Sales of motorbikes were down 17.9% in December, compared with the same month a year earlier, and dealers expect this trend will continue into the first quarter of 2019, according to the National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA).

“2018 was a turbulent year for the motorcycle market, driven by political and economic uncertainty over Brexit,” said NMDA head Stephen Latham.

“However, overall sale volumes were broadly in line with the previous year showing that consumers are still choosing to purchase new bikes.”

He said there were clear improvements in bike sectors last year which added value and strength to sales. The adventure-sport and supersport bikes were the only two styles which saw a decline in sales.

He added: “Overall dealers are optimistic that the market will perform well long term in 2019, however they remain cautious that the first few months of the year is likely to have a negative impact on sales as uncertainties around Brexit continue.”