reg issue, this particular market has been declining as buyers are opting to go straight for 125cc machines.
“Lower powered cc sectors diminished the most in March by -31.2 per cent, but year-to-date for the first quarter of 2017 these machines suffered a market decline of -30.7 per cent – a massive reduction of 2,989 new motorcycles going on the road and likely to be an effect of the huge pre-registration hike last December. Hopefully the majority of bikes have now found new owners and the market could return to normality next month.
“The market for bigger powered machines showed marginal declines of -12.5 per cent for 126 – 650cc bikes and just -6.6 per cent for 651 -1000cc bikes, as these models were less involved in the Euro 3 to 4 change over. Large motorcycles over 1000cc showed growth of 6.9 per cent up from 3,708 to 3,962 units – an indication that the experienced enthusiast is still in the market place and prepared to spend at the top end of the market.
“BMW moved up to second place in the manufactures rankings with 2,101 motorcycles registered in March, with only Honda surpassing them with 2,904 bikes put on the road. This issue of demand for larger powered machines for the discerning enthusiasts buyers was further borne out by the inclusion of Triumph, Kawasaki and Harley Davidson in fourth, fifth and sixth position.
“We are hopeful the last big wash through of the Euro 3 registrations seen this March should hopefully return to normality in the summer months.”