Motorcycle market off to a flying start

“It is encouraging to see that the motorcycle market has got off to a positive start, with dealers reporting an 11 per cent increase in January registrations”, said Stephen Latham, head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) which represents motorcycle retailers across the UK. Tyre manufacturer Michelin has previously commented that it is experiencing improved demand for motorcycle tyres, with increasing numbers of young riders a particularly positive sign.

Demand for sub 50cc starter bikes decreased -9.8 per cent against January 2014, however all other bikes of a larger capacity recorded a significant increase of 15 per cent – totalling 545 more units sold over this time last year.

January saw a continued confidence in the larger powered leisure motorcycle market, where machines are often purchased by established and experienced riders. 650 – 1000cc sales were up 20.3 per cent, and the 1000cc plus sector recorded a 24.5 per cent increase – indicating a return in demand for higher value specialist motorcycles.

As usual, Honda and Yamaha were among the top ten brands leading sales. Budget value bikes from the Far East are having an effect on demand, with Lexmoto in 8th position with 193 sales, and Pulse in 10th position with 133 sales. Both these brands come from the same bike distribution group, ultimately achieving a joint result of 326 registrations placing them in 4th place. The result raises concerns on quality European makes – such as Piaggio who ranked 9th place in the January market.

Latham continued, “Overall, we are pleased to see a strong start to 2015. The market is showing signs of optimism with an 11 per cent increase and this ties in well with similar good news stories for both the car and commercial vehicle markets.

“A general improvement in both the economy and employment figures is reflecting well on bike sales. We hope to see this trend continue throughout the year”.

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