Independents the Cheapest Place to Buy Motorcycle Tyres: Encircle Research
Research carried out throughout most of 2009 by Encircle Marketing reveals that independent dealers sold a pair (front and rear) of motorcycle tyres at an average of up to £32 cheaper than other channels. Additionally regional independent dealers kept prices relatively flat throughout the year, hovering between £213.77 and £216.35, while local independents and national fast fitters increased prices on average each quarter. Dealers meanwhile were the most expensive in each quarter. The data was collected using 8,492 mystery calls between January and November 2009, during which 25,794 prices were collated across eight key tyre brands – Avon, Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, Maxxis, Metzeler, Michelin and Pirelli.
In terms of average prices by usage, a pair of motorcycle tyres saw a steady rise throughout much of the year across the Hyper Sport, Sport Touring and Super Sport segments. In November the average prices in each category, compared with January 2009, were: £236.22 from £227.65 (Hyper Sport), £227.96 from £217.00 (Sport Touring) and £223.26 from £213.91 (Super Sport). Quotes for the Hyper Sport brand rose from a base of £225.73 in February until June 2009, where the segment’s rise halted at £235.46. While remaining cheaper, the lower-priced segments grew in price steadily throughout the year. Intriguingly, the Sport Touring segment – normally a few pounds higher in price – was found to converge with the Super Sport segment in terms of average price in March, June and August, though the price gap returned by the end of the year.
In terms of brand-by-brand pricing, 2009 saw Michelin as the most expensive brand available to the consumer, at an average price per pair of £229.80. Metzeler (£228.20) and Bridgestone (£227.90) were close, while Pirelli (£222.30) and Dunlop (£221.60) represented a price tier lower. Three outliers did not come within £10 of the average price of any other brand: Avon (£203.30), Continental (£190.50) and Maxxis (£164.50). Conti’s showing here can perhaps be attributed to the patterns surveyed in the Sport Touring segment – the most populous of the segments studied – as its Force (£172.90) and Motion (£174.90) tyres were third and fourth cheapest, behind only the Maxxis M6209 (£165.10) and Supermaxx Touring (£163.70). The most expensive tyre was in the Hyper Sport segment – the Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa SP (£281.80), following up Pirelli’s Diablo Rosso Super Sport tyre (£250.10), which was on average £20 more expensive than its nearest price rival (the Metzeler Sportec M3 at £229.30) within its segment. Across this segment too, Maxxis had by far the cheapest tyre – the Supermaxx Sport (£165.20).
(Paragraph corrected here.) Interestingly, Encircle also surveyed brand recommendations across the year, noting the percentage differences between the first and second halves of 2009. Bridgestone was the greatest gainer in this respect, up 3.63 per cent, while Michelin, Metzeler, Dunlop and Avon all received more market recommendations to researchers in the second half of the year. Maxxis, Continental and Pirelli all lost approximately 2.5 per cent of the recommendations they had received in January-June in the period July-November. (Paragraph corrected here.)
Finally, the researchers looked at the top ten promotions offered by the distributors. Proportionally, free fitment is by far the most common promotion, offered 5.18 per cent of the time. A reduced price for the pair came in second (offered 1.6 per cent of the time), while price promises or matches were offered in 1.28 per cent of the mystery calls. The rest of the top ten, from four to ten, were: stock clearance, buy one get one free, cash back, free puncture replacement and 20, 15 and 10 per cent discounts, each offered on only 0.05 per cent of calls.
Readers can access the full charts from Encircle Marketing by clicking the application below (please note, the slide entitled ‘% pt change overtime in Total Market brand recommendations’ has been corrected by Encircle Marketing. See here for details):