Motorcycle Market Update Mar 19

Paul McDonald

22 Mar 2019, Editorial

Motorcycle sales increased in January and February by 9% and 13.1% respectively. Whilst great news, the experts at Glass’s Guide advise caution in view of BREXIT and vanishing consumer confidence. Paul McDonald, Glass’s Leisure Editor said, “The motorcycle market looks strong, but the true test will be with the analysis of March’s sales in this key plate-change month.”

The dealer view of February was that demand was in line with last year with discounting creating extra sales. Most dealers remain cautious about the BREXIT ramifications over the next few months.

February 2019 Market Highlights

  • Six out of the nine sales categories record growth
  • Two growth categories feature strong selling models including:
    • Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin
    • BMW R1250 GS
    • Supersports enjoyed the most significant growth
    • Following a decline in December and January, Nakeds experienced strong growth in February
    • Custom bikes recorded the largest decline
    • Mopeds recorded an increase in February, the first for some time

Hot in February

  • Honda PCX125 continues its sales lead
  • Lexmoto re-enter the top ten with their LXR 125
  • Honda NSC 110 WH remains popular
  • Impressive sales from the Piaggio Liberty 125

What can the industry expect moving forward?

The season is now well under way and in view of the mild winter the country experienced; this will have encouraged more to think about riding, which is positive for the industry. There is much to look forward to with exciting new models due. With BREXIT delays likely, unease in the market will increase with a negative impact on consumer spending.

Used Market

This month, most feedback from dealers and respondents to Glass’s quarterly survey, suggests February demand to be in line or stronger than last year. Despite buoyancy in the used market, politics continues to be a hindrance to sales.

  • Adventure bikes performed well, chiefly BMW’s R1200 GS and Honda’s CRF1000L Africa Twin
  • Commuter machines between  £1,000 to £1,500 sell strongly
  • Solid sellers include  the Kawasaki Z1000SX and Yamaha MT ranges
  • Sales for late registration machines are difficult due to high discounts on new purchases

Most dealers feel stock is broadly in line with last year, with new part exchanges from March 1 helping to re-stock forecourts.  Some dealers continue to find it difficult to locate quality stock at the right price, reducing profits.

Compared to last year, March has been a mild month with little wintry weather, although riding conditions have been less than ideal with loads of rain. With the clocks springing forward at the end of March and weather improvements on the horizon, dealers are hoping demand will rally. Overall, caution remains, in view of the political backdrop. To reflect this and the time of year, Glass’s has held the majority of values except where trade feedback and evidence from the market indicates necessary adjustments.

About the author

Paul McDonald

Paul McDonaldLeisure 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.