The National Motorcycle Dealers Association (NMDA) said it expects 2018 to be a challenging year for the motorcycle industry, following a tough 2017.

Total motorcycle sales for the year were 105, 467. This was 18%, or just over 23,000, less than the number registered in 2016.

One of the main factors for this was that the final quarter of 2016 saw numerous pre-registrations of Euro 3 light weight bikes prior to the introduction of Euro 4 on 1 January 2017. These were then sold throughout the year, hence reducing the demand for new registrations.

It was estimated that around 12,250 power2wheelers were forced registrations, predominantly 125cc machines. Most of these machines have now found new owners and should not affect consumer demand for new bikes this year.

Looking at 2018, the association said its upper estimate was for sales to increase 3.27% to 108,924. This is similar to the prediction of the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) prediction of 108,450 registrations. Glasses Guide has predicted a market of 110,000 – 115,000 registrations

In this scenario, bikes in the 51-125cc and 126-650cc range would both post healthy sales growth. The smallest bikes (those in the 0-50cc range) would fall by about 1,000, which the association said was due to the fact that this sector has been steadily declining for some time now and in December 2017 there were between 700 – 800 motorcycles pre-registered to elevate the 50cc Euro transition.

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The NMDA also presented a lower estimate, as it said it was concerned its higher estimate could be undermined by issues such as the current surge of scooter related crime in London, the increase in insurance premiums in metropolitan areas for young people, and negative speculation over the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

In this lower estimate, the NMDA said it expected sales to shrink by 292 over the year, with the biggest difference coming from the 51-125cc range.

Lower Estimate 2017 sales 2018 upper estimate 2018 lower estimate
0-50cc 7,871 6,783 6,244
51-125cc 31,633 33,778 31,781
126-650cc 17,714 19,245 18,729
651-1000cc 26,888 26,913 26,452
Over 1000cc 21,361 22,205 21,968
Total registrations 105,467 108,924 105,175


Overall, the NMDA said: “Whilst 2018 is set to be a challenging year for motorcycle dealers, we are optimistic that some of the traditional and leisure riders will return to the showrooms to purchase the latest bikes for the new season and in return stabilise the bike market.