Two-wheel vehicles came into their own in a year when travelling on public transport was often discouraged and delivery services boomed. As the Motorcycle Industry Association recently reported, unit sales of scooters shot up 10.6 per cent in 2020 and overall sales of two-wheel vehicles declined just 2.6 per cent year-on-year despite two lockdowns. Demand for aftermarket parts was also healthy within the sector, reflecting both a preference for affordable personal transport as well as the popularity of socially-distanced pastimes such as bike restoration projects. But there’s been a fly in the ointment.
As part of its commitment to being a ‘one-stop shop’ for motorcycle and scooter tyre retailers in the UK, Cambrian Tyres partners with all major brands in the two-wheel marketplace and supplies customers from its warehouse stock of more than 100,000 tyres. The wholesaler is also sole UK distributor of the Bridgestone motocross and Continental two-wheel ranges (see separate articles) as well as for the Anlas brand and, from the second half of 2019, Kenda. This last name is back in the local two-wheel market after a decade’s absence, and demand has started off on the right foot.
Already a major success in the United States with several factory level partnerships, Kenda Tyres is the latest tyre brand to enter the UK market. It’s wasted no time in partnering with some promising British talent – the P.F.K. Ling group, who, with 12 riders in its stable for 2019, operates one of the largest motocross and enduro teams in East Anglia.
These words are being written in the unseasonably mild final days of February, and I’m not alone in hoping the sunshine augurs an early start to spring. More than a few riders have decided now’s as good a time as any to start the season, and fingers are crossed within the motorcycle trade that the record temperatures will offset this year’s late Easter.
When we spoke with Cambrian Tyres just over a year ago, the specialist motorcycle distributor shared news of a new UK exclusive brand in its portfolio, Anlas. Cambrian began its association with the Turkish manufacturer with the Winter Grip 2, a scooter tyre intended for year-round use, and sales were good from the very start. Based on this early success, Cambrian Tyres has gradually built up its Anlas offer, and in 2018 this will continue growing to include more products for scooters, lightweight motorcycles and adventure bikes. At the same time, new additions will join Cambrian’s house brands as well as its exclusive Continental range.
Success as a tyre wholesaler depends upon range, availability, and also a measure of exclusivity, and this applies as much in the two-wheel segment as it does for car tyres. Britain’s largest independent two-wheel tyre distributor deals in more than a dozen brands, from household names to those little known outside riding circles, and is sole UK distributor for several ranges. Earlier this year, Tyres & Accessories recently spoke with Richard Hemingway Cambrian Tyres to find out what’s new within the wholesaler’s established exclusive stable and from a brand that’s relatively new to Cambrian customers, but nevertheless should prove very interesting.