Last year ended with a 12.7% increase in motorbike registrations, with 43,759 commuter bikes (51-125cc) put on the road – the highest on record since 1983. This sector accounted for 38.3% of bikes sold making it the largest single sector for registrations in the year.
Stephen Latham, head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA), which represents motorbike retailers across the UK, put the rise down to a number of factors including consumer confidence and a stronger economy.
He added that 2015 saw motorbike manufacturers and dealers work together to demonstrate the benefits of lease-purchase schemes on the back of continued low interest rates. “As with the car industry this option of only paying for the part of the asset that has depreciated is popular with retail buyers and has been instrumental in boosting bike sales in 2015,” he said.
As for other sectors of the motorbike market, Latham reported that for some years, sales of entry level low-powered machines (0-50cc) have been on a downward trend and 2015 was no exception with a further decrease of -11.4%. This sector now represents just 8.3% of sales in the UK.
“All other higher power ranges showed signs of a significant increase – with the highest volume coming from the 650-1000cc machines which, at a growth of 24.9%, represented one in five of all bikes sold. Growth in this sector clearly demonstrates the return of the established rider that generally purchases for leisure and sport reasons.”
He said feedback from dealers continues to be positive, as they believe the market could further increase by 8-10% over the course of this year.