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09/12/2019

November’s MCIA registration statistics portrayed a month that’s always characterised by thin volume — and now almost entirely absent growth. BDN financial editor Roger Willis reports.

Overall numbers were 2.4% down to 6004 units. But motorcycles added 1.5% at 4054 and mopeds put on 5.8% to 456. Scooters sank by 12.9% to 1458 and trikes suffered a 30.8% plunge to 36.

Leaving the now-peripheral 50cc slot aside, any sign of useful improvement was to be found only in the 51-125cc range, which grew by a modest 3.1%. Every 126cc-plus engine band was negative. The 126-650cc slot, normally a source of optimism, posted a 3.9% decline. 651-1000cc machines were hit hardest, diving by 19.3%. Over-1000cc stuff was 4.9% down. Among higher-volume style categories, Adventure Sport performed best with a 7.1% increase to 906 bikes. Naked led on units, boasting a tally of 1764, but rose by just 1.1%.

At this time of the year, extrapolating too much from statistical detail is unwise. However, it’s worth noting that Chinese products were prominent in leadership of four style definitions. Lexmoto’s Echo 50 and Aspire 50 models headed Moped varieties, while the brand’s rip-snorting LXR 125 took pole position on the Supersport grid. Qianjiang’s Keeway Superlight from the Moto GB stable was Custom steed of choice. Lexmoto also seized third spot on the top-10 chart thanks to a muscular 29.4% rise.

Honda was untroubled in terms of its traditional domination on that chart, especially given an extraordinary 18.5% registrations surge to grab almost a quarter of the entire monthly market. Cynical observers might assume seasonally-discounted fleet replenishment by the likes of Deliveroo or Just Eat could be involved with such good fortune. Yamaha was runner-up, increasing numbers by 11% to slightly fewer than half of Honda’s total. Almost a third of Yamaha’s head-count was made up of the overall highest-registered model in November, its NMax 125 scooter. BMW occupied fourth spot, just 3.6% up.

Below this aforementioned quartet, the chart got rather messy. KTM was fifth but lost 16.7%. Sixth-placed Triumph’s volume plummeted by 38.8%, even though its Street Triple RS topped the 651-1000cc band. And Kawasaki in seventh copped a more modest 4.1% slide. Harley-Davidson, on the other hand, followed with 13.3% increase. Suzuki dropped by 17.4% in ninth, closely pursued by Royal Enfield. Piaggio, which had claimed fifth spot in November 2018, was entirely absent in the same month this year — and must therefore have plated at least 60% fewer machines.

For the 11 months of 2019 to date, registrations were only 1.7% higher at 102,413 units. Motorcycles advanced by a mere 0.6% to 76,782. Scooters have increased by 2.4% to 19,117. Mopeds added 15.5% to 5821 and trikes were 12% up to 693.