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Motorcycle Press Release March 2021

Paul McDonald | 29 Mar 2021

About the author

Paul McDonald

Leisure Editor

Paul has worked for Glass's since 2001 in various customer and vehicle valuation orientated roles, before becoming Leisure Editor just over a year ago. In his current role, he's responsible for keeping up to date with conditions and trends in the Motorcycle and Touring Caravan markets so we can provide accurate and reliable values to our subscribers. This means he's out and about a lot visiting dealers, manufacturers and auctions as well as analysing observation data.

Suzuki v-storm 650 motorbike

Data published by the motorcycle industry association (MCIA) shows registrations declined by 37.7% in February.  All categories recorded a drop, with Sport/Tourers suffering the most significant fall at 63.9%. Naked and Supersports also recorded significant declines, both at 54.6%, whilst Adventure Sports dropped by 34%. Meanwhile, mopeds reduced the least at just 0.9%.

Paul McDonald, Leisure Vehicles Editor said, “With the country remaining in Lockdown-3 during February, it came as no surprise to see a similar decline to that in January”.

Data published by the motorcycle industry association (MCIA) shows registrations declined by 37.7% in February.  All categories recorded a drop, with Sport/Tourers suffering the most significant fall at 63.9%. Naked and Supersports also recorded significant declines, both at 54.6%, whilst Adventure Sports dropped by 34%. Meanwhile, mopeds reduced the least at just 0.9%.

Paul McDonald, Leisure Vehicles Editor said, “With the country remaining in Lockdown-3 during February, it came as no surprise to see a similar decline to that in January”.

Although registrations continue to suffer in March, April should experience recovery as dealers re-open across the UK, with the hope the market will bounce back.

Engine band highest registered models – February 2021

Power BandModel
0-50ccYadea C-LIKE
51-125ccLexmoto ENIGMA ZS 125 T-48
126-650ccSuzuki DL650 V-STROM
651-1000ccSuzuki GSX-S750 Z PHANTOM
Over 1000ccBMW R1250 GS ADVENTURE
Data courtesy of the MCIA

New motorcycle market

Feedback from dealers regarding February’s activity suggested retail remains challenging, with inconsistent sales volume blamed on the fact that consumers were unable to view stock in person.  However, some dealers have reported reasonable online enquiries and phone calls, with new models generating healthy levels of interest.

One of the main issues experienced by dealers is longer than normal lead times caused by production delays resulting from COVID-19, together with delayed deliveries due to Brexit related import disruption.

The market typically accelerates in March, so it will be another late start to the season. However, cautious optimism remains among dealers that momentum could surge due to pent up demand when lockdown ends. A broad range of models continue to be well received by consumers with the Honda SH125, BMW R1250 GS and new Aprilia RS660 widely praised.

Moving forward as dealerships begin to reopen, there are mixed opinions regarding the level of demand the industry can expect, with much depending on the economic picture. There could be more impulse motorcycle purchasing this year, with some consumers benefitting from having extra disposable income due to spending less throughout lockdown. However, there is some concern that a backlog of tests and longer waiting lists could discourage new riders.

What can the industry expect moving forward?

With lockdown roadmaps in place across the UK which allow non-essential retail, including showrooms to open their doors to the public in Scotland (appointment only) from 5th April, England and possibly Wales from the 12th, including click and collect for Northern Ireland, there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

Used motorcycle market

Recent feedback suggests that used retail activity was similar to new and challenging in February. Despite the challenges though, some dealers reported strong enquiry levels and are cautiously optimistic for a surge in momentum during April.

Potential stock shortages in the new motorcycle market could also boost demand for used machines, so despite uncertainty and challenges ahead, 2021 could still be a positive year.

Top selling models

As with recent months, demand remains consistent across the board, with Honda Africa Twins buoyant, Yamaha MT-10’s and Tracer 900s in strong demand and the Suzuki GSX-R750 popular. Mopeds and Scooters have seen less demand recently for commuting but remain a popular choice among food delivery companies.

Stock

Stock availability continues to be a challenge with fewer part exchanges and less trade to trade transactions.  Although some dealers are satisfied with their levels, the majority are understocked and are actively looking to purchase leading to strong auction activity.

Sales Activity

Following a cold second week of February with snow for some, the rest of the month was mild and fairly dry. At the time of writing, March’s weather has been benign, with fair riding conditions. Considering used stock availability is still difficult and dealers want healthy levels in preparation for the 5th and 12th of April, Glass’s have increased values across the board in the April edition, except where trade feedback or evidence from the market place indicated models required specific adjustments.

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