Every single category of UK motorcycle sales is down…

…Except the one marked ‘other’.

It’s that time again; the time where we talk about the level of motorcycle sales within the UK and pinpoint the highs and lows of the latest figures.

Only this month, there really aren’t any highs.

In total the number of new bike registrations (and we are explicitly talking about new motorcycle purchases here) for August within the UK was 6,200. That’s a figure that’s down by over 13.8% compared to the same month in 2016.

And the drop is the same for mopeds and scooters too; with a whopping 26.1% fall in scooter sales from 2,686 in 2016 to 1,820 last month. Mopeds and all other things sat at just 5,036 – down 9.9% on the equivalent 2016 figure.

And that other figure? Well, that’s the sub-category of ‘other’ within Mopeds and Scooters. We think this might relate to higher than allowed ‘bicycle’ powered e-Bikes – off-road, powered mountain bikes, that sort of thing that in theory you need a motorcycle license for – but we can’t be sure. It might even mean electric-powered motorcycles


Regardless of what category of two-wheeler the one labeled ‘other’ actually is… It was the only positive number on the Motor Cycle Industry Association’s figures for August 2017 with a 9.4 % increase in sales from 56 in August 2016 to 76 in the same time-frame last month.

What does all this mean? Not much probably.

But it’s clear that the two-wheeler industry is in dire straights at the moment – not just in the UK but across the whole western world.

Source: Motorcycle Trader



  1. Avatar

    Robert Campbell

    September 10, 2017 at 18:49

    Prices went up by quite a lot after the collapse of 2008. Before that you could by a brand new R6 for less than 8k. How much is that ‘new’ one?
    I know that the manufacturers got hit hard and are trying to recoup R&D and adjust for exchange rates, but I think they may be overstepping the mark. Litre bikes are all pretty extortionate these days. They go for the price that those very special limited editions used to sell for. You can’t justify those prices with electronics and horsepower. There was a time when biking was an affordable luxury for the everyman, but prices have gone up while wages haven’t. With the cost of your dream bike, insurance in the cities and then fuel on top it’s not such an affordable toy these days. Add to that the ridiculous bike licence fiasco and you can see why sales are down.
    We’ve never had so much GOOD choice at all levels and yet people aren’t buying.
    I’m only speaking for myself and I dare say others will have their own reasons.

  2. Avatar


    September 10, 2017 at 19:11

    You’re completely right though, the market has become greedy and the price increase wasn’t needed or justified at all. It was as if they thought people wouldn’t notice the 5k hike on the top end if they flooded the market with more affordable bikes like the MT07. Electronics don’t make things more expensive they should make things safer and cheaper for all but that’s not what the MC industry seem to think.

    Topped off with the government, like you say, forcing people to not bother with motorcycles because of ridiculous tests and almost unfathomable system of classes and levels.

    It’s a worrying time, who knows what the solution is?

  3. Avatar

    Jon Jones

    September 11, 2017 at 13:23

    Good post. And the price of OE parts has just gone through the roof. A petcock for a Suzuki ATV is now almost $200!

    Really, really pisses me off.

  4. Avatar

    Andy S

    September 27, 2017 at 13:11

    Don’t agree. I can only assume that you haven’t been riding al that long. 20 years ago I bought a brand new ZR1100 that was reduced from £9995 to £8995. Taking into account the average rate of inflation over the same period, in todays money that equates to about £14,000, AND THAT’S THE DISCOUNTED PRICE. which is more than a ZZR1400 costs today. Another example I would use is a new Diversion 600 I bought in 1993 for £3,500. Again, factoring in all of the above criteria, in todays money that’s £6,650, about the same as a middleweight commuter would cost today. It’s a bit of a myth to think that bikes are more expensive today than they were. Get hold of a copy of a bike magazine from 20 /25 years ago with a new bike listing at the back, then using any online tool, find out what the prices equate too today. You might be surprised to find that in the grand scheme of things, there isn’t much difference, if any at all. I think the demise of motorcycling, is the falling away of the older generation, combined with few new riders to take up the reigns.

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