“Following a surge in pre-registrations of Euro 3 machines in December, registrations were 21.6% down in February compared with the same period last year,” said Stephen Latham, head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA), which represents motorcycle retailers across the UK.
The year-to-date figure was also down 18.4%, with just under 2,000 fewer units registered than last year.
Latham continued: “Almost all sectors suffered a decline in sales – with scooters showing the most significant decrease of 28.6%. This sector was one of the biggest contributors to the December pre-reg issue. Similarly, when reviewing the power/cc split, it was the 51-125cc machines that saw the largest decline in the market – down 34.3%.
“Honda was the leading manufacturer in February, followed by Yamaha and BMW, however it is worth noting that due to the lower volumes this February, none of these big manufacturers registered more 1,000 machines.
“Generally retailers are reporting that established leisure riders are returning to the showrooms looking for replacement bikes as the new season gets under way.
“Registrations in February are traditionally low as many buyers wait for the new number plate in March, so it is expected bike sales in March – particularly of the larger brands will help stabilise the motorcycle market. We look forward to seeing how the market unfolds with interest.”