Sales of motorbikes levelled off last month after strong growth at the beginning of the year.

Stephen Latham, head of the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA), which represents motorcycle retailers across the UK, commented: “Following a strong start to 2016, the NMDA had high expectations that March would follow suit on the back of the new 16-plate change, however the market was up by only 230 bikes compared to March 2015 – marking an overall growth of just 1.4%.

“The market remains stable, but we believe that a shortage in product supply in certain models could be to blame.”

For the year-to-date sales were up 7.6% on the previous year, meaning almost 2,000 more motorcycles have been registered in 2016 compared to this time last year.

The most significant growth came from the 651-1000c sector, which was up 9.5%.

As with previous months, Honda led the manufacturer brands in volume terms with over 3,000 sales, followed by Yamaha which registered almost 2,000 sales, and BMW in third place with 1,688 registrations.

Latham said: “Overall dealers are confident that 2016 will outperform last year’s market, however a greater growth is needed in the typically quieter months similar to this one in order to achieve this.”