Sales of motorcycles in November showed a decline of 3.2% over the same period last year while the market has experienced a mere 0.1% growth for the year to date.
Sue Robinson, director of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA)/Motorcycle Retailers Association (MRA) commented “Of particular concern is the slowdown in the 51-125cc commuter bike market that has performed throughout the year with an increase in the year to date of 9.3%.
“However, in November the 51-125cc market experienced a downward fall of 6.8%. This is a strong indication that economic pressures are affecting basic purchases of lower priced motorcycles that many consumers consider an essential form of commuter transport.”
She said that over the last two years there has been a shift from purchases of higher priced larger motorcycles to basic 50-125cc machines.
Last year the market was evenly split whereas 2012 has witnessed smaller bikes under 125cc deliver sales of 52% and a reduction in market share to 48% for larger motorcycles above 126cc.
The MRA said this movement in the market was a reflection of consumers becoming more cautious when it comes to large purchases given the ongoing pressure on the domestic economy.